Jimmy Morales got by with a little help from his friends
Jimmy Morales ran from delivering Guatemala's presidential sash to be sworn in as a congressman, while the protesters were shouting at him, "Murderer," and enduring the police's tear gas.
On January 14, Alejandro Giammattei was sworn in as president of Guatemala. Following the handover of the presidential sash, Jimmy Morales was sworn in as a member of the Central American Parliament (Parlacen).
Being a deputy of this body is a possibility that Central American presidents and vice presidents have at the end of their terms, so it is not a surprise that Morales has accepted. Where the irregularity is revealed is in the haste of the date and time of the swearing-in.
Jimmy Morales handed over the presidential sash on Jan. 14 at 2 p.m. and was scheduled to be sworn in at 4 p.m. In view of the accusations against him for illegal electoral financing, the death of 41 girls in the Hogar Seguro fire, the illegal Bono Militar, a questioned purchase of Pampa III planes, alleged irregularities in the trip made to Israel to inaugurate the Guatemalan Embassy in that country, as summarized by the newspaper Nómada, it is difficult to believe that such speed is the product of parliamentary diligence and not an effort to avoid his arrest.
For this reason, activists from eight civil organizations (Citizens' Assembly against Corruption and Impunity, Asociación Gente Positiva, Batucada del Pueblo, Centinelas Guatemala, Comité Campesino del Altiplano, Festivales Solidarios, Otra Guatemala Ya and Red por la Paz y el Desarrollo de Guatemala) held a press conference in front of Parlacen headquarters on January 14, where they explicitly asked the president of the organ, Alfonso Fuentes Soria, to avoid this evasion of justice.
The civil organizations then stood for hours in front of the building, until the place of the swearing-in was changed to the Hotel Las Américas, where they also went to prevent Morales from entering and being sworn in.
There the human barrier was maintained until the riot police arrived to confront the demonstrators between blows and pepper spray.
Finally, five students were detained (two of them with blows to the head) and around midnight the riot police managed to divide the group of demonstrators and Jimmy Morales managed to make his way inside the hotel, where he was sworn in as a congressman and a new immunity was granted.