Wednesday, May 20, 2009

30,000 Back Bid To Impeach Guatemala President

GUATEMALA CITY (AFP)--Guatemalan opposition activists handed a petition of some 30,000 signatures to Congress Monday in a bid to impeach President Alvaro Colom over a scandal set off by the killing of a lawyer.

Before his death, lawyer Rodrigo Rosenberg recorded a video saying that if he was killed, the president and his aides would be responsible.

The tape was released the day after the 47-year-old was shot dead on May 10, setting off a political scandal that has shaken up the Central American country coming more than a decade after the end of its civil war.

Colom has denied involvement in the killing, which sparked mass protests.

Opposition activists targeted the private secretary of the presidency, Gustavo Alejos, and the first lady Sandra Torres - who are both also accused in the video - in their petition Monday.

"If we don't get a reply in eight days, we'll continue with peaceful protests through a national strike," said Luis Pedro Alvarez, one of the group's leaders.

Tens of thousands took to the streets Sunday in the country of more than 13 million, demanding justice on either side in the case.

The U.S. deputy undersecretary for Latin America, David Robinson, was to meet Colom in Guatemala Monday, according to the presidency. Guatemalan officials sought support for the president in Washington last week.

The Rio Group of Latin American and Caribbean countries Monday expressed support for Colom and Guatemala's government in a statement.

Organization of American States Secretary-general Jose Miguel Insulza was due Thursday in Guatemala to discuss the crisis.

No comments:

Post a Comment