Doctors and medical students demand PDH to remain silent in the face of electoral crisis – Prensa Comunitaria

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Medical students and doctors are asking the Attorney General to take action so that Guatemalan citizens can vote in the second round. “We cannot be calm when they threaten to take away our hope, they have already taken away our health, education, security… we have hope and hope that we will reach the second round,” they told PDH.

Regina Perez

Students from the Faculty of Medicine and other schools and faculties of the University of San Carlos, as well as doctors from the General Hospital of San Juan de Dios, joined the national strike organized by various sectors on Monday and demanded from the Ombudsman for Human Rights (PDH), José Alejandro Córdoba, his silence and passivity before the judicial acceptance of the electoral process by the state ministry.

A protester protests outside the PDH against prosecutors Consuelo Porras and FECI. Photo Regina Perez

The march began at Paraninfo University, with students and professionals heading to the PDH headquarters, where they asked Cordova to attend. “Show face, we are exercising our right to freedom of speech, and today the one who should protect our rights is hiding because he knows that the only ones who are useful are the corrupt,” one of the students told him. A few minutes later, the Attorney General agreed to receive a delegation of two students and two doctors.

Vivian Ponce, president of the Medical Students Association, expressed her concern to Córdoba about the remote role that the institution is playing in the national crisis. “Today we join the protest of the people of Guatemala who see how the organizations of our country exceed their functions, and we would like to put this situation on the table and announce that we expect the fulfillment of those obligations that correspond to them, not only to you as a prosecutor, but to your entire field of activity.”

Ponce cited the recent actions of the Ministry of Public Administration (MP) and Judge Fredi Orellana who attacked the Movimiento Semilla party with arrest warrants and searches of its headquarters and the Supreme Electoral Tribunal.

For his part, Napoleon Méndez, head of the emergency department at the San Juan de Dios General Hospital, told Córdoba: “We represent many people here because we want free and non-politicized elections, we are very concerned about how the apparatuses in charge of justice on behalf of the judiciary and the deputy handle the legal processing of the elections.”

Guatemala Floreseras says a poster of a protester in Parliament. Photo Regina Perez

Mendez added that the PDH attested to the absence of fraud and that if there was any anomaly, the institution would have pointed it out. “Yes, I ask you to be on one side, I don’t know if there are three, five or seven, but we ask you to be on the side of the people, the people have already made a free choice in the elections, and we are in the second round, we want the second round to take place, not be prosecuted, we are in a very dangerous transition period in which they want to steal the hope of the people,” he said.

The delegation’s specific request was that Córdoba demonstrate through the amparo to defend the will of the voters in the first round. However, the judge of conscience indicated that he was unable to do so and listed a number of actions that he believed the PDP had taken during the electoral process, such as the deployment of observers.

“We called for calm, we called for calm, for peace, we called for constitutional respect for all state institutions, this call was made by the Attorney General in various statements,” he said.

According to Cordova, PDH can’t be a party when actions are prosecuted, “but we can go and watch to make sure there’s no breach of due process.”

Considering this, Mendez responded: “We want PDH to take legal action but don’t ask us to calm down, we can’t be calm when they threaten to take away our hope, they have already taken our health, education, security … we have hope and we hope we get to the second round, we ask that the PDH come up with a lawsuit that will protect us, we want our voting rights in the second round to be guaranteed.”

The delegation left the meeting without a concrete response from the prosecutor on whether he would act with some kind of protection in the Cortes to protect the rights of the population in the second round. Dr. Carlos Chua from the USAC Faculty of Health Sciences also attended this meeting.

Then the march turned to the deputy with slogans against Consuelo Porras and the de facto rector of this educational institution, Valter Mazariegos.

They ask for the resignation of Porras

Since July 12, thousands of citizens have expressed their dissatisfaction in various ways and on various occasions with the lawsuits of the head of parliament, Consuelo Porras, against the Movimiento Semilla party, which unexpectedly advanced to the second round. That is why they are demanding her resignation from the position to which she was appointed by President Alejandro Giammattei.

Allan Ramirez, a citizen who has come to protest in front of the MP several times, said his presence means demanding the resignation of “that group of criminals who hide behind the rules they invent, the laws they manipulate to weaken our society, and to be here so they know they can’t do it with impunity.”

Doctors and medical students protest at PDH. Photo Regina Perez

Ramirez said that they would demand that the Constitution be respected and that they would not be able to intimidate either the citizens or the Semilla party or any other person who fights for the rule of law in Guatemala.”

The prosecutor was responsible for inaction in a crisis

On Sunday, July 23, demonstrators protested outside the PDH office. “This thief stays in flight mode” was the prosecutor’s slogan regarding Córdoba’s inaction as it failed to rule on the lawsuits that jeopardized the runoff.

When asked about this interrogation, the judge of conscience limited himself to saying: “I am not going to do what the law does not allow me … I know the law, it’s not for nothing that I have experience, I come from a justice of the peace and I know how long the scope of the prosecutor’s powers is, and I respect my functions, how much the Constitution gives me powers, I believe that we are not all experts.”

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