Maya Q’eqchi’ organization CCDA protests in front of US Embassy as Vice-President Kamala Harris visits Guatemala

Published by Brent Patterson on

On June 7, the CCDA tweeted: “The Campesino Committee of the Altiplano (CCDA) protests in front of the United States embassy in the context of the visit of Vice President Kamala Harris.” The CCDA held a banner that read: “Kamala, they lie to you!”

The CCDA accompanies 150 Maya Q’eqchi’ communities who have been repressed and stripped of their land or who are immersed in conflicts regarding land tenure. PBI-Guatemala has accompanied CCDA-Verapaces Region since July 2018.

Vice-President Harris on migration and corruption

Reuters reports: “Harris said on Monday she had ‘robust’ talks with Guatemalan President Alejandro Giammattei on fighting corruption to deter immigration from Central America and bluntly warned migrants to not come to the United States.”

Significantly, Harris voiced this message to Guatemalans: “The United States will continue to enforce our laws and secure our borders. If you come to our border, you will be turned back. Do not come, do not come.”

The Reuters article adds: “The Biden administration has identified corruption as an underlying cause of the poverty and violence driving record numbers of Central Americans to go to the United States.”

After her three-hour meeting with the Guatemalan president, Harris commented: “We had a robust, candid and thorough conversation. …The president and I discussed the importance of anti-corruption and the importance of an independent judiciary.”

When Giammattei was asked by a reporter if he would be a reliable partner for the US to combat corruption in Guatemala, he replied: “How many cases of corruption have I been accused of? I can give you the answer: Zero.”

Nestle to expand its coffee sourcing in Guatemala

USA Today has also reported: “Part of the strategy to slow the pace of migration is creating better living conditions and economic opportunities for people in the region through investment. Last month, Harris secured the commitment of 12 U.S. companies and organizations – including MasterCard, Microsoft and Chobani – to invest in Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador.” The White House also notes the coffee company Nestlé Nespresso S.A. is committed to “expanding its existing sourcing activities in Guatemala.”

The United States in Guatemala

The Reuters article also provides the context that: “The United States orchestrated a coup against democratically elected leftist government Jacobo Arbenz in 1954, ushering in decades of military governments and a civil war estimated to have killed more than 200,000 people by the time it ended in 1996.”

In response to the warning from Vice-President Harris to migrants not to come to the United States, US Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez tweeted: “First, seeking asylum at any US border is a 100% legal method of arrival. Second, the US spent decades contributing to regime change and destabilization in Latin America. We can’t help set someone’s house on fire and then blame them for fleeing.”

CCDA banner: “Kamala, they lie to you! There is corruption, political prisoners, malnutrition, hate crimes, femicides, exploitation of children, unemployment and poverty. Guatemala is a narco-state. This is why there is migration.”

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