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  • Writer's pictureDahlia Foundation

Guatemala’s Indigenous leaders take to the streets in nationwide protests

Guatemala City, Guatemala – Every day, they gather at the gates of the public prosecutor’s office: Indigenous leaders, protesting against threats to Guatemala’s election integrity.

These leaders — some of whom dress in brightly embroidered huipil blouses and ceremonial attire — have become the face of the demonstrations that have exploded across the Central American country in recent weeks.

Since October 2, as many as 140 roadways have been blocked, and thousands of people have flooded the streets of the capital, Guatemala City, to demand accountability for efforts they say are designed to subvert the country’s recent presidential elections.

SitPo’p Herrera, 32, is one of those Indigenous leaders. A member of the Ixil Mayan Ancestral Authority, an autonomous Indigenous government, she travelled 226km (140 miles) from her highland town of Nebaj to arrive in Guatemala City on October 4, where she had been demonstrating ever since.

Herrera said she was there to represent Ixil Mayan communities in the protests. She and other Indigenous leaders have maintained a near-constant presence outside the prosecutor’s office, holding ceremonies and leading chants.

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