Guatemala: Largest Protests Yet in Assassination and Corruption Scandal, Web-televised and Twittered from Streets

(Photo: Navarro)

* "¡Esta revolución será tuiteada!," they're saying -- "This revolution will be tweeted." Massive demonstrations are taking place in Guatemala today, organized, amplified, and documented by social media networks -- namely, Ustream, Twitter, and Facebook.

* The independent Guatemalan online media organization Libertopolis is streaming live video of the massive pro- and anti-government demonstrations taking place in Guatemala. The Guatemalan newspaper Prensa Libre also has a live video stream (both on All of this media is in Spanish.

* Twitter is exploding with on-the-scene reports. As of 9am PT, some 5,000 10am PT, 50,000 people gathered in the Plaza Italia area of the capital (photo/via washwash, another here.) Most of the demonstrators wore white to symbolize peace.

* Where to find on-the-scene reports via twitter: El Periodico, Noticias Guatemala, Prensa Libre. Also, follow #escandalogt. Some Guatemalan twitterers were saying last night they planned to print out "V for Vendetta" masks and wear them en masse to the demonstrations today. Organizers on Twitter urged all who planned to participate to report anomalies or rights abuses by authorities, and observe cautionary guidelines to avoid violence.

* Online reports are coming in that governors, under duress from the state, have used public funds to ship busloads of primarily poor, indigenous citizens from the interior and north of the country to participate in government-planned pro-Colom demonstrations. Twitterers on the scene say the government-organized, pro-Colom demonstrations number about 2,500 participants as of 10am PT and include a patriotic musical performance.

* Last night, the Constitutional Court of Guatemala ruled that law enforcement must not take sides in today's demonstrations, and must preserve and uphold the citizens' right to free expression. Police in the capital are on "maximum alert" today.

* President Colom: "They don't know who they're messing with."

* Update, 1230pm PT: The demonstrations ended peacefully. Organizers collected approximately 30,000 signatures on-site, demanding Guatemalan president Álvaro Colom temporarily step down so that a judicial inquiry into his alleged involvement in the assassination of attorney Rodrigo Rosenberg may proceed without interference. Many who texted updates from the streets spoke of a moment during the anti-Colom demonstration when the entire crowd spontaneously sang Guatemala's national anthem in unison. "Over 50,000 people singing the anthem was epic," tweeted one participant.


  1. Its funny to see how innovative technology is starting to actually have a considerable impact on the path of politics. Mark my word, we are going to see a lot more of these sorts of scandals on an international scale which is the case already.

  2. The new intelligent weapons to defend democracy: PC, Mobil phone, Digital Camera. Internet it’s giving us freedom

  3. I think that respect for democracy requires that a transfer of power occur peacefully, in accordance with the rule of law, as a result of either free and fair elections or predetermined due process. A mob clamoring for the resignation of a president is not democratic, even if happens on the Internet.

  4. Actually JEAGUILAR, at yesterday’s rally, we were clamoring for rule of law and due process, neither of which we have in Guatemala.

  5. Anonymous: what is the Constitutional and Democratic process for dealing with this crisis? And while we are at it, what are the forces that benefit from destabilization and who are those that are promoting destabilization?

  6. Agreed, Socialnerdia. I so appreciate BoingBoing for reporting on these types of events. It doesn’t even show up in my local newspaper.

    In this case, we have something that is a complete outrage, tempered by the fact that the people in Guatemala are actually taking their president to task for it. Please keep up the reporting…

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