We are now witnessing the last ditch attempts, the last faltering moves of a coup d'état. This coup is not against Bernardo Arévalo and Karin Herrera. It is not against the Movimiento Semilla. It is against Guatemala.
Today, the coup leaders who occupy the Attorney General’s Office made very clear the intentions behind the illegal actions they have carried out over the last year. They started with repression, to annul the freedom of expression and dissent in the face of power.
They continued with the persecution of social and political organizations. They exert pressure and blackmail against any official who refuses to follow their illegal orders.
The attack and the absurd, spurious accusations against the Movimiento Semilla party are totally unfounded. Their objective is to deny the possibility of governing that a bloc in the Congress of the Republic provides. They know that the mandate for change that the people of Guatemala delivered at the ballot box requires the presence of the Movimiento Semilla caucus in Congress, and that is why they want to unlawfully eliminate it.
And now they attack the elections of mayors and deputies of several parties, striking a blow to the heart of our democracy.
The coup leaders — Consuelo Porras, Rafael Curruchiche, Ángel Pineda and their cronies — intend to destroy the democratic rule of law and to put an end to the basic right of Guatemalans to live in freedom, to choose those who should govern, and to remove them from office by means of the vote in free elections.
Guatemalans: They want to invalidate your vote. The vote you cast with faith, with hope, and in freedom.
The votes of all the people who participated in the elections of 25 June and 20 August were counted fairly, transparently and promptly.
At practically all the polling stations, the counting was observed by the election monitors from the various political parties. Observers from the private sector, civil society and the international community attested to the accuracy of the vote count. The people celebrated in the streets their own triumph against the corrupt politicians. The results have been certified and made official by the Supreme Electoral Tribunal. They are definitive and unalterable. We have won the elections.
These corrupt politicians, these authoritarians, tried to interfere in the free exercise of the vote through arbitrary exclusion of candidates, deceit and disinformation. But the people of Guatemala responded forcefully, armed with conviction and hope, to affirm that the end has come for the dictatorship of corruption and impunity.
In their eagerness to confront the people of Guatemala, the coup leaders have committed unlawful acts and abuses. They have taken desperate, absurd and ridiculous actions.
They attempt to equate parties and social movements with criminal organizations of kidnappers and drug traffickers. They claim that electoral fraud occurred due to differences in the design of the tally sheets filled out by citizens at the polls. They expect us to trust what they say when they forced their way into the Supreme Electoral Tribunal to steal voting records, without providing any guarantee that they would not be altered.
In short, this is an absurd, ridiculous and perverse coup.
Although this mediocre soap opera staged by a group of prosecutors is laughable because of its ludicrous arguments, the coup attempt is real. It has brought us to a crucial moment in the history of our country, in which we must make it abundantly clear where we stand.
Are we on the side of those who attack the will of the people, cover up corruption and make a mockery of the people of Guatemala? Or are we on the side of those fighting for democracy to prevail in order to initiate a transformative process for a fairer country? Are we on the side of the coup or are we on the side of democracy? I want to emphasize that on our side, the side of the new spring, the side of hope, there is room for all of us, except for the corrupt, the violent and the authoritarian.
We must defend what the people have declared at the polls, we must defend the thousands of poll workers and fundamentally we must defend the future of Guatemala.
We acknowledge the courageous actions of the magistrates of the Supreme Electoral Tribunal in the defense of the electoral process and the will of the people.
We urge the Supreme Court of Justice and the Constitutional Court to assume their role in the defense of democracy and the rule of law, to stop the illegal schemes of this group of coup plotters entrenched in the Attorney General's Office.
Women and men of good will, young people, students, Indigenous peoples, businessmen, congressmen and elected mayors. Let us be clear and forceful, it is time to vigorously defend our voices and the possibility of building a different country. No one can stand between the people of Guatemala and its spring. We have won the elections and we will take office on 14 January.
The future is already ours. We only have to defend it.