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May 1, Day of the Worker, in Guatemala

by Sr. Evie, Vazquez, icm

As everyone knows, the origin of the Day of the Workers on the first of May dates back to the year 1886 with the Chicago martyrs.  From that day on many countries have adopted this date to commemorate all workers all over the world who have been unjustly treated by their employers, and who have had the courage to demand their very basic human rights as workers, not only in terms of just wages, but also in humane treatment for all.  

labor day 2

Every first of May in Guatemala thousands come into the city from the 22 different departments, partly by bus and at some point on foot bearing their flags and emblems and demands.  Years back, like in 1978, the platforms of trucks were used as stages where their situation as workers of the national and international companies was vividly acted out. University students have been the most concerned about the unjust labor situation of thousands of men and women all over the country, from domestic workers to sugar-cane cutters, with so many laborious hours and extra hours unfairly paid.

As the situation here in Guatemala presently worsens due to corruption, money laundering, underground negotiations, and illicit enrichment by many high government officials, the clamor of the people is getting louder and louder and demonstrations all over the country, but specifically in the city, in the thousands make themselves present even under the rain to raise their voice and be heard, asking for justice in all spheres of the government.  Right now Vice-president, Roxana Baldetti, after so much pressure from the people, has already resigned, and the people are even demanding that the President also resign.  A few are fugitives from justice, and the CICIG (The International Commission against Impunity in Guatemala by the United Nations)  has been investigating the government´s Superintendency  of Tax Administration and many other government officials involved in  corruption,  frauds in  customs, and even judges of the Supreme Court of Justice in so many fraudulent acts for 10 months now.

labor day 3

The pictures will speak for themselves.  But the people have made it clearly known that “EL PUEBLO ES SOBERANO, Y EL PRESIDENTE ES SU SERVIDOR”, meaning:  “THE PEOPLE ARE SOVEREIGN AND THE PRESIDENT IS AT THEIR SERVICE”.

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