GUATEMALA CITY – Guatemalans have celebrated the 70th anniversary of the October 1944 Revolution which ended the military dictatorship of Gen. Jorge Ubico, but used the occasion to protest current problems such as poverty and violence.
An estimated 6,000 people took part in the march through the capital on Monday with many shouting slogans such as “Hungry People are People Without Peace.”
Members of student, political, social and peasant organizations took part in the march, along with environmentalist and presidential candidate for the 2015 elections Yuri Melini, and ex-finance Juan Alberto Fuentes Knight.
The marchers expressed their discontent over the economic and security situation in Guatemala where half of the population of 15 million lives below the poverty line and the rate of violence is one of the highest in the world.
Ubico’s overthrow was led by Col. Jacobo Arbenz, who introduced agrarian and labor reforms, set up a social security system and established a university.
But his leftist policies alarmed the United States and the Central Intelligence Agency organized a coup to oust Arbenz in 1954.