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Guatemalan activists protest migrant asylum pact with US

Sonny Figueroa
Associated Press

Guatemala City – Guatemalan activist groups are protesting an agreement that President Jimmy Morales signed with Washington to require migrants passing through the Central American country to seek asylum there, rather than pushing on to the U.S.

Posters and signs placed on one of the sculptures outside the Constitutional Court show a cartoon of the Guatemalan President Jimmy Morales with the word "traitor" "#jimmy turncoat" during a press conference organized by civil society groups in Guatemala City, Friday, July 26, 2019. The signs came up after the Trump administration signed an agreement with Guatemala Friday that will restrict asylum applications to the U.S. from Central America.

Human rights activist Brenda Hernández is one of the organizers of a protest march planned for Saturday. She says Guatemala can barely take care of its own people, much less shelter vulnerable migrants.

In her words, “Guatemala doesn’t have the capacity to be a safe country for migrants that aren’t desired in the United States.”

Jordán Rodas is Guatemala’s state attorney for human rights and he says the accord violates the Vienna Convention because Guatemala signed under duress.

Guatemala’s top court has said the agreement must be approved by the country’s congress to be enforceable.