THE GOVERNMENT’S response to the over 10,000 protesters who gathered on the Cinta Costera on Tuesday, January 9, to protest corruption and impunity, was to attack the media portrayal of the event and to claim that those who gathered near the home of President Juan Carlos Varela were political agitators linked to corruption.
At a press conference on Wednesday, Minister of the Presidency, Alvaro Aleman, characterized the crowds that went to Torres Miramar, where Varela lives to shout “corrupt” and “thief” were members of “a political party whose leaders are marked by corruption.”
According to the government, the thousands of people who walked from the statue of Balboa on the Cinta Costera to the Miramar tower were a “group with political motivations that challenged public order”, and called for citizenship, the media and civil society to condemn the acts.
A government statement reads: “Given the legitimate right of citizens to convene a peaceful and civic protest against corruption on January 9 at a specific point of the Cinta Costera, a small group of people belonging mostly to a party politician whose leaders are accused of corruption, arrested abroad and fugitives from justice, took the opportunity to address the residence of President Juan Carlos Varela.
“By direct instructions from the President, and although it is his right for the protection of his family to put a distance between protesters and his home, the usual security ring was removed on January 9 and thus avoid provocations that taint the patriotic deed that is commemorated in honor of the martyrs.
“This group of people with clearly identified political links mobilized a mob to promote disrespectful slogans against the President and his family.
“This is the second time that political groups that in the past have supported acts of corruption have gathered at the premises of the residence of the President to seek provocation and a reaction from the security forces.
We do not rule out that the money from corruption is being used to finance these mobs that take advantage of legitimate peaceful citizen movements to infiltrate and carry out their political plans.
We regret that the disrespectful slogans promoted by these political groups that have been clearly identified have been taken by the media to generate news headlines, ignoring that those who agitated people are leaders who try to protect the corrupt belonging to their parties.”