Hundreds of protesters blocked some 20 streets in Guatemala on Monday to demand the resignation of three judges accused of trying to prevent President-elect Bernardo Arevalo from taking office in January.

The protests followed the raid and marathon – 20-hour-plus – search on Friday and Saturday at the headquarters of the Supreme Electoral Court (TSE), during which documents related to the counting of votes in the August 20 presidential election were seized. The operation was strongly criticized by the international community.

The people who gathered demanded the resignation of Attorney General Consuelo Porras, Prosecutor Rafael Curuccice and Judge Freddy Oreyana, who are described as the leaders of the crusade against the president’s party, Movimiento Semilla (“Seed Movement”).

According to the general direction of road safety, the participants in the mobilization closed at least 17 sections of the road network, including the Inter-American highway and other axes that lead to the borders with Mexico, El Salvador and Honduras. They also blocked two entrances to the capital.

In a statement, the organizers of the mobilization denounced “arbitrary measures that attack democracy, the autonomy of the people and the constitutional order” by the three members of the judiciary, all of whom are on a US blacklist of persons involved in “corruption”.

Mr. Arevalo had yesterday Monday talks via video conference with the head of American diplomacy, Anthony Blinken, who expressed to him the “concern” of his government “about the situation in Guatemala”. “We discussed and reaffirmed our commitment to guarantee that democracy prevails and that the vote of Guatemalans is respected,” he added via X (the former Twitter).

The Organization of American States (OAS), the US, Spain and the European Union strongly condemned the new raid on the TSE headquarters.

Social Democrat Bernardo Arevalo requested in mid-September that the judiciary proceed with the lifting of the immunity of the Attorney General and Judge Oreyana, following the seizure of culps a few days earlier by prosecutors.

Lifting their immunity would allow them to be investigated for six alleged offences, including violating the Constitution and abusing power for electoral purposes.

The 64-year-old former parliamentarian accuses the judges of attempting a “coup d’état” to prevent him from assuming power. He won the second round of the presidential election by a wide margin, after surprising the first in June by coming in second, largely because of his promise to fight endemic corruption.