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Protesters Demand Guatemala Ease Coronavirus Lockdown Rules

Anti-government activist Fernando Linares speaks in front of the Congress building during a protest to demand that the government lift the coronavirus lockdown, in Guatemala City, Guatemala, June 18, 2020.

Scores of demonstrators in Guatemala are demanding President Alejandro Giammattei ease coronavirus lockdown restrictions, even as the death toll in the Central American nation tops 400.

A motorcade of protesters and others on foot rallied outside the Congress in Guatemala City on Thursday, calling on the government to start relaxing restrictions and reopen the economy.

Attorney Giovanni Fratti said the government is causing what he called a time bomb situation and that it should reopen the economy immediately, adding that advanced economies such as the United States and Italy, with more COVID-19 cases than Guatemala, are already reopening their economies.

The demonstration comes a week after the government said it is considering increasing lockdown restrictions if COVID-19 cases continue rising.

Guatemala has reported more than 11,800 cases and more than 430 deaths.