President Negotiates with Guatemalan Protestors

June 11, 2004

GUATEMALA CITY (AFP) –President Oscar Berger Tuesday eveninggracefully negotiated a ceasefire with thousandsof protesting workers, students andindigenous who earlier that day blockedmajor highways and border crossings intoMexico, Honduras and El Salvador.The protestors – some 15,000 ofwhom were in the capital alone – wererallying against the government’s proposalto increase taxes for low-income families,the pending Central America Free-TradeAgreement (CAFTA) with the UnitedStates and land issues in rural areas.The President reportedly agreed to calloff the tax increase for people who make$4,600 or less a year, suspend pending furtherstudy a series of police actions forcinguntitled indigenous off land, and releasecopies of the CAFTA agreement in the 22different languages spoken in Guatemala.

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