Guatemalan Squatters Accuse PAN of Buying Votes FWD

Tom Boland (wgcp@earthlink.net)
Sat, 26 Sep 1998 12:14:23 -0400


FWD *excerpted article* from:
/** reg.guatemala: 101.0 **/
** Topic: Cerigua Weekly Briefs 35 **
** Written  8:12 AM  Sep 15, 1998 by cerigua@guate.net in cdp:reg.guatemala **
From: cerigua <cerigua@guate.net>
CERIGUA WEEKLY BRIEFS, NUMBER 35, SEPTEMBER 10, 1998


SQUATTERS ACCUSE PAN OF BUYING VOTES


Guatemala City, September 7.  The National Advancement Party (PAN) is trying
to buy the votes of homeless Guatemalans by hinging their inclusion in
government housing programs on their support for the ruling party during the
next general elections, according to a statement by the Guatemalan
Neighborhoods Front (FREPOGUA).

Residents of the squatter settlement Candelaria on the outskirts of the
capital say PAN representatives have approached them with the offer of
subsidized housing through the government Housing Fund (FOGUAVI) in exchange
for their votes, FREPOGUA reports.

"The social claims and necessities of the population should not be
negotiable," the group's statement reads.  "Our (political) support has to
be conscientious, electing freely without blackmail of any kind, not
allowing our civic conscience to be bought with hats and T-shirts."

Other organizations have also accused the governing party of using its
social funds to secure support for its candidates.  In particular, several
National Peace Fund (FONAPAZ) employees reported that one section of the
fund's staff were put to work for the PAN's electoral campaign during the
municipal elections held last June.  And indigenous groups have complained
that communities that support the ruling party are given preference in
spending by the Fund for Indigenous Development (FODIGUA).

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