December 9, 2016 / 5:26 AM / 8 months ago

Guatemalans burn Trump effigies to scatter evil spirits

A pinata representing U.S. President-elect Donald Trump as a devil burns during the traditional Burning of the Devil festival, ahead of Christmas in Guatemala City, Guatemala December 7, 2016.Luis Echeverria

GUATEMALA CITY (Reuters) - Revelers in Guatemala set ablaze cardboard representations of U.S. President-elect Donald Trump wearing devil horns during a traditional ceremony, "La Quema del Diablo", or the Burning of the Devil, held ahead of Christmas every year.

Trump's hardline stance on immigration during his presidential election campaign, including a promise to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border, has drawn anger from Latin Americans in the United States and around the world.

"We are against this person in many respects, regarding deportations, the wall he wants to build. We do not agree," said participant Astrid Soto, just before setting fire to the Trump figures, which clutched fistfuls of fake cash, and a U.S. flag.

Participants believe the practice of torching the devil helps banish bad spirits from their homes and neighborhoods. The custom began in the 16th century, but has spread out from various towns since the 1990s to become popular nationwide.

Reporting by Reuters Television; Writing by Nicole Nee, Editing by Karishma Singh and Clarence Fernandez

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