Security & Strategic Review - February 2024

A new era in Guatemala as Arévalo takes over the reins

Against all odds, anti-corruption reformer Bernardo Arévalo, who won a resounding victory in Guatemala’s 20 August election on the pledge to tackle the ‘pacto de corruptos’ network of institutional corruption [SSR-23-08], was finally sworn in as president last month. His inauguration followed months of efforts by the ‘pacto de corruptos’, spearheaded by attorney general (AG) María Consuelo Porras, to derail his victory. The significance of Arévalo’s assumption of office cannot be overstated in terms of representing a break with the discredited political establishment. However, the task he faces in delivering on his pledge and addressing the democratic backsliding which ensued under his predecessor, Alejandro Giammettei (2020-2024), is also huge given the backlash this is likely to provoke.

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