“The irregularities are so evident that the international community regularly expresses its serious concerns”

Latemala rarely occupies the international news front, that’s an understatement. Even at the height of what the UN called “acts of genocide”, perpetrated in the 1980s against the Mayan population, the attention given in Europe to this country – the most populous in Central America – has remained largely below that given, for example, to Chile, which we will not fail to commemorate, on 11 September 2023, the fiftieth anniversary of the coup by General Augusto Pinochet against the government of Salvador Allende. When it comes to Guatemala, who still has a tragic date or a mythical name in mind?

Read also: Article reserved for our subscribers In Guatemala the interference of the “corrupt pact” in the presidential elections

Today the country is going through an important electoral process: presidential, legislative, municipal and Central American. The first round took place on June 25, the second is scheduled for August 20. As usual, in this facade democracy, the very conduct of these elections poses a problem. Flawed rules, nominations blocked by the ruling caste, dubious voter records, erratic voter turnout, vote-buying campaigns, influence tallies, and more.

Added to this this year is the suspension of the results of the first round, decreed in early July by the Constitutional Court in response to its seizure by nine right-wing parties, concerned about the accession to the second round of the progressive candidate Bernardo Arevalo, whom they had not seen coming.

These general elections are the tenth since the return of civilian power in 1985. Signs of record political volatility, the previous nine have produced presidents of nine different parties, but invariably supported by one sector or another of the national oligarchy and the military. Each has ensured, save for a few inflections, the conservative and ultra-liberal continuity of national policies and the absence of options for change, thus far ruining the truly democratic sense of electoral “alternations”.

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The “pact of the corrupt” is how Guatemalan social organizations qualify the collusion of economic, political and military interests that occupy the head of the “booty state” and ensure impunity for its crimes by purging judicial institutions. The irregularities are so visible, the links to organized crime so undeniable, that the international community itself regularly expresses its serious concerns. In return, the Guatemalan government overzeals with Washington, sometimes being the second country in the world to relocate its embassy to Jerusalem, sometimes being the only Latin American state to send its president to Kiev to reiterate its support.

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