The landslide victory of President elect, Bernardo Arévalo and his running mate, Karin Herrera of Guatemala’s Semilla Party in last August’s election represents a solid win for democracy.  It is a breath of fresh air for Guatemala, long held back by oligarchy. The result opens a whole new chapter of public life in Central America’s largest country. 

Semilla’s candidates won big because their call for a clean break with a deeply corrupt, self-perpetuating ruling elite resonated so strongly with Guatemalan voters. Nevertheless, despite the popular mandate, the masters of the old system will not just pack up and leave and the so-called “Pact of the Corrupt”, are already working hard to derail the Semilla and undermine the incoming administration.

Guatemala’s newly elected leaders do not take office until Jan 14, 2024.  These next months will be challenging. Guatemala’s democratic champions need and deserve the support of the international community at this critical juncture.

What we have been doing:

As part of our commitment to democracy in our region, Global Exchange worked with The Center for Latin American Socio-Legal Studies – CESJUL(Colombia) and the Grupo Foco (Guatemala)  to convene a international observer mission (MIOE) that brought together journalists, elected officials, academics, and local grassroots organizers from Colombia, Mexico, Ecuador, Peru, Canada, and the United States to accompany and report on Guatemala’s recent electoral processes. 

The Mission bought together many allies including Prensa Comunitaria (Guatemala), RompeViento TV (CDMX), Peninsula 360 Press (Redwood City, California), and the Latin American Working Group (Washington, DC).  Check out our reports and webcasts below. 

As Guatemala navigates this current reality, we’ll continue to monitor the situation along with our allies and experts and be sure to share their insights into Guatemala’s current political landscape.  Stay tuned!