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Why Choose Guatemala for Contact Center Investment

Guatemala is Only ‘Partly Free’, says Democracy Watchdog

Democracy watchdog Freedom House downgraded Guatemala from “Free” to “Partly Free” in its latest “Freedom in the World 2024” report.

The downgrade in Guatemala’s standing among democracies was attributed to the persisent threats of violence coming from criminal gangs and which had an impact in the country’s recent presidential elections.

Leaders of El Salvador and Venezuela were also harshly criticized in the report, with analysts accusing them of abusing power to ease their path to victory.

In El Salvador, the recent reelection of President Nayib Bukele was allegedly facilitated by rule changes that allowed him to bypass term limits and strengthen his party’s hold on the National Assembly.

Ecuador’s elections were tainted by widespread violence, including the murder of political figures.

Guatemala successfully elected anti-corruption candidate Bernando Arévalo. However, gang violence cast a long shadow over President Arévalo’s election, raising concerns that he might not be permited to be sworn in.

Despite a Supreme Court ruling mandating Congress to facilitate Arévalo’s inauguration, the process was delayed by 10 hours due to last minute attempts from outgoing lawmakers to disrupt the peaceful transfer of power.

Freedom House’s report emphasizes how previous Guatemalan administrations systematically undermined accountability institutions by dismantling the International Commission against Impunity in Guatemala (CICIG) and removing the head of the anti-impunity prosecutor’s office. This led to judges, prosecutors, journalists and human rights defenders fearing prosecution and fleeing the country.

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In Freedom House’s eyes, 52 countries experienced declines in political rights and civil liberties over the past year. Only 21 showed any improvements.

Narayan Ammachchi

News Editor for Nearshore Americas, Narayan Ammachchi is a career journalist with a decade of experience in politics and international business. He works out of his base in the Indian Silicon City of Bangalore.

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