Nearshore Americas

Guatemalans Elect Anti-Corruption Campaigner Bernardo Arévalo as President

Guatemalans delivered a shocking verdict in the presidential poll, electing anti-corruption campaigner Bernardo Arévalo as their next president.

The 64-year-old former diplomat won 58% of ballots, leaving his nearest rival, former first lady Sandra Torres, with 37% of votes.

Corruption is a major problem in Guatemala, which ranked 150th out of 180 countries in Transparency International’s Corruption Perceptions Index in 2022.

In his victory speech, Arévalo promised to root out corruption and bring justice to the victims of graft. The country has a long history of corrupt governments, and many Guatemalans are fed up with the status quo.

With their vote, people stated loudly “Enough with corruption!”, the newly elected leader told reporters.

The incumbent president Alejandro Giammattei is accused of siding with corrupt politicians and bureaucrats.  During his tenure, scores of anti-graft prosecutors were arrested, with some being forced to flee the country.

Arévalo supports the idea of bolstering food rationing and making cash payments to the poor, but opposes the legalization of marijuana and abortion. More than anything else, Arévalo has pledged to use all available resources to combat criminal gangs.

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Analysts characterized Arévalo’s victory as a historic moment for Guatemala, as it is the first time in decades that a candidate has been elected on an anti-corruption platform.

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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