In recent years, Guatemala’s democracy has faced a series of setbacks, following a troubling regional trend. Endemic corruption is a major challenge that has exacerbated inequality and driven mass migration to the United States. The Biden administration is prioritizing addressing insecurity in Central America. Arresting Guatemala’s democratic erosion will be vital to that effort. In this edition of "The Latest @ USIP,” Ana María Méndez Dardón, director for Central America at the Washington Office on Latin America, discusses the challenges facing civil society and independent journalists in Guatemala today, and explains how the United States can help protect democracy and promote human rights.
The Latest @ USIP: How to Stymie Guatemala’s Democratic Slide
The Latest @ USIP: Why Central America’s Security Is a U.S. Priority
In this edition of "The Latest @ USIP,” Ricardo Zúniga, the principal deputy assistant secretary and special envoy for the Northern Triangle in the Bureau of Western Hemisphere Affairs at the State Department, discusses why Central America is such a high priority for the Biden administration; the key strategies to prevent, mitigate and resolve violent conflict; and how U.S. engagement, particularly in Guatemala, can help address conflict in the region.
Curbing Corruption after Conflict: Anticorruption Mobilization in Guatemala (Spanish)
Este informe analiza la lucha contra la corrupción en Guatemala llevada a cabo por movimientos sociales en los últimos cinco años, y se hace foco en sus principales éxitos y desafíos al trabajar para avanzar la transparencia, la responsabilidad y la buena gobernanza. Las lecciones aprendidas de los esfuerzos de los movimientos sociales para lograr un cambio positivo en Guatemala pueden aplicarse a otros movimientos del mundo que se encuentran en contextos similares. Las lecciones también tienen mayor relevancia para los actores internacionales que ayudan a los estados a reconstruir la paz y la gobernanza democrática luego de un conflicto violento prolongado.
What Guatemala’s Anti-Corruption Movement Can Learn from the Past
Guatemalans have once again risen up by the thousands to demand major changes in how their country is governed. Their demands are intended to usher in reforms that will improve quality of life for citizens reeling from the impacts of two deadly hurricanes, as well as health and economic crises that have only been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic. The demonstrations are reminiscent of the 2015 protests that prompted the resignations of top officials, including the country’s president. However, that movement fell short of broader, structural change. This time around, protesters can draw on lessons learned from the past to achieve long-term reform and target Guatemala’s persistent systems of corruption.
Curbing Corruption after Conflict: Anticorruption Mobilization in Guatemala
This report analyzes the fight against corruption in Guatemala by social movements over the past five years, homing in on their major successes and challenges in working to advance transparency, accountability, and good governance. The lessons drawn from these efforts can be applicable for other movements around the world operating in similar contexts. The work also has a larger bearing for international actors helping states build peace and democratic governance following prolonged violent conflict.