Tuesday, September 08, 2015

Guatemala Aftermath

At Latin America Goes Global, Orlando Pérez has a rundown of the Guatemala situation. He concludes with this:

It is hard to see how the victory of any of these candidates will improve the political situation in the country. However, it is also difficult to believe that, given the events of the last few months, Guatemalans will be willing to accept politics—or corruption—as usual. Whoever wins the presidency will begin their term of office with a very short leash, and under intense scrutiny from civil society and the international community. 
The opportunity for reform will depend on transforming the popular mobilizations that brought down a president into a sustained effort that engages a broad segment of Guatemalan society. In these conditions, the new president’s honeymoon will be short. In a year or so, Guatemalans will either be reaping the rewards of their mobilization by furthering a process of positive change or they might be back in Constitution Plaza seeking the ouster of another president.

I've already expressed my pessimism, but he brings up another challenge. People may unite to bring down an unpopular and corrupt president, but they may well disagree on everything else. Transformational change, structural change, will face serious opposition, including from the military, even if there is consensus about corruption. Can popular mobilization overcome elite intransigence?

Meanwhile, the fight for the second slot in the runoff election is down to just a few thousand votes. Will the loser accept the outcome?


  © Blogger templates The Professional Template by Ourblogtemplates.com 2008

Back to TOP