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Guatemala

CrisisWatch Guatemala

Unchanged Situation

Political tensions persisted as authorities appointed controversial figure as new top anti-corruption prosecutor, and anti-govt protests continued, albeit at lower intensity. After thousands in July protested dismissal of Juan Francisco Sandoval as head of Special Prosecutor’s Office Against Impunity (FECI), Attorney General Maria Porras 3 Augannounced head of Electoral Crimes Prosecutor’s Office, Rafael Curruchiche, would take over Sandoval immediately criticised appointment, accusing Curruchiche of protecting corrupt individuals; U.S. 5 Aug said move “does not add confidence in [FECI’s] ability to independently investigate and prosecute corruption cases”. Members of farmers and indigenous groups 9 Aug blocked roads across country, calling on President Giammattei and Porras to resign and accusing them of dismantling judicial independence; during renewed protest in capital Guatemala City, police 19 Aug prevented clashes between protesters and dozens of reported shop owners who threatened to dissolve rally with bats. U.S. newspaper The New York Times 24 Aug alleged President Giammattei received bribes from Russian delegation in April in exchange for concessions at Santo Tomás maritime port; Giammattei immediately denied accusations.
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Reports & Briefings

In The News

13 Feb 2018
Guatemala struggles to adhere to the rule of law. Criminal actors have ways of influencing government decisions that do not produce good conditions for investment or for economic activity in general. Global Finance

Arturo Matute

Former Analyst, Guatemala

Latest Updates

Deportation and Disease: Central America’s COVID-19 Dilemmas

As the coronavirus spreads, and the U.S. presidential election looms, the Trump administration and Mexican government continue to deport migrants from El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras. Some deportees are carrying the virus. Central American states should press their northern neighbours for more stringent health measures.

Also available in Español

Undocumented Migration from the Northern Triangle of Central America

The northward flow of undocumented migrants fleeing economic hardship and violence in the Northern Triangle of Central America exposes thousands of vulnerable people to mass victimisation. In this excerpt from the Watch List 2017 – Third Update early warning report for European policy makers, Crisis Group urges the European Union and its member states to continue to pursue an approach grounded in supporting community violence prevention, institutional reform and poverty alleviation in the countries of origin while supporting transiting countries in managing the flow.

Guatemala Stumbles in Central America’s Anti-corruption Fight

Guatemala’s fight against corruption is in danger after President Morales attempted to expel the head of a uniquely effective UN-backed anti-corruption organisation. In this Q&A, Crisis Group’s Analyst for Guatemala Arturo Matute says a corrupt elite is waging a battle to maintain its privileged position.

Also available in Español

Mafia of the Poor: Gang Violence and Extortion in Central America

Central American gangs are responsible for brutal acts of violence, abuse of women and forced displacement of thousands. Governments must go beyond punitive measures and address the social and economic roots of gang culture, tackle extortion schemes and invest in communities.

Also available in Español

Guatemala: Young Blood, Old Vices

A year after the election of would-be reformer Jimmy Morales as president, corruption investigations are casting a shadow over his inner circle. Recent appointments bring youth and oxygen to his faltering administration, but much still stands in the way of political renewal.

Also available in Español