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CrisisWatch Guatemala

Unchanged Situation

Presidential and legislative elections held mid-June marred by fraud allegations amid reports of death threats on electoral officials prior to elections. In first round of presidential vote 16 June, Sandra Torres, candidate for Unidad Nacional de la Esperanza (UNE), won 25.54% of vote, Alejandro Giammattei of Vamos party won 13.95%; both set for second round run-off 11 August. Organization of American States initial assessment of election 18 June found no evidence of fraud but highlighted pre-election violence. However, Supreme Electoral Tribunal (TSE) 20 June announced recount following fraud allegations. Recount began 26 June but suspended same day after Public Prosecutor raided TSE offices as part of investigation into possible irregularities in results. Recount restarted 27 June. In lead up to election TSE had identified 91 municipalities posing high risk of political violence; attorney general 12 June confirmed electoral crimes prosecutor fled country after receiving death threats. On election day, TSE reported incidents in at least four departments including suspension of voting in San Jorge, Zacapa, department after electoral authorities received death threats. Regional focus on migration continued; govt 13 June began talks in Guatemala City with U.S. officials, reportedly on designating Guatemala “safe third country”, which would require Central American migrants to seek asylum in Guatemala, rather than continuing north to U.S. Despite U.S. claims agreement was close, govt 26 June said such agreement was not under discussion.

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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

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Also available in Español