Crossroads 2023-2024

Posted on Tuesday, January 30, 2018 by my column titled crossroads offered reflections on the political crisis that Guatemala was going through at the time. Surprisingly, those thoughts that then seemed prophetic or, better to say, “promising”, are more relevant today than ever, since we are at the same fork.

I then wrote: “If pessimism had a color, then the tone of this column would be black. I call it “Crossroads” because, according to the Dictionary of the Royal Spanish Academy (DRAE), it means: 1. “A place where two or more streets or paths intersect”, 2. “A case where someone was harmed, ambush , lie”. in anticipation”, 3. “A difficult situation in which you don’t know what to do””. End of quote.

We are currently at a crossroads that separates two paths: the first is directed towards the liquidation of the Semilla party based on legal records dating back to 2019. that the Department of Justice is investigating.

Meanwhile, the electoral process was still going on. The case reached the Constitutional Court, which concluded that the party could not be dissolved in the middle of the electoral process, although the investigation could continue. From that point on, the situation became more complicated, as the respondent party won the election with a large majority. Thus, we are at a crossroads: despite alleged and proven violations, the political situation, international and national pressure create a tense environment and a number of external effects that range from polarization to extremely risky unmanageability.

The train wreck won’t stop. The Seed Party and the president-elect will have to deal with this situation as they begin the difficult process of organizing a cabinet in the midst of cholera, as Gabo would say.

The people’s mandate is clear: to eradicate the corruption and system of political patronage that has prevailed in recent decades. Saying it is one thing, doing it is another. It has always been emphasized that the problem of corruption is systemic, not individual. Imprisoning a few people will not solve the underlying problem. Agree on a politically viable exit with a roadmap aimed at ending confrontation and exiting the crisis, while addressing the “causes” that encourage corruption through the adoption of anti-corruption laws and the necessary institutional reforms in the current situation. and before January 14, 2024, this is not viable because the current roadmap is a collision map and this will continue even after 2024.

There are many obstacles. In November next year, Congress must approve the country’s General Budget for 2024. The pro-government majority will have complete freedom to change, approve or reject it. The new administration will have to live with a budget that is not in line with its political strategies for the first year of its existence, and as a minority, it will face the challenge of agreeing on an agreed agenda without breaking its campaign promises. It’s like working in a coal mine in white clothes…

Arevalo is having a hard time. Such a limited chief executive, within such a long-standing client system, can only half control the spending of ministries, especially the ministries of communications, health and education. Firstly, this is a big pocket of money, from which all clientelist obligations to the deputies spilled out. His claims of patronage are still alive and well.

What are we striving for? To the fundamental principles: freedom of the individual, equality before the law, the right and respect for private property. These are our aspirations.

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