Alejandro Giammattei took office on Tuesday as the new president of Guatemala, a position he will hold until 2024. “Let’s pursue the damn corruption,” Giammattei said during his investiture speech during a ceremony held in Guatemala City more than five hours late. The new president replaces Jimmy Morales, who leaves the post amid several accusations of corruption.
Giammattei, 63, is a doctor and surgeon with conservative values who strongly opposes gay marriage and abortion. The defense of private investment and security were the first issues addressed by the president during his speech. “I will present a bill to make gangs and gangs declared as what they are: terrorist groups,” he announced with the intention of curbing the high insecurity that Guatemalans suffer.
The fight against corruption will be one of the axes of his presidency, as promised. According to Transparency International, Guatemala ranks as the fourth worst country in Latin America in terms of corruption, being only surpassed by Nicaragua, Haiti and Venezuela.
Precisely, Guatemala had made several advances in the fight against corruption in recent years thanks to an agreement with the United Nations for the operation of the International Commission Against Impunity in Guatemala (CICIG). However, the government of former President Morales unilaterally ended this agreement last year and ended CICIG, a decision that was once backed by Giammattei.
In the last decade, CICIG has filed charges against more than 600 people. Despite the success of this organization, the relationship between the institution and the Guatemalan government worsened after the CICG, with the support of the Prosecutor’s Office of the country, began investigating relatives of Morales in 2017 for corruption.
Giammattei, candidate of the Vamos party, won the second round of the presidential elections held in August last year. Then, Giammattei received 57.95% of the votes, while 42.05% went to the social democrat Sandra Torres. Morales did not participate in the elections because in Guatemala the retraction is not allowed. .