Bernardo Arévalo

Bernardo Arévalo

President-elect, Guatemala

In 2022, Transparency International ranked Guatemala as one of the most corrupt countries in the world, just ahead of Honduras, and just behind Iran. President-elect César Bernardo Arévalo de Léon is working hard to change that, and facing stiff resistance every step of the way. Early on in the election process, three other promising candidates in Guatemala faced spurious disqualifications. During his campaign, Arévalo ran on a strong anti-corruption platform, drawing attention to the continual erosion of democratic norms in his home country. Since a 2015 UN report incriminated Guatemala’s president and vice president in a corruption scandal, the government has harassed and intimidated reformers, often forcing them into exile.

Despite fierce opposition from the entrenched powers-that-be, Arévalo won the presidential election in June 2023. With 58% of the vote, his victory over former first lady Sandra Torres was a landslide. However, before he takes office in January 2024, he’ll have to overcome even more resistance from obstinate government officials. At present, Guatemalan attorney-general Maria Consuelo Porras is attempting to suspend Arévalo’s political party, Semilla, in an attempt to invalidate his upcoming presidency. Arévalo, however, remains steadfast, and claims that his quest to fight corruption in Guatemala is more vital than ever, as autocratic regimes around the world attempt to undermine democratic norms.

Scroll to Top