Nearshore Americas
Alejandro Giammattei

Guatemala Elects Alejandro Giammattei its Next President

A former prison director Alejandro Giammattei has been elected President of Guatemala in a runoff election, beating out former first lady Sandra Torres.

The election was more or less free and fair, but voter turnout was lower compared to previous presidential elections, say reports from the Central American country.

The President-elect has vowed to prop up the economy by attracting foreign investments and creating a safe and secure climate for businesses to flourish.

The Central American country has long been plagued by a serious of corruption scandals. Even the outgoing president Jimmy Morales is facing serious corruption charges.

Worst still, Mario Estrada, one of the presidential candidates, was arrested in the United States recently on drug trafficking and weapons charges.

Poverty and violence have long been the main reasons Guatemalans are leaving their country in droves.

The current administration has signed up to the ‘safe third country’ agreement put forward by the United States, agreeing to stem the flow of migrants moving north. However, Giammattei is yet to make clear whether he would support the deal.

Under the deal, Guatemala has to act a buffer zone, allowing foreign immigrants to seek asylum in the country.

However, Giammattei has indicated that he would declare gang members as “terrorists”, banning them from meeting visitors in the jail premises. Analysts say he needs to crack down hard on drug gangs to boost the economy and prevent people from migrating.

Narayan Ammachchi

News Editor for Nearshore Americas, Narayan Ammachchi is a career journalist with a decade of experience in politics and international business. He works out of his base in the Indian Silicon City of Bangalore.

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