Bernardo Arevalo Is New President Of Guatemala

“This is a victory for the people, and this is how we will fight corruption.” With this announcement, Bernardo Arevalo, candidate of the center-left Semilla Movement, won in the second round and thus became the new president of Guatemala.

Arevalo received 59% of the vote against 36% of his rival, Sandra Torres of the National Union of Hope (UNE), also openly pro-center-left but in an establishment-linked formation. The winner is defined as progressive and has made the word “change” a key word in his election campaign.

Both candidates have distinguished predecessors in high government positions: Arevalo’s father, Juan Jose, was the first democratically elected president of Guatemala and ruled from 1945 to 1952, and Sandra Torres is a former first lady. Her husband Alvaro Colom served as president from 2008 to 2012.

The fight against corruption has been Arevalo’s forte: his victory, according to analysts, is causing more than one headache for the economic elites of the country that can be described as a “particularly fragile democracy.” Between the first and second rounds of voting, the Semillia movement was suspended due to alleged violations, but was later reinstated by the Supreme Court. The losing candidate was backed by former President Alejandro Giammattei, whose mandate was shadowed by the crackdowns on judges and journalists who denounced rampant corruption in the country.