A slate of far-right presidential candidates embroiled in corruption scandals are peddling talking points fresh from U.S. Republicans.

by Jeff Abbott, The Progressive

Guatemala’s 2023 election cycle has begun, as the country’s Supreme Electoral Council officially convoked elections on January 20 to fill the seat of current President, Alejandro Giammattei. The current elections come as Giammattei and his allies have overseen one of the most expansive, systematic assaults on Guatemala’s political system in nearly thirty years.

“The elections are taking place in a context marked by democratic regression, the advancement of different expressions of authoritarianism, the contraction of rights of any kind, and the dismantling of state institutions, including the electoral body,” Renzo Rosal, an independent political analyst, tells The Progressive.

Locals waving Guatemalan flags & slogans protesting against government corruption & demanding resignation of President

“So these elections are taking place in a turbulent, chaotic environment,” he adds. “This does not motivate citizens to vote.”

Guatemala has seen the rollback of anti-corruption and anti-impunity efforts in the three years since the end of the United Nations backed International Commission Against Impunity in Guatemala, commonly known as CICIG, in September 2019. This rollback has led to attacks on the independence of the judicial branch and the concentration of power within the executive branch. It has also resulted in the prosecution of former investigators and prosecutors, and the exile of judges who were involved in cases of corruption.

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