All posts by Mike Allison

Will Guatemala’s Incoming President Curb Migration to the US?

I have an op-ed at The Globe Post that looks at what we can expect from the Giammattei administration in Guatemala.
Giammattei will also have to contend with how weak the state has become in the last four years. Morales disobeyed Constitutional Court’s rulings, oversaw a remilitarization of the police and the replacement of its professionals, and undermined the free press and access to information. In another concerning move, the attorney general does not appear to have any interest in taking advantage of the expertise of those Guatemalans who had worked with CICIG for the last several years.

Giammatte: The fourth time’s a charm

Unfortunately, the evidence would seem to indicate that Alejandro Giammattei’s presidency will be much like that of his predecessor, Jimmy Morales. In case you are interested in some of my thoughts from Sunday's election in Guatemala, you can read what I had to say in these recent news stories.

Guatemalans worry about graft after Giammattei wins election. Associated Press. Sonia Perez (August 12).

Michael Allison on Guatemala's economic outlook with incoming president. CGTN America. Roee Ruttenberg (August 12).

Guatemala’s new president faces U.S. challenges on migration. Catholic News Service. David Agren (August 12).

Guatemala elects right-wing president amid dismal turnout. Washington Post. Sandra Cuffe (August 12).

The enigmatic Nayib Bukele

I spoke with CNN about Nayib Bukele's recently election in El Salvador. Most of what I said can be heard in the SECOLAS podcast recorded last week.
"Bukele's considered a populist, an outsider candidate who ran against the system. He says that he comes from the left, but he had to join a political party of the right to run."
There's an effort to try to place Bukele in the overall context of Latin America. The two terms most frequently used to describe him seem to be "outsider" and "independent." He is a two-term mayor, including one term as mayor of the capital for the FMLN. He was expelled from the FMLN and then had to look for an electoral vehicle to allow him to campaign and win in 2019. His election to the presidency didn't come out of the blue but it was difficult to guess the eventual path.

While he headed the GANA ticket, Bukele has no interest in representing GANA. He has his own Nuevas Ideas party to build. At the same time, GANA does not appear to have any interest in making Bukele their own either. Both parties say that they did not engage in any quid pro quo prior to or during the campaign. However, GANA's Will Salgado thinks that he and Bukele agreed that GANA and Nuevas Ideas would form a coalition to support him in the 2021 San Miguel mayoral elections.

It is unclear whether any other side deals were made and too early to tell what the two parties' relationship might look like the next two years before the mayoral and legislative elections. Bukele doesn't have much legislative support and even if he did work with GANA legislators it wouldn't be enough. Fortunately for Bukele, his overwhelming victory might make the FMLN and/or ARENA more likely to work with him so as to build some momentum before 2021. At this point, obstructing Bukele's legislative agenda doesn't appear to have much upside.

The enigmatic Nayib Bukele

I spoke with CNN about Nayib Bukele's recently election in El Salvador. Most of what I said can be heard in the SECOLAS podcast recorded last week.
"Bukele's considered a populist, an outsider candidate who ran against the system. He says that he comes from the left, but he had to join a political party of the right to run."
There's an effort to try to place Bukele in the overall context of Latin America. The two terms most frequently used to describe him seem to be "outsider" and "independent." He is a two-term mayor, including one term as mayor of the capital for the FMLN. He was expelled from the FMLN and then had to look for an electoral vehicle to allow him to campaign and win in 2019. His election to the presidency didn't come out of the blue but it was difficult to guess the eventual path.

While he headed the GANA ticket, Bukele has no interest in representing GANA. He has his own Nuevas Ideas party to build. At the same time, GANA does not appear to have any interest in making Bukele their own either. Both parties say that they did not engage in any quid pro quo prior to or during the campaign. However, GANA's Will Salgado thinks that he and Bukele agreed that GANA and Nuevas Ideas would form a coalition to support him in the 2021 San Miguel mayoral elections.

It is unclear whether any other side deals were made and too early to tell what the two parties' relationship might look like the next two years before the mayoral and legislative elections. Bukele doesn't have much legislative support and even if he did work with GANA legislators it wouldn't be enough. Fortunately for Bukele, his overwhelming victory might make the FMLN and/or ARENA more likely to work with him so as to build some momentum before 2021. At this point, obstructing Bukele's legislative agenda doesn't appear to have much upside.