Washington's softer attempts to exert influence this year were seen by some observers as better-intentioned.
"I'm not justifying that they impose conditions on us, but they're right," said one of the officials familiar with the matter. "The corruption in Guatemala is intolerable. At the end of the day, they do it for our own good - but it hurts."Laura Weiss on Why the Resignation of Otto Pérez Molina Matters for U.S. Policy towards Guatemala.
Patricia Davis has a pretty good piece on Guatemala’s Civil Society Just Did the Impossible for The Nation.
I guess it's a bit of a matter of interpretation, but it's really difficult to argue that the US hasn't played a positive role in promoting change in Guatemala in recent years. The US seems squarely in the corner that looks to support greater democratization in the region, greater transparency and efforts to tackle corruption, tax reform and improved tax collection, and stronger institutions. I'm on that side as well. The US efforts on security reform have been much more contradictory but, even there, the US seems more in favor or demilitarizing policing functions than do the governments we are working with.
There's a lot that Central America can do, the US as well, that can improve the lives of millions of people without risking a radical restructuring of their political, social, and economic systems. I'm not entirely against a radical restructuring, to what I don't know, but the group advocating such change seems to be in the minority.
Related: And what exactly is VP Biden going to say to Guatemalan Pres OPM?, How exactly are you a good partner, Otto?, and El Salvador reaffirms ties with the US?