1706097391 Four scenarios for the first year of the Arevalo government

Four scenarios for the first year of the Arévalo government in Guatemala

Four scenarios for the first year of the Arevalo government

From the time he won the presidency on August 20th until he assumed it at an unusual moment in the early hours of January 15th, Bernardo Arévalo survived the persistent snipers of democracy under the command of prosecutor Consuelo Porras, whose very powerful rifles open or covert were fed by corrupt politicians, rancid oligarchies and powerful drug traffickers. Arévalo would not have fought it without the protection of the indigenous peoples and the international community, who became the kryptonite of the Corrupt Pact. Almost two weeks into his government's inauguration, the clouds of uncertainty are beginning to rise from the rooftops of the centers of power, but at the same time they are becoming grayer and thicker. I don't expect any dramatic scenarios for the time being, but I do expect bizarre incidents.

1. The Labyrinth of Grays

The spring wind of change offered by Arévalo and his Semilla Movement party is inhaled like a diffuse fragrance and penetrates even the darkest centers of power of the old corrupt and authoritarian regime, but the political standard-bearers of change are not clear about how they will achieve hegemony People's fatigue has led them to turn against the system, a system that does not want to implode and rather wants to be resilient. The shades of gray win because the revolving door of bureaucracy works effectively, not bringing about the changes but diluting them. The rebellious anonymous social networks are scenes of crossfire between bitter enemies, but also between supposed allies; Misinformation confuses and paralyzes society. Credible media is being pushed out by the new government. Gray agents don't solve or resolve problems, they pile them under the rug.

Probability: very high.

2. Mosquito storms

The Corrupt Pact relentlessly bombarded the democratic transition, not understanding that if it didn't win, it would lose. Political time is never neutral. He arrived in Guatemala on January 14th – the day on which congressional leadership is elected and the president is sworn in – confident that his machine would act solely in the interest of defending ill-gotten privileges, and he was wrong . The new lawmaker who has taken office has made this clear. The “Mosquito Storm” scenario assumes that the Pact corrects its strategy and returns to its old methods to foment corruption among deputies and topple the Arévalo government. But just as they are racing against time in the transition, they desperately need short-term results: signs that the new government is faltering and its morale is collapsing, and exposing petty corruption and abuses. If the trap fails, the radical ideological opposition remains stubborn and lights candles for Donald Trump, that is, betting on variables beyond its control, but without forming the legion of mosquitoes that distracts the Arevalistas.

Probability: high

3. Rely on another democratic transition

The circle of veterans around President Arévalo and, on the other hand, the young politicians who make up the Semilla bloc in Congress, agree – despite their differences in the forms of leadership and distribution of positions – that the exercise of power here has a historical reason: spaces for civil and political freedoms for the training and organization of youth, indigenous movements, women and identities, migrants and intellectuals. It is the bet on the spiritual democratic spring of the 21st century; a flight to the democratic future capable of mobilizing internal energies and international support. It serves to weather the storms of inevitable internal political disputes, conspiracies and hate campaigns by their far-right opponents.

Probability: half

4. The persistent dreams of defenestration

The hard core of the coup plotters remains alive and active and has endured some setbacks in court and the defenestration of their symbol of impunity, prosecutor Consuelo Porras. His lobbyists in Washington are excited that Trump is the end of the tunnel and that the impeachment proceedings against Arévalo and his party are just around the corner. Meanwhile, war drums continue to sound in Congress and on social networks to maintain the destabilizing interest of their main sponsors. Although the DNA of fully restoring the corruption regime remains alive, they are being undermined by international sanctions, as some of their affected clients expect Arévalo to reverse the sanctions.

Probability of success: medium – low

Edgar Gutierrez He is a political analyst and former foreign minister of Guatemala.

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