Bernardo Arévalo sworn in as Guatemala’s President despite months of efforts to derail inauguration

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Incoming Guatemalan President Bernardo Arévalo sings his nation’s anthem at the start of his swearing-in ceremony in Guatemala City, early Jan. 15, 2024.

Incoming Guatemalan President Bernardo Arévalo sings his nation’s anthem at the start of his swearing-in ceremony in Guatemala City, early Jan. 15, 2024.
| Photo Credit: AP

Bernardo Arévalo was sworn in as Guatemala’s President on January 15 minutes after midnight despite months of efforts to derail his inauguration, including foot-dragging and rising tensions right up until the transfer of power.

Arévalo arrives in the presidency after winning August’s elections by a comfortable margin. But nothing has been straightforward since with Attorney General Consuelo Porras and the establishment forces observers say she represents throwing one legal challenge after another at Mr. Arévalo and his party.

Despite hundreds of Mr. Arévalo’s supporters pressuring lawmakers to follow the constitution, even clashing with riot police outside the congress building on January 14, the inauguration process dragged for hours into the night before he took the oath of office just past midnight.

A progressive academic-turned-politician and son of a Guatemalan President credited with implementing key social reforms in the mid-20th century, Mr. Arévalo takes office with expectations of confronting Guatemala’s entrenched corruption. But it will not be easy.

He has little support in Congress and Ms. Porras’ term as the country’s top law enforcement official extends to 2026, though Arévalo has said one of his first orders of business will be to request her resignation.



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