Alejandro Giammattei elected president of Guatemala

Enlarge this image

Enlarge this image

Speaking to Reuters shortly before being declared victor, the conservative Giammattei said he wanted to see what could be done to improve the deal that outgoing President Jimmy Morales agreed to in order to stem US -bound migration from Central America.

Many Guatemalans are fed up with the political class after investigations by the International Commission against Impunity in Guatemala (CICIG), a United Nations -backed anti-corruption body, led to the arrest of then-President Otto Perez in 2015, and then threatened to unseat his successor Morales, a former TV comedian.

"It will be an vast honor to be president of this country that I love so much", said Giammattei.

The country's general elections were held June 16, but no candidate won the necessary votes to assume the post after the first round.

Neither candidate arrives with a glowing reputation.

Influential businessman Dionisio Gutierrez recently described her as "a questionable politician with a history that should worry any citizen".

Giammattei came second with 14 percent.

Investigative website Nomada branded him as "impulsive... despotic, tyrannical... capricious, vindictive", among other undesirable traits.

Conservative Alejandro Giammattei headed for an easy victory in Sunday's presidential runoff election, garnering favor Guatemalan voters' favor with his get-tough approach on crime and socially conservative values.

The 63-year-old spent several months in prison in 2008, when he was director of the country's prison system, after some prisoners were killed in a raid on his watch.

"The next president faces a lose-lose situation when it comes to managing the deal with the United States", she said.

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo congratulated Giammattei on Monday, saying in a statement the United States looked forward to working with Guatemala on "the underlying conditions driving irregular migration", without giving more details. In a poll by Prodatos for the Prensa Libre newspaper, 82% of respondents opposed the deal.

U.N. Investigating 35 North Korean Cyberattacks in 17 Countries
It added that the hackers used "low risk, high yield" methods, often only needing a laptop computer to carry out their attacks. The investigation is now seeking to treat these reported attacks as direct disregard for stipulated United Nations sanctions.

Remittances from Guatemalans in the United States are a crucial part of the economy, reaching a record $9.3 billion a year ago.

According to the World Bank, remittances account for 12 percent of the country's GDP. All three are under heavy pressure from the Trump administration to stem the flow of migrants heading to the United States.

Taking over a country also struggling with a 60% poverty rate, Giammattei has promised to erect an "investment wall" on the border with Mexico to curb migration.

The agreement was reached last month despite Guatemala's constitutional court having earlier granted an injunction blocking Mr Morales from signing the deal.

Around half the killings are blamed d on drug trafficking and extortion operations carried out by powerful gangs.

"Whichever of the two wins, they should focus on combatting corruption, because this administration (of current President Jimmy Morales) has been robbing us", he said.

Morales, barred by Guatemalan law from seeking a second term, urged his replacement to reduce undocumented migration, improve education and tackle chronic malnutrition in the under-fives, which affects 46% of infants.

Guatemalans aren't subject to Trump's proposed migrant measures, but given that poverty in some indigenous areas reaches 80%, many embark on the journey in search of the "American dream" despite the dangers. At least 1% of Guatemala's population of some 16 million has left the country this year.

And in June, a woman and three children died from heat and dehydration in Texas.

"The person who wins will have to lead a country that is viewed as a nation losing ground in the battle against corruption, because the mandate of the anti-corruption commission wasn't renewed", said Ricardo Barreno, a political science professor at the Central American Institute of Political Studies.

More than 250,000 Guatemalans were detained between October 2018 and July this year for trying to enter the United States illegally, Washington's embassy said.

Recommended News

  • Charlie Manuel, 75, returns to Philadelphia Phillies' bench as hitting coach

    Charlie Manuel, 75, returns to Philadelphia Phillies' bench as hitting coach

    Manuel is about as old-school of a coach as you can get, but he's had great success in his career with the Phillies and Indians . He came under fire during the team's recent slump, which saw them fall from first in the division to fourth behind the Mets.
    'Little Women' Trailer: See Meryl Streep, Emma Watson in Exclusive First Look

    'Little Women' Trailer: See Meryl Streep, Emma Watson in Exclusive First Look

    Interact with a worldwide community of film and TV fans on mobile, social and beyond. Chalamet will star opposite Ronan (again) as her neighbor and love interest, Laurie.
    Opera singer Placido Domingo accused of sexual harassment

    Opera singer Placido Domingo accused of sexual harassment

    Three women told the outlet Domingo, 78, "forced wet kisses" on them, while one claimed he stuck his hand down her skirt. She said that he undressed her, undressed himself, and that they had a session of "heavy petting" and "groping".
  • How Healthcare Providers Can Reduce Insurance Claim Denials

    And, it’s important to account for the time and effort spent by administrative staff handling these denied claims. They also have the potential to adversely affect patients’ opinions about the organization.
    Tehran says Britain might free Iran's oil tanker soon

    Tehran says Britain might free Iran's oil tanker soon

    The developments come against the background of tension in the Strait of Hormuz, one of the world's key maritime chokepoints. The British Foreign Office are yet to respond to Eslami's comments concerning a potential release of Iran's oil tanker.
    Media giants Viacom and CBS to merge in latest mega

    Media giants Viacom and CBS to merge in latest mega

    Under the deal's terms, Viacom shareholders would receive about a 0.6 share of CBS stock in exchange for 1 share of Viacom stock. The breadth and depth of the combined company's reach across both traditional and new platforms - including 22% of U.S.
  • One stabbed in central Sydney street attack

    One stabbed in central Sydney street attack

    But he did not appear to be acting for any terrorist groups and the attack was not being treated as terrorism, police added. Along with other passers-by, they used a milk crate and a chair to keep him pinned to the ground, he said.
    Police storm Fortnite champ’s home during livestream: ‘I’ve been swatted’

    Police storm Fortnite champ’s home during livestream: ‘I’ve been swatted’

    Back in March, her 20-year-old live-in boyfriend, Jeremy Arnold, was also found dead from apparent self-inflicted gunshot wounds. Kyle streams daily to his audience of over 640,000 followers, so being swatted at this level is kinda insane .

    3 World Series Contenders Nobody is Talking About

    Despite being loaded on offense, the Cardinals have been inefficient in 2019 and rank near the bottom-10 in runs and home runs. Louis has title-winning pedigree and are loaded offensively, but thus far simply haven’t delivered consistent results.
  • 2 guards suspended and warden reassigned after Epstein death

    2 guards suspended and warden reassigned after Epstein death

    Mr Barr , the top United States law enforcement official, vowed to carry on the case against anyone complicit with Mr Epstein. Both the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Justice Department's inspector general are investigating Epstein's death.
    Dog owners look out, toxic algae seen in MI  lakes

    Dog owners look out, toxic algae seen in MI lakes

    What began as a typical puppy playdate between 3 dogs turned deadly this weekend after an encounter with blue-green algae. The third dog - a therapy dog named Harpo - fell ill and started to show signs of liver failure shortly after.
    Dentures missing after surgery found in senior's throat

    Dentures missing after surgery found in senior's throat

    After six days, he discovered that his mouth was filling with blood and that he was finding it hard to swallow. The 72-year-old British man had an operation in which he was getting a lump taken out of his abdominal wall.

We are pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news.
Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper.
Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.