On Monday, Bernardo Arevalo was sworn in as Guatemala’s president. After a chaotic inauguration that Congress delayed to undermine his legitimacy, the anti-corruption activist took the oath. Arevalo has promised to implement broad reforms to tackle the rising cost of living and control the violence.
He won the elections in August; however, since then, Arévalo and his party have faced a series of legal challenges, fraud allegations, rallies, and riots that tried to stop him from taking office.
On Sunday, hundreds of his fans were calling on lawmakers to preserve the constitution and clashed with police outside the Congress building. However, the inauguration process went on long into the night until Arévalo took the oath of office just past midnight.
The 65-year-old is the son of a former president, a career diplomat, and a sociologist. He has positioned himself as a supporter of democracy and a figurehead of a progressive movement in a political environment where conservative parties have long dominated.
In light of record-high remittances, the government and vice president of Arevalo will have to strike a compromise between curbing migration and maintaining the local economy. This compromise will likely involve implementing policies that address the root causes of migration while also ensuring economic stability.