The Constitutional Court of Guatemala has confirmed the decision of the electoral tribunal against the participation in next month’s presidential elections of a major opposition candidate. The request to invalidate the candidacy of Carlos Pineda, who according to recent polls is one of the favorites in the race, was presented by a rival party in which the politician had previously campaigned.
“Corruption won, Guatemala lost,” the 51-year-old wrote on Twitter after the ruling. In total, 22 candidates will contest the election which will kick off with a first round on June 25, with a run-off possible on August 20. The electoral tribunal also disqualified Thelma Cabrera, a representative of the Mayan indigenous groups that make up 40% of the population, and Roberto Arzu, son of a former president.
According to analysts, the situation in the country is worrying: several anti-corruption prosecutors have been arrested, while others have fled into exile, and journalists such as Jose Ruben Zamora, the founder of the newspaper El Periodico who have published numerous investigations into cases of corruption and finds himself accused of money laundering and blackmail.
At this point Zury Mayté Ríos Sosa becomes the great favorite to succeed the current president Alejandro Giammattei. Long-standing politician, but above all the daughter of the Guatemalan dictator Efraín Ríos Montt, sentenced in 2013 to 80 years in prison for the genocide of the Mayan community between 1982 and 1983. Rios Montt then had the support of the great families of the country, of and for a time Ronald Reagan’s United States Army. Her daughter seems to have inherited her father’s old allies.