US VP Biden to attend swearing-in of new Guatemala leader

January 2, 2016
1 Comments
GUATEMALA CITY, Guatemala — U.S. Vice President Joe Biden is to visit Guatemala on January 14 to attend the swearing-in ceremony of that country’s new leader, comedian-turned-president Jimmy Morales, the U.S. embassy said Thursday.

Morales, 46, triumphed in October elections to succeed Otto Pérez Molina, who had to stand down as president the month before when he became engulfed in a corruption scandal that sparked street protests.

Leaders of several Central American countries, the Dominican Republic, Mexico, Colombia, Ecuador and Spain have also been invited to attend the ceremony at which Morales will formally take office.

The former comic won fame on television for playing a country bumpkin who nearly becomes president, but has no previous real-life experience of elected office.

He fronts the conservative FCN-Nacion party, a group founded by former military officers including some accused of committing atrocities during Guatemala’s 1966-1996 civil war. The party holds only 11 seats in the 158-seat Congress.

Political analysts and Morales himself attributed his win to public disgust with established politicians, whose reputation for graft deepened after an April report by a U.N.-backed anti-corruption commission that led to Pérez Molina’s downfall.

The United States has allocated $750 million in aid for three Central American countries savaged by gang violence, poverty and corruption: Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador.

The money aims, in part, to stem a flood of migrants from those countries seeking to get to the relative safety and prosperity of the United States.

Read more Guatemala coverage from The Tico Times

You may be interested

This town ain’t big enough for the two of us
Tico Times Pic of the Day
76 views
Tico Times Pic of the Day
76 views

This town ain’t big enough for the two of us

Katherine Stanley - June 20, 2018

Brazilian star Neymar, left, and Costa Rican goalkeeper Keylor Navas, a three-time Champions League title holder with his club team,…

Children in cages: this feels like defeat
No Sugar Please
102 views
No Sugar Please
102 views

Children in cages: this feels like defeat

Alvaro Murillo - June 20, 2018

I don’t know how I would feel if I weren’t a father. However, I am, and there are very few…

Costa Rica, Brazil battle rumors of tension and injury before high-stakes matchup
World Cup 2018
166 views
World Cup 2018
166 views

Costa Rica, Brazil battle rumors of tension and injury before high-stakes matchup

AFP and The Tico Times - June 19, 2018

The stakes couldn't be higher: if Costa Rica loses to its opponent on Friday, it will be out of the…