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Guatemala: get tough, get productive

Friday, November 4, 2011

WHAT? As of this Sunday, Otto Perez Molina will be Guatemala’s president.

WHY? Running on a get-tough ticket, Perez has appealed to a country, which is angry over chronically high crime rates, which in turn have discouraged tourists and investors. In 2010, Guatemala, whose national production was valued at $42 billion, had one-third the amount of foreign investment of Panama, a country with a GDP of only $26 billion.

WHAT’S NEXT? Perez will probably concentrate policing efforts in urban areas, which have the worst crime rates, and which tend to be important for foreign investors. The risk is that rural Guatemala, which benefited from economic-support programs under outgoing President Alvaro Colom, could get poorer.

For more information, please contact Esteban Alvarez at [email protected]