Press Release

Welch Statement on the Inauguration of President Arévalo in Guatemala

Jan 15, 2024

BURLINGTON, VTU.S. Sen. Peter Welch (D-Vt.) released the following statement on the inauguration of President Bernardo Arévalo in Guatemala:

“With the inauguration of President Bernardo Arévalo, the choice of a decisive majority of Guatemalans who courageously voted last year for integrity, decency, and justice, was respected.  Despite flagrant attempts by the country’s former President, the Attorney General, and other corrupt officials to weaponize the judiciary and subvert the electoral process to remain in power, the Guatemalan people prevailed. 

 “The country faced a stark choice between democracy or a political coup by a corrupt elite, who cared far more about enriching themselves and evading justice than the best interests of the country. The legacy they leave is, tragically, a country plagued by organized criminal networks and extreme poverty, which has forced so many Guatemalans to abandon their homes in search of safety and a better life in the United States.

“Guatemala’s democracy has been preserved, but President Arévalo, who campaigned against corruption and impunity, faces every imaginable challenge — including from those who unlawfully tried to prevent him from taking office. The exodus of Guatemalans from their country will only be solved by effectively tackling the root causes. It is in the strong interest of the U.S. to help him succeed.”


Media Note: Sen. Welch met with then Pres.-elect Arévalo in October on Capitol Hill. Photos and more on that visit can be found here. He also traveled to Guatemala in December with a Congressional Delegation, where he met with Pres. Arévalo.