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News > Latin America

2 Guatemalan Ministers Resign to Make Country 'Competitive'

  • Guatemala's President Jimmy Morales during a meeting with OAS Secretary General Luis Almagro.

    Guatemala's President Jimmy Morales during a meeting with OAS Secretary General Luis Almagro. | Photo: Reuters

Published 17 January 2018

The ministers of Economy and Social Development resigned from their posts due to a "reengineering strategy."

The Executive's spokesperson Heinz Hiemann confirmed Tuesday that two state officials, Victor Asturias, Economics Minister, and Ennio Galicia, Social Development Minister have resigned following a "reengineering strategy" by Guatemala's President Jimmy Morales. 

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Rene Obregon was announced as the new social development minister. According to the government this change was a result of a low budget execution and the need to prioritize the "neediest" families as recipients of social program benefits.

Acisclo Valladares, who will lead the Economics Ministry was questioned for an alleged link to a corruption case against telephone company Tigo, but Valladares has denied the existence of any ongoing investigation.

According to the president's spokesperson the designation responds to the need to make the country "competitive internally and in the international realm." Previously in Morales' administration, Valladares was in charge of coordinating the "Alliance for Prosperity Plan" with the United States. The plan, which emerged in 2014, has flopped specially because the U.S. has steadily reduced its financial contributions to the three beneficiaries: Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras. 

The changes take place after an anti-corruption demonstration demanded Morales' resignation on Sunday. The protesters were violently dispersed by state security forces resulting in at last eight wounded.  

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