Democracy Dialogues: Bernardo Arévalo on Guatemala's "New Spring"

The then-president-elect joined AS/COA in October to discuss the transition and his government's democratic institutions.


  • Bernardo Arevalo, President-Elect of Guatemala
  • Eric Farnsworth, Vice President, Americas Society/Council of the Americas

After his overwhelming electoral victory in August, Bernardo Arévalo, president-elect of Guatemala, is facing internal efforts to disqualify his victory. While in Washington DC in October 2023, Arévalo joined the Democracy Dialogues series to discuss his hopes for Guatemala's institutions and the importance of the international community's support as he readies to takes office in January 2024. In this interview with AS/COA Vice President Eric Farnsworth, the president-elect commented on the risks for the country's democracy during presidential transition process: "When you fight against a government or institutions that use judicial institutions as their means of aggression, then everybody's at risk."

Arévalo also talked about his country's democratic future, highlighting the role of young people in the past elections and his future government. "The young voters [were] the ones that set up the trend to actually believe that we could come out of this current political system and build something better in our future," he said. "And I think the rest of society followed them."

Democracy Dialogues is a series of conversations we need to be having now on the state of democracy in the Americas. Hosted by Eric Farnsworth, these one-on-one interviews with leading democracy practitioners explore the most difficult issues of regional democratic governance with an eye toward pragmatic, well-calibrated solutions.

Past featured guests have included Colombia's then-President Iván Duque, NBA Basketball Star Enes Kanter Freedom, OAS Secretary General Luis Almagro, CubaDecide founder Rosa María Payá, Editor-in-Chief of Americas Quarterly Brian Winter, and founder and Editor of Nicaragua's Confidential Carlos Fernando Chamorro.

Follow the conversation: #DemocracyDialogues | @ASCOA

Subscribe to YouTube podcasts to listen on the go.