Meeting of Brian A Nichols, U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for Western Hemisphere Affairs, Marcela Escobari, USAID Assistant Administrator and Brian Glynn, Managing Director for the Americas of the European External Action Service on the Democratic Crisis in Guatemala
Guatemala City, October 24, 2023
On the occasion of their concurrent visits to Guatemala, Assistant Secretary Brian A. Nichols, Assistant Administrator Marcela Escobari, and EU Managing Director Brian Glynn met to discuss the current situation in Guatemala. All officials expressed serious concerns over flagrant attempts to undermine the outcome of the elections, jeopardizing efforts towards a peaceful and orderly transition of power, due to take place on January 14, 2024, to President-elect Bernardo Arévalo and his administration.
The country’s highest electoral authority certified the clear election results and the OAS Mediation Mission concluded that “no one can take precedence over that sovereign decision of the citizenry.” Managing Director Glynn recalled that further actions that subvert the outcome of Guatemala’s 2023 election results would inevitably impact Guatemala’s relations with the European Union. Assistant Secretary Nichols underscored that the United States will continue to advance efforts with regional partners, consistent with the Inter-American Democratic Charter, and use every tool available to promote accountability for undemocratic and corrupt actors.
They agreed on the importance of urging all stakeholders to demonstrate restraint, protect the right to peaceful assembly and expression, and prioritize dialogue as a peaceful means for resolving the country’s political crisis and protecting democracy in Guatemala. They reaffirmed the importance of the monitoring role played by the independent Inter American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR).
The Managing Director, Assistant Secretary, and Assistant Administrator reaffirmed the EU and United States’ steadfast commitment to supporting Guatemala’s peace, prosperity, and rule of law as well as the aspirations of the Guatemalan people, in particular the Indigenous communities, as they seek to defend their democracy. Both sides expressed readiness to work closely together with the incoming Arévalo/Herrera administration in support of a stable, free, and prosperous Guatemala where the voices of all Guatemalans are heard and respected.