The newly elected President of Guatemala, retired military general Otto Perez Molina, ran a campaign that promised a crackdown on crime and drug-related violence. But Guatemala enters the fight against organized crime with distinct disadvantages when it comes to resources since it has one of the lowest tax bases in the hemisphere. Additonally, many observers consider the country's institutions to be among the most corrupt in Latin America. We spoke with a former Guatemalan Vice President, Eduardo Stein, about the challenges ahead for his country and its new President.
Dr. Eduardo Stein
was Vice President of the Republic of Guatemala (2004-2008) and served on the Honduran Truth and Reconciliation Commission. Prior to his election, he held a number of positions with the International Organization for Migration, the United Nations Development Programme, and the Organization of American States. He also served as foreign minister under President Álvaro Arzú (1996–2000). He is working with Red Centroamericana de Pensamientos e Incidencia (laRED), a network of Central American research and policy organizations, and recently visited the Wilson Center to discuss laRED's paper on "money laundering" in Central America.