GUATEMALA CITY, Thurs. Jan. 14, 2016–As we go to press this evening, Guatemala has sworn in a new president, Jimmy Morales, 46, who formally took office for a 4-year term (2016-2020), in very elaborate ceremonies convened in Guatemala City.
In very extensive remarks delivered late this evening, after his installation, Morales expressed the desire for a solution to the territorial, maritime and insular differendum with Belize, which he called “nuestro hermano y vecino” – Guatemala’s brother and neighbor, and spoke of plans to further bilateral relations with Belize.
Belize Prime Minister Dean Barrow, who was among the hemisphere’s leaders attending the inauguration, greeted and congratulated Morales, as well as the newly installed vice president – Jafeth Cabrera.
Other countries which sent representatives to the inauguration included El Salvador, Ecuador, Cuba, Venezuela and the United States. Spain’s former king Juan Carlos I also attended.
Earlier today, a new Guatemalan Congress was also sworn in, and a new Cabinet is being installed.
Morales took office on a strong anti-corruption platform, after former Guatemalan president Otto Perez Molina resigned last September in the face of an indictment for his alleged involvement in a customs fraud ring.
Alejandro Maldonado subsequently took over and remained in office until Morales’ inauguration today.