Guatemala Government Stats


Former army general Otto Perez Molina was elected in November 2011. He is the first former military leader to become president in Guatemala after the end of the regimes of the 1970s and '80s.

He defeated populist businessman Manuel Baldizon, winning nearly 54% of the vote.

After his election, Mr Perez promised to govern with an iron fist to reduce to half the homicide rate in a country living under the threat of gangs, organised crime and international drug traffickers.

He also announced plans to rejig the country's fiscal system to reduce tax avoidance and boost government revenues.

However, with his right-wing Patriotic Party controlling only 54 of 158 in Congress (parliament), his administration was expected to face tough negotiations to have legislation passed.

Intelligence officer

Born in 1950 in Guatemala City, Mr Perez was educated at Guatemala's National Military Academy and the US School of the Americas, before going on to a career as a military intelligence officer.

He was one of the group of army officers who backed the 1983 coup of Defence Minister Oscar Mejia against military ruler Efrain Rios Montt, whose regime was accused by a UN report of having committed atrocities during the civil war.

Mr Perez himself has denied any involvement in rights abuses during his time as army general.

As head of the army's powerful intelligence service, he played a key role in instigating the 1993 departure of then President Jorge Serrano, who had sought to acquire extraordinary powers by dissolving Congress and appointing new members to the Supreme Court.

Mr Perez represented the military at peace talks that ended the 36-year-old civil war in 1996. He founded the Patriotic Party in 2001, was elected to Congress in 2001 and came second to Alvaro Colom in the 2007 presidential election.


  • Administrative divisions: This entry generally gives the numbers, designatory terms, and first-order administrative divisions as approved by the US Board on Geographic Names (BGN). Changes that have been reported but not yet acted on by BGN are noted.
  • Capital city > Geographic coordinates: This entry gives the name of the seat of government, its geographic coordinates, the time difference relative to Coordinated Universal Time (UTC) and the time observed in Washington, DC, and, if applicable, information on daylight saving time (DST). Where appropriate, a special note has been added to highlight those countries that have multiple time zones.
  • Constitution: The dates of adoption, revisions, and major amendments to a nation's constitution
  • Diplomatic representation from the US > Mailing address: This entry includes the chief of mission, embassy address, mailing address, telephone number, FAX number, branch office locations, consulate general locations, and consulate locations.
  • Executive branch > Cabinet: Cabinet includes the official name for any body of high-ranking advisers roughly comparable to a U.S. Cabinet. Also notes the method for selection of members.
  • Executive branch > Chief of state: The name and title of any person or role roughly equivalent to a U.S. Chief of State. This means the titular leader of the country who represents the state at official and ceremonial functions but may not be involved with the day-to-day activities of the government
  • Executive branch > Head of government: Head of government includes the name and title of the top administrative leader who is designated to manage the day-to-day activities of the government. For example, in the UK, the monarch is the chief of state, and the prime minister is the head of government. In the US, the president is both the chief of state and the head of government.
  • Government type: A description of the basic form of government (e.g., republic, constitutional monarchy, federal republic, parliamentary democracy, military dictatorship).
  • International organization participation: This entry lists in alphabetical order by abbreviation those international organizations in which the subject country is a member or participates in some other way.
  • Judicial branch: The name(s) of the highest court(s) and a brief description of the selection process for members.
  • Legal system: A brief description of the legal system's historical roots, role in government, and acceptance of International Court of Justice (ICJ) jurisdiction.
  • Legislative branch: This entry contains information on the structure (unicameral, bicameral, tricameral), formal name, number of seats, and term of office. Elections includes the nature of election process or accession to power, date of the last election, and date of the next election. Election results includes the percent of vote and/or number of seats held by each party in the last election.
  • Political parties and leaders: Significant political organizations and their leaders.
  • Political pressure groups and leaders: Organizations with leaders involved in politics, but not standing for legislative election.
  • Suffrage: The age at enfranchisement and whether the right to vote is universal or restricted
Administrative divisions 22 departments (departamentos, singular - departamento); Alta Verapaz, Baja Verapaz, Chimaltenango, Chiquimula, El Progreso, Escuintla, Guatemala, Huehuetenango, Izabal, Jalapa, Jutiapa, Peten, Quetzaltenango, Quiche, Retalhuleu, Sacatepequez, San Marcos, Santa Rosa, Solola, Suchitepequez, Totonicapan, Zacapa 2013
Capital city > Geographic coordinates 14 37 N, 90 31 W 2008
Constitution several previous; latest adopted 31 May 1985, effective 14 January 1986; suspended, reinstated, and amended in 1993 2013
Diplomatic representation from the US > Mailing address DPO AA 34024 2013
Executive branch > Cabinet Council of Ministers appointed by the president 2013
Executive branch > Chief of state President Otto Fernando PEREZ MOLINA (since 14 January 2012); Vice President Ingrid Roxana BALDETTI Elias (since 14 January 2012) 2013
Executive branch > Head of government President Otto Fernando PEREZ MOLINA (since 14 January 2012); Vice President Ingrid Roxana BALDETTI Elias (since 14 January 2012) 2013
Government type constitutional democratic republic 2013
International organization participation BCIE, CACM, CD, CELAC, EITI (candidate country), FAO, G-24, G-77, IADB, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC (national committees), ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO (correspondent), ITSO, ITU, ITUC (NGOs), LAES, LAIA (observer), MIGA, MINUSTAH, MONUSCO, NAM, OAS, OPANAL, OPCW, PCA, Petrocaribe, SICA, UN, UNAMID, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UNIFIL, Union Latina, UNISFA, UNITAR, UNMISS, UNOCI, UNSC (temporary), UNWTO, UPU, WCO, WFTU (NGOs), WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO 2013
Judicial branch Constitutional Court or Corte de Constitucionalidad is Guatemala's highest court (five judges and five alternate judges are elected by Congress for concurrent five-year terms); Supreme Court of Justice or Corte Suprema de Justicia (13 members are elected by Congress to serve concurrent five-year terms and elect a president of the Court each year from among their number; the president of the Supreme Court of Justice also supervises trial judges around the country, who are named to five-year terms) 2012
Legal system civil law system; judicial review of legislative acts 2013
Legislative branch unicameral Congress of the Republic or Congreso de la Republica 2011
Political parties and leaders Commitment, Renewal, and Order or CREO [Rodolfo NEUTZE]
Democratic Union or UD [Edwin Armando MARTINEZ Herrera]
Encounter for Guatemala or EG [Nineth MONTENEGRO]
Everyone Together for Guatemala or TODOS [Jorge Mario BARRIOS Falla]
Grand National Alliance or GANA [Jaime Antonio MARTINEZ Lohayza]
Guatemalan National Revolutionary Unity or URNG [Hector Alfredo NUILA Ericastilla]
Guatemalan Republican Front or FRG [Luis Fernando PEREZ]
National Advancement Party or PAN [Juan GUTIERREZ]
National Unity for Hope or UNE
National Welfare or Bien [Sandra TORRES]
Nationalist Change Union or UCN [Mario ESTRADA]
New National Alternative or ANN [Pablo MONSANTO]
Patriot Party or PP [Ingrid Roxana BALDETTI Elias]
Renewed Democratic Liberty or LIDER [Manuel BALDIZON]
Unionista Party or PU [Alvaro ARZU Irigoyen]
Victoria (Victory) [Abraham RIVERA]
Vision with Values or VIVA [Manuel Alfredo VILLACORTA Miron] (part of a coalition with EG during the last legislative election)
Winaq [Rigoberta MENCHU]
Political pressure groups and leaders Alliance Against Impunity or AI (which includes among others Center for Legal Action on Human Rights (CALDH), and Family and Friends of the Disappeared of Guatemala (FAMDEGUA))
Agrarian Owners Group or UNAGRO
Committee for Campesino Unity or CUC
Coordinating Committee of Agricultural, Commercial, Industrial, and Financial Associations or CACIF (which includes among others the Agrarian Chamber (CAMAGRO) and the Industry Chamber of Guatemala (CIG))
Guatemalan Chamber of Commerce (Camara de Comercio)
International Commission Against Impunity in Guatemala or CICIG
Mutual Support Group or GAM
Movimiento PRO-Justicia
Suffrage 18 years of age; universal 2013

SOURCES: CIA World Factbooks 18 December 2003 to 28 March 2011


"Guatemala Government Stats", NationMaster. Retrieved from http://www.nationmaster.com/country-info/profiles/Guatemala/Government

  • Guatemala ranked first for time required to enforce a contract > days amongst Hot countries in 2006.