Conservative “eternal candidate” Alejandro Giammattei has won Guatemala’s presidential election, saying he wants to make changes to a controversial migration deal the Central American country signed with the Trump administration last month.
Speaking to Reuters shortly before being declared victor, Mr Giammattei, who had made three previous presidential bids, said he wanted to see what could be done to improve the deal that outgoing President Jimmy Morales agreed to stem US-bound migration from Central America.
Mr Giammattei will not take office until January, by which time Guatemala may be under severe pressure from the deal that effectively turns the country into a buffer zone, by forcing migrants to seek refuge there rather than in the United States.
“I hope that during this transition the doors will open to get more information so we can see what, from a diplomatic point of view, we can do to remove from this deal the things that are not right for us, or how we can come to an agreement with the United States,” Mr Giammattei, 63, said in the interview.
Threatened with economic sanctions if he said no, Mr Morales reached an accord in late July to make Guatemala a so-called safe third country for migrants, despite the endemic poverty and violence plaguing the Central American nation.