Guatemala–United States relations – Wikipedia

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Bilateral relations

There is a U.S. Embassy in Guatemala located in Guatemala City. According to the United States Department of State, relations between the United States and Guatemala have traditionally been close, although sometimes they are tense regarding human, civil, and military rights.[1]

According to a world opinion poll, 82% of Guatemalans view the United States positively in 2002[2] According to the 2012 United States Global Leadership Report, 41% of Guatemalans approve of U.S. leadership, with 16% disapproving and 43% uncertain.[3] In 2017, 67% of Guatemalans had either a “good” or “very good” perception of the United States, down from 80% in 2015.[4]

Country comparison[edit]

Guatemala Republic of Guatemala United States United States of America
Coat of Arms Coat of arms of Guatemala.svg Great Seal of the United States (obverse).svg
Flag Guatemala United States
Population 16,176,133 335,479,000
Area 108,889 km2 (42,042 sq mi) 9,820,630 km2 (3,791,770 sq mi)
Population Density 129/km2 (330/sq mi) 35/km2 (91/sq mi)
Capital Guatemala City Washington, D.C.
Largest City Guatemala City – 2,110,100 (4,500,000 Metro) New York City – 8,600,710 (19,006,798 Metro)
Government Unitary presidential constitutional republic Federal presidential constitutional republic
First Leader Rafael Carrera George Washington
Current Leaders Alejandro Giammattei
Guillermo Castillo Reyes
Joe Biden
Kamala Harris
Official languages Spanish English (de facto, none at federal level)
GDP (nominal) US$68.389 billion ($4,101 per capita) US$16.245 trillion ($51,704 per capita)

Goals of US Policy In Guatemala[edit]

US President Trump watches as Guatemalan Minister of Interior Enrique Degenhart (left) and US Acting Secretary of Homeland Security Kevin K. McAleenan (right) sign an agreement on Cooperation Regarding the Examination of Protection Claims in 2019

The United States Department of State lists the policy objectives in Guatemala which include:

On July 15, 2019, Guatemalan President Jimmy Morales cancelled a meeting with U.S. President Donald Trump after the Guatemala Supreme Court issued an injunction against a proposed deal concerning the Trump Administration’s policy objective of limiting the number of Guatemalan migrants entering the United States of America.[5][6][7] Morales had been expected to sign the deal, which also sought to use Guatemala as a place where crossing Central American migrants had to apply for asylum before entering the U.S.,[5] under pressure from the U.S. government.[8][6] The agreement was canceled by the Biden administration on February 5, 2021.[9]

The United States’ Support For Peace Agreements In Guatemala[edit]

The United States Department of State says that the U.S, as a member of the ‘Los Amigos de Guatemala’ coalition, along with Colombia, Mexico, Spain, Norway, and Venezuela, played an important role in peace agreements moderated by the UN, provided public support. The United States strongly supports the six substantial peace agreements and three procedural agreements that, combined with the signing of the final agreement on December 29, 1996, form the blueprint for a profound political, economic, and social change. To this end, the government of the United States has committed more than $500 million to support the application of peace since 1997.[1]

Dangers for American Citizens[edit]

The United States Department of State observes that violent criminal activity has continued to be a major problem in Guatemala, this includes assassinations, rapes, kidnappings, and armed aggressions against people of all nationalities. In recent years the number of violent criminal activity reported by U.S citizens has increased consistently, although the number of U.S citizens visiting Guatemala has also increased.[1] Under the administration of US President Donald Trump, the US government has also expressed about granting asylum to migrants from Guatemala and other Central American countries and has made efforts to use Guatemala to curb the number of US migrants from Central America.[8][5]

United States Aid To Guatemala[edit]

The US State Department says most U.S. assistance to Guatemala is provided through the U.S. Agency for International Development’s (USAID) for Guatemala. The current USAID / Guatemala program is based on the achievements of the peace process that followed the signing of the peace accords in December 1996, as well as the achievements of its 1997-2004 peace program. The current program works to advance the United States’ foreign policy goals, focusing on Guatemala’s potential as the United States’ most important economic and commercial partner, but also recognizes the country’s lagging social indicators and its high poverty rate.[1]

Vice President Kamala Harris with the Guatemalan Minister of Foreign Affairs during her arrival in Guatemala, 2021.

US Embassy staff[edit]

Principal U.S. Embassy officials include:[1]

  • Ambassador–Luis E. Arreaga
  • Deputy Chief of Mission—David Hodge
  • Political and Economic Counselor—Drew Blakeney
  • Management Officer—Leo Hession
  • Defense Attache—Col. Humberto Rodriguez
  • Military Assistance Group—Col. Linda Gould
  • Consul General—John Lowell
  • Regional Security Officer—John Eustace
  • Public Affairs Officer—David J. Young
  • Drug Enforcement Administration—Michael O’Brien
  • Agricultural Attache—Robert Hoff
  • Commercial Attache—Patricia Wagner
  • USAID/G-CAP Director—Wayne Nilsestuen

See also[edit]


Public Domain This article incorporates public domain material from U.S. Bilateral Relations Fact Sheets. United States Department of State.

Further reading[edit]

  • Streeter, Stephen M. “Interpreting the 1954 US Intervention in Guatemala: Realist, Revisionist, and Postrevisionist Perspectives.” History Teacher 34.1 (2000): 61–74. online
  • Taft-Morales, Maureen. “Guatemala: political, security, and Socioeconomic conditions and U.S. relations.” Congressional Research Service (CRS) Reports and Issue Briefs (2014) online

External links[edit]

Media related to Relations of Guatemala and the United States at Wikimedia Commons