Thelma Cabrera And Jordan Rodas Will Seek The Presidency Of Guatemala In 2023
(Updated, February 1st, 2023)
For Guatemalan society, Thelma Cabrera Pérez was born with three sins: Woman, indigenous and poor. Plaza Publica, states that Cabrera’s life work has added a fourth and a fifth sin: “Defender of the rights of the peoples and symbol of the nationalizing energy discourse in an organization whose members are accused of stealing it.”
In their 2019 fabulous interview with Cabrera, Plaza Publica wrote that Cabrera’s presence “caused stinging,” since the movement she presides over “migrated from the streets to the polls” when Cabrera realized that to change the State she would have to play by its own rules.
Cabrera sought the presidency in the 2019 elections. On that occasion, she occupied the fourth place and managed to reach just over 450,000 votes. While she did not win the presidency, No Ficcion states that Cabrera’s accomplishments were historical:
“In a country with high levels of racism, the fourth place in the presidential elections was obtained for the first time in history by a Maya Mam woman, Thelma Cabrera. The candidate for the Movement for the Liberation of the Peoples (MLP) also achieved the first position in Sololá, Totonicapán and Chimaltenango.”
Seeking the Election Once Again
The Movement for the Liberation of the Peoples (MLP) announced on Wednesday, December 28, its presidential binomial ahead of the 2023 general elections.
During an assembly that took place in the municipality of Santo Domingo, Suchitepéquez, the representatives of the MLP proclaimed Thelma Cabrera and Jordán Rodas Andrade as their presidential and vice-presidential candidates.
Thelma Cabrera is an indigenous woman, Maya Mam from El Asintal, Retalhuleu. She is a descendant of a peasant family and has been a defender of human rights and indigenous peoples for more than 30 years.
Rodas Andrade served as a councilor and municipal trustee of the Quetzaltenango capital; a former Guatemalan Human Rights Ombudsman, Jordán Rodas Andrade (2017-2022) has also worked as a full professor of the Legal and Social Sciences Career at the Western University Center (CUNOC). He has taught courses on Constitutional and Administrative Law and has also taught for the Master’s Degree in Management for Sustainable Development.
The pronouncement was attended by representatives of the MLP throughout the country. Its political base has strengthened in the last four years, and it has intensified in electoral districts such as San Marcos, Huehuetenango, Retalhuleu, Suchitepéquez and Quetzaltenango, among others, as stated by Nodal.
Currently, the MLP has Vicenta Jerónimo as a representative in the Congress of the Republic.
Cabrera has been an active member of the Committee for Rural Development (CODECA), an important social organization of indigenous peasants that promotes rural development through social participation and public policies within the framework of inclusive and participatory processes of social transformation.
CODECA arises in 1992 as a result of the need to live with dignity and cultivate the land. Of the total number of families that are members of CODECA, 95% are peasant families with land who work as day laborers on the farms or emigrate in search of work in different places, explains Cultural Survival.
The Movement for the Liberation of the Peoples (MLP) emerged as a political instrument of CODECA who proclaimed and elected Thelma Cabrera as a candidate for the Presidency of Guatemala.
“I do not have titles, but I have the street fight. Walking with our brothers in the struggle has shaped me in the university of life. I have political training, and I know very well the mission that the people have entrusted to me. It is for all sectors of Guatemala and not only for the indigenous sector.”
Thelma Cabrera Pérez, candidate for Guatemala’s presidency for the Movimiento para la Liberación de los Pueblos (MLP) party.
The MLP’s priority issues are health, education, community and recovery of privatized public services, such as electricity. Cabrera seeks to expand equality in Guatemala; to end impunity, and to regulate the agricultural and mining sectors to stop environmental exploitation.
The MLP’s political worldview has a plurinational outlook guided by Buen Vivir, “Good Living,” a social philosophy rooted in indigenous worldviews that, adopted in different ways by governments throughout Latin America, moves away from the idea of the market and individualism as the only generators of development, and places the individual in the context of their community and their natural environment.
For the party, this means that all the country’s inhabitants have access to quality education and health, “regardless of whether these services are public or private;” a decent job; three meals per day; basic services such as electricity, water, transportation at a good price; and an environment that is sustained through a productive economy. This implies, above all, “harmony with Mother Nature,” describes Plaza Publica.
The Plurinational State vision is consensual and aims to express the will of all peoples and sectors that coexist in a country. Its principles are to recognize and guarantee the collective and individual rights of all peoples equally, and seek well-being, peace and intercultural coexistence. At its core, it proposes a new social contract that tackles exclusion, racism and machismo.
The plurinational vision is inclusive. “To promote the process of a popular and plurinational constituent assembly, build it with the participation of the Maya, Garífuna, Xinca and mestizas,” says Thelma Cabrera Pérez.
When will the 2023 elections be in Guatemala?
In the General Elections, the President and Vice President, the 106 deputies to the Congress of the Republic announced in the national district lists, the 340 municipal corporations or mayors, and the 20 deputies to the Central American Parliament (Parlacen) will be elected, as listed by Guatemala.com.
The dates to keep in mind in this electoral year are the following:
- January 20, 2023 is the day that elections will be called.
- The electoral roll will close on March 24.
- On June 25, 2023, the first round of general elections will be held.
- On August 27, 2023, the second round of general elections will be held.
To participate in the next electoral process, voters must be over 18 years old, and they must register. This process requires a DPI.
Guatemalan Immigrants in the U.S. Complain of Limited Access to Vote
On January 10, 2023, CODECA published the following message on their Facebook page:
“The migrant community articulated in CODECA USA COMPLAINS that the Government of Guatemala is denying them their right to vote by limiting access to the registration of millions of compatriots in the USA.”
The statement reads as follows:
“Guatemalan immigrants who live in the United States denounce that the Guatemalan government is denying us our citizen’s right to participate in the electoral process that will take place on Sunday June 25, 2023.
We are denied this right through the Tribunal Supremo Electoral, TSE of the consulates and the National Registry of Persons, RENAP by not facilitating access to the registration of millions of compatriots who live in the United States.
To date, we have not been able to register because RENAP is not facilitating access for the renewal of the personal document and the DPI identification for those of us who have it expired and for those who have not yet processed it for the first time. Those of us who have managed to complete the renewal process have had to face many difficulties and limitations to renew it at the consulate.
Once the process is done, you have to wait weeks or months for them to be delivered and many of us have not received them yet. Those of us who have the DPI in hand have faced other problems with the TSE: TSE delegates have made registration days in the consulates for a few days without major notice or dissemination of their activities and during limited hours that are inaccessible to migrants.
Many of us find out too late or we do not find out about the days of availability at all. The migrant page does not work. It does not allow you to create an account, which is the main step to register. For these reasons we demand that RENAP and the consulates expedite the delivery of identification documents, such as the DPI, the passport and consular card.
That the TSE facilitate online registration; that registration days be held in person so that people who do not have technical resources can register and that the registration process come to the communities, not only be available at the consulates. That the corresponding authorities extend the term for all the months that we have been waiting to be able to register. Finally, we tell the TSE authorities that immigrants can help them organize the registration in communities and churches, parks or schools in the same way that the consulate would. Reach out to our communities.”
Latina Republic reached out to the Ministerio de Relaciones Exteriores and other government offices to ask for a statement.
We received the following response:
“The Ministry of Foreign Affairs sends a response to your request dated January 13 of 2023.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs, with the support of the National Registry of Persons -RENAP- provides the services of said institution in 17 Consular Offices in the United States of America.Likewise, through the mobile consulates that the headquarters carry out in different cities of the United States. the capture of data is provided for the processing of the Personal Document of Identification -DPI-, which is delivered within a period of 3 to 4 weeks. Delivery is made to address indicated by the interested party or you can pick it up at the nearest consular office close. (Board of Directors Agreement 62-2022, which entered into force on 11/10/2022).
In relation to expired IPRs, the Congress of the Republic issued Decree Number 32-2022,
“Temporary Extension of Validity of the Personal Identification Document -DPI-“, published in the Diario de Centro América on Tuesday, June 13, 2022. In this regard, said Decree stipulates the next: Decree 32-2022 is of a temporary nature and its purpose is to guarantee the holders of the Personal Identification Document -DPI-, which is expired or about to expire, its right to personal identification, in those civil, political, administrative and legal acts that carried out before judicial, administrative, private or any kind of entities. Its validity is one year from 01/01/2023 to 12/31/2023, so the Decree will be valid only during the fiscal year of 2023. The Decree stipulates the legal validity of the DPI, from 01/01 to 12/31 of the year 2023, of all Documents Identification Personnel -DPI-, which is included in the following cases:
- a) Those that are expired as of 01/01/2023 and their holders have not started with the administrative renewal procedure before the National Registry of People –RENAP-; Y
- b) Those that have expired as of the date of entry into force of the Decree 32-2022 and until 12/31/2023 Likewise, within the framework of the competence of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, it collaborates with requirement of the Supreme Electoral Tribunal to carry out joint actions for the organization and realization of the vote of Guatemalan citizens residing in the States United of America.
The Supreme Electoral Tribunal, in coordination with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, has held since 2021 the Registration and Data Update Days. Said days have been carried out in the Guatemalan Consulates accredited in the United States of America, in mobile consulates and workshops have been held with the support of migrant leaders in restaurants, bakeries and churches for Guatemalans to register or update their data to exercise your right to vote during the General Elections 2023, for the election of President and Vice President of the Republic of Guatemala.”
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