By Mac Margolis
Guatemalans are steaming. Crowds of them have poured into the streets this month — some 60,000 on May 16 alone – to protest corruption and demand the ouster of President Otto Perez Molina.
Triggered by the scandal over a giant scheme of import tax fraud, the widening crisis already has toppled the nation’s vice president, the energy minister, the Central Bank governor and interior minister.
Social upheaval has a deep history in Guatemala, where Marxist-inspired guerrillas battled security forces from 1960 to 1996, leaving 200,000 dead.
What’s new, and encouraging, is the popular revolt against resurgent corruption, which has reignited partisan feuds and sapped confidence in the country’s still-wobbly democratic institutions at a time when this nation of more than 14.6 million may need them most.