The Alliance of the Left in Guatemala for 2023

Ollantay ItzamnáMeeting of representatives of URNG and WINAQ.

Without intending to do so, this left-wing alliance in Guatemala has created an exciting electoral context that will force voters outraged by corruption to choose between a left that seeks to maintain seats in Congress, and the MLP that proposes structural changes in the country through a Popular and Plurinational Constituent Assembly process.

Recently, the news of the electoral alliance between the traditional political parties URNG and WINAQ with a view to the elections of 2023 came to light. However, the historic and unprecedented political instrument of the social organizations, Movement for the Liberation of the Peoples (MLP), which came in 4th place in the previous general elections, maintains its own dynamic: to organize and raise awareness among communities and peoples in rural and urban areas.

After the victory of the Historical Pact in Colombia, and the possible return of Lula to the presidency in Brazil, including Xiomara Castro in Honduras and Andres Manuel Lopez in Mexico, Guatemala remains, apparently, one of the few neoliberal exceptions in the region. And this stimulates the political struggle in Guatemala even more.

What does the alliance between URNG and WINAQ consist of?

The announced alliance between these two political organizations is clearly and exclusively electoral (i.e., electoral tactics). They do not seek to win the elections. The objective, it seems, is to secure some seats in the Congress of the Republic in order to secure funds and votes, and thus survive as electoral parties/companies.

It is not the first time that they go in alliance. Nor is it an exception that they appear and operate only and exclusively in electoral times. They are not interested in organizing, politicizing the impoverished people of Guatemala! Moreover, they even oppose the socio-political agendas of the popular sectors such as: the nationalization of the common goods, the process of a Popular and Plurinational Constituent Assembly, the Plurinational State, etc.

The URNG, in its more than 30 years of existence as a political party, has become a traditional political organization of the mestizo revolutionary elite. WINAQ, likewise, is a political organization captured by the privileged indigenous elite.

Neither of these two political organizations is anti-neoliberal, much less anti-imperial. Moreover, in the Indo-Campesino narrative of resistance, the assertion that neoliberalism was imposed and is in force in Guatemala thanks to the permissive silence of these parties of the revolutionary elite is becoming stronger and stronger.

Why does the MLP still reject the alliance with the traditional left?

MLP national assembly.

The MLP, created in 2018, by the Indo-Campesino communities organized in resistance, emerged with one purpose: to promote the process of a Popular and Plurinational Constituent Assembly to create a plurinational State, to revise the privatization contracts in the country, under the horizon of Good Living.

The MLP is not an organization focused only on electoral issues. This organization is called a “political instrument” because it was created and obeys the will and assembly dynamics of the communities in resistance.

Moreover, the progenitor organizations and communities of MLP created an open space of programmatic articulation some time ago, now called Consensus for a Plurinational Guatemala, to strengthen the constituent peoples of the plurinational state. But the traditional political left never paid attention to this space.

Then, when the traditional lefts call the MLP to the space of the alliance to distribute the quotas in the list of candidates, they find no response because the MLP is in “other politics”, as they call themselves.

This situation of the left in Guatemala, without looking for it, creates an exciting electoral context that will force voters outraged by corruption to choose between a left that seeks to maintain seats in Congress, and the MLP that proposes structural changes in the country through a Popular and Plurinational Constituent process.