Jimmy Morales

Dieu Nalio Chery / AP

COMMENTARY

Right now the western hemisphere – believe it or not, America – is dealing with behavior by federal politicians that's more outrageous than President Trump’s alleged Ukrainian shenanigans. This week the dubious prize goes to Haitian Senator Ralph Fethiere – who repeatedly fired a gun outside the legislature in Port-au-Prince on Monday, wounding two people, including an AP photographer.

Carolyn Kaster / AP

COMMENTARY

During the Cold War, the U.S. quip about almost any Latin American dictator was that “he may be a son of a bitch, but he’s our son of a bitch.”

C.M. Guerrero / Miami Herald

COMMENTARY

Broward County Mayor Mark Bogen was right to get worked up last week. He blasted the Trump Administration when it seemed poised to release thousands of migrants detained at the U.S.’s southern border into Broward and Palm Beach Counties each year. (The administration, which never confirmed the reports, has since backed off.)

But in his outrage, Bogen made a rather bogus assertion: “We are not a border state.”

AP

Many Central America observers say this past weekend was disappointing for democracy in the region. In Nicaragua and Guatemala, critics charge the country’s presidents are behaving like the dictators of Central America’s past.

Two days after the U.S. opened its embassy in Jerusalem, Guatemala has moved its own embassy to the contested city.

Images of the Guatemalan, Israeli and U.S. flags were projected on walls of the Old City Tuesday night, in anticipation of Wednesday's inauguration.

Luis Soto / AP via Miami Herald

COMMENTARY

In the 28 years I’ve covered Latin America, I never thought I’d write the sentence I’m about to type. But here goes:

Guatemala is a model for the U.S.

You read that right. For the moment, at least, Guatemala – a Central American country whose so-called democracy my colleagues and I have long disparaged as a dark banana-republic farce – is the beacon of the Americas. The exemplar of constitutional rule of law. One of the hemisphere’s separation-of-powers life boats.

Gaston de Cardenas / El Nuevo Herald

Guatemala is full of sublime volcanic geography, rich Maya culture – and some of the world’s most sinister politics.

Politically motivated murder is so commonplace in Guatemala that a foreign diplomat once quipped that even drunks watch what they say about the issues.

What happened Sunday, though, is no joke: By a landslide, Guatemalans chucked their political establishment and elected a TV comedian – Jimmy Morales – as their next president.

Luis Soto / AP via Miami Herald

After Sunday’s first round of voting, the leading candidate in Guatemala’s presidential run-off election next month will be a former comedian. But the anti-corruption wave sweeping Central America is no joke – and has been spreading next door to Honduras.

Guatemalan actor Jimmy Morales has never held elected office. But it’s not surprising that an outsider candidate like him got the most votes. Guatemalans are so angry about corruption that last week President Otto Pérez was forced to resign and faces charges in a major scandal.