Right-Wing Populism and Evangelicalism in Guatemala : the Presidency of Jimmy Morales

In the fall of 2015, Jimmy Morales—an outspoken evangelical Christian, comedian, and well-known local TV actor—won the presidential elections in Guatemala. In what was a surprise victory, Morales succeeded as the candidate of the small, conservative, and right-wing Frente de Convergencia Nacional (FCN-Nación). This article seeks to (a) illuminate the Christian background and political-military network behind Jimmy Morales, (b) explain the overlap between the Christian evangelical and right-wing discourses (specifically, Morales' anti-establishment rhetoric; his claims to fight the corrupt elite; his defense of the traditional family; his support for the death penalty; and his opposition to same-sex marriage, LGTBQ rights, and abortion), and (c) to understand the broader socio-historical context of his presidency. Why did Guatemalans elect as their president a right-wing, evangelical entertainer with almost no previous political experience? This final inquiry includes an examination of earlier presidencies, including those of the neo-Pentecostal, right-wing dictator General Efraín Ríos Montt and the Protestant President Jorge Serrano Elías.

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Person: Althoff, Andrea [Author]
Format: eArticle
Language(s):English
Publication:[2019]
Part of:International journal of Latin American religions 3(2019), 2, Seite 294-324
Subjects:Guatemala > Die Rechte > Populismus > Evangelikale Bewegung
ISSN:2509-9965
DOI:10.1007/s41603-019-00090-2