Guatemala Government

What is the capital of Guatemala?

Country Name Guatemala
Full Country Name Republic of Guatemala
Local - Long República de Guatemala
Local - Short Guatemala
Etymology- history of name the Spanish conquistadors used many native Americans as allies in their conquest of Guatemala; the site of their first capital (established in 1524), a former Maya settlement, was called "Quauhtemallan" by their Nahuatl-speaking Mexican allies, a name that means "land of trees" or "forested land", but which the Spanish pronounced "Guatemala"; the Spanish applied that name to a re-founded capital city three years later and eventually it became the name of the country
Government Type presidential republic
Capital Name Guatemala City
Capital - geographic coordinate 14 37 N, 90 31 W
Capital Time Difference UTC-6 (1 hour behind Washington, DC, during Standard Time)
Independence 15 September 1821 (from Spain)
National Holiday Independence Day, 15 September (1821)
Constitution history: several previous; latest adopted 31 May 1985, effective 14 January 1986; suspended and reinstated in 1994

amendments: proposed by the president of the republic, by agreement of 10 or more deputies of Congress, by the Constitutional Court, or by public petition of at least 5,000 citizens; passage requires at least two-thirds majority vote by the Congress membership and approval by public referendum, referred to as "popular consultation"; constitutional articles such as national sovereignty, the republican form of government, limitations on those seeking the presidency, or presidential tenure cannot be amended; amended 1993

Guatemala Capital City Map

Source: Google Maps

Guatemala Government and Politics

Who is the president of Guatemala?

Executive Branch: chief of state: President Bernardo ARÉVALO de León (since 15 January 2024); Vice President Karin HERRERA (since 15 January 2024); note - the president is both chief of state and head of government

head of government: President Bernardo ARÉVALO de León (since 15 January 2024); Vice President Karin HERRERA (since 15 January 2024)

cabinet: Council of Ministers appointed by the president

elections/appointments: president and vice president directly elected on the same ballot by absolute majority popular vote in 2 rounds if needed for a 4-year term (not eligible for consecutive terms); election last held on 25 June 2023 with a runoff on 20 August 2023 (next to be held in June 2027)

election results:

2023: Bernardo ARÉVALO de León elected president in second round; percent of vote in first round - Sandra TORRES (UNE) 21%; Bernardo ARÉVALO de León (SEMILLA) 15.6%, Manuel CONDE Orellana (VAMOS) 10.4%; Armando CASTILLO Alvarado (VIVA) 9.6%, other 43.4%; percent of vote in second round - Bernardo ARÉVALO de León 60.9%, Sandra TORRES 39.1%

2019: Alejandro GIAMMATTEI elected president; percent of vote in first round - Sandra TORRES (UNE) 25.5%, Alejandro GIAMMATTEI (VAMOS) 14%, Edmond MULET (PHG) 11.2%, Thelma CABRERA (MLP) 10.4%, Roberto ARZU (PAN-PODEMOS) 6.1%, other 32.8%; percent of vote in second round - Alejandro GIAMMATTEI 58%, Sandra TORRES 42%
Citizenship Criteria: citizenship by birth: yes

citizenship by descent only: yes

dual citizenship recognized: yes

residency requirement for naturalization: 5 years with no absences of six consecutive months or longer or absences totaling more than a year
Legal System: civil law system; judicial review of legislative acts
Suffrage: 18 years of age; universal; note - active duty members of the armed forces and police by law cannot vote and are restricted to their barracks on election day
Legislative Branch: description: unicameral Congress of the Republic or Congreso de la Republica (160 seats; 128 members directly elected in multi-seat constituencies in the country's 22 departments and 32 directly elected in a single nationwide constituency by closed party-list proportional representation vote, using the D'Hondt method; members serve 4-year terms)

elections: last held on 25 June 2023 (next to be held in June 2027)

election results: percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - VAMOS 39, UNE 28, SEMILLA 23, CABAL 18, Valor-Unionist 12, VIVA 11, TODOS 6, VOS 4, BIEN 4, CREO 3, PPN 3, Victoria 3, Blue 2, Elephant 2, Change 1, Winaq-URNG 1; composition - men 128, women 32, percent of women 20%
Judicial Branch: highest court(s): Supreme Court of Justice or Corte Suprema de Justicia (consists of 13 magistrates, including the court president and organized into 3 chambers); note - the court president also supervises trial judges countrywide; note - the Constitutional Court or Corte de Constitucionalidad of Guatemala resides outside the country's judicial system; its sole purpose is the interpretation of the constitution and to see that the laws and regulations are not superior to the constitution (consists of 5 titular magistrates and 5 substitute magistrates)

judge selection and term of office: Supreme Court magistrates elected by the Congress of the Republic from candidates proposed by the Postulation Committee, an independent body of deans of the country's university law schools, representatives of the country's law associations, and representatives of the Courts of Appeal; magistrates elected for concurrent, renewable 5-year terms; Constitutional Court judges - 1 elected by the Congress of the Republic, 1 by the Supreme Court, 1 by the president of the republic, 1 by the (public) University of San Carlos, and 1 by the Assembly of the College of Attorneys and Notaries; judges elected for renewable, consecutive 5-year terms; the presidency of the court rotates among the magistrates for a single 1-year term

subordinate courts: Appellate Courts of Accounts, Contentious Administrative Tribunal, courts of appeal, first instance courts, child and adolescence courts, minor or peace courts
Regions or States: 22 departments (departamentos, singular - departamento); Alta Verapaz, Baja Verapaz, Chimaltenango, Chiquimula, El Progreso, Escuintla, Guatemala, Huehuetenango, Izabal, Jalapa, Jutiapa, Peten, Quetzaltenango, Quiche, Retalhuleu, Sacatepequez, San Marcos, Santa Rosa, Solola, Suchitepequez, Totonicapan, Zacapa
Political Parties and Leaders: Bienestar Nacional or BIEN [Fidel REYES LEE]

Blue Party (Partido Azul) or Blue [Jorge VILLAGRÁN]


Cambio [Manuel BALDIZÓN]

Citizen Prosperity or PC [Hernan MEJIA and Jorge GARCIA SILVA]

Commitment, Renewal, and Order or CREO [Rodolfo NEUTZE]

Elephant Community (Comunidad Elefante) or Elephant [Hugo PEÑA Medina]

Everyone Together for Guatemala or TODOS [Felipe ALEJOS]

Guatemalan National Revolutionary Unity or URNG-MAIZ or URNG [Walter FELIX]

Humanist Party of Guatemala or PHG [Rudio MERIDA]

Movement for the Liberation of Peoples or MLP [Thelma CABRERA and Vincenta JERONIMO]

Movimiento Semilla or SEMILLA [Bernardo ARÉVALO de León]

National Advancement Party or PAN [Manuel CONDE]

National Convergence Front or FCN-NACION [Javier HERNANDEZ]

National Unity for Hope or UNE [Adim MALDONADO]

Nationalist Change Union or UCN [Carlos ROJAS and Sofia HERNANDEZ] (dissolved 16 December 2021)

Nosotros or PPN [Rudy GUZMAN and Nadia de LEÓN Torres]


Political Movement Winaq or Winaq [Sonia GUTIERREZ Raguay]


Value or VALOR [Zury RIOS and Lucrecia MARROQUIN]

Vamos por una Guatemala Diferente or VAMOS [Alejandro GIAMMATTEI]

Victory or VICTORIA [Juan Carlos RIVERA]

Vision with Values or VIVA [Armando Damian CASTILLO Alvarado]

Will, Opportunity and Solidarity (Voluntad, Oportunidad y Solidaridad) or VOS [Orlando BLANCO]
International Law Organization Participation: has not submitted an ICJ jurisdiction declaration; accepts ICCt jurisdiction
International Organization Participation: BCIE, CACM, CD, CELAC, EITI (compliant country), FAO, G-24, G-77, IADB, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC (national committees), ICCt (signatory), ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO (correspondent), ITSO, ITU, ITUC (NGOs), LAES, LAIA (observer), MIGA, MINUSTAH, MONUSCO, NAM, OAS, OPANAL, OPCW, Pacific Alliance (observer), PCA, Petrocaribe, SICA, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UNIFIL, Union Latina, UNISFA, UNITAR, UNMISS, UNOCI, UNWTO, UPU, WCO, WFTU (NGOs), WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO
Diplomatic Representation in the US: chief of mission: Ambassador (vacant); Chargé d'Affaires Viviana Raquel ARENAS AGUILAR (since 30 January 2024)

chancery: 2220 R Street NW, Washington, DC 20008

telephone: [1] (202) 745-4953

FAX: [1] (202) 745-1908

email address and website:

consulate(s) general: Atlanta, Chicago, Del Rio (TX), Denver, Houston, Los Angeles, McAllen (TX), Miami, New York, Oklahoma City, Philadelphia, Phoenix, Providence (RI), Raleigh (NC), San Bernardino (CA), San Francisco, Seattle

consulate(s): Lake Worth (FL), Silver Spring (MD), Tucson (AZ)
Diplomatic Representation from US: chief of mission: Ambassador Tobin BRADLEY (since 12 February 2024)

embassy: Avenida Reforma 7-01, Zone 10, Guatemala City

mailing address: 3190 Guatemala Place, Washington DC 20521-3190

telephone: [502] 2326-4000

FAX: [502] 2326-4654

email address and website:
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