Dionisio Gutierrez meets with Secretary of Homeland Security Kevin McAleenan.

This week, the US Embassy invited the president of Fundación Libertad y Desarrollo, Dionisio Gutiérrez, to meet with the US Acting Secretary of National Security, Kevin McAleenan, to discuss the political situation in Guatemala and its relationship with the United States. .

During the meeting, Dionisio Gutiérrez expressed his concern about the country’s underlying problem: “It will take generations to solve the structural problems and endemic poverty that forced many Guatemalans to flee from this country. These are really the problems that we must solve. ”

In addition, he indicated that “the agreement with the United States was a wake-up call to the Guatemalan elite that has long depended on emigration to compensate for the lack of employment and opportunities. We cannot continue to be an economy based on family remittances. ”

The meeting concluded by saying that he did not believe that any of the presidential candidates would improve things in the country: “The problems are so great that a single president cannot change things, an elite pact is needed to work on the underlying problems that afflict the Guatemalans. ”

The meeting was also attended by the US Ambassador to Guatemala, Luis E. Arreaga, the former vice president, Eduardo Stein, the general director of ASIES, Raquel Zelaya and the general director of CIEN, Hugo Maul.

Meeting with Secretary Kevin McAleenan at the ambassador’s residence in Guatemala City

Review in The Washington Post

About this meeting, The Washington Post referred:

“Guatemalan business tycoon and radio host Dionisio Gutiérrez told McAleenan it would take generations to fix the structural problems and endemic poverty driving so many of his compatriots to flee. But he said the accord with the United States was a “wake-up call” to the Guatemalan elite, which long has relied on emigration to compensate for a lack of jobs and opportunity, as those earning better livings in the diaspora send money back home.

“We can’t continue to have an economy built on family remittances,” he said.

Gutierrez said he did not believe either of the presidential candidates would improve things, then told the U.S. officials in the room he might need to seek asylum in the United States himself because he had been receiving threats for his outspoken criticisms.

It was not entirely clear if he was joking.”