Volume 50 Number 3
Published: September 30, 2019
This article examines youth-led anti-corruption protests in Guatemala in 2015, which contributed to the resignation of the president and vice-president. It outlines three key factors that were part of the initial success of the #RenunciaYa social media campaign, and the subsequent struggle towards political and structural reforms. First, it can be regarded as part of a much longer history of rights-led civic engagement and protest. Second, while social media proved indispensable for mobilising civic action, it was insufficient to reach beyond urban-based youth activists. Third, the removal of the president and vice-president was possible not only because of public pressure generated by anti-corruption youth activists, but also because of the longer-term work of two Attorney Generals and the International Commission Against Impunity in highlighting the fight against corruption within the national political agenda. Finally, the article argues that civic participation after conflict requires at least one generation to spring.