Government capacities are mainly restricted by the influence of informal veto powers and interest groups such as economic associations and especially clandestine criminal structures, embedded in the public administration. This results in the arbitrary use of power by state organizations and a general lack of professionalism.

Social exclusion reflects the main dividing lines in Guatemalan society where the small, rich, urban, white and Ladino elites control most of the resources - while the majority of the indigenous rural population lives below the poverty line.

Problems of policy implementation are strongly related to the lack of consistency between new governments’ policy agendas, the influence of private interests and corruption.

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