Speaker

Vinicio Cerezo

Former President of Guatemala


Vinicio Cerezo is a lawyer with a master’s degree in Public Administration and Democratic Leadership. His leadership throughout his life has earned him the title of "Ambassador of Central America."

He began his political career during college and fought for more than 20 years to establish democracy in Guatemala, surviving three attacks against his life. He was President of Guatemala from 1986 to 1991 and was the first democratically elected civilian after 30 years of authoritarian, fraudulent, and repressive governments.

His administration succeeded in establishing the democracy and civil society still in force in Guatemala today, contributing to a considerable modernization of the country. He reactivated the economy with a futuristic vision that established a system of protected environmental areas, a scheme of sustainable development, and the creation of reserves of the Mayan biosphere.

Vinico promoted the recognition and inclusion of the original peoples in the country. The changes and transformations that his government promoted led to the opposition of several business and military groups that became involved in coup attempts, which his government effectively resisted. He is the creator, promoter, and one of the signatories of the Peace Agreements in Central America Esquipulas I and II. These agreements achieved peace in the region, democratic institutionalization, and carried the political impetus to realize regional integration.

Currently, Vinicio remains active in Latin America through the Esquipulas Foundation for Central American Integration. He is a founding member of the Latin American Presidential Mission and is part of diverse circles of thought and consultative spaces of global organizations. He focuses his energy, knowledge, and experience to further peace, democracy, and integration as mechanisms for economic and social development in Latin America.