Guatemala fails to tax


In Guatemala the main complaint about the State is its absence. “We have the sensation that there is no government,” reports Helmer Velazquez, director of the cooperatives and NGOs association Congcoop, “because taxes are so low and the 'state captors' don't even pay them, thanks to tax exemptions or plain avoidance, which leaves the exploitation of natural resources as the only funding source.” “This wouldn't be a problem if we didn't have seven million people living in poverty: Half of the population! And poverty is extreme for three million of them. Very calm, the government reported in 2017 ‘institutional progress’ by linking the SDGs with the national development plan K'atun 2032. In substantive terms, nothing.”

Fiscal reform and a reorientation of public expenditure are demanded by civil society, which proposes massive investment in family agriculture as the way to unleash virtuous circles on employment and food and thus meet the goals and targets set for 2030.

Source: Guatemala National Report 2018 (in Spanish).