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Jimmy Morales
President Trump and the First Lady Welcome the President and First Lady of Guatemala (49238996191) (cropped).jpg
50th President of Guatemala
In office
14 January 2016 – 14 January 2020
Vice President Jafeth Cabrera
Preceded by Otto Pérez Molina
Alejandro Maldonado (acting)
Succeeded by Alejandro Giammattei
2th Secretary-General of the National Convergence Front
In office
10 March 2013 – 11 January 2016
Deputy Édgar Ovalle Maldonado
Preceded by José Luis Quilo
Succeeded by Édgar Ovalle Maldonado (acting)
Personal details
Born
James Ernesto Morales Cabrera

18 March 1969 (1969-03-18) (age 52)
Guatemala City, Guatemala
Political party National Convergence Front
Spouse(s)
Patricia Marroquín (m. 1989)
Children 4
Alma mater University of San Carlos of Guatemala

Jimmy Morales (18 March 1969) is a Guatemalan politician, actor and comedian who served as the 50th president of Guatemala from 2016 to 2020.

Early and personal life

Morales was born in Guatemala City, to José Everardo Morales Orellana and Celita Ernestina Cabrera Acevedo. He comes from a circus family, and is an Evangelical Christian. His father was killed in a car accident when he was three years old, prompting him, his mother and three siblings to move to his grandparents' home, where he grew up. By the time he was 10 years old, he and his brother Sammy accompanied their grandfather to sell bananas and used clothing at the market in Santa Lucia.

He holds degrees in Business Administration from the national Universidad de San Carlos de Guatemala, and in Theology. Morales also holds a master's degree in Strategic Studies with specialization in Security and Defense from Mariano Gálvez University. He furthered his studies in Strategic Studies at Universidad de San Carlos de Guatemala.

Morales rose to fame as a TV comedian, starring in the series Moralejas ("Morals") alongside his brother Sammy. He formally changed his name from James Ernesto Morales Cabrera to Jimmy Morales by deed poll in 2011.

Morales has been married for three decades to Hilda Patricia Marroquín, and has three children.

Political career

Mayoral candidacy

In 2011, he ran as mayoral candidate in Mixco in the Guatemala City suburbs for the small right-wing Action for National Development party. He came in third.

Presidential campaign

In 2013, Morales joined the small National Convergence Front (FCN/Nation), and became its Secretary-General.

In 2015, Morales was nominated as the FCN's presidential candidate. His priorities were fighting corruption, and dealing with chronic malnutrition, low education levels, and insecurity. His slogan was "Neither corrupt, nor a thief" (Ni corrupto, ni ladrón). He ran on a platform of conservative values, and against corruption. He identifies as a nationalist, supports the death penalty, opposes abortion and legalized drugs, and denies that a genocide against the Ixil Maya took place.

He was initially considered an outsider, but surprisingly led the field in the first round of the election, qualifying for a runoff alongside former First Lady Sandra Torres. Morales' success came after both former vice president Roxana Baldetti and outgoing president Otto Pérez Molina had to step down, and were arrested on fraud and corruption charges (the La Línea corruption case).

Presidency

President Trump Meets with the President of Guatemala (49235087891)
Morles (left) with Trump in 2019

In the runoff, Morales defeated Torres in a landslide, taking 67.4 percent of the vote. Morales' success was viewed as a sign of the distrust of many Guatemalans towards the traditional political elite that ruled the country for decades. Voter anger and military support helped him win the presidency against more experienced politicians who voters felt were tainted by a corrupt political system.

On December 24, 2017, Morales announced that he planned to move the Guatemalan embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. He became the second national leader to announce a decision to make such a move, after the President of the United States, Donald Trump, made a similar announcement on December 6.

On June 18, 2018, the Morales government was widely criticized for its slow action in favor of Guatemalans affected by the American policy of separating immigrant families; this caused the dismissal of the presidential spokesman Heinz Heimann who a day before his removal from office said that the government respected the policy of President Trump.

Honours

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