“The Transformation of Corruption Discourse: A Study of Guatemala’s Political Landscape in 2015 and 2023”

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206 Ingraham Hall
@ 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm

Dr. Adriana Angel

Presented by: Dr. Adriana Angel, Associate Professor, School of Communication, Universidad de la Sabana, Colombia.

About the presentation: In the talk, I will examine the discourses of corruption in Guatemala during two key years: 2015, marked by peaceful demonstrations against presidential corruption, and 2023, a year characterized by political campaigns where the discussion of corruption was central. Recognizing corruption as an interdisciplinary phenomenon that persistently affects Guatemala, I explore the intertwined relationship between corruption and democracy within a region that has been scarcely studied. By performing a rhetorical analysis, I seek to understand how discourses about corruption, along with their intrinsic vocabularies, reflect broader rhetorical strategies within the Guatemala’s national political dialogue. Two main corruption cases are analyzed: “La Línea” in 2015 and the presidential electoral campaign in 2023, as both involve diverse political actions and citizen response. Guided by the understanding that corruption invites rhetorical work and that rhetoric implies a strategic use of language, I analyze the terministic screens of corruption through a collection of discourses from both politicians and citizens. The presentation concludes with reflections on the evolving discourse of corruption in Guatemala over these years and offers some preliminary recommendations.

About the presenter: Adriana Angel, Ph.D., is an associate professor at the School of Communication, at Universidad de la Sabana in Chía-Colombia. Adriana is a rhetorical scholar of democracy in Latin America who studies the role of rhetoric and power in democracy and, especially in concrete associated phenomena such as corruption, political ideology, and social movements. Holding undergraduate and master’s degrees in communication from Colombia, she pursued a Ph.D. in Communication Studies at Ohio University under a Fulbright scholarship. Her academic experience in both Colombia and the United States has provided her with insights that contribute to understanding and facilitating conversations between North and South academic traditions. Thus, Adriana has organized international symposiums that foster collaboration and mutual understanding between scholars from Latin America and Anglo America. As the lead editor and author, she published “Rhetorics of Democracy in the Americas” (Penn State University Press, 2021) in which she, as well as the invited authors, show how democratic ideals are irreducible to a single national perspective and reflect on the ways social minorities in the North, Central, and South America engage in unique political discourses. She has also conducted studies related to the rhetorics of the “Socialism of the twenty-first century” and neoliberalism in South America as well as studies on the communicative construction of corruption in Colombia and Guatemala.