Forum: “To Govern it Is Impossible to Improvise”

Forum: “To Govern it Is Impossible to Improvise”


Escuela de Gobierno conducted the forum, “To Govern it Is Impossible to Improvise”, featuring ex-presidents Andrés Pastrana, Jorge Tuto Quiroga, Luis Alberto Lacalle and Felipe Calderón where they shared their experiences as Heads of State.    

On Tuesday, March 5, Escuela de Gobierno organized for its students, professors, and benefactors the Forum: “When governing you cannot improvise”, featuring a panel discussion with ex-presidents Luis Alberto Lacalle (Uruguay), Andrés Pastrana (Colombia), Jorge Tuto Quiroga (Bolivia) and Felipe Calderón (Mexico) on the challenges they confronted during their term in office, the discussion was moderated by Dionisio Gutiérrez,.

The event began with the words of Hugo Maul, President of the School of Government, who highlighted the importance of global political leaders talking to future technocrats, politicians and Guatemalan leaders: “It is important to focus on the political leadership of those who will drive the reforms that Guatemala needs to move forward. Many challenges seem impossible to solve, but it is thanks to visionary and committed leaders – like the former presidents who visit us today – that solutions beneficial to us all can be found.” 

The four ex-presidents spoke about the complexity of the decisions they had to make, the challenges that are involved in governing a country and agreed that one of the greatest scourges in Latin America are the weak political class and obsolete ideas. 

One of the most applauded reflections of the night was that shared by Felipe Calderón, who spoke about why it is important to prepare to build solid institutions: “What determines the fate of nations are the incentives provided by society. What practices do we have in our society? There are practices that are inclusive, that allow and establish clear incentives for people to prosper, work and grow; and there are extractive practices, where some take advantage of others. Who are they? Inefficient bureaucracies, freeloading workers unions, corruption and organized crime. (…) For this reason it is important to understand how politics are done, the government needs leaders prepared to face the challenges of their country. Those who lead our nations must be the best.”

Luis Alberto Lacalle recalled that it is also important to awaken patriotism in the country: “Do Guatemalans feel like, real patriots for the country? It may seem silly, but it is the way to unite the country. We must set aside individual selfishness to cultivate collective virtues. (…) It seems to me that patriotism must be one of the engines that drives the transformation you want for Guatemala, especially for those in the political class.

View the event’s gallery here: