The Bastiat Society Grand Tour

Guatemala 2013

Photo Gallery 

Discussion Leaders

"Drugs and the Black Market in Central America"

Luis Fernando Carrera Castro is the newly appointed Minister of Foreign Affairs for Guatemala.

From 1993 until 1994 Secretary Carrera was the director of research at the Latin America Regional Office of International Co-operative Alliance (ICA), and a consultant for rural development programs in El Salvador and Nicaragua for European non-governmental organizations.

Secretary Carrera Castro publishes a weekly column in El Periódico (Guatemala) with his editorials having appeared in diverse media outlets throughout Central America, Spain, and the United States. His analyses and commentaries have appeared on several international TV media networks, including CNN, Al Jazeera, and TVE.

Following his tenure at UNICEF, Carrera served as the Executive Director of the Central American Institute for Fiscal Studies (ICEFI) and later as the Executive Director of the Soros Foundation in Guatemala.

He received his undergraduate degree in economics from the National University of Costa Rica and his masters in economics and development politics from the University of Cambridge in the United Kingdom. 

Dr. Andrés Marroquín Gramajo studied economics at George Mason University, where he was also awarded a PhD and worked as a research fellow until 2004.

From 2004 to 2006, he served as adjunct professor of Economics at George Mason University. Since 2006, he has been a visiting professor of international economics, development economics, macroeconomics and leadership at Ashesi University in Accra, West Africa.

He has also taught advanced econometrics and multivariate statistics to the largest telecommunication company in Central America. Dr. Andrés Marroquín Gramajo is currently the vice-president of the consulting company "Enterprise and Development," focused on research and consulting on structural adjustment of micro-lending NGOs, social change, and economic development. 

"Start-Up Cities Movement"

Zachary Caceres is CIO of the Startup Cities Institute, a research group that studies the possibilities of building start-up communities for major political and legal reforms. FCI is a project of Universidad Francisco Marroquin in Guatemala.

For work in behavioral political economy, he won the 2011 Carl Menger Essay Contest by the Southern Economics Association. He is editor of the online magazine Radical Social Entrepreneurs and FCI's blog Communitas.

He has been published or featured by the Boston Phoenix, DigitalCulture.LA, HuffingtonPost Live, Barron’s, the Associated Press,,, Adam Smith Institute, John Locke Foundation, Kosmos Online, and the Peer-To-Peer Foundation. He is a contributor to Hayek and Behavioral Economics and Basic Income and the Free Market: Austrian Economics and the Potential for Efficient Redistribution, both published by Palgrave.

"The Economic Future of Central America"

Jose Raul Gonzalez Merlo is a professor of finance and economics at Universidad Francisco Marroquín, where he was dean of Faculty of Economics for seven years and is a member of the Committee of Trustees of the University.
He has held several posts at multinational companies and currently writes an opinion column on economics in the Guatemalan newspaper Prensa Libre.

He holds a Bachelor of Business Administration from the University Francisco Marroquín and an MBA in Finance and Economics from the University of Rochester, NY.

He is currently Vice President Financial Group and a member of the board of the National Economic Research Center (CIEN).

""Future of Liberty in Central America"

Carroll Ríos de Rodríguez is a trustee and a professor at Francisco Marroquín University. She serves on the Board of Directors of the Centro de Estudios Económico-Sociales (CEES) and publishes a weekly column in the Guatemalan newspaper Siglo Veitiuno.

She is the author of Financial Crisis, Populism, and the Path to Prosperity in Latin America (Acton Institute, 2009) and has written articles published by Perfiles Liberales, Cato’s Regulation Magazine and The Wall Street Journal.

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