CID-Gallup released approval ratings for the various Central American presidents last week. The surveys were carried out in October and November.
In Guatemala, Colom leaves office with terrible support, the lowest in the region at 17%. I tend to give Colom a little higher marks than those surveyed for a few reasons. Murders are down again this year and should be at their lowest level since 2005. Poverty has increased, but it's been a tough international economic environment and Guatemala has been struck by a number of natural disasters that have not helped.
Colom was politically destroyed by the Rosenberg murder/suicide through no fault of his own. Congress has been mostly useless. The media were never fond of Colom and have given him a harder time than previous presidents. I hope that this is a sign of independence and maturity on the part of the media that will continue into the next administration, but we will have to wait and see.
While the government isn't against using violence to evict campesinos and to support business interests, the Colom administration does not appear to have been operating death squads out of government ministries like previous ones have.
While the perceived level of corruption as measured by Transparency International increased in 2011, I think that a lot of the increase can be explained by the media's coverage of corruption cases and successful arrests (and subsequent acquittals) of high profile individuals. For now, I am not convinced that corruption is much higher than previous administrations. While the media makes it sound as it corruption in government offices didn't exist before Colom, there's a reasons that CICIG was brought to Guatemala.
Finally, Colom's administration has moved to arrest several high profile drug traffickers, former presidents, and human rights violators from the civil war years.
Now, Colom wasn't personally responsible for all that occurred during his term. But that doesn't matter. Guatemalans have spoken and it's not pretty. Colom has the lowest approval ratings of all the Central American presidents.