Universidad Francisco Marroquin (aka University of Free Marketeers)


Guatemala's Universidad Francisco Marroquín, which economist Walter Williams described as an island of economic sanity in a sea of socialism, is a truly unique place. 

Founded by "Muso" Manuel Ayau in 1971, the mission of Universidad Francisco Marroquín is to teach and disseminate the ethical, legal and economic principles of a society of free and responsible persons. In other words, the people at UFM want the people of Guatemala to be free. This is, of course, no small task in a country that has been plagued by political corruption and socialist policies for so long.

However, as UFM graduate Alfredo Guzmán told us, "sometimes thoughts become things." And Guzmán knows what he's talking about. In the late 90s, Guzmán and other UFM graduates successfully privatized Guatemala's state-run telecommunications monopoly and opened up the market to competition. How did that free market experiment work out? In 1995, there were only 300,000 phones in Guatemala; today, 13 million Guatemaltecos own more than 18 million phones.

Approximately 9 minutes. Produced by Paul Feine & Alex Manning.

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  1. It’s embarrassing that we don’t have the same in America

    1. What do you mean? We have Veryzon, T-mobile, ATT, Jitterbug, and what’s that one that appeals to blacks? The urban one?

      Besides, would you really want to live in Guatemala?

      1. The teenage prostitutes only charge $5 and go all night and weed is nearly free.

        So yeah.

        1. That’s disgusting, Gabby. Celebrating the exploitation of minors, what’s wrong with you? If adults want to sell themselves, that’s fine, but leave the kids alone.

          1. Not all teenagers are minors, FWIW.

  2. If the people really needed phones the government would have provided them. The market is just exploiting people’s weakness for improving their lives.

  3. Lets see – since 1971 thousands murdered – thousands disappeared which the Historical Clarification Commission found 93% of the atrocities committed during the conflict had been the work of the armed forces of right wing dictatorships which had a lot of help and encouragement from the US. But they now own 18 million phones – lets do the libertarian victory dance – UFM must be a blazing success. Don’t get me wrong as a libertarian I’m glad UFM is there but Guatemala was and is a tragedy on a massive scale plagued by a lot more than corruption and socialism.

    1. Right wing dictatorships aren’t socialism? I’d beg to differ.

      1. It confuses me how well the left can separate dictatorships into “left wing” and “right wing”. They all look like the same assholes to me, and they are all anti-liberty.

        1. A right-wing dictatorship is a left-wing dictatorship with the support of religion.


  4. political corruption and socialist policies

    Isn’t that redundant?

  5. What about Augusto Pinochet. He was a brutal ish (by south american standards) dictator, but he set Chile on a much better economic path via privatization. The economic successes would separate his right wing dictorship from similar left wing ones that routinely end in poverty and starvation.

  6. Thank you for your share,I’ve learned many from you.

  7. That is very kind of you to write this share for us, thanks a lot. This information is useful to us.

  8. ty rights, etc. seem like a more accurate measure of freedom than democracy.

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