Tag Archives: Otto Pérez Molina

Former General Otto Perez Molina Faces Second Round in Guatemala Election

13 Sep

Former Guatemalan General Otto Perez Molina, the candidate that raised grave concern with Guatemalan human rights advocates for his role in the Guatemalan genocide and political violence of the 1980’s will face a second round election against Manuel Balzizon – an affluent businessman running as a populist.

As per usual, Al Jazeera has some of the best coverage:

And there’s coverage from TeleSur (with subtitles):

Some question to ponder on – where is the left in Guatemala? What does this run-off between an ex-general and an entrepreneur with populist rhetoric say about Guatemalan politics today? With the current trend of violence, can campaigns solely be run on a security and mano dura (strong hand) partly line?

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Cause for Alarm in Guatemala Election

8 Sep

The former Guatemalan general Otto Perez Molina appears poised to reach power in Sunday’s presidential election. He currently leads in the polls by 30%, according to Guatemala’s El Periodico. 

Notorious for his remark that “La población civil es a la guerrilla, lo que el agua es al pez,” (“The civilian population is to the guerilla, what the sea is to the fish – a statement that so succinctly captures the Guatemalan military’s genocidal civil war policy of collective punishment against the indigenous population – his potential victory this Sunday raises some major eyebrows for observers of human rights in Central America and Guatemala. Molina would be the first military leader to return to power since the 1996 peace accords. His campaign’s  focus on security doesn’t do much to soothe those concerns.

Here he is in action:

There is resistance to be found. There is great fear in Guatemala, no doubt about it, of Perez’s election.

In this video, (which so nicely uses Nicaraguan Carlos Mejía Godoy’s No Pasarán), images of Guatemala’s civil war are juxtaposed with the statement “We will not return to a militarized Guatemala, for our grandparents, parents, uncles and aunts, brothers and sisters, and children, the assassinated and the disappeared, because the spilled blood was not in vain, because yes, there was a genocide, judgement and punishment for Otto Perez Molina.

As talked about on this blog, nobel peace prize winner Rigoberta Menchú will be on the ballot – but she is currently pulling less than 2% in polls. She doesn’t fear monger – but she also hasn’t built a critical mass around her in this second presidential run: