Monday, September 12, 2011

The election and the Guatemalan left

The Guatemalan presidential election will be going to a second round.  Otto Pérez Molina will go up against Manuel Baldizón on November 6, and almost certainly will win.

The Guatemalan left was routed, at least at the presidential level (I have not seen preliminary legislative results). There are a number of possible reasons, some generalizable and some not. In no particular order:

First, voters want a mano dura candidate, and a hardline retired general fit the bill. He clearly has no problem killing and/or torturing people.

Second, Alvaro Colom had sluggish approval ratings and high disapproval, so voters wanted change (meanwhile, he is off to be a professor at Georgetown; don't know if Sandra Torres is going with him). Correction: that is Alvaro Uribe, which even ruins my Torres reference. Apologies.

Third, Sandra Torres could not run and so the ruling party (UNE) ended up with no candidate, thus leaving voters on the left with too few options.

Fourth, massive amounts of narco-donations went more to the right. This is purely speculative, but it may well be that DTOs figure they can work with the traditionally corrupt right. There is some evidence to this effect with Pérez Molina.

See also:

--Mike Allison with a number of blog posts

--Al Jazeera on the traditional oligarchy vs. a new narco elite

--Americas Quarterly on women and politics in Guatemala

--The Economist on why Baldizón is someone to watch in 2015


J.F. String 10:55 AM  

Colom to Georgetown? The link in your post seems to be about the region's other Alvaro.

Anonymous,  11:09 AM  

The article you linked to when you said "no problem killing / torturing people" simply said that allegations had been made. Escalating that to your "no problem .... " comment seems extreme and unwarranted journalistically.

Also, confusing Alvaro Colom of Guatemala with Alvaro Uribe of Colom....bia is very muddled.

Together these two call into question the quality of the rest of your writing. Sorry......

Greg Weeks 8:33 AM  

Oops, corrected. I am sure there are plenty of other things to call my writing into question.

  © Blogger templates The Professional Template by 2008

Back to TOP