Following Sunday’s presidential elections, there has been a swarm (at least by Guatemalan standards) of international media sources reporting on former general and president-elect Otto Pérez Molina. It seems that the rest of the world has finally caught on to the potentially ominous political shift occurring in Guatemala and the serious implications it could have on the entire Central American Region.
As drug-related violence and organized crime has been steadily on the rise in the past ten years, foreign governments–particularly the U.S.–are beginning to pay close attention to security and military policy in Guatemala. With his aggressive promises to crack down on crime and narco-trafficking, the election of Otto Pérez Molina reflects the growing dissatisfaction and frustration spreading throughout Guatemala.
Check out some highlights of recent international news coverage of Otto Pérez Molina:
- International coverage of Guatemala’s Sunday election results focused heavily on Otto Perez Molina’s ‘iron fist’ political approach, the increasing violence in Guatemala, occurrences of electoral violence and voter fraud, and the worrisome accusations brought forward by human rights defenders and organizations.
- Al-Jazeera provides video coverage of both presidential candidates and includes interviews with Guatemalan citizens about their experiences with crime, poverty and narco-trafficking.
- Two Wall Street Journal articles published the day before the election detail the controversial investigations into Perez Molina’s involvement in the capture, torture and murder of Efrain Bamaca and his ties to the many disappearances that occurred in the Nebaj region during the armed conflict.
- A Reuters article paints a suprisingly favorable picture of president-elect Otto Perez Molina, arguing that the evidence against him is ‘thin’ and going so far as to call him a ‘progressive’ and a ‘pro-democracy champion.’
- The LA Times provides more realistic coverage of the elections, criticizing both candidates’ lack of credibility and emphasizing the importance of supporting Attorney General Paz y Paz in her efforts to reform and rebuild Guatemala’s judicial system.
- A Time magazine editorial expresses serious concerns about the ‘iron fist’ policies of Guatemala’s president-elect and the shift towards a militaristic approach to fighting organized crime and violence. According to the article, Guatemala’s new administration should focus on developing its police force and reforming the judicial system to prevent the spread of violence and further impunity.
- In a recently published blog post, Emily Willard from the National Security Archives covers a series of documents obtained by NSA staff which detail Otto Perez Molina’s military career and link him to human rights abuses. The post includes links to the original documents and highlights significant quotes directly implicating Perez Molina.