‘Iron Fist’ Candidate Perez Set to Win Guatemala Elections

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Former General Otto Perez, who promises to take a hardline on crime, is set to win Guatemala’s second-round presidential election on November 6, according to the most recent polls.

According to the last poll by Prensa Libre, Perez is leading with 58 percent of voter intentions, while his rival, Manuel Baldizon of the Lider party, has 42 percent.

As Central American Politics blog observes, when Perez previously ran for president in 2007 he was the leading candidate in three out of four polls taken in November, but still lost to rival Alvaro Colom.

However, this year Perez is expected to win office partly due his promise to impose a “mano dura” (iron fist) approach to crime and violence.

In an interview with Guatemalan news site Plaza Publica earlier this year, he stated he would like a presidency similiar to Colombia’s Alvaro Uribe, who oversaw significant security improvements during his time as Colombia’s head-of-state.

Perez once headed the Estado Mayor Presidencial (EMP), the most feared of the military intelligence units accused of human rights violations during Guatemala’s civil war.

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