Connect to share and comment

A reported blog on happenings around Latin America.

Can the "Iron Fist" end the drug war?

A former general is set to win Guatemala's runoff election on Sunday
Mano duro 2011 11 03Enlarge
Perez stumps for votes. (ORLANDO SIERRA/AFP/Getty Images)

Former General Otto Perez Molina is expected to win Guatemala’s presidential runoff on Sunday on a platform that promises a tough stance on drug cartels.

The drug war has come to Guatemala, heightening insecurity and violence as powerful Mexican cartels vie for control of the country’s drug-smuggling routes. The vast majority of murders go unsolved in the country, and people want a return to stability.

Perez has vowed to wield an “Iron Fist” against the drug gangs, earning him the nickname and a strong lead over his opponent, Congressman Manuel Baldizon.

But the former general has raised concerns among pro-democracy advocates who don’t want to see a military man back in control. Guatemala only 15 years ago finished a bloody civil war that cost as many as 200,000 lives. The military was accused of abuses during that time.

Perez has said he wasn’t involved. GlobalPost explored his past in a video during the first vote. It's worth watching if you missed it:
 

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatches/globalpost-blogs/que-pasa/can-iron-fist-end-the-drug-war

.

Featured Slideshow

The running of the bulls commenced in Pamplona, Spain (PHOTOS)

Injuries abound during the first days of the San Fermin festival.