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President-elect Otto Pérez Molina inherits poverty, crime issues in Guatemala (video)

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Moises Castillo/AP

(Read caption) Patriotic Party presidential candidate Otto Pérez Molina (left) and vice president candidate Roxana Baldetti celebrate their victory in Guatemala City on Monday. Mr. Pérez Molina won 55 percent of the vote, topping Manuel Baldizon, of the Democratic Freedom Revival party, who had 45 percent with 96 percent of the vote counted Sunday night, according to Guatemala's Supreme Electoral Tribunal.

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On Sunday, just over 50 percent of registered voters turned out to help former general Otto Pérez Molina of the Patriotic Party (PP) defeat Manuel Baldizón of the Renewed, Democratic, Liberty (LIDER), 54 percent to 46 percent with 98 percent of the vote counted.

This year's election campaign was marred by violence (over 30 candidates and campaign-workers killed), the utter disregard of electoral laws (campaign spending and donor transparency, a failure to abide by the official start date) except when it suited them (Sandra Torres' disqualification), outlandish proposals (Mr. Baldizón's promise to lead Guatemala to the World Cup), and a one size fits all mano dura solution to crime and insecurity in Guatemala.

The president-elect does in fact confront a difficult situation (El Nuevo HeraldTelesurNYT). Over 50 percent of the population lives in poverty. The percentage of the population living in poverty is much greater in the countryside and among the indigenous. Even though Honduras and El Salvador are now much more violent, statistically speaking, Guatemala remains one of the most violent countries in the world, especially for women. The country's economy is expected to grow by less than 3 percent this year which is among the region's lowest and that was before the most recent storm damaged infrastructure and crops. 


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