Switch to Desktop Site
 
 

Perez Molina and Ortega's political differences mask similarities on crime

(Read article summary)
Image

Diana Ulloa/Reuters

(Read caption) Nicaragua's President Daniel Ortega gestures next to his wife Rosario Murillo during a meeting at the Casa de los Pueblos (People's House) in Managua on Tuesday.

About these ads

Guatemala and Nicaragua elected two former military commanders on November 6, whose vastly different political backgrounds belie their similarities on matters concerning organized crime.

Guatemala's General Otto Perez Molina spent much of his military career fighting leftist guerrillas in the highlands. He is part of what is known in Guatemala as the "30-70 generation," i.e., those that think 30 percent of the country is "beyond redemption."

How much Mr. Perez Molina has put this philosophy into practice is subject of widespread debate (and fear) in Guatemala. Some say as an officer in the army he took part in "genocide" of indigenous villagers in the early 1980s in a campaign that wiped out dozens of communities in the most brutal phase of the country's three-decade long war.

A widely circulated video clip of Perez Molina following a battle with rebels shows him as callous and possibly responsible for the line of dead bodies that flank him. He is also facing accusations that he participated in the 1992 disappearance and murder of a guerrilla fighter who was married to a US citizen.

Next

Page 1 of 5

Share