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After a first round victory, on November 7th, ex-General Otto Perez Molina won the second round of Guatemala’s presidential election with 54% of the vote, despite his record of human rights violations.

With his “mano dura” (iron fist) campaign strategy, Perez promises a strict crack-down on crime and drugs, attributed to Guatemala having one of the highest homicide rates in the world.

Notably, a woman, Roxana Baldetti, was elected vice-president – a historical first for a country known for deep patriarchy and discrimination against women. However, voter turnout was unimpressive – less than 50 percent – with “a large percentage of voters abstaining or voting blank. This is a high contrast to the 69 percent voter turnout at the first round elections on September 11th.

What does this mean for the country? Nobody knows for sure. According to Guatemala City resident Juan Diego:

Let’s hope that it’s not like it’s been with the government in the past, that they aren’t just lies. The truth is that it’s important that we return our country to the right path. We need security, education, health. We really hope the new president does all this.

For more information, follow the conversation with the hashtag #eleccionesgt!

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