Guatemala’s Election Dominated by Security Concerns

Former Guatemalan Army Gen. Otto Perez Molina has emerged as the victor in the first round of the country's presidential election. He will now go into a November runoff election against business leader and populist Manuel Baldizon, who won 23 percent of the vote Sunday.

But the fact that Perez carried 36 percent in the initial round may be a better indicator than any of how eager Guatemalan voters are to begin using the military to combat rampant drug crime in the country.

"The No. 1 concern in public opinion going into this election is the security situation," says Cynthia J. Arnson, who heads the Latin America Program at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington.

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