Ramped street violence and increasing involvement of Mexican drug cartels in Guatemala has delivered Otto Perez Molina, a retired military general the countries presidency. Guatemalan voters were swayed by his “iron fist” policy in a country that is besieged by poverty and crime.
As the crime and poverty has skyrocketed, the security situation throughout the country has worsened. Inviting a military hand into government is a dramatic step for a country that has been weary of military since the last military dictator was thrown out in 1986.
Although I am also concerned about the tendency towards autocratic military rule in Latin America, this move makes logical sense for the people of Guatemala. Their civilian leaders have failed to provide their citizens with security amid a title-wave of national security issues. Given the present condition of Guatemala, a former military general with obvious security credentials would be all too appealing to a violence fatigued country.