Retired General leads Guatemala election after first round

Sept. 11, 2011, midnight

Otto PEREZ Molina, a retired general, led the first round of Guatemala’s presidential election on Sunday, but fell short of the 50 percent of votes needed to avoid a runoff. PEREZ received around 36 percent of the vote, while his closet rival, Manuel BALDIZON, captured about 23 percent. There were originally 10 candidates competing in the first round. PEREZ, who commanded government troops during Guatemala's 35-year civil war, has vowed to crack down on Mexican drug cartels operating in the country. PEREZ and BALDIZON will face each other in the second round on November 6.

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