HomeNewsBriefGuatemala Presidential Candidate Resigns, Faces Uncertain Future
BRIEF

Guatemala Presidential Candidate Resigns, Faces Uncertain Future

ELITES AND CRIME / 15 SEP 2015 BY DAVID GAGNE EN

Guatemala's former presidential frontrunner, Manuel Baldizon, has resigned from the Lider party and ended his candidacy amid rumors of mounting legal troubles, as the political crisis in the wake of the fall of President Otto Perez inches towards a conclusion. 

Baldizon announced his resignation from the political party he founded during a radio interview on September 14, reported elPeriodico. He is now out of contention in a tight presidential race that many expected him to win.

Baldizon finished third in Guatemala's September 6 presidential election, narrowly missing the chance to compete in a two-candidate run-off in October. However, with the gap between Baldizon and second placed Sandra Torres amounting to a handful of votes, it was believed he would contest the initial vote count. In the wake of the election, Baldizon was critical of the process, calling it "illegitimate" and saying that he would not accept the results of Guatemala's electoral tribunal, according to elPeriodico.

The decision leaves Torres, representing the National Unity of Hope (UNE) party, to square off against Jimmy Morales of the National Convergence Front (FCN), who won the first round of elections. 

InSight Crime Analysis

A long time powerbroker from the northern state of Peten, Baldizon had been widely considered the frontrunner not just for months but for years ahead of September's presidential elections in Guatemala. However, the resignation and arrest of President Otto Perez in the corruption scandal that has shaken the foundations of the country's political elite has turned expectations about the elections on their head. 

Baldizon's resignation brings his presidential campaign to a stunning conclusion. Following his resignation, Baldizon said he plans on remaining politically active, but pressing legal matters will likely make this difficult. The former Lider candidate had been running a non-stop campaign ever since the last presidential election in 2011, and pumped an extraordinary sum of money into his campaign by Guatemalan standards. Although he has never been charged, this has led to suspicion that Baldizon's campaign was financed in part by various shadowy figures within Guatemala -- shadowy figures that may not be pleased with his dramatic loss from a seemingly winning position.

SEE ALSO: Guatemala News and Profiles

The mystery swirling around Baldizon was heightened when a rumor emerged that Baldizon had been killed in an airplane crash in Costa Rica. Costa Rican authorities and Guatemalan media later clarified the rumor was false (See tweet below), but the episode nonetheless fueled speculation that Baldizon may be looking for ways to escape financial backers angry over their significant investment in a losing candidate.  

Baldizon could also come under the spotlight as a result of ongoing investigations into his running mate, Edgar Baltazar Barquin Duran. In July, authorities implicated Barquin Duran in a multi-million dollar money laundering scheme, bringing the fall from grace of Guatemala's former top presidential candidate that much closer.

share icon icon icon

Was this content helpful?

We want to sustain Latin America’s largest organized crime database, but in order to do so, we need resources.

DONATE

What are your thoughts? Click here to send InSight Crime your comments.

We encourage readers to copy and distribute our work for non-commercial purposes, with attribution to InSight Crime in the byline and links to the original at both the top and bottom of the article. Check the Creative Commons website for more details of how to share our work, and please send us an email if you use an article.

Was this content helpful?

We want to sustain Latin America’s largest organized crime database, but in order to do so, we need resources.

DONATE

Related Content

COCAINE / 6 NOV 2019

Two brothers -- longtime political powerbrokers in a northeastern region of Honduras that is a major maritime and aerial drug…

DRUG POLICY / 18 JAN 2012

Guatemala's new President Otto Perez has called for debate on the decriminalization of drugs, in a surprising move, given the…

EXTRADITION / 2 MAY 2016

Guatemalan authorities, working with the United States government, captured what some are calling the country's largest drug trafficker, a…

About InSight Crime

THE ORGANIZATION

Venezuela Drug Trafficking Investigation and InDepth Gender Coverage

29 APR 2022

On May 4, InSight Crime will be publishing The Cocaine Revolution in Venezuela, a groundbreaking investigation into how the Venezuelan government regulates the cocaine trade in the country. An accompanying event,…

THE ORGANIZATION

InDepth Coverage of Juan Orlando Hernández

22 APR 2022

Ever since Juan Orlando Hernández was elected president of Honduras in 2014, InSight Crime has provided coverage of every twist and turn during his rollercoaster time in office, amid growing…

THE ORGANIZATION

Venezuela's Cocaine Revolution

15 APR 2022

On May 4th, InSight Crime will publish a groundbreaking investigation on drug trafficking in Venezuela. A product of three years of field research across the country, the study uncovers cocaine production in…

LA ORGANIZACIÓN

Widespread Coverage of InSight Crime MS13 Investigation

8 APR 2022

In a joint investigation with La Prensa Gráfica, InSight Crime recently revealed that four of the MS13’s foremost leaders had been quietly released from…

THE ORGANIZATION

Informing US State Department and European Union

1 APR 2022

InSight Crime Co-director McDermott briefed the US State Department and other international players on the presence of Colombian guerrillas in Venezuela and the implication this has for both nations.  McDermott…