Former Gen. Otto Perez Molina, who will be inaugurated as Guatemala's president today, plans to push for renewed US military aid, raising concerns among critics of his legacy from Guatemala's civil war.
Although much has been made of Mexican cartels' spread into Central America, they have not supplanted Colombia-based drug traffickers, who are still highly active in the region.
President Álvaro Colom agreed to extradite former President Alfonso Portillo, accused of laundering $70 million through US banks, after Guatemala's courts ruled extradition permissible.
Otto Perez Molina is the front-runner in the Guatemala presidential election after Sunday's first round, though he did not garner enough votes to avoid a November runoff.
Mr. Pérez Molina, the former head of military intelligence in the 1980s, touts himself as the only candidate who can improve Guatemala's deteriorating security situation. He led the polls going into today's presidential election.
Violence is down compared to the last presidential election, but Guatemalans deserve more than what they have been offered in this campaign of candidates with questionable backgrounds.
Guatemalan political parties appear to be flouting the election funding cap and trying to conceal their funding sources, which some worry could be Guatemala's criminal groups.
The murder rate, if it holds steady for this year, will be lower than when President Álvaro Colom took office in 2008. Yet he has not capitalized on this ahead of the Sept. 11 election.
Nine former military officials are fighting extradition to Spain over the killings of six Jesuits during El Salvador's civil war. Salvadoran opinion is divided over whether to reopen old wounds.
Honduras is the latest Latin American country to deploy soldiers to fight organized crime. But evidence suggests that this does little in the long term, and may even make things worse.