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  HOME | Central America

Five Hurt in Post-Election Disturbances in Guatemala

GUATEMALA CITY – At least five people were injured and 16 were arrested in disturbances following last weekend’s general election in Guatemala, authorities said Tuesday.

The incidents occurred over the past few hours in the eastern province of El Progreso, the northern region of Peten and in the southern province of Escuintla, said National Police spokesman Jorge Aguilar.

He said that supporters of different parties clashed in the El Progreso village of Estancia de la Virgen over disagreements with the vote counting process.

Police there arrested seven people who set fire to a car and paramedics transported a 21-year-old man with a bullet wound to a clinic, he added.

In San Andres, Peten, security forces arrested five people who were involved in election-related disturbances in the area and attacked police with sticks and stones, leaving three officers injured.

Four people were arrested in Palin, Escuintla, after destroying security cameras outside the town hall and attacking local authorities.

The arrested people, along with another 150 local residents, had blocked the route to Palin and had attacked the police with stones injuring one officer, who was taken to a clinic, Aguilar said.

There were assorted disturbances in at least 23 municipalities in the country’s interior, disturbances after Sunday’s voting, the government said.

Comedian and television personality Jimmy Morales finished first in the crowded presidential field, with 23.89 percent of the vote, far short of the 50 percent plus one needed to win outright.

Electoral authorities say it will be Friday at the earliest before they can determine who will face Morales in the Oct. 25 runoff.

The race for second place, between former first lady Sandra Torres and businessman Manuel Baldizon, remains too close to call.

The two candidates are in a virtual tie, each with 19.6 percent of the vote, although Torres has a slight advantage at present with a few more votes than her rival.

Authorities have yet to count the ballots in 329 of the country’s 19,582 election precincts.

 

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