How did a general accused of genocide win the Guatemalan presidency?

November 11, 2011

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(AP/Moises Castillo)
Guatemalan President Otto Perez Molina waves to supporters in Mixco, Guatemala.

Guatemala’s new president was a military general during the country’s brutal civil war. Otto Perez Molina won 54 percent of the vote despite accusations that he took part in massacres.

Perez has never been charged with any atrocities and was one of the army's chief representatives in negotiating the 1996 peace accords. During the campaign he promised to bring security to the country, which has seen a steady increase in violent crime. Kelsey Alford-Jones, the director of the Guatemala Human Rights Commission/USA, explains why the country voted in a former military leader with ties to a dark past.