Pérez Molina, Otto

Pérez Molina, Otto, 1950–, Guatemalan army officer and politician, b. Guatemala City. Pérez rose through the officer ranks to become a general, leading troops and then military intelligence during Guatemala's 36-year-long civil war. He has been accused of rights abuses during the war, allegations he has denied. He was one of the army's chief representatives in the negotiations ended the fighting in 1996. After retiring from the army (2000), Pérez founded (2001) the right-wing Patriotic party. He narrowly lost the presidential election in 2007; running again in 2011, he campaigned as a law-and-order candidate and won after a runoff. Corruption investigations led in 2015 to the resignation of his vice president (whose personal secretary was accused of taking bribes), and resulted in calls for an investigation of Pérez. He resigned after losing his immunity from prosecution, and was ordered to stand trial on corruption charges; her faced additional corruption charges in 2016.

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