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Guatemala’s veterans about face to help Sandra Torres for president

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GUATEMALA CITY — Guatemala’s largest navy veteran group endorsed presidential candidate Sandra Torres Tuesday after battling her throughout her first two bids for the presidency, displaying simply how far her progressive opponent’s shock place within the runoff has shaken the nation’s politics.

Torres and her hosts on the Guatemalan Navy Veterans Affiliation painted her opponent Bernardo Arévalo as a risk to the nation’s democracy and households.

As she did throughout their first debate the earlier night time, Torres criticized Arévalo for probably not realizing his nation as a result of he was born in Uruguay when his father, former President Juan José Arévalo, was in exile after the CIA-backed overthrow of his successor Jacobo Arbenz.

“At the moment greater than ever Guatemala is at risk,” Torres stated, warning that Arévalo would dissolve the military, legalize same-sex marriage and expropriate non-public property. “We don’t need communism in Guatemala.”

Arévalo, a lawmaker, tutorial and former diplomat, has not stated he would do any of these issues, however the risk performed effectively with the veterans within the crowd, who cheered and chanted in response. Arévalo shocked observers when he gained the second spot within the runoff throughout a primary spherical of voting June 25, as a result of his Seed Motion occasion had been polling at lower than 3%.

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Guatemalans will vote Sunday for Torres, who misplaced in runoffs twice already, or for the newcomer Arévalo.

Retired Col. Edwin González stated the affiliation represents some 380,000 veterans throughout Guatemala. “We’re speaking about an essential electoral drive,” he stated.

When requested why the affiliation was now praising Torres after working towards her throughout two earlier campaigns, González stated she was the “higher choice.” Torres has drifted rightward since her days as first girl within the center-left authorities of her then-husband Álvaro Colom.

“At the moment we’re on the level the place we have now two candidates and one is a risk,” González stated referring to Arévalo’s Seed Motion.

The highest risk, he stated, was the potential of same-sex marriage. One other its that a lot of Guatemalan veterans have been prosecuted for conflict crimes through the nation’s 36-year civil conflict and they’re involved an Arévalo administration might push extra.

“As soon as once more the veterans are popping out to save lots of our nation and if we have now to return to what we had been earlier than (energetic responsibility) to defend Guatemala we’re going to do it,” González stated.

However not everybody listening was satisfied.

Seated behind the open patio the place Torres spoke, Antonio Hernández López stated he appreciated Torres’ proposals to do extra for veterans and shield Guatemala’s conservative values, however stated he would spend extra time fascinated by it and discussing it together with his household earlier than deciding who he’ll vote for Sunday.

The retired 57-year-old military nurse stated he appreciated that Torres gave the impression to be the other of Arévalo, however he didn’t imagine all the pieces she was saying about her opponent, recognizing it as “politics.” He additionally doubted whether or not Torres would actually assist veterans even when she wished to, as a result of such help must cross congress.

The about-face by the veterans’ affiliation additionally wasn’t misplaced on him.

“It is ugly,” Hernández stated.

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