|Member of the Congress of Guatemala|
|Born||6 May 1970
Flores, El Petén, Guatemala
|Spouse(s)||Rosa Maria Vargas|
|Alma mater||Universidad de San Carlos de Guatemala|
Dr. Manuel Antonio Baldizón Méndez (born 6 May 1970) is a Guatemalan politician, lawyer, and hotel entrepreneur. He is the leader of the Renewed Democratic Liberty (LIDER) party, and was a candidate in the 2011 presidential election.
Early life and education
Manuel Baldizón originates from Flores, El Petén. He completed his military service in the infantry as Second Lieutenant of the reserve in 1987. Subsequently, he studied English at the University of Oxford, from which he received an Honours degree in 1989. In 2000, he received his licentiate degree in jurisprudence and social science, licence as solicitor and notary from the Universidad Mariano Galvez. Baldizón added postgradual studies at the University of Valparaíso, Chile, which he completed with an MBA with honorable mentions. In 2004, he obtained his doctorate in law from the Universidad de San Carlos de Guatemala. Afterwards, he took post-doctoral courses at the University of Salamanca, Spain.
He was elected to the Congress for the National Advancement Party (PAN) in 2003, but joined the National Unity of Hope (UNE) of Álvaro Colom in 2006. Baldizón was re-elected as a Congressman in 2007. He defected from the governing UNE in 2008 and founded the LIDER party. In the 2011 general election, Manuel Baldizón was a presidential candidate. His running mate was Raquel Blandón, ex-wife of former president Vinicio Cerezo. In the first round on 11 September he won 1,004,215 votes (22.68%) and could qualify for the runoff on 6 November. However he was defeated by the retired general Otto Pérez Molina of the Patriotic Party in this second turn, winning 1,980,819 votes (46.26%).
Manuel Baldizón is married to Rosa Maria Vargas de Baldizón, and has two children.
In press, Manuel Baldizón has been described as a multimillionaire, a populist, a devout Christian, and a proponent of the death penalty. Special interest has been attracted by his promises to lead Guatemala's football team to the World Cup.
- Rosenberg, Mica; McDonald, Mike (12 Sep 2011), Retired general leads Guatemala vote, faces run-off, Reuters, retrieved 13 Sep 2011
- Elías, José (13 Sep 2011), "Un exmilitar y un populista rivalizan por la presidencia de Guatemala", El País (in Spanish), retrieved 13 Sep 2011
- Otto Perez Molina, Manuel Baldizon & Eduardo Suger Head for Runoff in Guatemala, Fox News Latino, 12 Sep 2011, retrieved 13 Sep 2011
- Guatemala votes for new president, Al Jazeera English, 11 Sep 2011, retrieved 13 Sep 2011
- Manuel Baldizón's Campaign page (in Spanish)