Patriotic Party (Guatemala)
|This article's factual accuracy may be compromised due to out-of-date information. (February 2012)|
|Leader||Otto Pérez Molina|
|Founded||February 24, 2001|
|Headquarters||Guatemala City, Guatemala|
|International affiliation||Liberal International|
|Regional affiliation||Liberal Network for Latin America|
|Seats in Congress|
|Politics of Guatemala
At the legislative elections held on 9 November 2003, the party was part of the Grand National Alliance which won 24.3% of the vote and 47 out of 158 Congressional seats. The presidential candidate of the alliance, Óscar Berger Perdomo, won 34.3% at the presidential elections of the same day. He won 54.1% at the second round and was elected president.
In 2007 elections, the Patriotic Party won 15.91% of the vote and 30 seats in Congress. Presidential candidate General Otto Pérez Molina placed second in the presidential race with 23.5% of the vote, eventually losing in the November 4 run-off to Álvaro Colom of the National Unity of Hope (UNE).
In 2011 elections, the party again chose Pérez Molina as its presidential candidate. He came in first place with 36.01% of the vote; in the Legislative Election, the party won 26.62% of the vote and 56 seats in Congress, more than any other party. On November 6, 2011, in the second round of the election, Pérez Molina was elected President of Guatemala.
Armed attacks on the Patriotic Party
Some party members have been attacked by unidentified elements, probably belonging to rival right wing factions. On 11 November 2000, Pérez Molina's son, Otto Pérez Leal, was attacked by gunmen while driving with his wife and infant daughter. On 21 February 2001, three days before Pérez Molina was scheduled to launch his new political party, masked gunmen attacked and wounded his daughter Lissette. The same day, masked gunmen shot and killed Patricia Castellanos Fuentes de Aguilar, who had just departed her house after meeting with Pérez Molina's wife, Rosa María Leal. On 14 March, four armed men shot and killed Jorge Rosal, a regional leader of the PP, as he left the party's Guatemala City headquarters. Four days earlier, Rosal had participated in a march with other members of the PP involved in the Civic Movement, a political association founded to protest government corruption. On 15 May, the widower of Patricia Castellanos, Francisco Aguilar Alonzom, who had been investigating his wife's death and had formed a citizens' group opposed to violence and impunity, was shot and killed in his car. Human rights groups claimed that the killings were politically motivated.
On 9 October 2007, armed assailants shot and killed Aura Marina Salazar Cutzal, secretary to the Patriotic Party's congressional delegation and assistant to Pérez Molina, along with a professional bodyguard, Valerio Ramiro Castañón. Salazar Cutzal, 33, was a Kaqchikel Mayan Indian and a mother of two. Pérez Molina blamed organized crime for the killing and said it was the eighth murder of a member of his party.
- Wacker, Ulrich: Ex-General Otto Pérez Molina gewinnt Präsidentschaftswahlen in Guatemala (Ex-General Otto Pérez Molina wins presidential elections in Guatemala), Friedrich Naumann Foundation, 9 November 2011 (in German)
- Christensen Bjune, Maren; Petersen, Stina (2010), "Guarding Privileges and Saving the Day: Guatemalan Elites and the Settlement of the Serrenazo", Presidential Breakdowns in Latin America (Palgrave Macmillan): 179
- Partido Patriota, Liberal International, www.liberal-international.org. Retrieved on 16 November 2011.
- http://www.state.gov/g/drl/rls/hrrpt/2001/wha/8344.htm and http://www.state.gov/g/drl/rls/hrrpt/2002/18333.htm
- http://www.elperiodico.com.gt/es/20071009/actualidad/44459/ and http://www.iht.com/articles/ap/2007/10/08/america/LA-GEN-Guatemala-Election-Violence.php