Óscar Berger

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Óscar Berger
Oscar Berger 2005 (cropped).jpg
34th President of Guatemala
In office
January 14, 2004 – January 14, 2008
Vice PresidentEduardo Stein
Preceded byAlfonso Portillo
Succeeded byÁlvaro Colom
Personal details
Born (1946-08-11) August 11, 1946 (age 73)
Guatemala City
Political partyNational Solidarity Party (Guatemala)
Grand National Alliance (Guatemala)
Spouse(s)Wendy Widmann

Óscar José Rafael Berger Perdomo (Spanish pronunciation: ['oskaɾ xo'se rafa'el beɾ'ʃe peɾ'domo]; born August 11, 1946) was President of Guatemala from 2004 to 2008.

Early years and family[edit]

Of Belgian descent, Berger was born to an upper-class family with large sugar and coffee holdings.[1] He graduated in law from the private, Jesuit Rafael Landívar University.[2] In 1967 he married Wendy Widmann, also from a land-owning Guatemalan family. He had a son after and has a grandchild named Juan Pablo Berger.

Political career[edit]

In 1985 he joined Álvaro Arzú's successful campaign to become mayor of Guatemala City. From January 1991 to June 1999, he was mayor himself. After leaving office, he ran in the 1999 presidential election as the candidate of the National Advancement Party, but lost to Alfonso Portillo. In the presidential election held on November 9, 2003, Berger ran as the candidate for the conservative Grand National Alliance after being persuaded out of a retirement spent farming. He received 34 percent of the votes, ahead of Álvaro Colom of the National Union of Hope (26 percent) and former president Efraín Ríos Montt of the Guatemalan Republican Front (19 percent).[3][4] A run-off vote between Berger and Colom took place on December 28, 2003, which Berger won with 54 percent of the vote. He was sworn in on January 14, 2004 and left office January 14, 2008.


During the passage of Hurricane Stan in 2005 that left 1000 dead in Guatemala, he said "It's not so bad, poor people are used to live like this".[5]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Óscar Berger Perdomo, Centro De Estudios Internacionales De Barcelona. (accessed January 20, 2010)
  2. ^ Óscar Berger Perdomo, Centro De Estudios Internacionales De Barcelona. (accessed January 20, 2010)
  3. ^ > Guatemala general beaten in poll, BBC coverage. (accessed January 20, 2010)
  4. ^ Orlandi, Lorraine. Businessman says beats ex-dictator in Guatemala vote, Alertnet.com (accessed January 20, 2010)
  5. ^ https://www.monde-diplomatique.fr/carnet/2010-06-17-Guatemala

External links[edit]

Political offices
Preceded by
Alfonso Portillo
President of Guatemala
Succeeded by
Álvaro Colom