Óscar Berger

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His Excellency
Óscar Berger
Óscar Berger Perdomo 2005.jpg
34th President of Guatemala
In office
14 January 2004 – 14 January 2008
Vice President Eduardo Stein
Preceded by Alfonso Portillo
Succeeded by Álvaro Colom
Personal details
Born (1946-08-11) 11 August 1946 (age 70)
Guatemala City
Political party National Solidarity Party (Guatemala)
Grand National Alliance (Guatemala)
Spouse(s) Wendy Widmann
Children 5
Religion Roman Catholicism

Óscar José Rafael Berger Perdomo (born 11 August 1946 in Guatemala City) is a former President of Guatemala.

Early years[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]

Marriage and career[edit]

In 1967 he married Wendy Widmann, also from a land owning Guatemalan family. From the mid seventies he ran a successful skittles parlor. 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.

Political career[edit]

In the presidential election held on 9 November 2003, Berger the candidate for the conservative Grand National Alliance after being persuaded out of a retirement spent farming to return to politics. He obtained 34 percent of the votes, putting him well 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 28 December 2003, which Berger won with a 54 percent share of the vote. He was sworn in on 14 January 2004 and left office 14 January 2008.

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)

External links[edit]

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