Dealers, Killers, and a Nobelist: Guatemala Goes to the Polls

Murders mar run-up to Sunday's election
By Jason Farago,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 6, 2007 11:25 AM CDT

(Newser) Der Spiegel travels to Guatemala, where this Sunday's elections present an eye-opening array of candidates, from Nobel Prize winner Rigoberta Menchú to a less savory slate of cartel leaders, convicted murders, weapons smugglers, and at least one man accused of genocide. Guatemala's crime rate is sky-high, and now the candidates are criminals themselves.

In this round of presidential, parliamentary and local elections no fewer than 40 political activists have been murdered. One MP, an obese cocaine and car smuggler dubbed Manolo, has a gang of associates dressed in cowboy hats and lab coats. But Manolo makes few appearances: he's on the run and has to sleep in a different place every night.