Guatemalan Ex-President Colom Dies At Age 71

Guatemalan Ex-President Colom Dies At Age 71

On Monday, Guatemala’s former President Alvaro Colom, who held office from 2008 to 2012, died at age 71.

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«I deeply regret the death of former President Colom. My condolences to his family and friends,» Congressman Orlando Blanco said. The cause of Colom’s death is still unknown. In December 2020, however, his lawyer confirmed that he suffered from esophageal cancer.

Colom was an industrial engineer who graduated from the University of San Carlos (USAC), the only Guatemalan public college. In 2002, he founded the social democratic party National Union of Hope (UNE), with which he ran for president.

While he held office, he supported the work of the International Commission against Impunity in Guatemala (CICIG), a United Nations organization that fought between 2007 and 2019 State-backed crimes in this Latin American country.

#Guatemala | The ICJ condemns the intimidation, harassment and reprisals, of which lawyers and independent officials of the #justicesystem have been victims. #DayoftheEndangeredLawyer pic.twitter.com/JCDU8Hirwy

— icj (@ICJ_org)
January 24, 2023

CICIG processed Colom himself for irregularities in a US$35-million contract for public transport service signed during his administration. Colom denied the charges and paid bail to avoid pre-trial detention.

In 2021, the U.S. State Department included Colom in its list of corrupt and anti-democratic actors in the Northern Triangle and consequently banned him from entering the United States. 

His former wife, Sandra Torres, who divorced Colom in 2011 to be able to register as a presidential candidate in that year’s elections, will run for president as a UNE candidate in the June 25 elections.

#Guatemala | Violent clashes between military forces and Honduran migrant caravan in Chiquimula. pic.twitter.com/CS7xMKejkv

— teleSUR English (@telesurenglish)
January 17, 2021