News Americas, GUATEMALA CITY, Guatemala, Tues. Sept. 13, 2011: A 4.5 magnitude earthquake shook parts of Guatemala Monday even as the country’s presidential election ended in a run-off.
The quake was centered closest to San Marcos, according to the U.S. Geological Survey and was sixteen miles north of Retalhuleu and the same distance west of Quezaltenango. It was felt in Guatemala City, roughly eighty-two miles west.
The quake came a day after the country’s front-runner , Otto Perez Molina, fell well short of an outright win, resulting in a second run-off election being set for November.
With most ballots counted, Perez Molina, a former army general, had 36 percent of the vote compared to 23 percent by businessman Manuel Baldizon.
“We are confident that in the next round… we will win again and win by a strong margin,” Perez Molina told reporters Monday.
The campaign was dominated by rising violence blamed on street gangs and Mexican drug cartels.
The winner will succeed Alvaro Colom, whose former wife Sandra Torres had hoped to run. The couple were divorced in the months before the election but Guatemalan judges ruled that Torres’s candidacy still violated a ban on close relatives of the president running for the post.