Guatemalan First Couple’s divorce on hold; judge receives death threat to her family

A Guatemalan court has stopped divorce proceedings by First Lady Sandra Torres from her her husband, President Alvaro Colom, the BBC News reported on April 2, 2011. The judge ruling in the case received an anonymous death threat against a family member if she granted the divorce. Especially in light of the New Yorker article about Rodrigo Rosenberg, this outcome seems, tragically, not impossible.

First Lady Sandra Torres said last week she was seeking to divorce President Alvaro Colom, so she could stand for election to succeed him.

Guatemala’s constitution bans close relatives of the president from running for the top office.

A group of students had petitioned the court to stop the divorce, which they said would bypass the constitution.

The students called the move by the first couple a farce.

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The main opposition candidate for the presidential election in September, former general Otto Perez Molina, called it electoral fraud.

A spokesperson for the court said the couple’s divorce proceedings would be on hold until a final decision was reached on whether the petition brought by the students would be allowed to proceed.

On Friday, the judge hearing the first couple’s divorce case said she had received anonymous threats warning her not to grant the divorce.

Judge Mildred Roca said she had received a telephone call from a man who identified himself as belonging to a “group defending the constitution” and warning her that if she granted the divorce a member of her family would be executed.

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