April 1, 2002

Son of deposed Guatemalan leader to seek presidency

                 GUATEMALA CITY, Guatemala (AP) -- The son of a Guatemalan leader who
                 was deposed in a CIA-supported coup in 1954 told a local newspaper that he
                 plans to run for president.

                 In an interview published Monday in Prensa Libre, Jacobo Arbenz Villanova said he
                 planned to seek the presidency in next year's elections because "all Guatemalans
                 must contribute their grain of sand."

                 He was not immediately available for comment Monday.

                 Arbenz Villanova, 56, told the newspaper he will seek the candidacy of a newly
                 formed party called United Guatemala, which invited him to join their ranks a year

                 He is the son of former President Jacobo Arbenz, a democratically elected socialist
                 leader whose fall from power threw Guatemala into decades of political upheaval.

                 Arbenz was deposed after implementing an agrarian reform that included the
                 expropriation of lands belonging to the U.S.-based United Fruit Company.

                 He fled his country, spending his exile in France, China and Cuba. Arbenz Villanova
                 lived in El Salvador until 1978, then moved to Costa Rica, where he still lives.

                 "I don't identify with the left or the right," he told Prensa Libre. "I am for unity:
                 pragmatic, concrete projects; capitalism with a human face. I don't get caught up in
                 hackneyed ideology by politicians that don't know what they are talking about."

                 He told the newspaper that he has spent two months visiting towns throughout the
                 countryside and witnessing the effects of low banana and coffee prices.

                 Guatemala's general elections are scheduled to be held at the end of next year.
                 Several political parties have begun preparing their campaigns.

                  Copyright 2002 The Associated Press.