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Alvaro Colom sworn in as Guatemalan president
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11:18, January 15, 2008

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Guatemala's Social Democrat Alvaro Colom was sworn in Monday as the country's president for the 2008-2012 period at a ceremony in which he received the presidential sash, pin and constitutional collar.

According to news reaching here, Colom and Vice President Rafael Espada both took the oath, swearing allegiance to the constitution with their right hands raised in front of 2,000 guests, including 10 heads of state and representatives of 78 nations and regions. The ceremony was held at Guatemala City's central Miguel Angel Asturias National Theatre.

After his investiture, Colom said the nation has embarked on a change toward social democracy and a government with a social focus.

During his election campaign Colom promised to promote free markets and reduce inequality focusing on the following areas -- fighting poverty and crime via social spending, generating jobs via investment promotion, and purging the police and the courts of corruption.

He has also publicly stated that broad dialogue between political parties is essential to overcome the nation's social and economic setbacks that have continued despite the end in 1996 of a30-year armed conflict, in which government-backed paramilitary forces fought guerrillas.


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