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Sandra Julieta Torres Casanova (locally ['sandɾa xu'lieta 'tores kasa'noba]) is a Guatemalan politician and current presidential candidate who was First Lady of Guatemala from 2008 to 2011, as the wife of President Álvaro Colom Caballeros. She was the runner up of the Presidential election of 2015 in the runoff against Jimmy Morales. She is currently a candidate for President in the 2019 Guatemalan general election.

Sandra Torres
Sandra Torres (croppedb).jpg
Secretary-General of the National Unity of Hope
Assumed office
May 20, 2012
Preceded byÁlvaro Colom
First Lady of Guatemala
In role
January 14, 2008 – April 7, 2011
PresidentÁlvaro Colom
Preceded byWendy de Berger
Succeeded byRosa Leal de Pérez
Personal details
Sandra Julieta Torres Casanova

(1955-10-05) 5 October 1955 (age 63)
Melchor de Mencos
Political partyUnidad Nacional de la Esperanza (UNE)
Spouse(s)Álvaro Colom (2003–2011)
ResidenceGuatemala City
Alma materUniversidad de San Carlos
Universidad Rafael Landívar


Early life and educationEdit

Sandra Julieta Torres Casanova was born on 19 August 1946, in the municipality of Melchor de Mencos, in the department of Petén. She is the daughter of Enrique Torres and Teresa Casanova. She has a degree in Communication Sciences from the University San Carlos de Guatemala.[2] She also has a master's degree in Public Politics from the University Rafael Landívar de Guatemala.[3]


She has spent most of her professional lifetime promoting politics, plans, programs, projects and laws concerning social development, specially of women, children and people with special needs. Within the legal initiatives that she has promoted from inside her political party – the National Unity of Hope (UNE) – (of which her former husband is the Leader and in which she is also a director) are:

  1. Initiative of Law Against Feminicide. Approved in the first semester of 2008.
  2. Initiative of Law of Responsible Parenting. Approved in August 2008.

Sandra Torres de Colom was founder of the Coordinadora Nacional de la Mujer (National Coordinator of the Women) for the political party Unidad Nacional de la Esperanza, through which more than 30,000 Guatemalan women (Garifuna and Xinca amongst them) have channeled their specific demands. The action in favor of women was reflected within the corporate area. Sandra Torres, as a businessperson, worked at private companies and had been responsible for textile production and administration of clothing factories. She also was president of Consejo de Cohesión Social (Counsel of Social Cohesion), an institute in charge of orienting social investment for the eradication of extreme poverty and combating poverty in general. The group employs programs and projects focused on improving the coverage and quality of education, healthcare, infrastructure, sustainability and national reconstruction (specifically pertaining to the disasters Hurricane Stan, landslides in the county of La Unión, Zacapa, and Storm 16).

Presidential candidateEdit

She was disqualified from being a candidate in the 2011 Presidential election, but in the Presidential election of 2015 she was accepted as a candidate and finished second in the first round of the election on 6 September, narrowly beating the third-placed Manuel Baldizón, and qualifying for the runoff against first-placed Jimmy Morales.[4][5][6]


  1. ^ Claudia Palma. Sandra Torres: mitad beliceña y mitad petenera. ElPeriódico de Guatemala, 18 de mayo de 2011.
  2. ^ "Torres, la única mujer con posibilidades para pasar a segunda vuelta" [Torres, the only woman with possibilities to go to runoff]. Prensa Libre. 4 Sep 2015. Archived from the original on 6 Sep 2015. Retrieved 5 Apr 2019.
  3. ^ "Facebook".[dead link]
  4. ^ "Guatemala ex-first lady Sandra Torres in presidential run-off". BBC News.
  5. ^ Juan Montes (15 September 2015). "Guatemalan Former First Lady Sandra Torres in Presidential Runoff". WSJ.
  6. ^ "Guatemala Comic to Face Former First Lady in Presidency Run-off". VOA.

External linksEdit

Honorary titles
Preceded by
Wendy Widmann
First Lady of Guatemala
Succeeded by
Rosa María Leal
President of the Secretary of Social
Work of the President's Wife

Party political offices
Preceded by
Álvaro Colom Caballeros
National Unity of Hope nominee for
President of Guatemala

2011 (retired), 2015
Most recent
Preceded by
Jairo Joaquín Flores
Secretary-General of the National Unity of Hope
Political offices
Preceded by
Position established
Chairwoman of the Council of Social Cohesion
Succeeded by
Position abolished
Luz Lainfiesta as Minister of Social Development