Sandra Torres

Guatemala's former first lady Sandra Torres, who has lost three presidential runoffs, on Thursday denounced an alleged plot to assassinate her due to an internal party conflict.

Torres, who was beaten to the presidency of the Central American nation by Bernardo Arevalo last August, made the dramatic claim in a video posted on social media.

"A couple of days ago they anonymously sent me an audio with real and forceful threats against me," Torres said, in her first public remarks since her second-round defeat.

She accused two lawmakers belonging to her National Unity of Hope of wanting to eliminate her to take control of the party.

Torres released an audio recording of an alleged conversation between two hitmen she said were hired to kill her, and said she was confident that investigators would uncover the truth.

One of the party members she accused, Adim Maldonado, vehemently denied the allegations at a news conference.

The claims are "why people are fed up with the political class, because they are tired of these kinds of shows and totally unfounded accusations," he said.

Arevalo, a sociologist and former diplomat, won a decisive victory after campaigning against government corruption by the political establishment.

The party of Torres -- the ex-wife of late leftist president Alvaro Colom who had the backing of Guatemala's elite -- alleged electoral fraud.

Torres had previously lost runoffs against former presidents Jimmy Morales and Alejandro Giammattei in 2015 and 2019.