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Guatemala

  |  1 Sep 2014

Unchanged

3 died during several days of clashes in north following 15 Aug arrest of peasant leaders accused of stealing electricity; authorities report 6 police wounded and more than 20 residents arrested. Army chief Rudy Ortiz killed 20 Aug in helicopter crash near Mexico border. News report published 11 Aug claimed more than 1,000 grenades reported stolen from army air base in Petén department instead sold to drug traffickers and other criminal organisations.

Guatemala

  |  1 Aug 2014

Unchanged

President Pérez Molina 25 July visited Washington, met with U.S. President Obama, Honduras and El Salvador counterparts, discussed detention of migrant children at U.S. border, efforts to deter illegal migration, development and security in Central America, and asked the U.S. to grant “Temporary Protected Status” (TPS) to Guatemalan migrants. Former guerrilla leader Fermín Felipe Solano Barillas sentenced 4 July to 90 years in prison for massacre of 22 indigenous villagers in 1988; first conviction of former leftist guerrilla for human rights abuses during decades-long conflict. Task Force Chortí, composed of 200 police and 100 soldiers, 10 July began operations to combat drug trafficking, smuggling along borders with Honduras and Belize.

Guatemala

  |  1 Jul 2014

Unchanged

Former chief of National Civil Police (PNC) Erwin Sperisen 6 June sentenced by Swiss court to life imprisonment for execution of 7 prisoners during police raid in El Pavon prison outside Guatemala City in 2006; defence team appealing verdict. 3 ex-policemen arrested 10 June for participating in killing of fellow police officer investigating 1990 murder of Myrna Mack, anthropologist who documented human rights violations during Guatemala’s civil war.

Guatemala

  |  1 Jun 2014

Unchanged

Former Supreme Court Justice Thelma Aldana sworn in 17 May for four-year term as attorney general, ending selection process criticised as opaque and politicised. Aldana vowed to make cases involving organised crime, including drug trafficking, priority as well as violence against women, said she would formulate new criminal justice policy, promised to consult with UN International Commission Against Impunity in Guatemala (CICIG); did not specify whether she will reprosecute former dictator Efraín Ríos Montt. Authorities 15 May arrested alleged drug lord Jairo Orellana Morales, reportedly linked both to Zetas cartel and Lorenzanas family accused of trafficking cocaine, in eastern Zacapa dept after shoot-out with military and police forces which left 2 dead. Pérez Molina 18 May announced creation of air task force to fight drug trafficking.

Guatemala

  |  1 May 2014

Unchanged

Civil society leaders 9 April called for more transparent process in selection of next attorney general, warning that nominating commissions under pressure from powerful interest groups. Guatemala City archbishop warned selection process provoking “bitterness and polarisation”, mobilising “political, economic and other interests, even organised crime”. Newspapers 4 April reported commission charged with sending list of nominees to President Pérez Molina validated 11 of 32 challenges filed against current Attorney General Paz y Paz, more than those accepted against any other candidate.

Guatemala

  |  1 Apr 2014

Unchanged

Govt 18 March extradited suspected drug lord Waldemar Lorenzana to U.S. to face cocaine smuggling charges. Former President Portillo 18 March pleaded guilty in New York to money-laundering charges, nearly 3 years after acquittal on similar charges in Guatemala. Attorney General Paz y Paz 7 March announced decision to seek another term in office, filing paperwork before nominating commission that will submit candidates to president for final selection; her 4-year term was cut short by Feb technical Constitutional Court ruling, criticised by some human rights groups as payback for prosecuting former dictator José Efraín Ríos Montt on genocide charges. Trial of former Revolutionary Organisation of the People in Arms (ORPA) commander Felipe Solano Barillas, aka “Lieutenant David”, began 27 Feb; Solano accused of murder and war crimes in connection with 1988 massacre of 22 people in Chimaltenango dept.

Guatemala

  |  1 Mar 2014

Unchanged

High-risk court 21 Feb sentenced 9 Zetas drug cartel members to more than 100 years’ prison for May 2011 massacre of 27 farm workers in Petén department. Gunmen 8 Feb killed 9, including 2 children, in San Luis village, Petén, highlighting violence in border regions. Constitutional Court 5 Feb ruled Attorney General Claudia Paz y Paz must step down in May, 7 months before completing 4-year term; local and international rights groups condemned ruling, saying it was engineered by those opposed to high-profile prosecutions of former officials on human rights charges.

Guatemala

  |  1 Feb 2014

Unchanged

Authorities 11 Jan seized private plane with Costa Rican registration carrying nearly half a tonne of cocaine, reportedly belonging to Sinaloa cartel, in NE Izabal dept. Appeals court 10 Jan affirmed lower court ruling that would nullify not only trial but also indictment of General José Efraín Ríos Montt for genocide and war crimes thereby further delaying retrial, already postponed till Jan 2015. President Pérez Molina dropped criminal complaint filed in Dec against editor of daily elPeriodico José Ruben Zamora, though indicated 10 Jan he would ask special media tribunal to investigate alleged misconduct. VP Baldetti pursuing separate complaint against Zamora for “psychological violence” before court specialising in crimes against women. Joint police/military operation 10 Jan in 6 departments detained 37 people accused of operating smuggling ring.

Guatemala

  |  2 Jan 2014

Unchanged

Head of Commission against Impunity in Guatemala (CICIG) Ivan Velásquez 5 Dec said commission will initiate investigations of corruption in customs and political campaign financing; means commission will take on new cases despite assertions by president and VP that it should devote last 2 years of its mandate to training prosecutors and investigators. Elite Tecún Umán Task Force began operations in west 16 Dec; President Pérez Molina said joint military/police force will combat drug traffickers and other smugglers operating along Pacific coast and Mexican border, said plans to create 2 more task forces operating along borders with El Salvador and Honduras. Pérez Molina 17 Dec announced govt studying possibility of legalising and regulating cultivation of opium poppies for medicinal use, would allow “controlled planting” while offering alternative crops to farmers now involved in illegal production. Authorities 27 Dec arrested Edgar Rolando Saguil, lieutenant of Felix Pimentel Lopez, himself arrested 8 Dec, on suspicion of links to Sinaloa cartel.

Guatemala

  |  1 Dec 2013

Unchanged

Security forces 12 Nov arrested 8 people for allegedly organising Oct escape of suspected drug boss José Ranferí Ponce Rodríguez. Govt sent hundreds of soldiers, police to Izabal dept to search for Ponce and allies; President Pérez Molina said suspect may have fled to Honduras. Spanish judge 4 Nov indicted former minister Carlos Roberto Vielmann for extrajudicial killing of 10 prisoners in 2005 and 2006. Unknown gunmen 28 Nov killed municipal council member in eastern city Jalapa.

Guatemala

  |  1 Nov 2013

Unchanged

Police 16 Oct captured then released 2 reputed drug traffickers in NE Izabal dept. Initial news reports stated authorities forced to flee after being attacked by crowd demanding men be released; newspaper elPeriodico suggested traffickers negotiated freedom. Authorities 22 Oct confiscated nearly 1 ton of cocaine during operation in Izabal. Mexican authorities 4 Oct captured Eduardo Villatoro Cano (“Guayo”), suspected of killing 9 police, 8 Oct arrested Gerardo Jaramillo (“El Yanqui”) who reportedly led gang linked to Mexican Zetas cartel. Finance Minister Pavel Centeno, who pushed for intervention to combat “mafias” controlling Guatemalan ports, resigned citing health issues. Following weeks of heavy criticism, govt 28 Oct backtracked on previous decision and carried out “operational intervention” consisting of military and police presence in 6 customs offices, under supervision of ministries of govt and defence and of tax authorities, amid complaints smuggling is undermining legitimate businesses. 

Guatemala

  |  1 Oct 2013

Unchanged

UN 12 Sept named former Colombian magistrate Iván Velásquez next head of International Commission Against Impunity in Guatemala (CICIG); outgoing commissioner Francisco Dall’Anese 22 Aug credited CICIG with helping Guatemala lower impunity rates from 93% to 70% over past 6 years. Gunmen 7 Sept opened fire on residents of Maya town N of Guatemala City, killing 11 and injuring about 15; authorities blamed gang members allegedly angry because local bars refused to sell them liquor, but media reported some residents suspected corrupt police responsible for killings. Police 17 Sept captured son of Waldemar Lorenzana Lima, alias “Patriarch”, arrested in 2011 and fighting extradition to U.S. on drug-trafficking charges.

Guatemala

  |  1 Sep 2013

Unchanged

President Pérez Molina 20 Aug announced creation of task force to probe murders of 4 journalists over past 5 months. All killings plus attempted murder of 5th in early Aug were attacks on journalists working for local media outside capital. Constitutional Court (CC) 6 Aug rejected new petition for amnesty by lawyers of former dictator Efraín Ríos Montt, ruled genocide and war crimes ineligible for amnesty under Guatemalan and international law. Authorities late-July deployed some 1,000 forces in joint police-military task force “Operation Dignity” to hunt for drug boss accused of masterminding June killing of 9 police agents: security forces mid-Aug reported 37 people arrested, dozens of weapons and vehicles seized.

Guatemala

  |  1 Aug 2013

Unchanged

Authorities 22 July captured 2 more suspected members of criminal network linked to June killing of 9 police officers; said group, reportedly linked to Mexican Sinaloa cartel, may be responsible for over 100 homicides. President Pérez Molina 10 July said he will ask congress to consider imposing 2-year moratorium on new metal mining licences in apparent effort to calm tension in indigenous areas. Center for Legal Action in Human Rights said reports of extrajudicial killings increased from 279 in 2011 to 439 in 2012; National Forensic Science Institute reported violent deaths rose 8% in first half of 2013 compared with same period 2012.

Guatemala

  |  1 Jul 2013

Unchanged

Gunmen 13 June attacked police station in Salcajá town, Quetzaltenango dept, killing 8 officers and kidnapping station chief: President Pérez Molina blamed drug traffickers linked to Mexican cartels. Authorities 13 June said they had identified 54 narco-trafficking groups that operate in-country and 70 criminal gangs. Organization of American States 4-6 June held general assembly in Antigua focused on drug policy reform, agreed to series of regional and national meetings culminating in extraordinary assembly on drug policy reform before end of 2014.

Guatemala

  |  1 Jun 2013

Unchanged

Following sentencing of former dictator Efraín Ríos Montt on 10 May to 80 years’ prison for genocide and crimes against humanity, Constitutional Court 20 May overturned conviction on procedural grounds. UN Committee against Torture 31 May denounced continued impunity and govt’s failure to investigate rights violations during civil war, said govt should enforce Law on National Reconciliation and ensure authors of acts of genocide, torture are not granted amnesties. President Pérez Molina 2 May sent army into 4 municipalities in eastern depts of Jalapa and Santa Rosa after residents took 23 police hostage; authorities said 1 police officer killed during attempt to rescue hostages.

Guatemala

  |  1 May 2013

Unchanged

Competing judicial decisions in trial of former dictator Ríos Montt on charges of genocide and crimes against humanity generated uncertainty over whether court would be allowed to reach a verdict; Constitutional Court to decide whether trial can continue. Group of prominent conservatives 16 April published letter in full-page newspaper ad calling charges against Ríos Montt “fabrication”, said trial is betrayal of 1996 peace accords that could lead to new outbreak of political violence. President Pérez Molina next day said he “not only supported but subscribed” to letter.

Guatemala

  |  1 Apr 2013

Unchanged

Trial began 19 March of ex-military dictator Efrain Rios Montt on charges of genocide and crimes against humanity, after Court 14 March upheld Supreme Court ruling rejecting amnesty. Govt report 2 March showed violent deaths Jan-Feb higher than same period 2012. Tensions in eastern dept Jalapa following 17 March kidnapping of 4 Xinca indigenous leaders as they returned from meeting opposing mining in area; one found killed next day, others released.

Guatemala

  |  1 Mar 2013

Unchanged

Court 14 Feb rejected charges of extrajudicial killing filed against Colonel Juan Chiroy and 8 soldiers under his command for deaths of 6 indigenous demonstrators in Totonicapán city in Oct; Judge Patricia Flores ordered colonel to stand trial for dereliction of duty and 8 soldiers for “homicide in a state of violent emotion”. Public Ministry announced it would challenge ruling; Totonicapán indigenous leaders said may join complaints against decision and file civil complaints. Police 15 Feb arrested ex-army captain Byron Lima, convicted in 1998 assassination of Bishop Juan José Gerardi, as he returned from excursion outside penitentiary. Minister López Bonilla fired prison director who authorised excursion, told media there was “chaos” within prison system.

Guatemala

  |  1 Feb 2013

Improved

Court 28 Jan ordered ex-military leader Efrain Rios Montt to stand trial for genocide and crimes against humanity committed during civil war, following 14 Jan lifting of immunity. President Pérez Molina 13 Jan hailed decline of violence in speech celebrating first year in office, cited falling urban crime rates as evidence that govt is fulfilling promises to improve security; murders fell for 3rd consecutive year in 2012, from 39 to 34 per 100,000 inhabitants. Gunmen same day killed mayor of Jutiapa town, Jutiapa dept. Armed men 11 Jan tried to block access to Escobal silver mine in south-eastern Santa Rosa dept; 2 security guards, 1 attacker killed. Pérez Molina denounced incident as “terrorist attack”; Interior Minister López Bonilla said attackers possibly linked to drug traffickers. Authorities also linked 23 Dec killing of prosecutor, local businessman and 5 other people in western Huehuetenango dept to drug traffickers. UN 15 Jan agreed to extend mandate of International Commission Against Impunity in Guatemala (CICIG) until 2015.

Guatemala

  |  30 Dec 2012

Unchanged

Attorney General Claudia Paz y Paz 13 Dec published report highlighting successful prosecution of criminal organisations since taking office, including drug-trafficking networks and domestic gangs dedicated to extortion and kidnapping, said convictions overall are up, impunity rate reduced from 95% to 70%, claimed police dealt major blow to Zetas network by capturing chiefs in 5 depts. Following brutal killing of Federal Prosecutor Irma Yolanda Olivares and 6 others near Mexican border 23 Dec, Paz y Paz said cartels and other criminal outfits have infiltrated justice system.

Guatemala

  |  1 Dec 2012

Unchanged

Earthquake struck off Pacific coast 7 Nov killing 44 people, injuring hundreds more; President Pérez Molina declared 8 departments in south west “disaster zones”. Angry crowd in eastern Jalapa dept 20 Nov abducted 4 mining company contractors and 5 soldiers, burned 6 vehicles, set fire to hotel.

Guatemala

  |  1 Nov 2012

Unchanged

Army colonel and 8 soldiers arrested for 4 Oct killing of 6 indigenous Mayan villagers protesting high electricity prices in Totonicapán dept. President Pérez first denied military involvement, blamed shooting on unidentified assailants, then apologised after investigators found shell casings from military ammunition. Pérez 16 Oct said army would no longer intervene during protests but reaffirmed policy of using military to back up police in high crime areas and to combat organised crime, especially along border. Interior Minister López 24 Oct announced police will be equipped with electronic chips to track movements.

Guatemala

  |  1 Oct 2012

Unchanged

President Pérez Molina 3 Sept announced plans to open 3 more military bases along borders to stop flow of illegal drugs to Mexico, U.S.. Authorities 5 Sept dismantled “mega” synthetic drug lab in Huehuetenango dept. Speaking at UNGA 27 Sept Pérez acknowledged “serious shortcomings” in basic premise of country’s war against drugs.

Guatemala

  |  1 Sep 2012

Unchanged

Interior Minister Mauricio López Bonilla 15 Aug said country now becoming drug producer; 171 U.S. Marines late Aug joined 2,000 Guatemalan security forces within U.S.-led anti-drug-trafficking “Operation Hammer”. Several hundred soldiers, police sent to Puerto Quetzal 9 Aug after workers seized port facilities; forces 13 Aug withdrew after workers agreed to suspend strike, govt put plans to lease facilities to a Spanish company on hold.

Guatemala

  |  1 Aug 2012

Unchanged

Govt 30 June inaugurated 2 new military bases in Petén dept, San Juan Sacatepéquez, said will establish 9 more in effort to “increase state capacity to combat drug trafficking and organised crime”. Congress 19 July passed law creating separate investigative police force which will operate outside of National Civil Police; opposition parties said law passed without adequate consideration of costs, constitutionality. Police reported 15% decrease in homicides during first half of 2012 compared with 2011 but said several departments along border with Honduras, El Salvador experienced increase.

Guatemala

  |  1 Jul 2012

Unchanged

Court 13 June authorised extradition to U.S. of suspected drug trafficker Horst Overdick. Suspected Mexican Sinaloa cartel member Walter Montejo arrested 10 June.  2 suspected participants in 2010-2011 Zetas drug cartel massacres arrested 10 June; court 27 June sentenced 36 alleged Zetas suspects for various crimes including dismemberment of state prosecutor.

Guatemala

  |  1 Jun 2012

Unchanged

President Pérez Molina 2 May declared state of siege, deployed 500 security personnel to Santa Cruz Barillas following protest, seizure of army post by indigenous residents after killing of community leader opposed to construction of hydroelectric dam; state of siege lifted 18 May, 240 security personnel to remain; Pérez said Zetas drug cartel possibly involved. Defence Ministry 9 May announced deployment of 500 soldiers, including 300 special forces, to combat drug trafficking in Petén.

Guatemala

  |  1 May 2012

Unchanged

President Pérez Molina 14-15 April attended 6th Summit of the Americas, insisted on need to consider “innovative strategies” such as legalisation as alternative to war on drugs. Defence Ministry late March announced creation of U.S.-backed anti-drug task force to police trafficking corridors in W. Former national police chief Marlene Blanco Lapola arrested 23 March for alleged involvement in extra-judicial killing of at least 3 alleged extortionists. Forensic experts 18 April said remains of 99 people buried inside military post in Cobán during civil war unearthed.

Guatemala

  |  1 Apr 2012

Unchanged

5 former paramilitaries members sentenced 20 March to 7,710 years for 1982 Maya massacre in Baja Verapaz; ex-soldier sentenced 12 March to over 6,000 years for role in 1982 killing of 201 Maya in Dos Erres, Petén. President Pérez called drug war failure, promised to take decriminalisation debate to Summit of Americas in April. Hand-written banners found in Flores, Petén, 21 March threatened attacks on civilians following authorities’ announcement alleged member of Zetas drug cartel captured; Interior Minister Bonilla 9 March said Zetas now strongest criminal organisation in country.

Guatemala

  |  1 Mar 2012

Unchanged

President Pérez Molina 13 Feb said he would urge Central American leaders to debate legalising drugs at upcoming regional summit; presidents of El Salvador, Honduras remain opposed to proposal. Pérez secured legislative victory with adoption of fiscal reform bill designed to increase revenues, combat evasion. Court 29 Feb approved extradition to U.S. of alleged top narco-trafficker Juan Ortiz Lopez.

Guatemala

  |  1 Feb 2012

Improved

Guatemalan judge 26 Jan ruled ex-military leader Efraín Ríos Montt to stand trial for genocide, crimes against humanity following 14 Jan expiration of his Congressional term granting immunity; prosecutors argued Gen. Montt had full knowledge, command of army operations resulting in the killing of over 1,700 Mayan villagers suspected of harbouring leftist guerrillas 1982-83.

Guatemala

  |  2 Jan 2012

Unchanged

Outgoing President Colom 15 Dec apologised to relatives of victims of 1982 massacre in Dos Erres. Guatemala, Colombia, Honduras air forces conducted exercise aimed at controlling drug trafficking.

Guatemala

  |  1 Dec 2011

Unchanged

Electoral tribunal declared retired general Otto Pérez Molina winner of 6 Nov presidential run-off with 53.74% of votes, ahead of businessman Manuel Baldizón with 46.6%. Outgoing president Álvaro Colom 15 Nov approved extradition of former president Alfonso Portillo to U.S. on money laundering charges.

Guatemala

  |  1 Nov 2011

Unchanged

Former military ruler Oscar Mejia Victores and former military intelligence chief Jose Mauricio Rodriguez Sanchez arrested mid-month on charges of genocide, war crimes; later declared unfit to stand trial for health reasons. Ahead of 6 Nov presidential election run-off, polls indicate retired general Otto Perez Molina ahead of opponent, businessman Manuel Baldizón.

Guatemala

  |  1 Oct 2011

Unchanged

Amid deteriorating security and continued violence, retired general Otto Perez Molina won 36% of votes in 11 Sept presidential elections; will face businessman Manuel Baldizon, who won 23%, in 6 Nov run-off. Observers rated elections as fair, despite concern over delay in releasing preliminary results, reports of irregularities in some regions. Outbreaks of violence in 70 municipalities by residents unhappy over mayoral election results, leaving 2 dead in Jalapa.

Guatemala

  |  1 Sep 2011

Unchanged

Former first lady Sandra Torres 8 Aug lost final appeal to Constitutional Court against ban on her presidential candidacy; Torres said accepted decision, but urged supporters to vote blank in Oct presidential elections. Violence continued ahead of polls: several campaign workers killed including Jutiapa department coordinator of National Centre Union (UCN) party 6 Aug. Court 2 Aug sentenced 4 ex-soldiers to 6,060 years in prison for involvement in 1982 massacre of 250 civilians. President Colom 13 Aug extended state of siege in Petén department by 1 month. Constitutional Court 26 Aug authorized extradition of former President Portillo to U.S..

Guatemala

  |  1 Aug 2011

Unchanged

Supreme Court (SC) 12 July rejected appeal by former first lady Sandra Torres against Supreme Electoral Court (SEC) ruling disqualifying her candidacy for Oct presidential elections. SC 30 July rejected second appeal by ruling UNE party; party said will appeal to Constitutional Court.

Guatemala

  |  1 Jul 2011

Unchanged

In landmark arrest, police 17 June detained ex-army chief Gen. Hector López on charges including genocide related to mass killings of govt opponents during 1980s; López highest-ranking official to be detained for civil war abuses. Police 9 June arrested ex-police chief suspected of involvement in forced disappearance of student union leader in 1984. President Colom 14 June extended state of siege in Petén department by 1 month. Unidentified gunmen mid-month killed 2 mayoral candidates close to capital; human rights ombudsman said 26 killings linked to Oct 2011 general elections so far. Supreme Electoral Court 30 June rejected candidacy of Sandra Torres due to recent divorce from incumbent President Colom; Torres said she will appeal. Rights groups raised concerns about presidential candidate Otto Pérez Molina’s 14 June proposal to involve military in fighting organised crime, citing violation of 1996 Peace Accords.

Guatemala

  |  1 Jun 2011

Deteriorated

Police 15 May found decapitated bodies of 27 farm workers in northern Petén region; President Colom 17 May imposed state of siege in Petén, putting troops in charge of security; police 18 May detained alleged leader of Mexican Zetas cartel, suspected of massacre. Authorities 24 May in Cobán (Alta Verapaz) discovered dismembered body of assistant prosecutor involved in investigation of Zetas. Court 8 May cleared ex-president Portillo of embezzlement charges; Portillo still faces extradition charge to U.S. over alleged money laundering.

Guatemala

  |  1 May 2011

Unchanged

Court 8 Apr granted divorce to Sandra Torres from President Álvaro Colom, allowing her to stand in Sept presidential elections; opposition candidate Otto Pérez Molina criticised decision as “electoral fraud”. Police, U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency 30 March captured Juan Alberto Ortiz Lopez, allegedly one of country’s leading drug traffickers.

Guatemala

  |  1 Apr 2011

Unchanged

First lady Sandra Torres de Colom 8 March announced candidacy for Sept presidential elections; 21 March announced she will divorce husband President Álvaro Colom to clear constitutional hurdle prohibiting family of incumbent to run. In 17 March visit to Guatemala, UNSG Ban pledged increased UN support for fight against organised crime in Central America, made public his Jan decision to extend UN-backed commission against impunity (CICIG) for 2 years. Colom 2 March said joint Central American security plan against crime and drug trafficking “similar to Plan Merida” will be created at June summit in Guatemala.

Guatemala

  |  1 Mar 2011

Unchanged

Govt human rights ombudsman Sergio Morales 14 Feb warned of potential violence in at least 18 of 22 departments ahead of Sept general elections; 21 of 25 political parties 7 Feb signed “ethics pact” to prevent violence leading up to vote. U.S. 9 Feb announced further $200mn in aid to “regional effort” combatting drug trafficking in Central America. Govt 18 Feb lifted 2-month state of siege in Alta Verapaz; claimed operation successful, at least 20 members of Mexican cartel Los Zetas arrested. 

Guatemala

  |  1 Feb 2011

Unchanged

President Colom 18 Jan extended by 1 month state of siege in Alta Verapaz to combat growing influence of Mexican Los Zetas cartel in region. Corruption trial against ex-president Portillo started 21 Jan. Police said 6,502 homicides registered in 2010, down 6% from 2009; 60% attributed to organised crime.

Guatemala

  |  3 Jan 2011

Unchanged

Tensions continued to simmer over border dispute with Costa Rica, but both countries 17 Dec accepted Guatemalan offer to mediate; mediation to start Jan.

Guatemala

  |  1 Dec 2010

Unchanged

Director of RENAP, body charged with issuing voter registration cards for 2011 general elections, 2 Nov announced 2.8mn cards need to be verified before election; opposition politicians expressed doubts RENAP capable, denounced threat of voter exclusion.

Guatemala

  |  1 Nov 2010

Unchanged

5 Oct armed incursion by Mexican Zetas cartel into Petén department left 5 civilians dead following clashes between cartel members and security forces. NGO Mirador Electoral 21 Oct denounced major parties’ premature campaigning in run-up to 2011 general elections, warned that increased political polarisation could lead to ungovernability. Spanish police 13 Oct arrested former interior minister Carlos Vielmann for supposed involvement in extrajudicial executions of prisoners in 2005. Luis Arturo Archila Leerayez elected new president of Supreme Court of Justice 20 Oct. Head of UN-sanctioned commission against impunity (CICIG) 26 Oct denounced attempts to discredit institution, rejected calls for its closure.

Guatemala

  |  1 Oct 2010

Unchanged

Constitutional Court 20 Sept authorised President Colóm to intervene in RENAP, body charged with issuing voter registration cards for 2011 general elections, following recent investigations of mismanagement. Parliament 9 Sept voted to hold referendum on sending Belize border dispute to ICJ. Corruption trial against former President Portillo began 3 Sept.

Guatemala

  |  1 Sep 2010

Unchanged

High level official of RENAP, body charged with issuing voter registration cards for 2011 general elections, stepped down 24 Aug amid accusations of mismanagement and corruption investigation; followed several other high-profile RENAP dismissals in recent months. Former Costa Rican attorney general Francisco Dall’Anese Ruiz 1 Aug took up post of director of UN-sanctioned commission against impunity (CICIG). CICIG 6 Aug ordered capture of several former high-level officials, including former director of prisons and presidential candidate Alejandro Giammattei and 18 others for involvement in 2007 extrajudicial executions of prisoners.

Guatemala

  |  1 Aug 2010

Unchanged

Court 16 July sentenced 8 to up to 38 years in prison for involvement in May 2009 murder of lawyer Rodrigo Rosenberg, who UN investigation found arranged his own death despite blaming President Colom in posthumously released video. At least 20 civilians killed in gang attacks on buses during month, including 2 in 12 July Guatemala City grenade attack; govt 21 July announced military to support police in protecting bus drivers.

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