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From: "Adam Isacson, CIP" <isacson@US.NET>
Subject: Guatemala: English text of 9/19 accord

The Strengthening of Civil Society and the Role of the Military in a Democratic Society

19 September 1996

The following is the text, in English, of the September 19, 1996 peace accord between the Guatemalan government and the URNG resistance on "The Strengthening of Civil Society and the Role of the Military in a Democratic Society." The translation was performed by the Foreign Broadcasts Information Service (FBIS) of the U.S. government.


Peace rests on the democratization and creation of practical structures, which in the future will prevent political exclusion, ideological intolerance, and the polarization of Guatemalan society.

It is essential to overcome shortcomings and weaknesses in civil institutions, often inaccessible to most of the people, and a prevalence of logic and behaviors that have become detrimental to citizens' liberties and rights.

The signing of the Agreement of Firm and Lasting Peace [Acuerdo de Paz Firme y Duradera] offers a historic opportunity to overcome the aftermath of past armed and ideological confrontations, to reform and buttress an institution in accordance with the development needs of a nation, and the reconciliation of the Guatemalan people.

With the active and permanent participation of citizens through organizations, political forces, and the country's social sectors, this renewal of the institutions should range from local authorities to the working of state organizations, in order that everyone entrusted with public power fulfill their duty toward social justice, political participation, security, and the wholesome development of each person.

It is of utmost importance to reinforce civilian power, which represents the citizens' will, by exercising political rights, strengthening legislative functions, reforming the administration of justice, and guaranteeing citizens' security, which altogether are decisive to enjoying liberties and citizens' rights. Within the role played by democratic institutions, the Guatemalan Army's main duty is defending our national sovereignty and the country's territorial integrity.

Along with the agreements already signed, this agreement seeks to create the necessary conditions for real reconciliation among Guatemalans based on respect for human rights and the diversity of its people and the common objective of finding solutions to the lack of social, economic, and political opportunities that undermine democratic coexistence and limit the nation's development.

The implementation of the current Accord will benefit all citizens, consolidate a governable country, and will strengthen the legitimacy of democratic institutions, contributing to the well- being of the Guatemalan people.


I. The State and its Form of Government [subhead]

1. In order to encourage a democratic and participatory process to strengthen civilian power, it is necessary to improve, modernize, and reinforce the State and its republican, democratic, and representative government system.

2. In accordance with Article 141 of the Constitution, sovereignty is laid on the people, who in turn delegate that to the legislative, executive, and judicial branches. The parties agreed that the improvement, modernization, and strengthening of state institutions demand full and total respect for the principle of independence, separation, and nonsubordination among them.

3. At the same time, it is necessary that the three institutions assume their responsibilities in a coordinated fashion, which implies for each one the responsibility toward the state of guaranteeing life, liberty, justice, security, peace, and overall personal development for Guatemalan inhabitants. In order to be of common benefit, public power must be exercised by all institutions comprising the State, in order to prevent any person, sector of the population, armed or political force from monopolizing its use.

II. The Legislative Branch

4. The authority to legislate falls on the Congress of the Republic, made up of legislators directly elected by universal and secret vote. Congress plays a fundamental role in representing the Guatemalan society, as democracy needs a government branch that will share its responsibility for the country's overall situation in an institutional manner, harmonizing and integrating interests.

5. In order to strengthen its legitimacy, the Legislative Branch must fully comply with the following responsibilities:

a) Legislative duties in favor of the Guatemalan people;

b) Public debate of basic national issues;

c) Represent the people;

d) Assume the responsibilities it may have with regard to other state branches.

6. The parties agree that the Legislative Branch must be improved, modernized, and strengthened. For this purpose, they urge the presidency of the Congress of the Republic to establish a multipartisan body that will work together with the legislative commissions tasked with following up on the Agreement for Firm and Lasting Peace and on the process to modernize the Congress of the Republic. Its basic and unlimited agenda will prioritize the following aspects:

a) Review Congress' internal administration law to expedite parliamentarian work, ensure the Congress of the Republic, as a state branch, fulfills the duties assigned it by the political Constitution, meets citizens' expectations, and facilitates an agile process of presenting, debating, and approving laws.

b) Regular use of measures provided by the Constitution to control the Executive Branch to ensure public policies are sufficiently clear; verification of the consistency of programs; ensure honesty in the programming and implementation of the nation's budget; examination and evaluation of the administrative actions or omissions of ministers of state and other top officials to determine their responsibilities; following up on government actions to safeguard the general interests of the population and to preserve the legitimacy of institutions.

c) The necessary legislative measures to strengthen the administration of justice.

d) Legal and constitutional reforms to maintain the number of Congress deputies unchanged.

e) Reform of Article 157 of the Constitution to ensure deputies are not reelected for more than two consecutive terms to avoid restricting a parliamentarian career, but at the same time, allowing for the renovation of political leadership within the Congress.

f) Strengthening the working commissions, especially the technical advisory commission.

g) Redefine the duties of the Congress Human Rights Commission in order to make an adequate follow up on the resolutions and recommendations contained in the reports issued by the human rights ombudsman and other recognized public institutions dealing with the human rights situation in Guatemala.

7. The parties agreed to ask the presidency of the Congress of the Republic to convene no later than three months after the signing of the Agreement for Firm and Lasting Peace and to ensure that its work is completed and presented for the consideration of the plenum one year after its having convened, at the latest.

III. Judicial System

8. One of the major weaknesses of the Guatemalan state is its justice administration system, which is one of the essential public services. Judicial proceedings have certain deficiencies. The obsolescence and slowness of legal proceedings, the absence of modern systems to manage its offices, and a lack of control over judicial officials and personnel promote corruption and inefficiency.

9. The reform and modernization of the administration of justice system should prevent it from creating and concealing a system of impunity and corruption. The judicial process is not a simple procedure regulated by codes and regular laws, but an instrument to guarantee a citizen's right to justice. That right can be consolidated by a system of impartiality, objectivity, and equality before the law.

10. A priority in this area is the reform to the administration of justice in order to reverse ineffectiveness, eradicate corruption, guarantee free access to justice, its impartial application, judicial independence, ethical authority, the probity of the system as a whole, and its modernization.

11. Based on the aforementioned reasons, the government commits itself to adopt when appropriate, and to promote before Congress when they fall within the framework of congressional responsibilities, the following measures:

Constitutional Reforms

12. Promote before Congress amendments to the following articles of the Constitution:


(a) Art. 203: The article should have an initial reference to the guarantees for the administration of justice, and as such, should include: free access to it in the native language; respect for the country's multi-ethnic, pluricultural, and multilingual nature; defense for those unable to pay for it; the judge's impartiality and independence; reasonable and prompt solution of social conflicts and the opening of alternate mechanisms to settle conflicts.

(b) A separate paragraph should reflect the current contents of Article 203, abbreviated.

(c) Articles 207, 208, and 209: Should refer to the Law on Judicial Careers, and should establish the following points:

- rights and responsibilities of judges, the dignity of that position, and an adequate level of... (as in the original--PRENSA LIBRE editorial note)

- system for the appointment and promotion of judges based on public proceedings that strive for professional excellence.

- right and responsibility to promote training and improve functions.

- disciplinary system with guarantees, procedures, instances and pre-established punishment; as well as the principle that a judge/magistrate can only be investigated or punished by someone having jurisdictional functions.

(d) Article 210: Guarantees contained in the second paragraph should be eliminated, as its contents would be absorbed by the three previous articles. The current article should only refer to judicial branch employees who are not judges or magistrates.

Legal Reforms

13. Promote before Congress the following legal reforms:

Judicial Career

a) Establish a Judicial Career based on Article 209 of the Constitution, in accordance with the contents of this agreement.

Public Service for Criminal Defense

b) Establish Public Service for Criminal Defense to provide assistance to those who cannot hire a private professional adviser. This institution will have functional independence and autonomy from the three government branches. It will have the same hierarchy in the process as the Attorney General's office, and will effectively cover the entire country.

Penal Code

c) Promulgate reforms to the Penal Code that will give priority to the prosecution of crimes causing more social harm; take into consideration cultural differences and traditions in the country; guarantee full respect for human rights; and typify threats and pressures exerted on judicial officials, bribery, and corruption as extremely grave acts, which must be severely punished. Administrative Initiatives and Measures

14. Take initiatives and adopt administrative measures to:

a) Give additional financial resources to the judicial branch and the Public Prosecutor's Office to advance their technological modernization and to spread their action to the countryside, to introduce the multilingual justice system, in keeping with the Agreement on the Identity and Rights of Indian Peoples, and to implement an efficient plan to protect witnesses, prosecutors, and those who cooperate with justice. In this regard, the government plans to increase 1996 public expenses as a ratio of GDP for the judicial branch and the Public Prosecutor's Office by 50 percent by the year 2000.

b) Provide the necessary resources to the Penal Public Defense Service to ensure it is established and starts to operate in 1998.

Commission To Strengthen Justice

15. The parties also agreed that the president of the Republic, within 30 days after the signing of the Agreement for a Firm and Lasting Peace, will promote the establishment of a commission tasked with drafting, within six months and after a broad debate about the justice system is held, a report and a set of recommendations that are suitable to be implemented as soon as possible. This commission, which will receive the advice of Minugua [UN Mission for Guatemala], must include qualified representatives from various public institutions and social and private groups that are participating in or are knowledgeable about the topic of justice.

16. The work of the commission will follow a basic and unlimited agenda to make the following topics priorities:


a) The way to adequately separate administrative duties from jurisdictional duties within the judicial branch and the Public Prosecutor's Office to free judges and prosecutors from duties that are burdensome and that prevent them from focusing fully on their own work; a system that should introduce a modern and efficient administration in the two of them.

b) The adequate distribution of available financial resources to advance toward the strengthening of the system while keeping in mind the need to improve the use of resources.

c) Drafting of the basic contents of a civil service bill for the judicial branch.

Access to Justice

d) To follow up, with the participation of Indian organizations, on the commitments acquired through the Agreement on the Identity and Rights of the Indian Peoples regarding the way these peoples administer justice to ensure that large sectors of the country, which cannot reach the justice system or can reach it in a disadvantageous situation, are able to do so in a direct and simple manner.

Speeding Up Proceedings

e) The progressive generalization of oral hearings in judicial proceedings to extend their benefits to those who are not yet enjoying them and to guarantee the mediation of a judge in all proceedings.

f) Broadening and recognition of alternative options to solve conflicts.

Professional Excellence

g) Design a system to select and appoint magistrates of the appeals court through a public selection system.

h) Strengthening of the Judicial Studies School and of the Training Unit of the Public Prosecutor's Office as the main centers for the selection and permanent training of judges, magistrates, and prosecutors.

Non-state Players

i) The active inclusion in the judicial reform issue of those institutions that are not part of the state justice system and whose role is decisive for the aforementioned reform.

[FBIS Translated Text]

IV. Executive Branch

17. In order to strengthen civilian power and modernize the executive branch, the government commits itself to adopt whenever they fall within the framework of its responsibilities, and to promote before Congress whenever the responsibility is within the latter's purview, the following measures:

A. Security Agenda

18. Security is a broad concept not limited to the protection against external armed threats, which is the Army's responsibility, or protection against threats to public order and internal security, for which the National Civilian Police is responsible. The Guatemalan Peace Agreements as a whole stipulate that firm and durable peace require respect for human rights, to the multiethnic, multicultural, and multilingual nature of the Guatemalan nation; the country's economic development with social justice; social participation, reconciliation of interests, and strengthening democratic institutions.

19. Within that concept, citizens' security and state security are inseparable from the full exercise by citizens of their political, economic, social, and cultural rights and duties. Social and economic imbalance, poverty and extreme poverty, social and political discrimination, corruption, among other things, constitute risk factors and direct threats for democratic coexistence, social peace, and consequently for democratic constitutional order.

20. To help the executive branch implement this overall security concept, the parties have agreed on the need to create a Security Advisory Council. This Council will be made up of distinguished personalities representing the various economic, social, professional, academic, ethic, political, and cultural groups in Guatemala. Those personalities will be chosen by the president of the Republic to enable the Council to fully carry out its functions of studying and presenting broadly consulted strategies to respond to the country's priority needs and to make pertinent recommendations to the president of the Republic.

B. Public Security

National Civilian Police

21. Protecting citizens' lives and providing security, maintaining public order, crime prevention and investigation, and the prompt and fair administration of justice cannot be guaranteed without the proper structuring of the public security forces. The designing of a new model and its implementation are a fundamental part of strengthening civilian power.

22. Consequently, it is necessary and urgent to restructure the existing police forces in the country into a single National Civilian Police, which will be in charge of maintaining public order internal security. This new police will be professional and must be under the responsibility of the Government Ministry. For that purpose, the government commits itself to adopt whenever within its purview, and to promote before Congress whenever they fall within the framework of congressional responsibilities, the following measures:

Constitutional Amendments

23. Constitutional amendments will establish the functions and main characteristics of the police under the following terms:

The National Civilian Police is a professional and a hierarchical institution. It is the only police body with national jurisdiction, whose role is to protect and to guarantee the exercise of individual rights and freedom, to prevent, investigate, and to fight crime, and to maintain public order and internal security. It carries out its actions strictly complying with the principle of respect for human rights and under the direction of civilian authorities. The law will regulate the requirements and procedures to join the Police, as well as promotions, transfers, disciplinary measures for its officials and employees, and other matters concerning the National Civilian Police.

Legal Reforms

24. To present a bill for the Law on Security and Public Force to regulate the functioning of the police system in Guatemala according to constitutional amendments and guidelines contained in this agreement.

25. A new Public Order Law will be promoted in agreement with democratic principles and the need to strengthen civilian government. All abuses in the enforcement of the new law will be duly penalized. The limitations that may result from preserving public order through the law should never serve either as an excuse to violate human rights in general or for authorities to limit rights other than those specified in Article 138 of the Constitution.


26. The police organization will have the following characteristics.

a) It will be a single police organization under the government ministry's authority.

b) It will be hierarchically structured with a chain of command and properly established responsibilities.

c) It will take into consideration the Guatemalan people's multiethnic and multicultural composition when recruiting, selecting, training, and deploying members.

d) It will have special departments for fighting drug trafficking and smuggling, fiscal control, customs, registration and control of firearms, criminal information and investigation, protection of the cultural and environmental patrimony, border security, and transit and road safety.

Police Career

27. To establish the police career according to the following guidelines.

a) To issue instructions for all members of the new police organization to be trained at the Police Academy, where they will be given a highly professional training and a culture of peace, respect for human rights and democracy, and obedience to the law.

b) To establish sound recruiting and personnel administration policies. The police career will include the police members' commitment to serve in the institution for at least two years.

c) To make sure that police members receive reasonable salaries according to their functions and adequate social security coverage.

Police Academy

28. Enrollment in the police career, as well as promotions and specializations, will take place through the Police Academy, which must guarantee impartial selections, equal opportunity for all candidates, and the fitness of those selected to work as professional police.

29. It is the Police Academy's duty to train rookies, patrolmen, detectives, and the higher ranks, to reeducate the present members, and provide enough resources for the Academy to carry out its duties. Basic training of the new police officers will last at least six months.


30. The government pledges to implement a police restructuring and public security program based on this agreement, for which the government will request the international community's and Minugua's [UN Mission for Guatemala] cooperation taking into consideration international standards on the matter. This restructuring program will receive the necessary resources for the nationwide deployment of professional personnel, taking into consideration all specialties in a modern National Civilian Police [PNC], and will include the following aspects, among others.

a) By late 1999, a new PNC will be operating throughout the national territory under the government ministry and with a minimum of 20,000 members to comply with the present commitments and the specific tasks they be may be assigned to.

b) The police's information-gathering and criminal investigation capabilities will be particularly strengthened so the police can effectively cooperate in the fight against crime and administer justice promptly and effectively with special stress on interinstitutional cooperation between the PNC, the Attorney General's Office, and the judicial branch.

c) Cooperation will be strengthened between PNC and municipal police bodies, within their respective fields of operation.

d) A transition procedure will be established for compliance with paragraph a) of this numeral to ensure the Academy graduates' positive effect on the PNC in general.

e) The communities will participate, through their representatives, in the promotion of the Police career, the proposal of candidates who meet the right requirements, and the support given to agents in charge of public security at local level;

f) The government intends to increase the public security budget for 2000, according to public expenditure allocations based on the GDP. The public security budget will be increased 50 percent based on the budget implemented in 1995.

International Cooperation

31. The parties urge the international community to grant the necessary technical and financial cooperation for the immediate implementation of all the measures that lead to the modernization and professionalization of the public security system in Guatemala.

Private Security Companies

32. The government pledges to sponsor a law at the Congress of the Republic to regulate these companies' role and purview, and to supervise their actions and the professionalism of their personnel. It will particularly guarantee that these companies and their employees will limit themselves to their jurisdiction, under the National Civilian Police's strict control.

Possessing and Carrying Weapons

33. According to the Overall Agreement on Human Rights and, to counter the proliferation of firearms among private citizens and the lack of control on their purchase and use, the Government of the Republic pledges to sponsor a reform to the Weapons and Ammunition Law, to:

a) Further restrict possessing and carrying privately owned weapons, according to what is stated in Article 38 of the Constitution.

b) Grant responsibility to the Government Ministry on the issue. Regarding offensive weapons, and possessing or carrying them, very exceptional and qualified cases will be taken into consideration, and this must include the Defense Ministry's opinion.

34. According to this law, the government pledges to:

a) Enforce a registration system for weapons in circulation and the identification of their owners.

b) Transfer the files that are currently stored at the Defense Ministry's Weapons and Ammunition Control Department to the Government Ministry, with the Minugua's verification, in a process that will conclude late in 1997.

C. Army

35. The signing of the Agreement of Firm and Lasting Peace represents an essential change regarding the conditions that have prevailed in Guatemala for more than three decades. This change positively involves the state institutions, including, particularly, the Guatemalan Army.

The Guatemalan Army's mission is defined as the defense of the country's sovereignty and the integrity of its territory; it will be assigned no other functions and its role in other sectors will be restricted to cooperation tasks. The measures established in this Agreement adapt its doctrine, means, resources, and deployment to its functions and the country's development priorities.

Constitutional Reforms

35. The Government pledges to sponsor the following reforms to the Constitution of the Republic:

a) Article 244. The Army's creation, organization, and role. The Guatemalan Army is a permanent institution at the service of the Nation. It is an indivisible whole, essentially professional, apolitical, obedient, and nondeliberating. Its role is the defense of the State's sovereignty and the integrity of its territory. It is comprised of land, air, and naval forces. Its organization is hierarchical and it is based on the principles of discipline and obedience.

b) Article 219. Military courts. Military courts will handle crimes and offenses described in the Military Code and corresponding regulations. Common crimes and offenses committed by the military will be heard and decided on by the common courts. No civilians can be tried by military courts.

c) Article 246. The president's duties and responsibilities regarding the Army. Substitute paragraph one with this one: The president of the Republic is the Army's General Commander and will issue instructions through the Defense Minister, regardless of the minister being civilian or military.

Legal Framework

37. Reforms of the Army's Basic Law deriving from Constitutional reforms or accords will be promoted.

The Army's Doctrine

38. A new military doctrine will be proposed in accordance with the reforms described in this Agreement. The doctrine should aim at respecting the Constitution, human rights, international military instruments ratified by Guatemala, defense of sovereignty and national independence, integrity of the country's territory, and the spirit of the agreements for a firm and lasting peace.

Sizes and Resources

39. The Guatemalan Army's size and resources will be in accordance with the requirements for compliance with its functions of defending the sovereignty and the territory's integrity, and the country's economic possibilities.

Educational System

40. The necessary reforms in the corresponding regulations will continue to be made so that the military educational system can be consistent, within a philosophical framework, with the respect for the Constitution and bylaws, with a culture of peace and democratic coexistence, with the doctrine defined in this agreement, with national values, human overall development, knowledge of our national history, respect for human rights, identity, and rights of Indian peoples, as well as the preeminence of humankind.

Arms and Ammunition

41. The government will adopt the most adequate policies to buy arms and military equipment according to the Army's new functions. The operation of the Ammunition Manufacturing Plant should be taken into consideration so it can meet the civilian public force's needs.


42. The public educational, financial, health, commercial, aid, and insurance institutions, installations, and agencies that deal with the Guatemalan Army's needs and functions should operate under the same conditions as other similar, nonprofit institutions. All of the graduates of the Adolfo V. Hall institutes will become members of the country's military reserves. The Guatemalan Army will assign programs to these reserves. The government will retain authority over the television frequency allocated to the Guatemalan Army.

Military and Social Service

43. The voluntary enrollment practice will be maintained while the Guatemalan Government, based on the General Human Rights Agreement, makes the necessary administrative decisions and the Congress approves a Civic Service Law, which will include a Military Service and a Social Service. This law should entail fulfilling a constitutional duty and exercising a constitutional right, which should not be forced or violate the human rights, should be universal and nondiscriminating, shorten the time in service, and offer opportunities to citizens.

44. Based on these general principles, the government pledges to promote the aforementioned law, whose proposal will be presented on the basis of what the balanced team which discusses the subject has understood and attained.

D. Presidency of the Republic

Constitutional Reforms

45. The government will present to the Congress the following constitutional reforms.

(a) Regarding the president of the Republic's functions, include the following:

"Under exceptional circumstances, and whenever the regular means to preserve public order and internal peace prove insufficient, the president of the Republic can use the Army for this purpose. The Army's participation in this activity will always be temporary, will take place under civilian authority, and will not in any way limit the exercise of the people's constitutional rights.

To adopt these exceptional measures, the president of the Republic will issue the corresponding decree. The Army's participation will be limited to the strictly necessary period of time and activities and will cease as soon as the objective has been attained. The president of the Republic will keep the Congress posted on the Army's activities. The Congress can order these activities to cease at any time.

Anyway, the president of the Republic will present to the Congress a detailed report on the Army's participation no later than 15 days after such activities have ceased."

(b) To reform Article 246 titled "Duties and responsibilities of the president regarding the Army," eliminating the phrase in letter b) of that article, which states: "He can also grant special pensions."

(c) To reform Article 183, titled "Functions of the president of the Republic" eliminating paragraph r) and modifying the text of paragraph t) to read like this: "To grant special pensions." The President's and Vice President's Security

46. To guarantee the security of the president, vice president, and their respective families, and the logistics support given to the activities carried out by the Presidency of the Republic, the President of the Republic will organize the appropriate organization by the powers invested in him, to replace the Presidential Staff.

E. Information and Intelligence

State Intelligence Organizations

47. The area of activities for the National Defense Staff's Intelligence Directorate is restricted to the Army's role in the Constitution and the reforms stated in this agreement. Its structure and resources must be limited to this area.

48. A department of civilian intelligence and information analysis will be created, and it will be assigned to the Government Ministry. It will be in charge of gathering information to fight organized crime and common crimes with the means, and within the limits, authorized by legal norms, and with strict respect for human rights. The department of civilian intelligence and information analysis cannot be comprised of citizens with limitations in their civilian or political rights.

49. A secretariat for strategic analysis will be created under the direct authority of the Presidency of the Republic. It will inform and advise the President of the Republic to anticipate, prevent, and solve situations which involve all kinds risks or threats to the democratic state.

The organization will be strictly civilian and it will have access to information through public sources and the information gathered by the Government Ministry's department of civilian intelligence and information analysis, and the National Defense Staff's Intelligence Directorate. It will have no authority to conduct its own covert investigations.

50. The secretariat for strategic analysis, the National Defense Staff's Intelligence Directorate, and the Government Ministry's department of civilian intelligence and information analysis will strictly respect the separation between intelligence and information functions and resulting operations. The responsibility of acting operationally to counter threats will be a purview of the pertinent government organizations.

51. The government assumes the pledge of preventing the existence of networks or groups which do not coincide with the functions assigned to intelligence and analysis agencies mentioned in numerals 47, 48, and 49.

52. To prevent any abuse of power and to guarantee respect for the citizens' freedoms and rights, the Government pledges to sponsor the following at the Congress of the Republic:

(a) A law that establishes the system through which a specific Legislative Branch Commission will supervise the state's intelligence organizations.

(b) A law that regulates access to information on military or diplomatic affairs dealing with national security, established in Article 30 of the Constitution; and establishes procedures and classification and declassification levels.


53. All existing information in the state's archives will be subject to strict compliance with Article 31 of the Political Constitution. Once the constitutional reforms foreseen in this agreement are approved, the archives, files, or any state registration form dealing with internal security affairs will be transferred to the Government Ministry. Files, cards, or any state registration form dealing with the defense of the country's sovereignty and the territory's integrity will be transferred to the Defense Ministry. These ministries will be in charge of handling that information.

54. In accordance with Article 31 of the Political Constitution, the government will sponsor the establishing of crimes for the illegal possession of files and archives with political information on Guatemala's citizens.

[FBIS Translated Text]

F. Professionalization of Public Employees

55. In accordance with Article 136 of the Political Constitution, the Guatemalan people must be guaranteed the right to run for public office. Nevertheless, the roles cannot be fulfilled by those who do not meet the requirements of capability, honesty, and integrity.

Regarding this, and in accordance with the Agreement on Socioeconomic Issues and the Agrarian Situation, the government will give priority to the following actions:

a) To modernize public administration, making public the mechanisms to choose and classify the personnel in all divisions of the executive branch, and review their makeup to ensure that employees and officials meet criteria of honesty and are fit for the job.

b) To establish the civil service career.

c) To make sure that legislation regarding the honesty and responsibilities of public officials is effectively enforced;

d) To strengthen and modernize the Accounts Comptroller's Office;

e) To ensure that acts of corruption and the mismanagement of public funds is penalized.

V. Social Participation

56. We must strengthen social participation in order to strengthen civilian power, thus increasing the opportunities and the citizens' ability to participate.

57. The social participation at the level of the communities, specifically, contributes to promote respect for ideological pluralism and social nondiscrimination; provide an ample, organized, and concerted participation by the citizens in the decisionmaking process; and lead citizens to assume their responsibilities and commitments in search of social justice and democracy.

58. To strengthen community participation, and in keeping with the agreements already signed, the government reiterates its commitment to decentralize the public administration, whose goal is to mobilize the state's entire capability for the benefit of the population, and thus establish better relations. Among other measures, this will require:

a) Strengthening the municipal governments and ensuring the effective operation of the Development Council System. This implies improving relations between these organizations and the community through the reinforcement of democratic practices by the authorities, as well as improving the relation between these organizations and the central administration;

b) Establishing, particularly, the Local Development Councils. To this end, these councils should include the different social organizations created to improve the communities, including institutions of Indian communities, as well as the proimprovement committees and other institutions designed to comprehensively channel the participation of neighbors into the development process of their communities and municipalities and which have been recognized and registered by their respective municipal authorities;

c) Creating, in keeping with the terms of the Agreement on Identity and the Rights of Indian Peoples and the Agreement on Socioeconomic Aspects and the Agrarian Situation, the conditions to develop local organizations to represent the population. Specifically, the government reiterates the commitment made through the Agreement on Socioeconomic Aspects and the Agrarian Situation to strengthen social participation through various forms of information and education linked to the defense of human rights, the renewal of the political culture, and the peaceful solution of conflicts. In addition, the government stresses its determination to prepare social organizations to participate in the socioeconomic development.

VI. Women's Participation in Strengthening Civilian Power

59. In order to strengthen women's opportunities to participate in the practice of civilian power, the government commits itself to:

a) Promote publicity campaigns and educational programs nationwide. These campaigns and programs will be designed to raise awareness among the population regarding women's right to participate actively and decisively in the process to strengthen civilian power, without any discrimination and with full equality for both women in rural areas and those in urban areas;

b) Adopt the pertaining measures to ensure that political and social organizations adopt specific policies conducive to encouraging and favoring women's participation as part of the process to strengthen civilian power.

c) Respect, promote, support, and establish women's organizations in rural areas and cities.

d) Establish and guarantee opportunities for the participation of women, organized or not, in all leadership positions.

60. The parties value the work carried out at the national level by the various women's organizations and urge them to join efforts to contribute to the process of implementing the agreements for Firm and Lasting Peace, particularly those commitments directly related to women.

VII. Operational Issues Stemming From the End of the Armed Conflict

Civil Defense Voluntary Committees (CVDC)

61. The government will promote before Congress the abrogation of the decree creating the CVDC and will propose that it become effective the day the Agreement for Firm and Lasting Peace is signed. The demobilization and disarmament of the CVDC will be completed 30 days after the abrogation of the decree. The CVDC, including previously demobilized members, will cease all relations with the Guatemalan Army and will not be reorganized to reinstate that relation.

Roving Military Police

62. The parties have agreed to dissolve the Roving Military Police one year after the signing of the Agreement for Firm and Lasting Peace, when the demobilization of its members will end.

Reduction of Army Troops and Military Budget

63. Effective the date of the signing of the Agreement for Firm and Lasting Peace and in accordance with the new situation and the definition of functions of the Guatemalan Army contained in this agreement, the government will begin a gradual process to accomplish the following:

a) Reorganize the deployment of military forces in the country in 1997, stationing them according to requirements for national defense, border surveillance, and protection of our territorial seas and airspace.

b) Reduce the number of troops in the Guatemalan Army by 33 percent during 1997, using as a basis the current organizational chart and equipment.

c) Reprogram the use and distribution of its budget according to its constitutional duties and the military doctrine outlined in this agreement, making the best use of available resources. By 1999, expenses will be reduced based on the 1995 budget in an amount equivalent to 33 percent of the GDP. This will make available resources from the State's Income and Expenditures General Budget, which will be used in educational, health, and citizen's security programs.

Military Training

64. The government will adapt and transform the contents of courses created for counterguerrilla functions within the context of the armed conflict. Courses should be congruent with the new military educational system, respect for human rights, and will guarantee the dignity of its participants and their desire to serve the people.

Reinstatement Programs

65. After the signing of the Agreement for Firm and Lasting Peace, the government is committed to design and implement programs that will permit the productive reinstatement of members of the Army demobilized by virtue of this agreement, except those convicted for a crime. Those programs will last a year. The government will promote plans to obtain the corresponding funds.

XIII. [Number as published] Final Stipulations

First: In accordance with the basic agreement, the UN secretary general has been asked to verify compliance with this agreement.

Second: This agreement is part of the Agreement for Firm and Lasting Peace and will become effective when the latter is signed.

Third: This agreement will be given broad dissemination.

Mexico City, 19 September 1996

[Signed] On behalf of the Government of the Republic of Guatemala:

Gustavo Porras Castejon, Brigadier General Otto Perez Molina, Raquel Zelaya Rosales, Infantry Colonel Morris Eugenio de Leon, Richard Aitkenhead Castillo

On behalf of the URNG:

Commander Rolando Moran, Commander Pablo Monsanto, Commander Gaspar Ilom, Carlos Gonzalez On behalf of the United Nations:

Jean Arnault, Moderator

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