Date: Sun, 20 Sep 98 13:27:31 CDT
From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Rich Winkel)
Subject: Centr-Am News 9/14-9/19/98
/** reg.nicaragua: 32.0 **/
** Topic: Centr-Am News 9/14-9/19/98 **
** Written 5:24 PM Sep 19, 1998 by wnu in cdp:reg.nicaragua **
Frenchman Jean Arnault, head of the U.N Verification Mission in Guatemala, known as Minugua, warned that some aspects of the Guatemalan peace process appear to be stagnating. The process was begun on December 29, 1996, with the signing of the peace agreements by the Guatemalan National Revolutionary Unity (URNG) and the government of President Alvaro Arzu.
There are two general themes that are bogged down, he said,
the constitutional and the economic, and from there derive
questions of the judicial system and the military. While these do not
advance, there is a debt weighing over the peace process. Arnault
Financial reform is the sustenance of peace. The
agreements are a dead letter if there is no economic support, while
the changes to the Constitution offer legal support. He warned
that if no changes were made and approved by the end of this year,
such changes may take many more years to be accomplished. If the
changes are not carried out according to the pre-arranged time
schedule, said Arnault, the international community will be convinced
that the peace process
has not penetrated the country.
In addition to the problems cited by Arnault, other observers cite the problem of land distribution and ownership and the situation of the indigenous population, more than half the Guatemalan people, as problems that have not advanced within the peace process.
Arnault said Guatemala is going through its
trial by fire and
it is to be seen if the Guatemalan people are united or divided.
If there is no consensus, he said,
it will be difficult for
the areas of justice, the situation of the indigenous people and the
economic question to advance in practical terms. (La Prensa on the
Web from AFP, San Pedro Sula, 9/14/98; Agencia Informativa
Amarc-Pulsar, 9/14/98; )