The contemporary political history of the Republic of Guatamala

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Belgian Priest's Murder Ordered by Government
From Weekly Update on the Americas, 29 January 1995. Human rights violations and political murders.
Guatemala's Gross National Products: CocaDollars, Repression, and Disinformation
By Frank Smyth, 6 February 1995. As civil war winds down, political repression continues. The growing importance of Guatemala's cocaine trade and the army.
Tax Hike a Blow for Workers
Cerigua Weekly Briefs, 14 December 1995. A 41.9 percent increase in the added value tax (IVA) on sales goods will go into effect, and small agricultural producers and workers will be hit hardest.
An Interview with Rigoberta Menchu
By NACLA editors, May/June 1996. Rigoberta Menchu Tum, a Quiche Maya, won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1992 in recognition of her work on behalf of indigenous peoples and poor Latinos in Guatemala. Her foundation launched a National Campaign for Civic Participation, a non-partisan effort to encourage women and indigenous people to vote. This angered some in the Guatemalan left, with whom she had collaborated in the 1980s.
Unions March Against Privatization
Cerigua Weekly Briefs, 11 March 1997. Thousands took to the streets March 7 in the first major protest against President Alvaro Arzu Irigoyen&s unpopular economic measures. And today the Catholic Church added its voice to the growing clamor for the suspension of the government's ambitious privatization program.
Daycare Suspended
Cerigua Weekly Briefs, 8 January 1998. At least 12 of the nation's 52 centers suspended their services this week without notice. Government officials say the closures are due to a restructuring that seeks to replace the current personnel with more qualified staff. Workers charge that the government is forcing them out with a voluntary retirement plan in order to privatize the system.
Truth Commission Asks More of Government
Cerigua Weekly Briefs, 8 January 1998. Lack of cooperation from the army and the government may leave the official version of wartime human rights abuses here full of holes, according to the chair of the Historical Clarification Commission (CEH). It will also reflect badly on these institutions' efforts to distance themselves from the nation's ugly past.
Minugua Head Says Peace Process is Bogged Down
Centr-Am News, Sept. 13—19 1998. 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.
Guatemalan Telephone Company Sold
Centr-Am News, week of September 20–October 3, 1998. New Guatemala Democratic Front (FDNG) will challenge the sale, because of irregularities, the speed and the extreme secrecy of the sale of 75 per cent of the shares in the formerly government-run telephone company, Telgua, to Luca, S.A.
ILO Lenient with Labor Officials
Cerigua Weekly Briefs, 18 June 1999. The International Labour Organization (ILO) sent a mixed message to Guatemalans this week, upbraiding their government for failing to respect workers' right to organize, while at the same time giving it a place on the entity's governing body.
Activists Criticise New Military Doctrine
By Celina Zubieta, IPS, 17 December 1999. Human rights organisations in Guatemala criticised the army for failing to consult civil society when drawing up its new peace-time policy.
New Portillo Gov't Sparks Fear and Distrust
By Celina Zubieta, IPS, 30 December 1999. Guatemala's future government under president-elect Alfonso Portillo is already causing fear among human rights organisations, while the United States and Mexican media criticise the imminent Portillo administration's ties with former dictator Efrain Rios Montt.