Guatemala Human Rights Commission/USA
Home|About GHRC|Programs|Publications|Resources|About Guatemala|How You Can Help




February 22, 2010: President Asks the United States to Lift the Ban on US Aid To Guatemalan Military. President Colom announced today that he asked the United States to lift the military embargo imposed in Guatemala since the 1980’s.  He clarified that the petition comes from the necessity to buy “mobilization equipment” like speedboats to combat drug trafficking. Colom argued that the Secretary of Defense has no had reinforcement for its equipment since the signing of the Peace Accords.  “I did not ask for arms…the greatest problem is mobilization,” he said.  He illustrated that, “intervention in the north of Petén has not been realized because it requires equipment,’” he added in a press conference after his return from Washington. About the installation of a regional anti-drug trafficking office, he said that this would monitor the investigations of the CICIG. [elPeriodico]

January 21, 2010: Defense asks for an additional Q100 million ($12 million) to reopen a military base in San Marcos. Defense Minister Abraham Valenzuela said that in order to improve security in San Marcos, the government must re-open the region's military base, one which played an important role the armed conflict. The Minister specified that reopening the base would require Q100 million (or $12 million) which would be used to modernize the army and reform education. Miguel Ángel Sandoval, ex president of the Guatemalan National Revolutionary Unity (URNG) believes that the militarization of security will be bad for the country. He argues that a better option would be to reform the National Civilian Police, fortify intelligence, improve criminal investigations by the Public Prosecutor and fight impunity. [Prensa Libre]

January 21, 2010: President Colom inaugurates new military base. At the inauguration of the new Pacific Anti-narcotics Base, President Colom stated that 41% of violent deaths are related to drug trafficking.  It is also estimated that 400 metric tons of drugs pass through Central America every year.  The base will coordinate air, sea and land operations aimed at dismantling groups dedicated to the moving of narcotic.  The president also announced the creation of a special unit to fight the contraband related to drug trafficking. []

December 2, 2009: A large coalition of organizations in the Ixcán have released a statement rejecting the reopening of a military base in the region and the remilitarization of communities still recovering from massacres at the hands of the army. Read their statement in English. Lea su comunicado en español. (pdf)

October 21, 2009: Complaints resume after military decision to reopen Sixth Brigade in Ixcan. The remilitarization of Ixcan is reopening wounds from the massacres that occurred at the hands of the military during the 36 year civil war. Many civil society groups are rising up against the military instillation. The official purpose is to stop the increased violence, however some say this is not the case at all. [La Hora]

July 25, 2009. Consequences of little to no arms control. At least 17 people die by firearms daily in Guatemala. Although national hospitals do not keep statistics of those who enter with wounds from stray bullets, they receive at least 75 each month for gunshot wounds, many of whom die after arriving at the hospital. According to Eleonora Muralles, from Family and Friends Against Crime and Kidnapping (Familiares y Amigos contra la Delincuencia y el Secuestro, FADS), there is a need for a general disarmament and control of those with a weapon, as several young people between the ages of 15 and 16 go to clubs armed and are irresponsible. Muralles also said that the institution of the police must be strengthened so the argument for self-protection is not given as much credit as it currently is. [La Hora]

June 3, 2009: Army to reopen brigade in Ixcán





Violence Against Women

Mining and Land Rights

Government Corruption

Violence, Gangs and Narcotrafficking

Important Cases



Justice and Impunity









Donate to GHRC
Sign Up to Receive Emails from GHRC
Take Action

Home | Site Map | Contact Us

3321 12th Street NE, Washington, DC 20017

This site is maintained by the Guatemala Human Rights Commission/USA
as a means of informing the general public of the Commission's work
on behalf of the people of Guatemala