55. The chapter devoted to the situation of the human rights defenders stated that it has progressively worsened. In recent years there has been an increase in the number of threats, acts of harassment, searches of headquarters of human rights organizations and homes of human rights defenders, and assaults and assassinations targeting defenders. These actions are part of a pattern of intimidation of human rights defenders, identifiable by the profile of the victims, the methods of intimidation, and the motives behind them. The main goal of this pattern of intimidation against human rights defenders is to prevent effective action by the judicial branch in cases of human rights violations committed during the armed conflict.
56. To contribute to the protection of human rights defenders and ensure that they can go about their work, and based on the analysis and conclusions above, the Commission recommends that the Guatemalan State:
1. Adopt policies that recognize the legitimacy of the work of human rights defenders and social leaders, and that include the design of additional training activities to ensure respect for the human rights defenders among the members of the security forces, and unequivocal declarations by high-level officials confirming the legitimacy and importance of the work of human rights defenders and their organizations.
2. Deploy the necessary human, budgetary and logistical resources to guarantee the implementation of adequate and effective measures of protection whenever the personal safety and lives of these persons are at risk. In addition, ensure that the security measures are effectively put into practice and maintained for as long as the risks continue.
3. Agree on security measures with the defenders in order to make sure that they are pertinent and that they allow them to continue carrying out their duties.
4. Take action with renewed determination to guarantee the investigation, prosecution, and punishment of those responsible for threats, attacks, and other acts of intimidation against the human rights defenders and social leaders.
5. Establish specialized units within the National Civil Police and the Office of the Attorney General, endowed with the necessary resources and training to enable them to work in a coordinated manner and respond with due diligence in investigating these acts. In addition, increase the resources of the Office of the Ombudsman for Human Rights with a view to strengthening its capacity for defending and protecting the activities carried out by the human rights defenders.
6. Implement the precautionary measures requested by the IACHR appropriately and effectively, and ensure continuous allocation of the human and material resources required for that purpose.
57. Regarding the resources for guaranteeing the implementation of protective measures for as long as the risks persist, it should be noted that on May 13, 2004, the Presidential Coordinating Commission for Executive Policy on Human Rights Matters (COPREDEH) launched the Coordinating Unit for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders, administrators and justice operators, journalists and social communicators, with a view to coordinating the protective measures ordered by the Inter-American Court of Human Rights, as well as those requested by the IACHR and UN Rapporteurs. The impact of this important initiative has been limited due to the scheduled 2005 budget cut for COPREDEH. Not withstanding the foregoing, the National Human Rights Movement reported to the IACHR that up to this point, a public policy, devised with the consensus of the civil society organizations of Guatemala, to acknowledge the activities of human rights defenders does not exist.
58. In its response, the State reported that on November 29th and 30th, 2004, a national seminar was held, Construction of an Integral Public Policy of Protection for Human Rights Defenders, Administrators and Operators of Justice, Journalists and Social Communicators, during which discussions on the following subjects took place: public policy on protection; participation mechanisms for the formulation of the Plan of National Action on the Protection of Human Rights 2004-2007; and the catalog of measures of protection, which has been identified by the State as a fundamental component of the public policy on protection. The Commission considers that these types of spaces are crucial for the design of a consensual policy between the Government and civil society, which is permitted to actively participate.
59. For its part, the Movement reported that during 2004 there were no additional training activities for security forces aimed at raising awareness of defender’s work and the necessity of their respect, nor unequivocal statements on behalf of public officials dealing with the legitimacy and importance of human rights defenders.
60. With respect to the volume of resources assigned to defenders’ security, the National Human Rights Movement informed the IACHR that to date there is not only no record of any increase in said resources but, to the contrary, they have been cut. In particular, the Movement stated that, in the case of the National Civil Police, the security services were being delivered by the Section for Security Protection (SEPROSE), several of whose members had been discharged because of their being implicated in human rights violations and crimes, without any further strengthening of that service to date; this, in practice, led several organizations and persons to lose the protective measures they had. According to the information received by the IACHR, as an alternative measure of protection, the Minister of the Interior had suggested to the organizations that they hire private security agencies or form their own security teams that could be subsidized by the State. Apparently none of the offers was accepted by the organizations.
61. Regarding the effectiveness of protective measures, despite the efforts to comply with the precautionary measures reported by the State to the Commission, both the beneficiaries and their representatives complain of the precariousness of the resources given to the police officers responsible for protecting them; they lack, in particular, adequate means of transportation and means of communication. The National Human Rights Movement also stated that the authorities’ inability to respond effectively became clear when former Civil Self Defense patrolmen issued threats on November 22, 2004 against five human rights organizations, three of which were forced to file a petition of habeas corpus to get a justice of the peace to order protective measures which were only provided by the authorities several days later.
62. With respect to designing security measures in conjunction with the petitioners, both information received from the petitioners and the State in connection with the precautionary measures granted by the Commission and general information provided by the Human Rights Movement indicate that when security measures are granted by the Office of the Ombudsman for Human Rights, the Office of the Prosecutor, or by the organs of the Inter-American system, they are negotiated with the defenders.
63. With respect to the renewed determination to investigate, try, and punish those responsible for attacks against defenders, the Commission expresses its concern regarding the lack of results of the investigations and the down-sizing of the Office of the Prosecutor for Human Rights Defenders, created in 2002. In this connection, in its final human rights report MINUGUA concluded that the measures adopted by the State to guarantee the physical well-being and safety of the defenders, including, besides the special prosecutor’s office, the Cabinet for Security and Human Rights of the Presidency of the Republic and the presidential commission to investigate threats against defenders, have not produced any results. In fact, “[that] mission continued to receive threats against human rights defenders until the end of 2004.”
64. Finally, regarding the creation of new institutional units for the protection of defenders, there are reports that a unit of the National Civil Police in charge of threats against defenders has come on stream. One of the reasons why investigations undertaken by this new police agency have yielded so few results is the lack of coordination with the Office of the Attorney General.
65. With respect to threats, harassment, and intimidation against justice operators, the Commission recommended that the Guatemalan State:
1. Make every effort to increase the budget allocation assigned to the protection of judges, attorneys, and prosecutors. Give adequate training and compensation for the security personnel that the National Civil Police and the Supreme Court place at the disposal of judges and prosecutors for their protection.
2. Establish a special unit of the National Civil Police to work directly and permanently with the Unit for the Prosecution of Crimes against Justice Operators, enabling it to conduct its investigations.
3. Adopt and undertake all pertinent measures to guarantee the investigation, trial and punishment of [those responsible for] threats, attacks, and other acts of intimidation against justice operators. Likewise, to assign the necessary resources and protection to the Special Prosecutor charged with investigating attacks against justice operators, as well as to the Office of the Ombudsman for Human Rights.
66. Regarding the issue of threats against defenders, the Commission has been informed that the Commission on Judicial Protection of the Judiciary does not have sufficiently capacity to take care of security demands due to budgetary constraints. In addition, the IACHR has been informed that the security personnel assigned to this function are also insufficient, which has resulted in an increase in the murders of justices.
67. In this connection, the report presented by the Myrna Mack Foundation to the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Independence of Judges and Lawyers considers it to be a matter of serious concern that
the greatest increase in cases involved Justices of the Supreme Court (from one to five) and even more so if it is borne in mind that in the period analyzed (2004), all the affected justices belonged to the Criminal Chamber, given their functions as court of last resort in this area of the law. An equal cause of concern is the lack of protection reflected in the data referring to the Justices of the Peace. It should not be surprising since the “planting” of Justices of the Peace all over the entire Republic, without taking into consideration cultural circumstances, knowledge of the language and without surrounding them with due protection for the effective performance of their duties, makes them extremely vulnerable. Thus, the 2004 figures are likely to exceed those for 2003 (9 cases so far this year against 11 for all of last year).
68. With respect to the Unit for Prosecution of Crimes against Justice Operators, the Commission has been told that it has few resources, despite the increasing number of cases it has to deal with.
69. As for the Office of the Ombudsman for Human Rights, notable efforts have been made made to provide protection, including the creation of a shelter for victims of human rights violations and human rights defenders under attack. This is due to the support of the international community, as budget resources are not sufficient for the proper discharge of this Office’s mission. In fact, according to information received by the IACHR, of the 90 million quetzales requested by the Human Rights Ombudsman for 2005 operating costs, only 46 million have been assigned in the budget.
IV. THE SITUATION OF THE INDIGENOUS PEOPLES
70. In the report’s chapter on the situation of indigenous peoples, the IACHR remarks that they continue to be systematically excluded from the country’s social, economic, and political life, to the clear detriment of their well-being and development, both as individuals and as a group. Although the trend of legislation in the past decade has been piecemeal laws for recognition and protection of indigenous rights, in practice this has not resulted in effective implementation of the legal provisions. This situation of social exclusion and marginalization is also evident in the indigenous peoples’ lack of access to justice, and the impunity for violations of their human rights committed during the armed conflict. Compensation for victims is still pending. Social exclusion is also rife in terms of indigenous peoples’ political participation, and the disputes over lands belonging to them.
71. With a view to contributing to respect for the rights of the indigenous peoples and to the strengthening of democracy and the rule of law, the IACHR presented the following recommendations to the Guatemalan State:
1. Take the necessary measures to prevent, punish, and eradicate discrimination against indigenous peoples and their members, as well as any measures needed to put an end to the social exclusion to which they are subjected. In this sense, the State should provide special protection to indigenous children and women, who find themselves in a situation of particular vulnerability, marginalization, and inequality.
2. Abide fully by the commitments undertaken by the State in the Agreement on the Identity and Rights of Indigenous Peoples. Promote and adopt legislative or other initiatives compatible with ILO Convention No. 169 Concerning Indigenous and Tribal Peoples in Independent Countries, with the commitments undertaken in the Agreement on the Identity and Rights of Indigenous Peoples, and with international human rights instruments.
3. Adopt the necessary measures to ensure effective access to justice for the indigenous peoples and their members, especially measures related to the provision of translators and justice operators familiar with indigenous culture, languages, and customs; and recognition of indigenous communal law that is in accordance with basic human rights.
4. Investigate, try, and punish those responsible for violations against the life, integrity, and other human rights of the indigenous peoples and their members committed during the armed conflict as part of a genocidal policy in the 1980s.
5. Establish the necessary measures to promote the full political participation of the members of the indigenous peoples, through greater participation in the holding of public office, and greater recognition of the traditional forms of indigenous organization.
6. Establish swift and effective mechanisms to resolve conflicts over land ownership (dominio), in order to guarantee and provide legal certainty to indigenous communities with respect to their ownership of their properties, and to provide state lands to those communities that need them for their development, pursuant to Article 68 of the Constitution of Guatemala.
72. Regarding the need to adopt the necessary measures to prevent, punish and eradicate discrimination against indigenous peoples and their members and to put an end to the social exclusion to which they are subjected, it is necessary to consider the statement by MINUGUA in its report of August 30, 2004, in connection with application of the Peace Accords, that “with the signing on 29 December 1996 of the Agreement on a Firm and Lasting Peace, more than three decades of conflict came to an end and a far-reaching project was launched to unite a fragmented society and transform a militarized State that had abused human rights massively during the conflict, perpetuated social inequalities and systematically excluded indigenous peoples, who comprise half or more of the population.” It then added:
Some of the issues [taken up in the Peace Accords] were particularly difficult to resolve. For example, in promoting an end to discrimination against indigenous people, the accords struck the main fault line dividing Guatemalan society, a problem dating back to colonial times and likely requiring generations to overcome.
73. In its Report, the IACHR recognized, as an important initiative, the creation of the Presidential Commission against Discrimination and Racism against the Indigenous Peoples of Guatemala (CODISRA), through Government Accord No. 390-2002, published on October 9, 2002. The IACHR hopes that this Presidential Commission will, in practice, be able to accomplish its objectives, especially that of formulating public policies that guarantee the elimination of discrimination and racism against the indigenous peoples.
74. The IACHR was informed that CODISRA, in its report of November, 2004 to the Presidency of the Republic, reached the following conclusions:
a) Most of the highest authorities recognize the existence of discrimination and racism in Guatemala. However, the patterns and systems that strengthen the system of domination continue to be reproduced.
b) The absence of public policies for the comprehensive development of the indigenous peoples is, in and of itself, a public policy of exclusion.
c) The lack of development planning with the participation of the indigenous peoples is the structural and institutional flaw that limits the integral development of Guatemalans under conditions of equality.
d) The lack of coordination in the formulation and implementation of public policies among the three branches of the Guatemalan State results in the gradual stagnation of the development of Guatemalans.
e) Colonial discrimination and racism live on in the political and institutional structure of the State, directly affecting the economic, political, social and spiritual development, that is, life itself, of the indigenous peoples.
f) Although there is information available regarding the living conditions endured by indigenous women, public policies continue to be formulated ignoring such studies and impairing their access to women’s human and specific rights.
g) The Guatemalan legal system is ineffective in the treatment of cases of discrimination and racism, which is why the reform of Article 202 bis of the Criminal Code does not by itself resolve the problem of discrimination and racism.
h) The existence of institutions and authorities to attend to matters related to indigenous peoples without adequate budgets does not resolve the situation of exclusion and replicates other forms of discrimination at the structural and institutional levels.
i) It is urgent that the Judiciary and the Office of the Attorney General, in a coordinated fashion, formulate a policy for criminal prosecution of the crime of discrimination and racism, to expedite the trials of the reported cases.
j) The majority of the complaints of discrimination and racism registered by the defenders of the PDH, DEMI, and CODISRA involve indigenous women and girls in different areas of social relations.
k) The discrimination cases being processed by the Office of the Attorney General have been shelved for lack of evidence, which constitutes a situation of institutionalized discrimination because the cases go unpunished.
75. For its part, the IACHR was informed that the actions and impact of CODISRA on public policies issued by the State have yet to be seen. This is due, on the one hand, to lack of sensitization of civil servants and, on the other, to their inability to carry out the activities entrusted to them with the budgets at their disposal. The latter also appears to be the case with other State institutions that work with indigenous peoples, such as the Office of the Defender of Indigenous Women.
76. Regarding the need to adopt measures to put an end to the social exclusion to which indigenous peoples are subjected and the duty to give special protection to indigenous children and women who find themselves in a situation of particular vulnerability, marginality and inequality, the IACHR was told that, insofar as poverty eradication policies are concerned, there is little likelihood of solutions being found to either the extreme poverty or the overall poverty of the indigenous peoples.
Eight years later, fragmented efforts have produced only limited results in the area of socio-economic reform. Despite increases in social spending and the creation of new institutions to address land issues, public services remain vastly inadequate, rural development opportunities scarce and land conflicts persistent. Guatemala’s income inequality still ranks among the worst in Latin America, according to a recent World Bank study. The percentage of Guatemalans currently living in poverty (57 per cent) has remained about the same and the numbers living in extreme poverty (21.5 per cent) have increased in the past few years, owing in part to the effects of a drop in world coffee prices.
77. Regarding the issue of compliance with the commitments undertaken by the State in the Agreement on the Identity and Rights of Indigenous Peoples [AIDPI] to promote and adopt legislative or other initiatives compatible with ILO Convention No. 169 concerning Indigenous and Tribal Peoples in Independent Countries, with the commitments undertaken in the Agreement on the Identity and Rights of Indigenous Peoples, and with the international human rights instruments, the IACHR stated in its report that the Peace Accords, especially the Agreement on the Identity and Rights of Indigenous Peoples, constituted the historic opportunity to overcome the scourges of exclusion and discrimination of indigenous peoples. However, eight years after its signing, the Commission has verified that it is the Agreement least complied with.
78. For its part, MINUGUA, in its August, 2004 Report said:
Eight years into the implementation process [of the Agreement on the Identity and Rights of Indigenous Peoples - AIDPI], progress in this area has been more formal than substantive. Important reforms have taken place on the legal and institutional levels in the creation of special programs and agencies envisaged by the peace accords. Unprecedented debate is taking place about the previously taboo topics of racism and discrimination. Yet the everyday reality for most indigenous people has changed little. The indigenous population continues to face seen and unseen barriers to advancement, continues to occupy the lower echelons of work and society and continues to be vastly underrepresented in politics and public life. The worst social indicators continue to be registered in the predominantly indigenous areas of the countryside lacking in basic infrastructure or decent public services. The failure of the 1999 constitutional reform — that would have declared Guatemala a multicultural State — was a major disappointment for indigenous leaders and organizations that had participated enthusiastically in the implementation process until that point, including in the many joint commissions set up to develop policies and legislation on issues such as land, education reform, indigenous religion and political participation.
79. In this regard, the IACHR was informed that indigenous organizations believe that the agreement with the least degree of compliance is the AIDPI. Although there are different joint committees for its implementation, its proposals have not been duly considered by competent authorities. In addition, despite the preparation of an educational reform, it has not been implemented. Nor have the sacred sites of indigenous peoples been recognized, nor have their place names, with the exception of a Ministerial Accord that “regulates” the access of spiritual guides to some ceremonial centers. With respect to compliance with ILO Convention 169, to date there are no results. There is a bill proposed for the participation and consultation of Indigenous Peoples presented by the Council of Maya Organizations of Guatemala, COMG. However, to this date it has not been processed. Nor has the State yet created the entity for the consultation of indigenous peoples contemplated by the Convention, notwithstanding the demands of villagers who are suffering the consequences of open pit mining.
80. With respect to the recommendation on adopting necessary measures to ensure effective access to justice for the indigenous peoples and their members, especially measures related to the availability of translators and justice operators familiar with indigenous culture, languages, and customs, and recognition of indigenous communal law that is in accordance with basic human rights, the IACHR notes that in its November 2004 report, MINUGUA highlighted, as a sign of change, the introduction of a multicultural approach. This approach had been absent in state institutions, including the Supreme Court but, according to MINUGUA, there are now more bilingual justice operators and interpreters in the judiciary and several judgments have confirmed the right to practice indigenous spirituality or use traditional dress.
81. In this regard, the IACHR was informed that although these initiatives have been of great importance and valued by indigenous organizations, many of the translators and justice operators in the indigenous communities do not know these peoples’ culture and, besides, there are not enough of them for the size of the indigenous population. On the other hand, there is strong resistance to a reform of certain articles of the Law on the Judiciary (Articles 2 and 3, for instance) that would allow Mayan Law to be a source of positive law. There is even less chance of achieving recognition of the Indigenous Legal System. 
82. With respect to the necessity of investigating, trying, and punishing those responsible for the massacres and violations against the right to life, the right to humane treatment, and other human rights of the indigenous peoples and their members which occurred during the armed conflict based on the implementation of a genocidal policy during the decade of the 1980s, the IACHR was told that on November 2, 2004 the trial began on the case of the the massacre of Río Negro, Rabinal, Baja Verapaz, but on that same day the hearing was suspended due to a motion made by the defense of the accused.
83. The IACHR has not been informed of any progress in judicial investigations of the massacres and violations against the right to life, the right to humane treatment, and other human rights of the indigenous peoples and their members that occurred during the armed conflict.
84. Regarding the necessary measures to promote full political participation of the members of indigenous peoples through a greater participation in public office and greater recognition of the traditional forms of indigenous organization:
The most important advance in this area of decentralization was the passage in 2002 of a trio of laws designed to increase citizen participation in local decision-making, particularly by previously excluded groups, such as women and the indigenous population. The changes included a reform of the Municipal Code and a revitalization of a multi-tiered structure of Development Councils. In many parts of the country, civil society groups are already beginning to play a more active role in influencing municipal and departmental policy-making through the provisions of the laws. The new Administration reinforced this positive trend by naming several governors from slates of candidates proposed by the Departmental Development Councils, a significant departure from the traditional use of these posts to reward political supporters. 
85. In this regard, the IACHR was informed of concern over the decline in the number of indigenous men and women holding offices and positions within public administration. This is the case of the Congress of the Republic: during the previous period there were 16 deputies out of 113 legislators, while in this new administration there are only 11 out of 158, including only one elected Mayan woman. This is the result of how the Law on Elections and Political Parties is framed. Although it was reformed, it has not made full political participation of the indigenous peoples any easier.
86. Finally, regarding the issue referring to the establishment of special mechanisms for the swift and effective solution of conflicts over land ownership, to guarantee and bring legal certainty to the indigenous communities with respect to the ownership of their properties, and to provide state lands to those communities needing them for their development, pursuant to Article 68 of the Constitution of Guatemala, the IACHR was informed that it has not been possible to obtain the recognition of the indigenous communities’ possession and ownership of the land, that the restitution of communal lands and corresponding compensation is still pending, and that no lands have been acquired for the development of indigenous communities.
87. It is worth stressing that in 2004 the Congress of the Republic debated the Cadaster Act, which is important to obtain legal certainty regarding the lands of indigenous communities. However, the law has not yet been passed.
Efforts to improve access to land and resolve land conflicts have also been insufficient. Fontierra, the government agency created under the peace accords to provide credit for land purchases, continues to receive less than its mandated budgetary allocation. Contierra, the presidential agency for analyzing and mediating land disputes, has helped to resolve some high-profile cases but has never had the funding or institutional stability to play this role in a sustained manner on the national level.
Many key land-related legal reforms have not been carried out, most notably the commitment to create a national land registry considered essential for giving rural landholders legal security. International donors provided major assistance for pilot projects in this area but official promises to enact enabling legislation have repeatedly proven hollow. Nor have peace accords commitments been honored to deal with other aspects of the land question: creating an agrarian legal code; reviewing the status of idle lands and lands illegally acquired during the armed conflict; and establishing legal security for land held communally by indigenous groups.
V. THE SITUATION OF WOMEN
88. The chapter on the situation of women noted that they too have not been able to participate significantly in public office and have not fully benefited from the fruits of the country’s development, because of historical patterns of gender discrimination. There are still discriminatory domestic laws, such as the requirement that a woman be deemed "honorable" to be considered a victim of a sexual crime, the difference in the age requirement for women and men to marry, and the lack of distinct treatment for women and children in laws on working conditions. There is also concern over the level of violence against women, and their lack of effective access to the legal system to redress it. Women and men are treated differently in their access to basic services. It is harder for women than for men to exercise their economic and labor rights. The conditions in which they work and the remuneration they receive are unfair and not equal to those that apply to men. Women are proportionately poorer than men, and have less access to education and health services.
89. In this regard, the Commission made, inter alia, the following recommendations to the Guatemalan State, which shall be referred to in this chapter:
1. Take specific steps aimed at bringing about the legislative reforms needed to eliminate cases of de jure discrimination, such as those mentioned above, that have already been internationally and nationally identified as discriminatory. For example, introduce the gender perspective in the design and execution of all laws, policies, and programs.
2. Strengthen the participation and representation of women in elected office and other decision-making spheres.
3. Adopt additional measures to reinforce coordination among the state organizations charged with protecting the rights of women and among these organizations and civil society. Guarantee the allocation of sufficient human and material resources to bodies such as the National Office on Women, the Office of the Defender of the Rights of Indigenous Women and the Presidential Secretariat on Women, which have a special responsibility to safeguard women’s rights.
4. Increase the resources assigned for implementation of the National Policy on the Promotion and Development of Women and of the Equal Opportunity Plan.
5. Step up efforts to train personnel in all areas of government with respect to women’s rights and their obligations with regard to those rights. Expand existing training programs for civil servants, especially those of the National Civil Police and the Office of the Public Prosecutor, who are responsible for receiving reports and complaints, to include the study of the causes and consequences of gender-related violence, so that they may respond more effectively to victims’ needs.
6. Attach priority to the elimination of legal and factual barriers to women’s access to effective remedies and judicial protection mechanisms, especially in the sphere of violence against women. Intensify efforts to ensure due diligence in the investigation, trial, and punishment of violations of women’s rights.
7. Invest additional human and material resources in educational plans to inform the public about the causes, characteristics, and consequences of gender violence -- particularly intra-family violence -- and inform girls and women about their rights and the resources available for their protection.
8. Strengthen labor legislation and inspection services to protect the right of women to just, equitable and healthy working conditions; to guarantee fairness in salaries and benefits and, especially, to safeguard the rights of women and girls in domestic service.
9. Boost strategies to ensure that girls enjoy equal access to primary education, and to support their conclusion of primary school as a minimum norm, including the expansion of programs with incentives for the education of girls.
10. Adopt additional measures for the provision of comprehensive health care, including family planning services, in order to protect the right of women to personal integrity.
90. The Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Women of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR), Dr. Susana Villarán, made a visit to Guatemala between September 12 and 18, 2004, with a view to investigating and obtaining relevant information on the situation of discrimination and violence against women and evaluating the effectiveness of prevention policies and institutions, as well as the obstacles impeding access to justice for victims and their family members. The visit was the result of an invitation of the Government of President Oscar Berger and at the request of representatives of civil society concerned with the murders of Guatemalan women and other forms of violence inflicted upon them. In addition, since Guatemala is a multiethnic and multicultural State, the Rapporteur also came to learn about the status of indigenous women’s rights. At the end of her visit, the Rapporteur presented some preliminary reflections, some of which are pertinent for the purposes of this report and are referred to below.
91. Regarding the legal and institutional framework for the protection of women, the Rapporteur noted that following the signing of the Peace Accords and the ratification of the Convention of Belém do Pará, the Guatemalan State has taken important steps to improve the legal and institutional framework to overcome historic forms of discrimination and violence against women. These important initiatives include the Law to Prevent, Punish, and Eradicate Intra-Family Violence, and its Regulations, and the Law to Promote the Dignity and Advancement of Women (Ley de Dignificación y Promoción Integral de la Mujer). Other noteworthy state policies include the National Policy of Promotion of the Development of Guatemalan Women, the Equal Opportunities Plan 2001-2006 and the National Plan for the Prevention and Eradication of Intra-Family Violence and Violence against Women (PLANOVI 2004-2014). The creation of the Office of the Defender of Indigenous Women (DEMI), the National Coordination Bureau for the Prevention of Intra-Family Violence and Violence against Women (CONAPREVI), the Presidential Secretariat for Women (SEPREM), the Secretariat for Social Works of the First Lady (SOSEP), the Gender Equity and Treatment of Victims offices, and the Section on Female Homicide of the National Civil Police, the Office of the Prosecutor for Women and the Office of the Attorney General’s Bureau for the Treatment of Victims, among others, represent institutional advances that deserve recognition. However, it has been shown that these institutions have scant budgetary resources to carry out their missions and lack the necessary inter-institutional coordination.
92. There are a number of deficiencies in the investigation of cases of violence against women. This lack of observance of due process is greater when the victim does not have the resources or information necessary to follow up on a case and insist that responsible authorities fulfill their legal obligations. Both domestic and international laws establish that the State has the duty to apply due diligence in the investigation and clarification of cases of violations of basic rights.
93. Regarding the shortcomings of the judicial system, its own authorities confirmed that they do not have the personnel, infrastructure, equipment, and budgetary resources needed to carry out their task of investigation and prosecution of crime. Investigations and trials are based almost exclusively on testimony; there is a dramatic dearth of physical and scientific evidence. Justice operators confirmed that many cases do not emerge from the investigation stage for lack of proof and, in those cases where the debate stage is reached, the absence of physical or scientific evidence to corroborate testimonial evidence may render trials unreliable. Another consequence of the lack of resources and practices to provide physical and scientific evidence is that many victims entering the morgue as N.N. remain unidentified. For example, data from the Office of the Prosecutor for Women indicate that in a group of 152 cases of homicide, 24 of the victims were not identified. We have confirmed that in Guatemala there is no national registry of disappeared persons, nor is there a national identification registry, which makes it difficult to perform the necessary crossing of data to identify corpses. To this should be added the absence of the State in vast areas of the national territory, where the victims have nowhere to go to claim their rights.
94. With respect to other factors preventing women’s access to effective remedies and mechanisms of judicial protection, particularly for situations of violence, the Rapporteur said that one current problem demonstrating the need to take urgent steps to break the cycle of violence against women is the number of murders in which the victim had previously complained about a situation of intra-family or domestic violence. Of the homicide cases filed by the Office of the Prosecutor for Women, 31% of the victims had received previous threats. In addition, representatives both of the State and civil society confirmed that the security measures granted to women subject to these forms of violence in their personal or family environment are not effective. For example, two of the women murdered were carrying a restraining order with them. This indicates that the measures are insufficient to prevent the aggressor from approaching his victim, since after the order is issued the police go to the house once and never return.
95. Another fact that places women who have been threatened or have previously been the victims of assault at greater risk is the lack of temporary shelters or crisis houses. Women and their children, after filing a complaint, have no choice but to return to the house where the aggressor lives. In addition to the above, the Rapporteur pointed out that the lack of free legal services bars most victims in lower-income groups from judicial protection. The Rapporteur also received information and testimony on threats and other intimidating acts against victims or their family members, as well as against some civil society organizations that support them, and about the lack of effective protective measures not just for victims but also for witnesses.
96. The Rapporteurship wishes to emphasize that the failure to investigate, try, and punish those responsible for this violence against women has greatly contributed to an atmosphere of impunity that perpetuates violence against Guatemalan women. The low number of sentences in cases of murders of women or intra-family violence notoriously reflects that the great majority of these acts of violence are left unresolved. The State urgently needs to step up its efforts to combat violence and discrimination against women through measures that include due diligence in investigating and clarifying acts of violence against women, bringing to trial and punishing those responsible, and providing protective measures and support services for the victims. It is crucial that the State not only concern itself with the problem of violence against women, but that it also fully undertake to provide effective solutions.
97. Regarding legislative reforms still pending to comply with the commitments of the Peace Accords and Guatemala’s domestic and international obligations, the Rapporteur addressed the Congress of the Republic on those related to the extinction of criminal responsibility when the perpetrator of a rape marries the victim; the need to typify intra-family violence as a crime and to typify sexual harassment as a crime, as well as the elimination of the concept of chastity related to sexual crimes. The Rapporteur was informed that several legislative reform bills to correct some of these deficiencies are currently being debated.
98. As regards the situation of indigenous women, the Rapporteur was informed of the continuous pattern of discrimination that they suffer in all public spheres. In spite of the creation of the Office of the Defender of Indigenous Women, other provisions of the Agreement on the Identity and Rights of Indigenous Peoples have not yet materialized, such as compliance with CEDAW and the typification of sexual harassment against an indigenous woman. Access to justice continues to be a challenge for them, above all making themselves understood in their own language. Even noting State progress in providing interpreters and the recruitment of bilingual personnel in courts of the Republic in areas where the majority of the population is indigenous, it does not suffice to remedy the situation. Also, notwithstanding the existence of the Law on Racial Discrimination, numerous public and private institutions restrict indigenous women’s rights to establish their own identify and freely express their culture and language. In a number of schools, above all private ones, girls are not allowed to use their traditional dress. It is also important to recognize the trauma and health complications still suffered by indigenous women who were victims of sexual violence during the conflict, and the need for a response on the part of the State.
99. With respect to impunity and the cycle of violence against women, the number of murders of women has increased, requiring a more effective response on the part of the State. During the Rapporteur’s visit, state authorities confirmed that, since 2001, 1,188 women had been murdered. The Rapporteur also received information and statistics about other forms of violence against women, such as intra-family and domestic violence, rape, sexual harassment, and kidnapping. The Rapporteur said that both state authorities and civil society representatives reiterated during her visit that the administration of justice has not effectively responded to crimes committed against women because of their gender, which has encouraged impunity and increased the sense of insecurity. The United Nations Rapporteur on Violence against Women has also emphasized the need for the State to respond effectively to curb this violence.
100. In particular, State and civil society representatives, as well as victims of violence or their family members confirmed that few of the reported cases reach the stage where they go to trial. For instance, only one of the murder cases processed by the Prosecutor for Women had reached that stage. The Rapporteur received testimony from victims and family members regarding the innumerable obstacles faced in their striving to obtain justice.
101. The Rapporteur concluded that the great outstanding challenge in Guatemala is to close the gap between the commitments undertaken by the State and the violence and discrimination that women continue to suffer in their daily lives. A fundamental commitment in this connection is that the State guarantee women access to an effective justice system to safeguard and claim their rights.
102. Currently a report is being prepared that includes a detailed analysis of the information obtained as well as the conclusions of the Rapporteur on the situation of violence and discrimination against women in Guatemala.
103. As regards education, women still have limited access to it and suffer from high levels of illiteracy, grade repetition, and drop-out rates, especially in the case of indigenous women. Among the main reasons why girls fail to attend school are: lack of money, parental reticence, and household chores. Despite the fact that 8.5 out of every 10 children enter primary school, only 4 finish third grade and less than three pass sixth, with the situation being worse in rural areas and in the case of girls. It is worthwhile noting the efforts of the State to attend to the needs of the most vulnerable population, including the implementation of different types of scholarships for children and projects to increase the educational coverage of children with special educational needs.
104. In the area of health, the State of Guatemala has made notable efforts to improve access to health services for women and provide integral care. Services include the National Reproductive Health Program, which focuses on strengthening access to services, increasing qualified personnel and educating the population, and the Program for the Prevention of HIV/AIDS, directed towards strengthening all-round care and educating the population on prevention. However, the health system does not yet have the capacity to provide universal access for the population. In addition, inequalities in access to health care persist. Unlike the better-off, the poor population, and within it the indigenous and rural populations, only has access to the basic health care provided by volunteer personnel, who are insufficiently qualified and have only limited economic resources.
VI. THE SITUATION OF CHILDREN
105. In the chapter on the situation of children, the Commission welcomes approval of the Law for Comprehensive Protection of Children and Adolescents by Decree 27-03 of July 4, 2003, which protects children’s rights more effectively than the former legislation (the 1979 Minors Code). In its report the Commission notes situations hurting Guatemalan children, such as child labor, which do not respect international standards on children’s rights and human rights; baby adoption, which is currently part of a network of trafficking in boys and girls and represents one of the highest rates of international adoption; the vulnerability of street children, who are subjected to violent assaults and summary executions; and violations of children’s human rights during the armed conflict. Among other conclusions, the report says impunity leaves children even more vulnerable to abuse.
106. In this chapter, the Commission made the following recommendations to the Guatemalan State:
1. To adopt the necessary legislative and other measures to fulfill its obligation of providing children with the protective measures contemplated in Article 19 of the American Convention, as well as the obligations imposed by the Convention on the Rights of the Child.
2. To strengthen the capacity of the Judiciary to immediately respond to violations of the rights of children. To train the personnel assigned to cases related to children, such that swiftness and the principle of due process are guaranteed in the cases processed.
3. To establish mechanisms for inter-institutional cooperation among state entities directly responsible for the implementation and application of the rights of children and the nongovernmental organizations working in this area.
4. To assign human and material resources to give priority to the needs and rights of children, especially the nutrition, health and education required for their adequate development.
5. To adopt the necessary measures to sensitize society about child labor. In addition, to strengthen labor legislation to guarantee that effective sanctions are imposed and carried out against the illegal hiring of children for activities incompatible with their age, health, and development. Also, to develop labor pertinent legislation to protect girls assigned to “household chores.”
6. To redouble efforts to guarantee that every boy and girl has access to free primary education. At the same time, grant priority to bilingual education in the relevant geographic regions, preserving their multicultural richness.
7. To fight impunity and provide the necessary means so that the Office of the Attorney General may find those responsible for the violent deaths of street children and ensure that they are punished by the Judiciary. To this end, an inter-sectoral commission could be formed to present concrete proposals.
8. To strengthen the necessary legal responses and available services to respond to the specific needs of abandoned children, who live in the streets and are highly vulnerable.
9. To pass the necessary legislation on adoption to ensure adequate protection of the rights of children and prevent the sale and trafficking of children. In this connection, to promote the sensitization of the population regarding the importance of registering children at birth, a practice that helps combat diverse forms of child exploitation.
10. To support the work of the National Commission to Search for Children who Disappeared During the Armed Conflict, pass adequate legislation to implement its mandate, and provide the necessary technical and scientific means for the documentation of, and search for, children who have disappeared, been illegally adopted, or are otherwise illegally separated from their families.
11. To establish the necessary mechanisms to implement the Program for the Support of the Resettlement of Uprooted Populations and ensure the protection of internally displaced children.
107. Regarding the legislative measures needed to fulfill the duty of providing special protection for children, the Social Movement for Children informed the IACHR that the main bills still have to approved in the Judiciary. These include: the law on adoption, reforms of the Criminal Code to typify conducts that threaten sexual integrity, commercial sexual exploitation, labor exploitation, intra-family violence, and other crimes that threaten children and adolescents; the law on trafficking in persons; the law on responsible paternity; and the reforms to the Civil Code regarding the registration of children to guarantee their right to a name.
108. In the report Justice and Social Inclusion: The Challenges of Democracy in Guatemala, the Commission welcomed the passing of the Law on Full Protection of Children and Adolescents, which stipulates in Article 4 of the section on temporary provisions that within 90 days following its entry into force, the Executive must issue regulations for all the institutions that provide direct care to children and adolescents within the integral protection frameworks established in that law. Article 16 of that same section sets the same deadline for the Executive to issue the specific regulations for this law, whose supervision was assigned to the Office of the Inspector General of Labor. In this connection, Casa Alianza informed the IACHR that to date these regulations have not been issued. The Commission urges the Government of Guatemala to provide information about the process of regulating and implementing the Law on Full Protection.
109. Regarding the strengthening of the Judiciary to enable it to immediately respond to violations of children’s rights, civil society organizations agree that Guatemala’s judicial system has been one of the sectors that has best responded to the implementation of the Law on Full Protection of Children and Adolescents. However, because of the lack of resources allocated to the Judiciary, the Office of the Public Defender, and the Office of the Prosecutor for Adolescents in Conflict with Criminal Law, justice services do not cover the entire national territory.
110. With respect to the mechanisms for inter-institutional coordination among the state entities directly responsible for the implementation and application of the rights of children and the nongovernmental organizations that work in this area, the Commission notes that the structure of the National Commission on Children and Adolescents, a mixed agency formed by representatives of the State and of civil society, and responsible for the formulation of public policies on behalf of Guatemalan children, constitutes a positive step.
111. Regarding the allocation of human and material resources to give priority to the needs and rights of children, for the purpose of guaranteeing nutrition, health, and education for their adequate development, the Social Movement told the Commission that following a social audit of the issue, it reached the conclusion that in Guatemala, notwithstanding the provisions of the Guatemalan Constitution regarding primary education, education is not free. With respect to nutrition, the Commission has information indicating that the school breakfasts program has not been implemented. The Commission attaches great importance to any information that the State can provide regarding measures adopted to guarantee adequate nutrition, health, and education for Guatemalan children.
112. With respect to child labor, the Commission reiterates that it is vitally important that the Executive Branch comply with the Law for the Full Protection of Children and Adolescents and issue the specific regulations establishing the rules governing the working day of adolescents of fourteen years of age or older, night shifts and overtime, work in unhealthy or dangerous places, apprenticeships, equitable salaries and social security, within the framework of the minimum guarantees embodied in these rules.
113. Regarding measures to put an end to impunity related to violent deaths of street children, the organization Casa Alianza told the IACHR that, according to its statistics, based on Judiciary morgue records, the average number of deaths of members of the population under 23 years of age, up to the month of October, just in Guatemala City, was 62 per month, of which only 14% are under judicial investigation.
114. With respect to the strengthening of legal responses and the necessary services to address the specific needs of abandoned children, who live on the streets and are highly vulnerable, the Commission was informed that the Ministry of Public Finance cut the budget of the Secretariat of the Presidency for Social Welfare, a move that apparently has affected programs for the protection of abandoned children.
115. Regarding the passage of legislation on adoption, the Commission was able to verify directly that legal initiatives continue to await approval in Congress, where there seems to be a very strong sector opposed both to the harmonization of legislation with the Hague Convention and to its direct implementation. In this connection, civil society organizations informed the IACHR about petitions jointly filed with the Human Rights Ombudsman, requesting that the Attorney General of the Nation assume his role of CENTRAL AUTHORITY in matters related to international adoptions, with no results. According to the information received, there is an initiative led by the First Lady of the Nation to propose a bill containing international adoption standards, that differs from the proposal put forward by some deputies of the Congress of the Republic to reform only the pertinent rules of the Civil Code, which would consolidate the current regime, which is in turn contrary to the principles of the superior interest of children contained in international instruments.
116. With respect to the National Commission to Search for Children who Disappeared During the Internal Armed Conflict, Casa Alianza, the coordinating organization, has informed the IACHR that to date the commission has only received the support of the Office of the Ombudsman for Human Rights, within the framework of a working agreement.
VII. THE SITUATION OF FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION
117. The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights included a specific chapter on the exercise of freedom of expression in the report Justice and Social Inclusion: the Challenges of Democracy in Guatemala. The Commission requested the Special Rapporteurship for Freedom of Expression (“the Rapporteur”) to analyze the measures adopted by the Guatemalan Government in compliance with the recommendations made by the report. The present chapter was written based on information received by the Rapporteur on facts linked to the situation of freedom of expression in Guatemala, as well as the follow-up reports presented by the State.
118. The Commission pointed out in its report that the exercise of freedom of expression in Guatemala had resulted in murders, intimidations, and scare tactics against the media. It expressed concern with a marked increase in some of these illegal acts during 2003 against investigative journalists and human rights defenders in the exercise of their freedom of expression. Thus the Commission recommended that the State “take the necessary measures to protect the physical integrity of social communicators and to protect the infrastructure of the media and to launch a serious, impartial and effective investigation of the acts of violence and intimidation against them, and that those responsible be tried and punished for violations against the freedom of expression.”
119. In the chapter on freedom of expression, the Commission made the following recommendations to the Guatemalan State:
1. To take the necessary measures to protect the physical integrity of social communicators and to protect the infrastructure of the media and to launch a serious, impartial and effective investigation of the acts of violence and intimidation against them, and that those responsible be tried and punished for violations against the freedom of expression.
2. To adopt the necessary measures to ensure the autonomy, independence and impartiality of the Judiciary so that it may carry out its role of protecting freedom of expression according to the standards of international law in the investigation of the mentioned acts against social communicators and the media.
3. To promote progressive measures to achieve the passage of a law of access to information possessed by the State keeping in mind international standards in this area, since this right is vital as a tool for transparency in the acts of government and for the strengthening of the democratic system in Guatemala.
4. To promote the abolishment of the laws on disrespect of authority (desacato) in the Guatemalan Criminal Code.
5. To guarantee the implementation of policies that embody democratic criteria and equal opportunity of access to television and radio consessions, in agreement with the commitments undertaken by the State when signing the Peace Accords of 1996.
6. To undertake the necessary measures to ensure compliance with antitrust laws in force in Guatemala; especially to take positive measures to guarantee minority groups’ access to the media.
7. To implement the principles established in the Declaration of Principles on Freedom of Expression adopted by the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights in its 108th regular session as the legal framework regulating the effective protection of freedom of expression.
8. To undertake promotional activities designed to create awareness among State agents and Guatemalan society of the importance of respecting and protecting freedom of expression.
120. The Commission understands, judging by the information it has received, that there was an improvement in the conditions for the exercise of freedom of expression in Guatemala during 2004. However, some cases of assault against journalists continue to occur, especially in the provinces. The IACHR wishes to remind the State that its commitment to the American Convention on Human Rights includes the duty of ensuring the exercise of freedom of expression in Guatemala.
121. On May 29, 2004, journalist Eduardo Maaz Bol, correspondent of Radio Punto y Correo del Norte and of Radio Mí-a, in Cobán, Alta Verapaz, received death threats from an alleged group linked to organized crime operating in that area. The unidentified group gave the the journalist a deadline, after which it would carry out its threat.
122. On August 14, 2004, journalists Sonia Pérez, of Prensa Libre, José Luis Pos of El Periódico, and Mynor Alegría of the Office of the Ombudsman for Human Rights, were assaulted when they were covering a clash between informal economy vendors and members of the Traffic Police in Guatemala City.
123. On August 31, 2004, in the Department of Retalhuleu, journalists Mario Morales of Nuestro Diario and Edward Morales of Guatevisión were assaulted and stripped of their cameras when they were covering an expulsion from a farm. In that incident four policemen and seven peasants died. Fredy Rojas of Prensa Libre, Wílliam Meoño and Marvin Guillén of Nuestro Diario, Mynor Toc and Luis Romero of Cable DX, and Gerardo Montenegro, a reporter for El Regional were also apparently threatened and assaulted. Some journalists had apparently been witnesses of police assaults on the peasants. The communicators were thrown to the ground, beaten and their equipment was seized. For this action, three officers of the National Civil Police were arrested.
124. On September 13, 2004, journalist and correspondent in Cobán, Ángel Martín Tax, a reporter for Radio Sonora and correspondent of Prensa Libre and Nuestro Diario in Cobán, Alta Verapaz, was victim of threats over the telephone, some of which were received on a colleague's telephone. The journalist was given 24 hours to leave. During 2003, Tax had received threats.
125. On September 28, 2004, the secretary general of the National Press Circle, Miguel Ángel Morales, was murdered on the highway between Guatemala and the Department of Izabal. At the time of this report, the motives for the murder have not been confirmed.
126. On September 25, 2004, the director of the magazine Panorama, in Retalhuleu, César Augusto López Valle, received a death threat, apparently from a member of the Association of Military Veterans of Guatemala, who warned him about the reports he had published about the activities of that organization.
127. On October 14, 2004, agents of the Special Police Force of the National Civil Police assaulted journalists Francisco González Arrecis, Marvin del Cid, and Miguel González Moraga of Prensa Libre when they were covering a soccer match.
128. One of the problems identified by the Commission in the Report was the scant or slow investigation of the assaults. However, during 2004, there were some positive aspects to the investigation and punishment of crimes against social communicators. Noteworthy among them is the admission by the State of Guatemala before the Inter-American Court of Human Rights of international responsability for the assassination of journalist and politician Jorge Carpio Nicolle, which took place in 1993.
129. In addition, on January 20, 2004, the director of El Periódico, José Rubén Zamora, published an independent investigation that identified four persons allegedly responsible for the assaults that Zamora and his family were victims of in June of 2003. The alleged responsible were apparently linked to state security forces. On January 21, 2004, the government pledged to follow up on the investigation. The Office of the Attorney General’s investigation has linked several state agents to the act, and formal charges have been filed.
130. On March 8, 2004, the Fifth Criminal Court ordered house arrest for General Efraín Ríos Montt as part of his trial for the riots that caused the death of journalist Héctor Ramírez on July 24, 2003, who suffered a heart attack when attempting to flee from a mob that was chasing him. Ríos Montt has been charged with the crimes of unintentional manslaughter, coercion and threats.
131. Another of the IACHR recommendations was directed towards the promotion of “progressive measures to achieve the passage of a law of access to information possessed by the State keeping in mind international standards in this area.” Although the Rapporteur and the IACHR received information that the Congress of Guatemala is considering a Bill on Free Access to Public Information, regulating access to information in the State’s possession and exceptions to disclosure as well as the petition for habeas data, at the conclusion of this follow-up report, there is no information on any progress made during 2004.
132. A negative development in this area was the decision of the Municipality of Quezaltenango, on May 7, 2004, to deny information about the work of its offices and to ban coverage of its working sessions. The prohibition had apparently been adopted after information about an increase in the fees for the council members’ attendance at sessions had been published.
133. The IACHR and the Rapporteur have not received information about any Government initiative to abolish the laws on disrespect for authority (desacato) in the Guatemalan Criminal Code, as had been recommended. However, they were informed that on January 30, 2004, the Twelfth Court of Criminal Sentencing acquitted Bruce Harris, then Regional Director for Latin America of the organization Casa Alianza (Covenant House) of the crimes of slander, libel, and defamation, in a trial begun in 1997. Harris had been sued by the attorney Susana Luarca, who had requested his imprisonment and the payment of US$125,000 for civil damages, after Harris reported criminal action related to procedures for the adoption of Guatemalan children.
134. In its report, the Commission recommended “the implementation of policies that embody democratic criteria and equal opportunity of access to television and radio concessions.” In 2002, the Guatemalan Council of Community Communications, an umbrella organization for the community radio stations movement in the country, raised to the Congress a bill for a Law of Community Radio Stations. According to information received during 2004, the Congressional Committee on Communications has tried to advance this initiative.
135. As stated in the Report, it is important to keep in mind that the community radio stations, working within a legal framework, are a positive phenomenon, because they promote the culture and history of the communities. The Commission reminds that in order to promote this legal framework, the distribution or renewal of licenses for radio transmission should be subject to a clear, fair, and objective procedure that takes into account the importance of the media so that all sectors of the Guatemalan society may participate in an informed manner in the democratic process. Community radio stations in particular are of great importance for the promotion of national culture, and the development and education of the different communities that make up Guatemala. It is therefore advisable that the criteria for and regulations on access and equal participation in the means of expression promoted by the State considers the particular characteristics of Guatemala and moreover be governed by the commitments undertaken in the Peace Accords.
136. The Commission recommends redoubling legislative efforts in this area, especially since it has received information about a number of related criminal trials begun in 2004.
137. Finally, the Commission views with concern the ongoing de facto monopoly in television. The IACHR reiterates that the existence of these practices in the media affects seriously freedom of expression and the right to information of Guatemalans, and is not compatible with the free exercise of the right to freedom of expression in a democratic society.
 Unity of Protection of Human Rights Defenders of the National Human Rights Movement. Status of compliance with the recommendation of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights. January, 2005.
 Unidad de Protección de Defensores de Derechos Humanos del Movimiento Nacional de Derechos Humanos. Estado de cumplimiento de las recomendaciones de la Comisión Interamericana de Derechos Humanos. January 2005.
 MINUGUA, op.cit., paragraphs 90 and 91.
 Fundación Myrna Mack, Informe de la Fundación Myrna Mack para el Relator Especial de Naciones Unidas sobre Independencia de Magistrados y Abogados, p. 28.
 Misión de Verificación de las Naciones Unidas en Guatemala, Informe del Secretario General [United Nations Verification Mission in Guatemala, Report of the Secretary-General. General Distribution 30 August 2004. Original: English], paragraph 15.
 Misión de Verificación de las Naciones Unidas en Guatemala, Informe del Secretario General [United Nations Verification Mission in Guatemala, Report of the Secretary-General. General Distribution 30 August 2004. Original: English], paragraph 18.
 The report contains an analysis of the reality of discrimination and racism from the standpoint of CODISRA, the proposed goals for 2004, the achievements of the year and the challenges that feed into the operative plan for 2005. Informe a la Presidencia de la República de CODISRA, November 2004.
 In information given to the IACHR by the CALDH on January 10, 2005.
 Misión de Verificación de las Naciones Unidas en Guatemala, Informe del Secretario General [United Nations Verification Mission in Guatemala, Report of the Secretary-General. General Distribution 30 August 2004. Original: English], paragraph 51.
 Misión de Verificación de las Naciones Unidas en Guatemala, Informe del Secretario General [United Nations Verification Mission in Guatemala, Report of the Secretary-General. General Distribution 30 August 2004. Original: English], paragraph 40.
 In information given to the IACHR by the CALDH a la CIDH on January 10, 2005.
 In information given to the IACHR by the CALDH a la CIDH on January 10, 2005.
 Misión de Verificación de las Naciones Unidas en Guatemala, Informe del Secretario General [United Nations Verification Mission in Guatemala, Report of the Secretary-General. General Distribution 30 August 2004. Original: English]. Paragraph 42.
 In information given to the IACHR by the CALDH on January 10, 2005.
 CEH registered 626 massacres committed by State forces during the armed conflict, principally the Army, supported by paramilitary groups such as the Civil Self-Defense Patrols, the Military and Judicial Commissioners. Ninety-five percent were perpetrated between 1978 and 1984 and during this period 90% were carried out in areas predominantly inhabited by the Mayan people. In: Justicia e inclusión social: Los desafíos de la democracia en Guatemala. (Justice and Social Inclusion: The Challenges of Democracy in Guatemala) CIDH-IACHR, 2003, paragraph 243.
 Misión de Verificación de las Naciones Unidas en Guatemala, Informe del Secretario General [United Nations Verification Mission in Guatemala, Report of the Secretary-General. General Distribution 30 August 2004. Original: English], paragraph 57.
 In information given to the IACHR by the CALDH on January 10, 2005.
 In information given to the IACHR by the CALDH on January 10, 2005.
 Misión de Verificación de las Naciones Unidas en Guatemala, Informe del Secretario General [United Nations Verification Mission in Guatemala, Report of the Secretary-General. General Distribution 30 August 2004. Original: English], paragraphs 53 and 54.
 IACHR, Press Release Nº 20/04, The Special Rapporteur for IACHR evaluates the status of the right of Guatemalan women to live free from violence and discrimination, September 18, 2004.
 Agreement on the Identity and Rights of Indigenous Peoples, Chapter II.B, 1995.
 Decree 52.07; PNUD, Informe de Desarrollo Humano 2003 Guatemala: Una Agenda Para El Desarrollo Humano, http://www.undp.org, [UNDP, Human Development Report 2003 Guatemala: Towards a National Agreement on Human Development] p. 28.
 Relatora Especial de la ONU Sobre Violencia Contra la Mujer, sus Causas y Consecuencias, Observaciones Sobre Visitas a Guatemala y a El Salvador [United Nations Special Rapporteur on Violence Against Women, Its Causes and Consequences. Preliminary note on the mission to El Salvador and Guatemala (2-14 February 2004), 8 March 2004].
 IACHR, Press Release Nº 20/04, September 18, 2004, Washington, DC.
 Relatora Especial de la ONU Sobre Violencia Contra la Mujer, Observaciones Sobre Visitas a Guatemala y a El Salvador, [United Nations Special Rapporteur on Violence Against Women, Its Causes and Consequences. Preliminary note on the mission to El Salvador and Guatemala (2-14 February 2004), 8 March 2004], supra.
 Informe Nacional Guatemala, OEA/Ser.L/II.2.32/CIM/doc.41/04, 27 octubre 2004, XXXII Asamblea de Delegadas CIM, [Guatemala: National Report, OEA/Ser.L/II.2.32/CIM/doc.41/04, 27 October 2004, 32nd Assembly of Delegates, Inter-American Commission of Women [CIM], Washington, DC] p. 3; PNUD, Informe de Desarrollo Humano Guatemala 2003 (UNDP, Human Development Report: Guatemala 2003), p. 15.
 Informe Nacional Guatemala, OEA/Ser.L/II.2.32/CIM/doc.41/04, [Guatemala: National Report, OEA/Ser.L/II.2.32/CIM/doc.41/04], p. 3, supra.
 PNUD, Informe de Desarrollo Humano Guatemala, [UNDP, Human Development Report: Guatemala], p. 16, supra.
 Informe Nacional Guatemala, OEA/Ser.L/II.2.32/CIM/doc.41/04 [Guatemala: National Report, OEA/Ser.L/II.2.32/CIM/doc.41/04], p. 7, supra.
 Ibid, p. 6.
 PNUD, Informe de Desarrollo Humano 2003 Guatemala [UNDP, Human Development Report 2003: Guatemala], p. 18, supra.
 Ibid, p. 18.
 Article 4 of Section IV of the Law on Full Protection of Children and Adolescents stipulates that:
The Executive Branch shall, within ninety days, issue regulations for all institutions providing direct services to children and adolescents, within the frameworks of full protection established by this law.
 Article 16 of Section IV of the Law on Full Protection of Children and Adolescents stipulates that:
The President of the Republic, in the exercise of his constitutional faculties, shall issue within no more than ninety days from the day this Law enters into force, the specific regulations for this Decree, keeping in mind the principle that what is contained in these legal instruments are minimum guarantees. The application of and compliance with these regulations will be the responsibility of the Office of the Inspector General of Labor …
 Casa Alianza, comments on the subject of compliance with the recommendations of the IACHR in children-related matters, January 11, 2005.
 Casa Alianza, comments on the subject of compliance with the recommendations of the IACHR in children-related matters, January 11, 2005.
 Comisión Interamericana de Derechos Humanos, “Justicia e Inclusión Social: Los Desafíos de la Democracia en Guatemala” [Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, “Justice and Social Inclusion: The Challenges of Democracy in Guatemala”], OEA/Ser.L/V/II.118 Doc. 5 rev. 1, December 29, 2003, www.cidh.org.
 The Special Rapporteurship for Freedom of Expression is a permanent office with functional independence and its own budget, created by the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights within the sphere of its authority and competence; it operates within the Commission’s legal framework.
 Asociación de Periodistas de Guatemala, "Periodistas amenazados de muerte", communiqué in International Freedom of Expression Exchange (IFEX), June 2, 2004.
 Inter American Press Association, Country-by-Country Reports, General Assembly, October 2004, at www.sipiapa.com. Committee to Protect Journalists, September 9, 2004 at www.cpj.org, Centro de Reportes Informativos sobre Guatemala (CERIGUA), “Periodistas agredidos por policías” in International Freedom of Expression Exchange, www.ifex.org.
 Centro de Reportes Informativos sobre Guatemala, (CERIGUA), “Desconocidos asesinan a periodista, otro periodista recibe amenaza de muerte,” October 1, 2004, in International Freedom of Expression Exchange, www.ifex.org.
 El Periódico, "Identificados cuatro de los allanadores de la casa de Jorge Rubén Zamora"(www.elperiodico.com.gt), January 20, 2004, and Inter American Press Association, Country-by-Country Reports, General Assembly, October 2004, at www.sipiapa.com.
 On August 9, 2004 the prosecutor for crimes against journalism of the Office of the Attorney General confiscated the radio equipment of the community radio station Remanente 108 FM, which belongs to the Guatemalan Council of Community Communication, located in the municipality of Mixco, close to the Guatemalan capital. Community radio stations have been accused, in some cases, of “invading” the frequencies of other stations. See: Centro de Reportes Informativos sobre Guatemala (CERIGUA), “Radios comunitarias víctimas de persecución”, August 18, 2004, in International Freedom of Expression Exhcange, www.ifex.org.