Elections and Events 1998-2006

1998

Central America report 26 November 1999: In 1998, “the number of congressional seats was raised from 80 to 113” (page 8).

D’Arcangelis 2001: “In the spring of 1998, the Forum began the one and a half year-long process of conducting two nation-wide consultations, the first on socio-economic development and the second, civic and political participation” (pages 25-26).

Guatemala: monografía de partidos políticos 2000-2004 2004: “El Partido Los Verdes se conformó entre 1998 y 1999, como resultado de un proceso de alianzas y fusiones de algunos grupos ambientalistas con el partido Unión Reformista Social (URS)” (page 69).

February

Central America report 5 March 1998: “On February 17, the government and returnee organizations issue a joint statement declaring the ‘end’ of the ‘first phase’ of the refugee return [from camps in Mexico]. The returns process is used as a political bargaining chip by both the government and the grassroots movement” (page 4).

April

Alcántara Sáez 1999: “Incluso en tiempos de paz, las violaciones a los derechos humanos continuaron teniendo su punto álgido en el asesinato del Obispo de la Ciudad de Guatemala Juan José Gerardi, el 26 de abril de 1998, como respuesta al documento publicado por la Iglesia Católica dos días antes: ‘Guatemala: nunca más.’ Un documento de 1.400 páginas, fruto de tres años de investigación, en el que se detallaban 25.123 asesinatos y 3.893 casos de desaparecidos, culpando en el 79,2 por 100 de los casos al Ejército y señalando que el 92 por 100 de estos crímenes fueron cometidos contra civiles” (page 194).

Country profile. Guatemala, El Salvador 1998-99: “The auxiliary bishop for Guatemala City, Juan José Gerardi Conedera (75), was brutally murdered outside his house on April 26th 1998. Two days earlier Bishop Gerardi, who had steadfastly defended indigenous people’s human rights over many years and had worked to bring national reconciliation, had presented the findings of the Recovery of Historical Memory investigation, which he himself had directed as the general co-ordinator of the archbishop’s human-rights office. The report, entitled ‘Never again,’ documented over 55,000 human-rights abuses committed during the civil war, mostly by the military” (pages 6-7).

Jonas 2000: “The April 1998 report (‘Nunca Más’) by the (Catholic Church) Archbishop’s Human Rights Office—a report based on over 6,000 testimonies taken throughout the country over a period of several years—was very clear in attributing responsibility for more than 85 percent of the war atrocities to the army and/or (army-controlled) paramilitary units, and slightly under 10 percent to the URNG” (page 33).

North 1999: The “assassination of Bishop Juan Gerardi on 26 April 1998…drew international attention to Guatemala once again. Bishop Gerardi had been a leading figure in the interdiocesan Recuperation of Historical Memory (REMHI) Project, which had collected fifty-five thousand testimonies concerning human rights violations and identified the army as responsible for 90 percent of the abuses investigated” (page 22).

Villagrán Kramer 2004: “El 24 de abril de 1998 el obispo Gerardi hizo entrega pública del informe sobre la ‘Recuperación de la Memoria Histórica’ y dos días después fue muerto en el interior de la Casa Parroquial donde residía…El ‘Informe Gerardi’…da cuenta de 442 masacres cometidas por miembros del Ejército y de las guerrillas perpetradas entre 1978 y 1995 y recopila 55,021 casos de violencia, de los cuales el 79.2 por ciento pueden atribuírse a la institución castrense y 9% a la guerrilla” (page 397).

June

Guatemala, paz y democracia: informe de la Comisión de Reforma Electoral 1998: Contains the full text of the Commission’s recommendations.

Lehoucq 2002: “In a report issued in June 1998, the Electoral Reform Commission (consisting of members of Congress and the Supreme Electoral Tribunal) recommended against adopting term limits or capping the number of deputies” (page 108).

June 7: municipal election in 30 municipalities

Central America report 19 March 1998: “Municipalities with elections on June 7” (page 3). Gives municipalities by department.

Central America report 11 June 1998: The “governing (PAN) won more than 70% of the mayorships in the June 7 elections of 30 of the country’s 330 municipalities” (page 1). Gives detailed results.

Central America report 11 September 1998: “In the June municipal elections, 60% abstained…Furthermore, only 37% of the population is registered to vote, although around half of the population is of voting age” (page 4).

Country report. Guatemala, El Salvador 3, 1998: “On June 7th municipal elections were held at 30 of the country’s 330 municipalities in 16 of the country’s 22 departments” (page 11). “As a result of constitutional changes made in 1994 to remove mid-term elections, the mayors will serve until early 2000” (page 12).

EcoCentral July 9, 1998: “Results announced by the [TSE] gave the PAN victory in 22 of the 30 municipalities, while the [DCG] won three and the [FRG] two. The [FDNG], Comité Cívico Desarrollo Integral, and a regional coalition each took one. The newly elected mayors will serve only 18 months because constitutional reforms and election laws adopted in 1994 require that the president, Congress, and all 330 of the country’s mayors be elected to four-year terms in the 1999 general elections” (page 4). “Voter apathy was consistent with the uninspiring and underfunded campaigns by the eight parties and 19 civic groups registered to participate in the elections” (page 5).

Guatemala: monografía de partidos políticos 2000-2004 2004: “En 1997 [should say 1998] [PLP] participó en las elecciones municipales, obteniendo una alcaldía de las 30 en disputa” (page 67).

Keesing’s record of world events June 1998: Gives results (page 42328).

Memoria de elecciones municipales 1998 1998: Detailed results of all the elections published by the Tribunal Supremo Electoral.

July

Villagrán Kramer 2004: “(E)l 31 de julio se instaló la ‘Comisión para el Esclarecimiento Histórico’ creada con el Acuerdo de Oslo del 23 de junio de 1994” (page 396).

August

Central America report 11 September 1998: “(T)he Electoral and Political Party Reform Bill was taken to the Constitutionality Court in August, after a year in development” (page 4). Describes the proposed reforms.

September

Luciak 2001: “On September 11, 1998, URNG president Ricardo Ramírez died from heart failure. This untimely death added another complication to the URNG’s transition toward a political party…Arnoldo Noriega was chosen to take the place of Ramírez on the Executive Committee, and Soto assumed the leadership of the party in formation” (pages 134-135).

MacNabb 2003: Mujer Kichin Konojel “sponsored the Second National Course on Civic and Political Education for Maya women in September 1998 in Chimaltenango in order to improve the rights of indigenous women and encourage them to participate in public spaces, at the local, regional, and national level” (page 147).

Puente Alcaraz 2000: “(E)n septiembre de 1998, en Chinautla,…se tuvieron que anular los resultados electorales por serias sospechas de irregularidades, y repetirse las elecciones. No hubo incidentes destacados pero el partido ganador, el PAN, lo hizo con el 71% de abstención” (page 260).

October

Central America report 6 November 1998: “The (URNG) handed in the paperwork to register as a legal party to the (TSE) on October 19...URNG spokespeople say that the party is likely to form a coalition with the (FDNG) and the (DIA) party” (page 3).

Electoral observation in Guatemala: referendum—May 1999: constitutional amendments 2001: “On October 16, 1998, the Congress of the Republic approved the constitutional amendments that fostered the restructuring of the state of Guatemala and compliance with the peace accords. Such amendments were to be subject to public approval by means of a referendum as a prior condition to their entry into force” (page 3).

November

Central America report 8 January 1999: “Two congresswomen, Nineth Montenegro of the opposition (FDNG) and Anabella de León of the ruling (PAN), presented a bill in November to ensure women’s participation in politics. The bill would impose a quota of 44% on political parties, and require that a minimum of 30% of candidates for political office be women. The (TSE) previously declared a similar electoral reform proposal unconstitutional. Nonetheless, Congress subsequently approved the incorporation of the congresswomen’s proposal in a package of reforms to the Electoral Law that will eventually be presented to the Constitutionality Court. The move by Congress is perceived as a first step in opening new political spaces for Guatemalan women” (page 8).

December

Alcántara Sáez 1999: “(L)a guerrilla se incorporó al proceso político registrándose como partido político la URNG en diciembre de 1998” (page 194).

Central America report 8 January 1999: “Membership of Guatemalan Political Parties” (page 8). Gives membership as of December 1998 as tabulated by the TSE.

Guatemala: monografía de partidos políticos 2000-2004 2004: “(L)a URNG se convertió el 9 de diciembre de 1998—después de un arduo esfuerzo—en un partido político” (page 89).

Keesing’s record of world events December 1998: “The former guerrillas of the [URNG] were formally registered as a political party on Dec. 18 in order to take part in the general election scheduled for late 1999” (page 42664).

1999

Berger 2006: “By 1999, [the Foro Nacional de la Mujer] consisted of local, regional, and national units and had a membership of some 25,000 women who crossed traditional lines of race, ethnicity, language, and geographical location. The Foro was charged with overseeing the implementation of the peace accords in relation to women’s issues. Though it was initially slated to be dismantled in 2000…its life span has been prolonged by yearly extensions” (page 37).

Construyendo la democracia electoral en Guatemala 2001: “Las elecciones de 1999” (pages 52-57). Includes statistical tables.

Guatemala: monografía de partidos políticos 2000-2004 2004: “En la campaña electoral de 1999 el LOV se coaligó con el partido Unión Democrática (UD), conformando la ‘Alianza Verde’” (page 70).

Taylor 1999: Discusses the upcoming general elections.

January

Central America report 29 January 1999: “On January 14 and 21, Mayan groups, organized by the Coordinator of Mayan Peoples Organizations (COPMAGUA), blocked major roads around the country in response to a legal obstacle against the popular referendum planned for February on constitutional reforms. The Constitutional Court granted a temporary injunction against the referendum after a conservative group questioned its constitutionality” (page 2).

NotiCen September 23, 1999: “Retired Gen. Efrain Rios Montt…decided not to run this time…Instead, he selected Alfonso Portillo as the presidential candidate of his ultra-right [FRG] in January” (page 2).

February

Central America report 19 February 1999: Discusses continuing controversy and court decisions on the referendum (page 4). “After years of bitter rivalry and divisions, a new left-wing alliance is created by the ex-guerrilla (URNG), its sister party (FDNG) and two smaller parties [DIA and UNID]” (page 7).

Central America report 26 February 1999: “The [CEH] report concludes that 200,000 people died in the armed conflict, and that state forces were responsible for at least 93% of human rights violations. The guerrillas are blamed for 3%, while the rest could not be determined” (page 1).

Electoral observation in Guatemala: referendum—May 1999: constitutional amendments 2001: Discusses court decisions about the constitutionality of the referendum (page 4). “As of February 17, 1999, there was a total of 4,085,832 registered voters (374,243 more than in the 1995 elections when there were 3,711,589 registered voters), divided among 6,971 polling stations” (page 21). Gives by department the numbers of municipalities, polling stations, and registered voters (pages 21-22). “General summary of statistics in the voter registration rolls as of February 17, 1999” (page 22). Gives numbers of literate/illiterate men and women. “Breakdown of voters by age groups as of February 17, 1999” (page 23).

Jonas 2000: The CEH’s report, “’Memory of Silence,’…was finally presented on February 25, 1999, to a packed audience of 10,000” (page 154). Discusses the most important findings of the report (pages 154-158).

NotiCen March 4, 1999: “On Feb. 25, the UN-sponsored truth commission (Comisión de Esclarecimiento Histórico, CEH) issued its report on human rights violations during the 36-year civil war that ended in 1996. President Alvaro Arzu’s administration had little to say in response to the report but promised to comply with the commission’s recommendations” (page 1).

NotiCen September 23, 1999: “In February, Guatemala City Mayor Oscar Berger renounced his nomination as the PAN’s presidential candidate…Two weeks later, Berger reversed himself and accepted the nomination after discussions with party leaders. The decision ended what had become a party crisis since the PAN had no other candidate of Berger’s political stature to run” (page 2). “Early this year, four left-of-center parties formed the ANN…Announcing the alliance in February, URNG leader Pedro Monsanto said the purpose was to create ‘a new nation’ based on the 1996 peace accords” (page 3).

Sichar Moreno 1999: La Alianza Nueva Nación (ANN) fue “creada el 12 de febrero de 1999 por DIA, FDNG, URNG y la Unidad de Izquierda Democrática (UNID)” (page 64).

March

Central America report 9 April 1999: “Congress approved the Law to Promote Women’s Dignity and Development in March. It synthesizes elements of the peace accords, national laws and international agreements on women’s issues” (page 4).

Jonas 2000: Two weeks after the release of the CEH report, U.S. “President Clinton, during his (prescheduled) March 1999 trip to Guatemala, made the historic gesture of acknowledging responsibility for U.S. actions and complicity with human rights crimes and pledged that the United States should never again repeat such errors” (page 157).

April

Central America report 30 April 1999: “Unlimited spending on election campaigns and free transportation to the polls provided by political parties will continue in this year’s general elections, as reforms to the Political Parties and Electoral Law continue to be held up by differences in Congress. On April 9, a proposal to modify the law was presented to the congressional Extraordinary and Specific Commission for Reforms to the Political Parties and Electoral Law. After being heatedly debated for a few days, the project was set aside on April 20th” (page 2).

NotiCen September 23, 1999: “The ANN selected Colom as its candidate in April…He is the son of former presidential candidate Alvaro Colom who was assassinated in 1982, reportedly by the Guatemalan army” (page 3).

May 9

Luciak 2001: “On May 9, 1999, the URNG fulfilled the last requirement to become a legal political party. It held a National Assembly to elect the party leadership” (page 136).

May 16: referendum

Alcántara Sáez 1999: “El 16 de mayo de 1999 el electorado guatemalteco, con una participación inferior al 18,55 por 100 rechazó en una consulta popular las reformas constitucionales propuestas por el Congreso tras un lento proceso negociador. De esta manera quedaban aparcadas las medidas que pretendían dar reconocimiento a los derechos de la población indígena mayoritaria y que limitaran el papel de las poderosas Fuerzas Armadas” (page 194).

Azpuru 1999: “The aim of this article is to examine the distribution of the vote of the Consulta Popular. This examination is of particular importance because, probably more than in any of the other elections that have taken place during the fifteen years of democratic rule in Guatemala, the vote pattern was marked by sharp contrasts in terms of geography, socio-economic situation, and most importantly, ethnicity” (page 1). “What was at stake” (pages 2-3). “The results of the referendum” (pages 3-16).

Bastos 2003: “En términos de política nacional, la consulta es un duro golpe al proceso de paz…Los partidos, el Congreso y el gobierno se sienten liberados del proceso de paz y se lanzan de lleno a la campaña electoral” (page 205). “La lectura sobre los mínimos votos que se producen lleva a los analistas a interpretar un país profundamente dividido entre el altiplano-norte y el sur y oriente del país, sobre todo entre la población indígena y la no indígena, y finalmente entre el área rural y una capital que es la que decide el resultado” (page 209).

Boneo 2000: “Registrados y votantes en consulta popular mayo 1999” (page 180).

Central America report 21 May 1999: “With 82% abstentionism, just 12% of registered voters were enough to reject the four packages of reforms on the judiciary, the executive, the legislature, and national identity and social rights. Six percent voted in favor of the reforms” (pages 1-2).

Central America report 28 May 1999: “Results of national referendum on constitutional reforms, May 16, 1999” (page 5). Gives by department the number of votes for yes and for no on each of four questions.

Country profile. Guatemala 2004: “On May 16th 1999 Guatemalans rejected constitutional reforms that would have recognised the multilingual, multicultural and multiethnic nature of the Guatemalan state-acknowledged indigenous rights, transformed the judiciary, and curbed the power of the armed forces. The strong ‘no’ vote in urban areas, including the capital, helped to sway the outcome. The reforms were approved in those areas most affected by the armed conflict. The rejection of the constitutional reforms—conceived as the instrument that would have translated the peace accords nto law—placed significant limitations on the implementation of the peace accords” (page 9).

Electoral observation in Guatemala: referendum—May 1999: constitutional amendments 2001: “Voting is not compulsory and failure to do so is not punishable as an electoral offense” (page 23). “Referendum features and procedures” (pages 23-24). “Voting mechanics” (page 24-25). “The quick count” (pages 41-53). “The referendum held in Guatemala on May 16,1999, which rejected the constitutional amendments passed by the Congress of the Republic on October 16, 1998, was clearly noted for the high rate of abstention (81.2 percent)” (page 57). “Annex 4” (unpaged) is a photocopy of the actual ballot used. “Annex 5” (unpaged) has detailed results for the referendum by department.

Fischer 2004: “(A) 1999 popular referendum to approve constitutional changes mandated by the Peace Accords and beneficial to the Maya population was defeated. The defeat was a major setback for Maya organizations, even if the government remains at least nominally committed to their implementations” (page 91). The defeat “highlights the inability of the largely urban-based pan-Maya leaders to mobilize support among the rural Maya masses…Maya leaders do not have an active base of grassroots support that they can call on to protest and demonstrate—or even vote” (page 92).

Jonas 2000: Describes events leading up to the referendum, the results, and their impact on the indigenous population (pages 195-213).

Jonas 2001: “The most difficult moment for the entire peace process came in May 1999, in regard to the constitutional reforms required to put into effect the most significant provisions of the accords on indigenous rights and on strengthening civilian power (limiting the functions of the army). It had taken one and a half years to gain congressional approval of those accords (which was finally accomplished in October 1998, largely as a result of international pressures). But in the congressional package of reforms submitted for approval by a public referendum (as required by the Constitution), the reforms stemming from the peace accords were swamped by dozens of others that were unrelated to the accords. And while polls had shown ahead of time that the reforms were likely to be approved, a well-financed last-month blitzkrieg campaign by peace resisters (who urged a ‘No’ vote) succeeded in defeating the reforms—that is, in getting a 55 percent majority for the ‘No’ among the bare 18.5 percent of the electorate that voted” (page 72).

Lehoucq 2002: “To almost universal surprise, voters rejected the proposed reforms in the 16 May 1999 referendum. The status quo was ratified by 55% to 45% (but with only 18.6% of registered electors casting a vote). The most heavily indigenous parts of the country voted in larger numbers and were typically in favour of reform. However, widespread expectation of success seems to have discouraged supporters of reform from mobilizing to counter a last-minute conservative drive to defeat the constitutional amendments. Had the institutional reforms simply been another issue in the 1999 election campaign, it seems very likely that they would have passed” (page 108).

Luciak 2001: “On May 16, 1999, Guatemala held a referendum on the constitutional reforms necessary to fully implement the peace accords. The referendum failed to gain the support necessary to change the constitution and raised serious questions regarding the viability of the accords. In a victory for voter apathy, 82 percent of the registered 4.08 million voters abstained. Of those who did go to the polls, slightly over 50 percent voted against the reforms…The core of the reform measures entailed recognition of the rights of Guatemala’s indigenous communities…According to foreign minister Eduardo Stein, in those areas of the country most affected by the war and with a predominantly indigenous population, voters supported the referendum…The failure of the referendum also indicated that the URNG lacked the power to mobilize enough voters in support of its vision of Guatemala’s future” (page 63).

Memoria, consulta popular 1999: reformas constitucionales 1999: The most complete resource on these elections, it includes a variety of documents/decrees and a record of the votes cast (including null and blank votes) in each municipality in Guatemala for each reform on the ballot. For each municipality it also lists the members of the “junta electoral municipal,” how many registered voters are literate or illiterate, and further breaks these categories into male and female.

NotiCen May 20, 1999: “By a 2-1 margin, Guatemalan voters rejected constitutional reforms that would have reduced the power of the military and improved the juridical status of the indigenous population” (page 1).

Soto Rosales 2002: “El martes 18 de mayo, el [TSE] informaba sobre los resultados provisionales…Una cifra lo revelaba todo: de un total de 4.985,832 empadronados, apenas 757,940 (el 18.55%), se había tomado la molestia de acudir a los centros de votación…(D)e esos 757,940 asistentes, casi 24 mil depositaron su papeleta en blanco y más de 46 mil la anularon. En realidad, quienes sufragaron válidamente fueron apenas 687 mil y fracción, lo que equivale al 16.8% de ciudadanos empadronados” (page 336).

Trudeau 2000: A “major stumbling block in the peace process was a referendum held in May 1999, in which citizens were able to vote on a series of constitutional reforms approved by Congress. The results of this plebiscite were disappointing to those who supported the reform aspects of the Accords because all four constitutional packages were defeated in the voting. The referendum, which was marked by only 18 percent voter turnout, halted many social and political reforms that seemed necessary for true social peace, as opposed to the absence of active warfare” (page 508).

Who governs? Guatemala five years after the peace accords 2002: “The May 1999 defeat of the constitutional reforms left many Mayan activists and voters with a sense of defeat, confirming their long-held belief that beyond the confines of their communities, Guatemala continues to be hostile or, at best, indifferent to ethnic and cultural demands” (page 22).

Villagrán Kramer 2004: Discusses the election and the results (pages 399-402).

May 18

Electoral observation in Guatemala, 1999 2001: “(T)he Supreme Electoral Tribunal on May 18, 1999, issued a call for general elections to elect the president and vice president of the republic, deputies to Congress, deputies to the Central American Parliament, mayors, and members of municipal councils. It set the date of these elections for Sunday, November 7, 1999” (page 9).

June

Central America report 25 June 1999: Discusses the campaigns and the various candidates involved (pages 1-3). “Sixteen parties are registered to participate in the general elections, while eight others are awaiting official recognition” (page 2).

Jonas 2000: “(I)n late June 1999, Arzú rejected the CEH finding that genocide had occurred” (page 157).

NotiCen August 5, 1999: “On June 24, the last group of Guatemalan refugees left the Mexican states of Chiapas, Campeche, and Quintana Roo and returned to Guatemala. This brought to nearly 42,000 the number of Guatemalan refugees repatriated from Mexico” (page 6). “(S)ome 23,000 refugees---half of whom were born in Mexico—decided to remain in Mexico” (page 7).

July

Central America report 23 July 1999: “In an announcement that took many by surprise, Alvaro Colom, presidential candidate for the [ANN] announces on July 20 that the [FDNG] has separated from the leftist coalition. Colom cites irreconcilable differences with FDNG leader Rafael Arriaga but says the door remains open to other party members...Political analysts say the divisions are the result of a power struggle between the ex-guerrilla [URNG] and the [PN], which has long been a strong force in the FDNG” (pages 1-2).

Luciak 2001: “The URNG understood that it needed to broaden its base of support if it wanted to play a significant role in Guatemalan politics. Evidence of this was the party leadership’s decision to join an electoral coalition to compete in the November 1999 elections. This electoral alliance, the Alianza Nueva Nación [ANN] consisted of [DIA, UNID, FDNG, and URNG]. The alliance’s candidate for the presidency was Alvaro Colom…Rosalina Tuyuc, a FDNG representative in the Guatemalan parliament, was supported by many female militants as the alliance’s candidate for vice-president. When the FDNG pulled out of the alliance, however, citing disagreements with the URNG leadership, Vitalino Similox was nominated as the ANN’s candidate for the vice-presidency” (pages 135-136). “A main reason for the fracture of the initial Alliance was the position of Rafael Arriaga, the FDNG’s secretary general, who wanted to impose militants from the Partido Revolucionario on the candidate lists of the ANN. When the FDNG decided to run its own separate campaign, Nineth Montenegro, one of the key FDNG leaders, left her old party and ran on the ANN ticket…The great majority of the FDNG base also chose to support the ANN over their old party…The controversy between the FDNG and the other members of the Left Alliance made it even more difficult for female militants to advance their agenda of gender equality…There was great disappointment that the parties on the Left failed to take advantage of a historic opportunity to join forces for the first postwar elections” (page 222).

NotiCen September 23, 1999: “In July, FDNG secretary general Rafael Arriaga was expelled from the alliance in a dispute about the list of alliance candidates for congress” (page 3).

August

NotiCen September 23, 1999: The ANN “alliance fractured in mid-August when the FDNG defected over which presidential candidate to support” (page 4).

September

NotiCen September 23, 1999: “With the presidential elections six weeks away, the governing conservative [PAN] is having difficulty establishing its candidate as a front runner against a challenger who has admitted committing a double homicide and evading arrest. Meanwhile, the left, hoping to reach the goals of the 36-year civil war through the ballot box, is imploding because of internal differences…In early September, Portillo’s campaign was jolted by his admission that he shot and killed two men and wounded a third in a 1982 fracas near Chilpancingo, Guerrero state, Mexico” (pages 1-2). “Portillo accused the PAN of revealing the details of the case to the press to damage his campaign, but said he did not expect the news to hurt his election chances” (page 3).

November 7: general election

Alcántara Sáez 1999: “En las elecciones del 7 de noviembre de 1999 disminuyó sustancialmente el número de partidos políticos presentados a los comicios ya que de 29 postulantes en 1995 se pasó a 16 partidos inscritos en 1999...De estos 16 partidos, cuatro son de reciente formación, por lo tanto 17 partidos desaparecieron después de 1995 tras su fracaso electoral...La estrategia electoral llevada a cabo por las pequeñas agrupaciones políticas de izquierda, fue la creación de una coalición denominada Alianza Nueva Nación (ANN), en la cual se reunían los partidos URNG, FDNG, UNID y DIA. La creación de esta alianza pretendía aglutinar el disgregado voto de izquierda en el país” (page 206).

Ardón 2003: “De los 960 candidatos para diputados, solo 133 (menos del 14%) eran mujeres, correspondiendo 16% a lista nacional y el 14% a distritales, un reducido avance porcentual respecto a la elección anterior (11% en el Congreso); sin embargo la exclusión de las mujeres indígenas es todavía más acentuada, en las diputaciones apenas alcanza el 3% en las nacionales y el 2% en las distritales. Los datos de postulación y elección a diputadas tanto en el listado nacional como al parlamento centroamericano, reflejan que la ubicación de las mujeres en los listados de elección popular está ponderada por los dirigentes de los partidos políticos que solo permiten que se postulen en puestos con pocas posibilidades de adjudicación…En 1999 del total de 3,300 cargos en Corporaciones Municipales de todo el país, solo 140 (4.2%) fueron mujeres, de las cuales 30.7% eran indígenas” (pages 86-87).

Bastos 2003: “El proceso electoral” (pages 212-214). “Como en otras ocasiones, la participación de mayas y de mujeres es escasa y si aparecen lo hacen al final de los listados” (page 213). “Finalmente, el FDNG no logró ni un solo diputado y la ANN consiguió un 13% de los votos y 9 escaños, 3 de los cuales pertenecen a líderes históricos maya-revolucionarios: Pablo Ceto, Alberto Mazariegos y Gregorio Chay. Además, por el FRG saldrán electos Miguel Angel Velasco como líder maya, además de Aura Marina Otzoy y Haroldo Quej. En el PAN destacará Alfredo Cojtí de Chimaltenango” (page 214).

Boneo 2000: “Estructura por edades del padrón electoral, elecciones de noviembre, 1999” (page 176). “Estructura por rangos etarios de votantes del 7 de noviembre 1999” (page 178). “Estructura por sexo y alfabetismo de votantes, elección de noviembre 1999” (page 179).

Bornschein 2000: “Resultados de las elecciones presidenciales 1999-2000” (page 20). “Resultados de las elecciones al congreso nacional” (page 20). “Resultados para elecciones municipales” (page 22). “Alcaldías ganadas por regiones, elecciones de 1999 (URNG-DIA, FDNG, comités cívicos)” (page 22).

Cayzac 2001: “Participación de candidatos indígenas en las elecciones legislativas (1999)” (page 235).

Central America report 12 November 1999: “The November 7 general elections break records, with the largest turnout and the greatest number of voters ever to support one party in the first round. Alfonso Portillo, the candidate of the (FRG), comes away with 1,037,775 out of 2,175,458 votes, or 47.7%. Oscar Berger, the candidate for the ruling (PAN), receives 660,404 votes, or 30.4%...The FRG triples its support in this election, compared to the first round in 1995. The party wins 64 of the 113 seats in the legislature, to PAN’s 37, with the remainder split among smaller parties. Meanwhile, the left makes notable gains as the country’s ‘third force,’ taking a total of 12% of the vote, most of that going to Alvaro Colom of the (ANN)” (page 1). “Comparison of first round election results from 1995 and 1999” (page 2). “Voter turnout was the largest ever. For the elections, the TSE set up 7,601 polling places in the 23 electoral districts around the country. Of 4,458,744 registered voters, 2,341,481, or 52.5%, showed up at the polls” (page 2).

Central America report 26 November 1999: “In the November 7 general elections, 113 members were elected or re-elected to the Guatemalan Congress” (page 6). “Guatemalan congress, 2000-2004” (page 7). Gives the names of each member from each district, both at the national and district levels. “Of the 80 legislators elected in 1995, 67 sought re-election and 38 won…The number of women elected to Congress fell from 15% to 7%...About 13% of the legislative candidates were women. Eighteen of the new legislators are indigenous of Mayan descent. The Mayans make up about 50% of the population. Of the 884 legislative candidates overall, 167 were indigenous. Ten of the FRG legislators are indigenous, while three are members of PAN. Four of the nine ANN legislators are indigenous” (page 8).

Central America report 3 December 1999: “In the November 7 elections, the FRG wins control of nearly 50% of Guatemala’s 330 municipalities, while the ruling (PAN) takes about a third. Civic committees and leftist parties take a combined 13%. Five other small parties share 25 municipalities, or 7.7% of total” (page 3).

Central America report 18 August 2000: “In the municipal elections of November 1999, 50 women ran for mayor (five times the number that ran in 1985) but only three were elected—one less than 15 years ago…In national politics, the picture is equally grim. Women actually lost ground in Congress, taking only seven of 113 seats. During the previous Congress women occupied 12 of 80 seats” (page 1). “Guatemala: women candidates for Congress on the national lists, 1999” (page 2).

Chronicle of parliamentary elections and developments 33 2000: For the November 7, 1999 election for congress gives the purpose of elections, the electoral system, background and outcome of the elections, and statistics, including the distribution of seats according to sex (pages 74-76).

Comportamiento electoral municipal en Guatemala 2004: “En la elección de 1999, la participación electoral por debajo del 50% incluyó a 89 municipios del país” (page 2). “En 1999 participaron 153 comités [cívicos electorales]…habiendo ganado 25 alcaldías” (page 4). “(E)n 1999 se eligieron 113 [alcaldes indígenas]” (page 5). Book has separate chapters on each department in Guatemala with detailed information on the 1999 election.

Documento informativo II: documento informativo: segunda elección presidencial 1999: “Elecciones general 1999 (datos en cifras)” (pages 14-32). Provides a variety of statistics.

Electoral observation in Guatemala, 1999 2001: “The legal context” (pages 10-12). “The current electoral system” (pages 13-14). “The Supreme Electoral Tribunal” (pages 14-15). “Political parties competing in the elections” (page 26). “Electoral committees (by department)” (page 27). “The civic electoral committees” (pages 27-28). “The civic electoral committees are political organizations of a temporary nature, the function of which is to represent the currents of public opinion at the local level. They are established with a certain minimum number of members who can read and write (1000 in the Metropolitan District, 500 in the departmental capitals, and 100 in the municipalities), and they may nominate candidates for popular election to the municipal councils” (page 27). “The elections of November 7, 1999” (pages 31-36). “The period between rounds” (pages 37-45). “The tally of votes cast on November 7, 1999, produced victory for the candidates of the FRG in the voting for president and vice president. These candidates, however, failed to achieve an absolute majority as required by...the Constitution, and...the TSE was obliged to call for a second ballot” (page 39). “Electoral committees constitute a valuable opportunity for democratic participation in Guatemala’s municipalities. The potential is limited, however, by the strict legal constraints on their existence, since they must be dissolved after each election” (page 81). “First round of voting: provisional national results, president and vice president” (Annex 1).

Estudio del comportamiento electoral municipal en Guatemala 2000: “El presente estudio tiene como objetivo conocer el comportamiento electoral que los principales actores locales (electores, candidatos, comités cívicos y organizaciones municipales de los principales partidos políticos) correspondiente a las elecciones municipales de 1995 y 1999…Para efectos metodológicos el estudio comprende 23 capítulos, el primero presenta los principales hallazgos a nivel nacional. Los 22 capítulos restantes corresponden a los aspectos cuantitativos de cada uno de los departamentos de la República de Guatemala, en los cuales se presentan datos analíticos a nivel departamental y municipal” (page 1). In addition to statistical information, provides the names and parties of each municipality’s mayors since the mid-1980s.

Fischer 2004: “Quemé was re-elected [mayor of Quetzaltenango] in 1999, although voting results were hotly [contested] by his ladino opponents” (page 88).

Guatemala: informe analítico del proceso electoral 1999 2000: Provides narrative and statistical information on the 1999 general election.

Guatemala: monografía de partidos políticos 2000-2004 2004: “(E)n 1999 [DCG] no participó, por primera vez desde 1970, en la elección presidencial. Su líder, el expresidente Cerezo, quien en 1998 retornó a la Secretaría General de la organización, encabezó el listado nacional, siendo electo como uno de los dos diputados que la DCG tuvo en el período 2000-2004” (page 18). “Pudo elegir a dos diputados (el expresidente Cerezo por el listado nacional y otro por el distrito de San Marcos) y 10 alcaldes” (page 23). “En 1999 Ríos Montt fue nuevamente electo como diputado al Congreso de la República, encabezando el listado nacional” (page 40). “En las elecciones generales de 1999, la UN lanzó como candidato a la alcaldía de la Ciudad de Guatemala a Alejandro Giammattei y a otros nueve candidatos a alcalde en municipios del país” (page 49). “En el proceso electoral de 1999 la UD participó en alianza con el partido de orientación ambientalista ‘La Organización Verde’ (LOV)…En esas elecciones ocuparon el séptimo lugar, logrando elegir a un diputado y cuatro alcaldes municipales” (page 55). “En 1999 [PLP] logró un diputado por el listado nacional al Congreso y una diputación al PARLACEN, además de 4 alcaldías” (page 67). “En las elecciones de 1999 Los Verdes conquistaron, en coalición con la UD, un diputado y cuatro alcaldías” (page 72). “En su primera participación en elecciones generales, la URNG formó con el partido DIA la Alianza Nueva Nación (ANN). Como resultado de esta estrategia logró llevar al Congreso de la República a 9 diputados (2 por el listado nacional y 7 distritales), y obtuvo 14 alcaldías” (page 99).

Jickling 2002: PAN’s “Candidate for mayor of Guatemala City in 2000, Fritz Garcia-Gallont, won a decisive victory despite success in the presidential balloting by Alfonso Portillo and his rightist FRG. President Portillo, a long-time opponent of Alvaro Arzu, is beginning to allocate resources inside of Guatemala City in ways designed to weaken the PAN’s grip on the capital” (page 155).

Lehoucq 2002: “On 7 November 1999, something more than half the registered electors of Guatemala cast their votes in presidential, legislative, and municipal elections” (page 107). “Electoral laws” (pages 109-110). “Electoral campaign” (pages 110-111). “Election results” (page 111). “Results of the 1999 presidential election in Guatemala” (page 112). “Results of the 1999 legislative elections in Guatemala” (page 113).

Loeb 1999: Discusses the election.

Luciak 2001: “By the time of the November 1999 elections, women’s participation had increased. The FDNG officially had 13,566 members, 21 percent of them female” (pages 182-183). “The November 1999 legislative elections were further proof that female militants had a long way to go in their efforts to increase female participation in key positions. Only one of he nine URNG deputies elected to parliament that year was a woman. Female candidates experienced great difficulties in their efforts to be ranked high on candidate lists, a requirement to have a reasonable chance of getting elected. In general women were underrepresented, considering that female militants represented 25 percent of the 5,202 party members” (page 187). “There was considerable hope that the 1996 peace accords, which made it possible for the revolutionary Left to participate in the electoral process, would strengthen the legitimacy of the political system in the eyes of the electorate and lead to increased turnout. These expectations proved to be justified. In the November 1999 elections, 53 percent of the electorate went to the polls…The [presidential] candidate of the left-wing [ANN], Alvaro Colom, came in a distant third with 12 percent. The Alliance, centered around the URNG, obtained 270,891 votes in the presidential elections, gained nine seats in the legislature, and controlled twenty-nine townships. Eleven towns were won outright by the Alliance, while civic committees with affinities for the Alliance won the others” (page 220). “Of the 113 parliamentary seats contested, the FRG secured an absolute majority of 62. The PAN won 38 seats, while the ANN secured 9…The PAN paid the price for the public’s discontent with the limited results of the peace accords, the high crime rate, the difficult economic situation, and the corruption scandals engulfing PAN politicians. Female candidates did not do well in the 1999 elections. The election results demonstrated that Guatemala was lagging behind its neighbors in increasing women’s participation in public office. The two female presidential candidates, Ana Catalina Soberanis of the FDNG, and Flor de María Alvarado of the National Reconciliation Alliance gained 1.3 and 0.1 percent of the vote, respectively. In the legislature, only eight female deputies were elected. Five of them belonged to the FRG, two were PAN deputies, and one came from the ANN. This represented a decline from 1995, when eleven women representatives had been elected. The majority of the 1999 female representatives (five of the eight) were elected in the capital, the central district. This abysmal result is no surprise if one examines the candidate lists of the various parties…With few exceptions, women were placed in noncompetitive positions on the candidate lists, making it clear from the outset that they would not be elected” (page 221). Includes further analysis of the election (pages 221-223).

Memoria elecciones generales 99 1999: Detailed results of all the elections published by the Tribunal Supremo Electoral.

Montenegro Ríos 2001: Discusses the election and gives results.

NotiCen November 11, 1999: Describes the election (pages 2-4).

Olascoaga 2003: Para la elección de “1999 se tomó en cuenta el censo de 1994, con lo que el número de legisladores ascendió a 113” (page 53). “Abstención primaria y secundaria de mujeres en las elecciones de 1999” (pages 125-126). “Participación de candidatos indígenas en las elecciones legislativas por partido (1999)” (pages 181-182).

Quién es quién. Catálogo electoral 1999 1999: Provides background information for the election, including decrees, statistics, and extensive party and candidate details.

Sacayón Manzo 2001: “(E)s importante reconocer el papel de los llamados comités cívicos que se han organizado en varios de los municipios con mayoría de población indígena, en las contiendas electorales, como formas alternativas de romper con las prácticas excluyentes de algunos partidos políticos. Como señala una publicación de prensa durante las elecciones de 1999, ‘en la actualidad, 174 comités cívicos compiten por el poder local en toda la República de Guatemala, de ellos el 53% se sitúa en el occidente del país, donde permanece en su mayoría la población indígena’ [Prensa Libre, October 19, 1999, page 4]” (page 34). “En 1999,…el XELJU volvió a tener en su planilla 5 mujeres candidatas, pero en un total de 19 cargos” (pages 35-36). “Municipios con autoridades femeninas electas (Sólo municipios con alcaldes mayas, según AGAAI). Elecciones 1999” (page 39). “Candidaturas femeninas a cargos para gobiernos locales, por organizaciones políticas (elecciones 1999)” (page 43). Gives “tipo de organización política (partidos políticos, comités cívicos, coaliciones), cantidad de organizaciones políticas, candidatas a alcaldesas, candidatas a otros cargos, total mujeres candidatas.” Gives some details on candidates from various parties (pages 43-44). “Cargos adjudicados a mujeres en los gobiernos municipales (elecciones 1999. Todo el país)” (pages 116-119). Gives the department, municipality, name of woman, political party, and position of every woman elected to a municipal office in 1999. “Resúmen de cargos adjudicados a mujeres en los gobiernos municipales (1999)” (page 121). “Municipios con alcaldes mayas según AGAII, 1999 (por organización política, grupo lingüístico y categoría de municipio)” (pages 122-125).

Sáenz de Tejada 2005: “Las elecciones de 1999” (pages 197-211). Includes many tables.

Sánchez del Valle 2000: “Los comités cívicos en el proceso electoral de 1999” (pages 29-94). “Comités cívicos y participación comunitaria. Elecciones generales 1999” (page 40). “Preferencia electoral por comités cívicos. Elecciones generales 1999” (page 43). “Organizaciones políticas postulantes en elecciones generales 1999” (page 127). “Comités cívicos inscritos para las elecciones generales 1999 según siglas, región, departamento y municipio” (pages 128-135). “Comités cívicos que ganaron alcaldías y/o ubicaron candidatos en corporaciones municipales” (pages 136-140). “Composición de corporaciones municipales según número de habitantes y municipios” (pages 141-142). “Abstencionismo y comités cívicos. Elecciones generales 1999” (pages 146-147). “Mujeres postuladas en comités cívicos, por departamento. Elecciones generales 1999” (page 148). “Mujeres electas en corporaciones municipales por comités cívicos y por partidos políticos. Elecciones generales 1999” (page 150). “Comités cívicos electorales y la importancia de los votos nulos en las elecciones de 1999” (pages 156-157).

Sandoval 2003: “Las elecciones de 1999” (pages 197-224).

Soto Rosales 2002: “Resultados de la elección presidencial (1a vuelta) realizada el 7 de noviembre de 1999” (page 348).

Thillet de Solórzano 2001: “Representación de las guatemaltecas en cargos de elección: elecciones de 1999” (page 183). “Diputadas electas para el Congreso de la República de Guatemala, por distrito y partido político, período 2000-2004” (page 190). Gives names.

Villagrán Kramer 2004: “Las últimas elecciones del siglo XX” (pages 402-406).

Williams 2003: “In 1999, the [DCG] failed to put up a presidential candidate and only managed to win two seats in the congress” (paged 322).

November

Central America report 12 November 1999: Discusses the controversies over anullment of election results in various races (page 2-3). “Personalities as diverse as Nobel Peace Prize winner Rigoberta Menchú and Alfonso Portillo, presidential candidate for the (FRG), jumped to the defense this week of the mayor of Guatemala’s second most largest city, after the vote re-electing him to office was annulled. Rigoberto Quemé Chay, mayor of Quetzaltenango, has no party affiliation and was elected by a civic committee. The election was annulled by a local official of the (TSE), after the FRG charged that Quemé’s committee, Xel-Jú, had bought votes...The annulment of the election drew a firestorm of criticism in the press, from both left and right, with critics accusing the major political parties of targeting Quemé because he is indigenous and was elected by a civic committee. Twenty-four municipalities went to civic committees in the elections” (page 3).

Central America report 3 December 1999: “(O)n November 30, the TSE overturned the annulment of the vote in Quetzaltenango, leaving Mayor Rigoberto Quemé with his re-election intact...Xel-Jú gained prestige, with a new-found status as a leader of the Mayan movement” (page 3).

December 2

Central America report 10 December 1999: “On December 2, Rigoberta Menchú, the 1992 Nobel Peace Prize recipient, took action in Madrid and filed charges against former dictators Romeo Lucas García (1978-1982), Efraín Ríos Montt (1982-1983), and Oscar Humberto Mejía Víctores (1983-1986), along with six other former military and civilian officials…The charges brought by Menchú are genocide, torture and terrorism, which are considered crimes against humanity and may be tried under international law” (page 6).

December 26: second round (Portillo / FRG)

Central America report 7 January 2000: “Second-round election results” (page 2). Gives registered voters, total votes cast, votes for FRG and PAN, and turnout. Portillo “won the second round by taking more than 68% of the vote, to Berger’s 32%. Voter turnout was low in the second round, as compared to the first, but most analysts discounted that as a significant factor in Berger’s defeat” (page 2).

Electoral observation in Guatemala, 1999 2001: “The second round of voting” (pages 47-51). “The challenge of participation” (pages 59-75). Includes results of “quick counts” in both rounds of the election and comparisons with final results. “In comparison with the abstention rate recorded in the referendum of May 26, 1999, where barely 20 percent of registered voters cast their votes, there was a significant increase in voter participation in the most recent elections. Nevertheless, the participation declined in the second round, although the turnout was still higher than for the referendum...Women’s participation nationwide declined significantly during the second round, to approximately 35.4 percent, in comparison with 48.2 percent during the elections on November 7” (page 75). “Second round of voting: provisional national results, president and vice president” (Annex 1).

Lehoucq 2002: “Results of the 1999 presidential election in Guatemala” (page 112).

Montenegro Ríos 2001: Gives results of the election.

NotiCen January 13, 2000: “Turnout was 41% of eligible voters, compared with nearly 54% in the first-round election Nov. 7. The lower turnout was attributed to holding the election during the Christmas holidays and to the general certainty that Portillo would win…Since Berger improved his performance by just two percentage points in the runoff, Portillo clearly took much of the third-party vote, including the 12% won in November by Alvaro Colom” (pages 4-5).

Soto Rosales 2002: “Resultados provisionales por departamento de la elección presidencial 2a vuelta 26 de diciembre de 1999” (page 352).

Steigenga 2001: “Portillo’s decisive victory…has been widely interpreted as both a confirmation of Ríos Montt’s continued popularity…and as a rejection of Arzú’s PAN government” (page 75).

December 30

NotiCen January 20, 2000: “The [TSE] declared Portillo the legally elected president on Dec. 30. The final count showed he won the Dec. 26 second-round election with 68.31% of the vote against 31.69% for [PAN] candidate Oscar Berger” (pages 1-2).

2000

Berger 2006: “(T)he women’s movement lobbied for a more autonomous and powerful state agency to coordinate and execute government gender policies. Women’s groups…could not agree on the structure, powers, and focus of the agency…In 2000, however, the Portillo government halted the debate by creating the Secretaría Presidencial de la Mujer (…SEPREM)” (page 55).

Guatemala: monografía de partidos políticos 2000-2004 2004: “Entre el 2000 y el 2001 el [LOV] decidió denominarse Los Verdes” (page 70).

Méndez 2003: “In the context of the general process to reform the electoral law, as part of the peace accords, in 2000 the Instance for Political Equity, a coalition made by several women’s organizations, presented a proposal including a 44% gender quota in the party’s electoral lists and alternating positions between women and men to avoid women being placed at the bottom” (pages 6-7).

Thillet de Solórzano 2001: “Representación de las mujeres en el gabinete de gobierno y en alcaldías, año 2000” (page 24). Gives the three towns where the mayors are female and lists the mayors’ names. “Integración de las bancadas del Congreso, año 2000” (page 31). Gives the number of seats and number of female deputies for each party.

January

Central America report 7 January 2000: “The inauguration is slated for January 14…The FRG comes to power after successfully exploiting the popularity of Ríos Montt, especially in rural areas, and voter disillusionment with the ruling [PAN]” (page 2).

Hacia dónde vamos? Guía electoral 2003 2003: “(E)l 20 de enero del año 2000, el Registro de Ciudadanos del [TSE] notificó oficialmente la disolución del MLN de acuerdo con la Ley Electoral al no obtener el 4% de los votos válidos” (page 34).

NotiCen January 20, 2000: “Alfonso Portillo Cabrera, 48, began his term as president Jan. 14 amid concerns that retired Gen. Efrain Rios Montt…would pull the government further to the right” (page 1).

Schirmer 2002: “President Alfonso Portillo was inaugurated in January 2000 on the basis of the center-right platform of the FRG—a party founded by…General Rios Montt. With little consensus in the ship of state—the president makes some decisions, ‘the general’ others—there is an erosion of trust and legitimacy within and without the armed forces” (page 71).

March

NotiCen March 30, 2000: “On March 22, Spain’s high court (Audiencia Nacional) agreed to consider accusations brought against Rios Montt and other Guatemalan leaders…On March 27, the Spanish court began an investigation of the three former dictators along with five other former officials” (page 7).

April

Central America report 14 April 2000: Describes the electoral reforms that are being discussed in congress (pages 1-2). “The TSE bill seeks to change a system where limitless campaign spending, party finances free of scrutiny and anonymous donations have benefitted a few political parties while leaving most out in the cold"”(page 1). “The Tribunal’s bill also calls for several measures aimed at ensuring every Guatemalan adult’s right to vote. To this end the TSE recommends establishing additional polling stations in villages outside municipal centers and reorganizing polling stations in urban centers so that voters attend the station nearest their homes. The bill would also move up the date of the elections so that it does not interfere with the harvest, making it easier for seasonal workers to vote…The National Women’s Office (ONAM) has presented draft legislation that would ensure that at least 30% of all candidates for public office were women. The ONAM bill also stipulates that women and men should alternate on the candidate lists so that women are not pushed to the bottom with no real chance of election. Women’s groups argue that without these quotas, they may never be fairly represented in government. Women hold only 7% of seats in Congress, down from 14% during the previous government. Of the nation’s 330 mayors, only three are women…Another bill…would give the vote to Guatemalans living abroad” (page 2).

May

Central America report 5 May 2000: Discusses the government’s decentralization plan (page 5). “Government officials and civil society groups agree that municipal governments should be at the heart of efforts to decentralize the State. Although the 1945 Constitution allowed for the co-existence of indigenous mayors alongside municipal mayors, only in the department of Solola has this practice taken place…Currently it is common for a town government to be comprised of residents of the urban center of a township without involving representatives of surrounding villages…For proponents of decentralization, one important measure is the election of departmental governors. They also call for legal reforms that would allow for election of officials on a village level, who would then form part of the municipal councils” (page 5).

July

Central America report 11 August 2000: “Founding members of the Party for National Advancement (PAN) resigned in response to internal conflict and alleged corruption…The problems PAN faces point to a larger crisis among Guatemalan political parties, which have traditionally had short life spans and crumbled after electoral defeat following a stint in power. As a result, citizens distrust parties and believe they are not represented in government” (page 7).

Guatemala: monografía de partidos políticos 2000-2004 2004: “(E)l 6 de junio se anunció públicamente la separación del bloque, y del partido [PAN], de 15 diputados, quienes inicialmente se declararon independientes, reclamando ser los poseedores de la auténtica identidad panista” (pages 129-130).

August

NotiCen September 14, 2000: “Suspicious alterations of a tax bill after it was passed set off a national political crisis in Guatemala that the press is calling ‘Guategate.” The president of Congress, Efrain Rios Montt, and some 30 other members of the governing [FRG] could be removed from office to face criminal charges. Suspicions also fall on President Alfonso Portillo and other high-ranking officials” (page 1).

September

Guatemala: monografía de partidos políticos 2000-2004 2004: “En septiembre del 2000 Alvaro Colom anunció públicamente que desistía de permanecer en la ANN y que se dedicaría a promover una ‘unidad nacional de la esperanza,’ incluyente y participativa” (page 122).

October

NotiCen October 19, 2000: “In early October, the Guatemalan press began reporting rumors of a coup and governmental denials…While dismissing the rumors, the government has acknowledged that the country is in crisis” (page 7).

November

Central America report 8 December 2000: “So great was the controversy surrounding reforms to the Electoral Law, that deputies are shelving it until 2001 and wading through the sea of other laws they are attempting to approve. One of the most important accords in the peace process focused on development of electoral reform to increase democratic pluralism in Guatemala. However, the obstacle to such change is that the reforms must be approved by representatives of the very structures subject to reform” (page 3).

December

NotiCen January 18, 2001: “Four years after the signing of the peace accords ending the civil war in Guatemala, only modest progress has been made…In a deal with the [URNG] in December, the government has set new deadlines to finish the peace process by 2004” (page 1).

2001

MacNabb 2003: “The most recent example of Maya women’s organizing is the group Moloj. Moloj, the Political Association of Maya Women, emerged in 2001 and has such esteemed women as Otilia Lux, Rigoberta Menchú, and Rosalina Tuyúc on its executive board. They are committed to increasing women’s participation, building support for female Maya candidates, and providing political opportunities for Maya women” (page 148).

Thillet de Solórzano 2001: “Moloj…es una organización de mujeres políticas mayas…[Uno de sus objetivos es] capacitar a las mujeres de sus comunidades para que en un futuro cercano puedan optar a cargos de elección como consejeras, alcaldesas y diputadas” (pages 338-339). Rigoberto Menchú Tum is the national coordinator.

Who governs? Guatemala five years after the peace accords 2002: “In 2001, Mayan organizations and leaders were practically absent from the national scene because they were often incapable of getting their issues on the agenda and because the Congress and administration have chosen to ignore them” (page 22).

March

Central America report 30 March 2001: On March 15, 2001 “congressmen Juan Carlos Gutiérrez of Alta Verapaz and Hugo Samayoa of Quiché left the FRG to join the National Unity for Hope, led by ex-presidential candidate Alvaro Colóm. To avoid a mass party exodus, the FRG presented a proposal to reform the Electoral Law with support from the Congressional Elections Commission, which has an FRG majority. With this reform, the party aims to prevent congressional representatives from keeping their posts if they resign from their parties, an obvious response to the recent resignations” (page 2).

Country profile. Guatemala 2004: “The Unidad Nacional de la Esperanza (UNE) of presidential candidate, Alvaro Colom, was set up in 2001 following a split in the Alianza Nueva Nación (ANN)” (page 10).

NotiCen April 19, 2001: The FRG “moved quickly to block further defections by proposing a bill changing the electoral code. The bill would redefine seats in Congress as belonging to the parties, not to the deputies. If adopted, the law would force out of Congress any deputies who resigned from their parties” (page 3).

April

Central America report 11 May 2001: “On April 24, a Guatemalan judge surprisingly finds insufficient evidence to tie Congressional President and (FRG) founder Efraín Ríos Montt and FRG party leader Luis Rosales to the illegal alteration of the Alcoholic Beverage Tax Law, known as the Guategate Scandal. The remaining 22 FRG legislators accused of involvement in the scandal are given light fines…The most important outcome of the decision was the fact that Ríos Montt and Rosales recovered their immunity from prosecution and can now retain their normal posts as congressional leaders” (page 1).

August

Central America report 31 August 2001: “With just 30 votes separating them, Alba Estela Maldonado triumphed August 26 over incumbent Jorge Soto to become the new secretary general of the leftist [URNG]…Maldonado is the first woman to head a political party in the country…The outgoing executive committee boasted only one woman (Maldonado) and two Mayan men. The new committee includes four women (one indigenous) and at least three indigenous men” (page 1).

September

Guatemala: monografía de partidos políticos 2000-2004 2004: “En [su] Asamblea Nacional celebrada en septiembre 2001, el PAN acordó introducir el procedimiento de elecciones primarias para la designación de los candidatos partidarios a cargos de elección popular” (page 27).

2002

Peacock 2003: “2002 was the single most violent year to date in post-conflict Guatemala, and the downward trend has continued throughout 2003…Local and international observers believe that the perpetrators of the abuses are members of illegal armed groups…that act at the behest of ‘hidden powers’ in the country” (page 3). “Some of the individuals who comprise Guatemala’s ‘hidden powers’ are private citizens, including retired military and government officials. Others are current government officials (civilian and military) who work within the structures of the state” (page 5). “Illegal armed groups that operate clandestinely and do the bidding of the ‘hidden powers’ are called ‘clandestine groups’ in popular parlance in Guatemala. The clandestine groups are small groups of men, often members of specialized military units or police forces, who carry out acts of violence and intimidation” (page 7).

May

Bastos 2003: “(L)a presentación de la Agenda Política Maya [es] llevado a cabo por el Comité del Decenio del Pueblo Maya el 30 de mayo” (page 249).

Guatemala: monografía de partidos políticos 2000-2004 2004: El PAN “decidió que para las elecciones de 2003 solo se elegiría por [elección primaria] al precandidato presidencial, convocando en mayo 2002 a dicha elección. En respuesta a tal convocatoria, después de un intenso debate, se inscribieron dos aspirantes: Oscar Berger y Leonel López Rodas” (page 27).

June

Guatemala: monografía de partidos políticos 2000-2004 2004: “El 13 de junio de 2002 el Partido Patriota fue legalmente inscrito en el Departamento de Organizaciones Políticas del Tribunal Supremo Electoral” (page 102).

Peacock 2003: “In June 2002, thousands of ex-patrollers took over much of the northern department of Petén” (page 46).

August

Guatemala: monografía de partidos políticos 2000-2004 2004: “Fecha de inscripción [del Partido Solidaridad Nacional (PSN)] 30 de agosto de 2002” (page 113). “Fecha de inscripción [del Partido Unidad Nacional de la Esperanza (UNE)] 6 agosto del 2002” (page 121).

September

Bastos 2003: “(E)l 30 de septiembre de 2002 se realizó el Primer Tribunal de Conciencia contra el Racismo” (page 250).

Guatemala: monografía de partidos políticos 2000-2004 2004: “(E)l Partido Unionista se convirtió en partido debidamente inscrito a mediados del mes de septiembre [de 2002]” (page 130).

NotiCen October 3, 2002: “A ‘tribunal of conscience,’ designed to bring attention to the problem of racism against the indigenous population of Guatemala, took place on Sept. 30…Survivors of massacres presented testimony against the military for the thousands of civilian murders committed in the name of the government’s counterinsurgency policy during the 36-year civil war that ended in 1996…The event was organized by several civic organizations, among them the Asociacion Politica de Mujeres (Moloj). Moloj is the Kaqchikel word meaning association…In the Congress, of the 113 seats, indigenous people hold 13, of these, three are women. Of the approximately 3,000 municipal offices throughout the country, native Guatemalans occupy only 144” (LADB).

November

Guatemala: monografía de partidos políticos 2000-2004 2004: “En la elección primaria [del PAN], celebrada en 282 municipios de los 22 departamentos, el 17 de noviembre 2002, Berger obtuvo el respaldo del 73% de los panistas que acudieron a las urnas” (page 28). “De 238,304 afiliados que el PAN logró empadronar durante una intensa campaña interna, votaron 112,802, de los cuales 79,384 (72%) emitieron su voto a favor de Berger y 28,796 (28%) lo hicieron a favor de López Rodas” (page 37).

December

Guatemala: monografía de partidos políticos 2000-2004 2004: “(E)l partido Unión Democrática (UD)…efectuó una consulta electoral interna para designar a su candidato presidencial. El ‘proceso de apertura’, como se le denominó, concluyó el 08 de diciembre de 2002, con elecciones internas celebradas en 211 municipios, con la modalidad de ‘padrón abierto’, habiéndose convocado a participar en el mismo a la ciudadanía en general, y en particular a organizaciones políticas y de la sociedad civil…En el ‘proceso de apertura’ promovido por la UD, participaron aproximadamente 40,000 ciudadanos, de los que el 91% eligió a Rodolfo Paiz Andrade como precandidato presidencial” (page 61).

Peacock 2003: “At the end of 2002, in early December, the first National Congress of Human Rights was convened in Guatemala City” (page 57).

2003

Berger 2006: “As Guatemalans prepared to go to the polls in November 2003 to elect a new president, a vice president, 158 congressional representatives, 20 representatives to the Central American Parliament, and 331 mayors, violence escalated…But violence against political activists was not the only type of violence to increase; violence against women also swelled…In the 2003 elections, male candidates strategically used violence—either by encouraging it or rhetorically exploiting it—to establish themselves in protector roles” (pages 97-98). “Only one party in the 2003 elections, the URNG, included the implementation of the peace accords in its platform; the others claimed erroneously that the peace accords hold no interest for the majority of the Guatemalan population” (page 101).

Bush 2003: Discusses the upcoming elections.

Central America report 29 August 2003: “In recent months, electoral violence has increased significantly in Guatemala, as human rights activists, journalists, and candidates, directors and sympathizers of opposition parties have been victims of threats, attacks and murder” (page 2). “The political violence is taking place against a backdrop of increasing general violence in Guatemala. According to a report by [GAM], between January and June 2003, 737 murders, 17 extra-juridical executions and 286 non fatal attacks with fire arms were recorded in the country” (page 3).

Fischer 2006: “In 2003, the FRG government (which held the presidency, a majority in Congress, and great sway over the judiciary) was troubled by corruption scandals involving shockingly large amounts of money (hundreds of millions of dollars), even for a system long accustomed to high levels of graft” (page 97).

Guatemala: monografía de partidos políticos 2000-2004 2004: “(D)urante la campaña electoral de 2003, la UD promovió la coalición ‘Unión por el Bien de Guatemala’, junto con los partidos Unión Nacional y Movimientos Principios y Valores. Esta coalición postuló como sus candidatos a la presidencia y vicepresidencia a Rodolfo Paiz y a Francisco Bianchi Castillo” (page 61).

Méndez 2003: “During the 2003 electoral process, publicity for women candidates, with only one exception, was extremely scarce. In this regard, one special measure carried out by women’s organizations was the dissemination of media messages calling for women’s participation as candidates in the elections…(T)he National Union of Guatemalan Women (UNAMG), with the support of the United Nations Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM), launched a local level radio campaign to sensitize the population on the right of women to be elected. The messages, [broadcast] in Spanish and three indigenous languages, called the communities to propose women as candidates and to vote for women” (page 8).

April

NotiCen April 3, 2002: “Conditions for indigenous women in Guatemala continue to degenerate…Indigenous women continue to be discriminated against and exploited, says the Report on the Situation of Indigenous Women by the Defensoria de la Mujer Indigena, released on April 2” (LADB).

May

Country profile. Guatemala 2004: “Gana was created in May 2003 as a party vehicle for the disaffected wing of the centre-right Partido de Avanzada Nacional (PAN), led by Oscar Berger Perdomo…Mr Berger and his supporters left after the PAN general secretary, Leonel López Rodas, refused to accept Mr Berger’s victory in internal party primaries for the presidential nomination” (page 9).

Guatemala: monografía de partidos políticos 2000-2004 2004: “(U)na disputa por el control del partido…se resolvió con la salida de Berger del PAN en mayo de 2003, para encabezar una coalición denominada Gran Alianza Nacional (GANA), integrada por los partidos Patriota, Reformador y Solidaridad Nacional” (page 28). “(T)an solo 10 días antes de que el TSE convocara a elecciones generales, Berger se viera forzado a abandonar el partido, llevándose consigo una buena parte de la dirigencia y de candidatos legislativos y municipales” (page 38).

Hacia dónde vamos? Guía electoral 2003 2003: “Decreto no. 01-2003. El Tribunal Supremo Electoral” (pages 109-117). Provides the guidelines for the 2003 election.

June

Fischer 2006: “Article 186 of the Guatemalan Constitution bars those who have participated in coups from being president, and it was a military junta that first brought Ríos Montt to power in 1982. On this basis, the Supreme Electoral Tribunal ruled in June 2003 that he was ineligible to run for president…Ríos Montt, however, continued to campaign, confident that he would prevail” (page 94).

Guatemala: monografía de partidos políticos 2000-2004 2004: “De cara a las elecciones generales de 2003, la organización ANN, que se comenzó a configurar en el año 2002, se articuló como un partido político que se derivó de la fusión de los partidos en formación UNID y Solidaridad Democrática (PSD)” (page 153). “Fecha de inscripción: 6 de junio de 2003” (page 153).

July

Azpuru 2005: Ríos Montt’s “presidencial candidacy had been rejected by the Supreme Electoral Tribunal, the Supreme Court, and the Constitutional Court in 1990, and again in 1995…However, using the majority it won in the 1999 congressional elections, the FRG manipulated several laws to enable Ríos-Montt to register as a presidential candidate in 2003” (page 144).

Central America report 25 July 2003: “On July 14, the Constitutional Court approved the inscription of Efraín Ríos Montt as candidate for president by a four to three majority. The resolution broke with two previous CC decisions—in 1990 and 1995—that denied the inscription of the former general and military dictator under Article 186 of the Constitution, prohibiting former ‘de facto’ rulers from holding the office of president” (page 1). “The CC decision established that Article 186, introduced in 1985, soon after Ríos Montt was deposed, cannot be applied retroactively and ordered the TSE to inscribe the general as presidential candidate…The decision…caused widespread civilian protests” (page 2). Describes the temporary replacement of CC magistrates with FRG members to decide in Ríos Montt’s favor.

Central America report 1 August 2003: “On July 31, Efraín Ríos Montt was finally confirmed as the FRG presidential candidate” (page 1).

Central America report 10 October 2003: “In July the National Institute of Statistics (INE) published figures comparing 2002 census data for the number of citizens with the number of voters registered. In some municipalities the number of registered voters was over…40% greater than the number of citizens the census considers eligible to vote. The voter surplus was most alarming in the municipality of Guatemala City, where 61% (291,451) more voters are registered than eligible citizens” (page 4).

Fischer 2006: “On July 24, ‘Black Thursday’ as it came to be known, the Ríos Montt campaign organized demonstrations that shut down Guatemala City and cost millions in property damage. Thousands of rural supporters were bused into the capital city and armed by campaign workers…As the smoke from burning cars and buildings filled the Guatemala City skyline, Ríos Montt announced to the press that he would not be able to control his supporters, that the people must be heard and their will heeded. Following this none-too-subtle flexing of muscle, the Constitutional Court overruled itself and, citing international accords, voted 4 to 3 that to retroactively apply the 1985 Constitution to Ríos Montt’s 1982 actions would violate his human rights” (page 94). “(I)n 2003 it was the poor, rural, Maya peasants—the very targets of Ríos Montt’s scorched-earth campaign two decades earlier—who now formed the base of El General’s popular support. As the former majority leader of Congress, Ríos Montt cultivated this allegiance by pushing through huge subsidies for fertilizer and increases in the minimum wage, and by making large payments to those who had served in the country’s notorious ‘civil patrols’ of the early 1980s” (page 95).

August

Azpuru 2005: The “’Frente Cívico por la Democracia’ was formed in mid-2003 by several organisations with the explicit purpose of opposing the FRG and Ríos-Montt” (page 145).

Central America report 15 August 2003: “Since [Ríos] Montt’s registration, the FRG has been suspended from the Forum of Political Parties. Presidential candidate Rodolfo Paiz announced that he would retire from the elections and give his and his Democratic Union party’s support to GANA and Oscar Berger. Candidates Rigoberto Queme Chay and Ricardo Bueso have also since dropped out of the race” (page 2).

Central America report 5 September 2003: “On August 10, National Unity of Hope (UNE) party candidate Alvaro Colom announced that his party had obtained a document named Plan Lazaro, detailing the official party strategy to aid the candidacy of Ríos Montt through political clientelism, violence, legal battles, political alliances and electoral fraud” (page 3).

Guatemala: monografía de partidos políticos 2000-2004 2004: “A principios del mes de agosto, el candidato presidencial [de la coalición ‘Unión por el Bien de Guatemala’] decidió apoyar la candidatura de Oscar Berger, lo que provocó la disolución de esta coalición” (page 61).

NotiCen August 7, 2003: “(T)he public outcry that has accompanied each of Rios Montt’s steps toward legality has jelled into a movement and a new organization within civil society, the Frente Civico por la Democracia. The Frente Civico differs from many ad-hoc protest organizations…both in the numbers of people it has gathered since it began after the riots subsided on July 26, and also in the wide swath of the political spectrum from which these people come…Thousands turned up to join the Frente Civico on August 5 and to sign a manifesto promising to scrutinize the Guatemalan electoral process” (page 3). “Contributing their voices to the Frente Civico were practically all political parties other than the FRG” (page 5).

September

Central America report 10 October 2003: “(I)n late September the TSE released their final voter roll, supposedly purged of ineligible voters. While the national total of registered voters (5,073,207) comes in well underneath the number of people the census says are [allowed] to vote (5,735,290) at a local level discrepancies remain…In total, there are more than 80 municipalities in which the number of voters exceeds the number of people of voting age” (pages 4-5). Discusses possible explanations for the statistical differences.

Latin American regional report: Caribbean and Central America November 18, 2003: “Berger…signed a commitment in October with representatives of more than 20 Maya language groups, in which he promised to enforce anti-racism policy, promote bilingual education, and revive a stalled indigenous-rights accord that is part of the 1996 peace treaty that ended the civil war” (electronic edition).

November 9: general election

Azpuru 2005: “In Guatemala’s general elections voters have to draw five different ballots: for the presidency, for national congressmen, district congressmen, local authorities, and for the election of deputies to the Central American Parliament” (page 143). “In contrast to other elections since 1985, the 2003 elections were tainted by political violence, clientalism, and attempts at vote manipulation by the incumbent party, the FRG…(D)uring the 9 November elections, more than 5000 national and international observers monitored the 8885 polling stations set up by the Electoral Tribunal” (page 144). “Results of the presidential election in Guatemala, November-December 2003” (page 146). “Election results” (pages 146-147). “Results of the congressional elections in Guatemala, 9 November 2003” (page 147).

Berganza 2004: Discusses the effect of mass media on the 2003 general election.

Central America report 7 November 2003: “Five million three hundred thousand Guatemalans are preparing to go to the polls on November 9 to choose from 31,396 candidates contesting 3,599 seats. 5,000 national and international observers will help 34,000 electoral officials and 35,000 party activists to reduce the space for fraud on election day” (page 1).

Central America report 14 November 2003: “Elections 2003: Presidential results, seats in Congress and Mayors by political party” (page 2). “GANA and UNE both make much of their alliances with civil society, but despite their best efforts to present themselves as fresh options on a tired political state, the two parties contesting the presidency are both closely linked with Guatemala’s traditional ruling elites, and their most prominent figures have been involved in state politics since the days of the armed conflict” (page 3).

Central America report 21 November 2003: “The final results of the November 9 elections show that despite losing the presidency, Ríos Montt’s [FRG] remains the largest single party in Congress, although now without an outright majority. The FRG has also won more mayors than any other party” (page 3). “Distribution of mayors by party and committee (1995-2003)” (page 4). “The former guerrilla party [URNG] achieved just 2.6% of the national vote, and went from being the third political force in the country to a marginal party. The new National Alliance was more successful, largely because of the popularity of congresswoman Nineth Montenegro. The six congressional seats won by ANN were largely limited to the city—in rural areas the party had even less support than the URNG” (page 5).

Central America report 28 November 2003: “Elections 2003: women advance slightly” (pages 4-5). Report discusses the participation of Guatemalan women as candidates in congressional and mayoral elections. “Overall, there were 80% more women candidates in this year’s legislative elections than in 1999. Nevertheless, the majority of women candidates were placed near the bottom of party lists, minimizing their chances of winning a seat in Congress…This year, eight of 70 female candidates for mayor were elected, representing only 2.4% of the 331 municipalities in the country” (page 4). “Women in Congress: participation, seats won and representation by political party” (page 5). “Participation in municipal elections by department, 1999 and 2003, including mayors and council members” (page 5). Lists numbers of male and female candidates in each department.

Chronicle of parliamentary elections and developments 37 2003: For the November 9, 2003 election for congress gives information on congress, the electoral system, background and outcome of the elections, and statistics, including the distribution of seats according to sex (pages 70-73).

Comportamiento electoral municipal en Guatemala 2004: “En la República de Guatemala, el empadronamiento electoral a nivel nacional en el año 2003 presenta una variación de 14% con respecto al registrado en 1999” (page 1). Lists the departments and municipalities with the greatest variation. “La asistencia electoral nacional en el año 2003 tuvo una variación de 24% con relación a la de 1999” (page 1). Lists the departments and municipalities with the greatest variation. “La participación electoral nacional en las elecciones generales del año 2003 fue 58%, en 1999 fue 54%” (page 1). Lists the departments and municipalities with the highest and lowest participation rates (pages 1-2). “En las elecciones municipales realizadas el 9 de noviembre 2003, el 78% de las 331 alcaldías del país quedaron distribuidas entre cuatro organizaciones políticas: el FRG, la alianza PP-MR-PSN (GANA), la UNE y el PAN. El otro 22% de las alcaldías quedó distribuido entre 12 organizaciones políticas” (page 2). Gives the number of municipalities won by each party or alliance and then discusses the regions where they were successful (pages 2-3). “La primera vuelta de la elección presidencial fue ganada por la alianza PP-MR-PSN (GANA) con 34% de los votos, el segundo lugar fue para la UNE con el 26% de los votos. La GANA concentró su triunfo en los departamentos de Guatemala, Alta Verapaz, Zacapa, Chiquimula, Jalapa y Jutiapa” (page 3). “En las elecciones municipales del año 2003, participaron 173 comités cívicos electorales distribuidos en 111 municipios pertenecientes a los 22 departamentos de la República. De éstos comités 27 ganaron la elección municipal en el 8% del total de municipios, en 17 departamentos…En la elección municipal del año 2003 el PAN ganó sólo 34 alcaldías, que incluyen siete reelecciones, perdiendo así gran parte del espacio político en los gobiernos municipales…En las elecciones municipales del año 2003 el FRG logró permanecer como el partido con el mayor número de alcaldías ganadas obteniendo 121 municipalidades (37% de los municipios) en las que se incluyen 41 reelecciones” (page 4). “Con relación a la participación femenina, en la elección municipal del año 2003 fueron electas ocho alcaldesas en toda la República” (page 5). Gives the party and municipality for each. “De acuerdo con los reportes registrados por la II Misión de Observación Electoral publicada por el Boletín B’aqtun, en las elecciones municipales del año 2003, un total de 118 indígenas fueron electos alcaldes, que representan el 35.6% del total de alcaldías, nueve de los alcaldes pertenecen a comités cívicos” (page 5). Lists the departments with the highest percent of Indian mayors. “Cantidad de alcaldías ganadas en cada departamento por organización política a nivel nacional. Elecciones municipales 2003” (page 8). “Partidos políticos que ganaron la elección municipal y presidencial en la primera vuelta en el mismo municipio. Elecciones generales 2003” (page 9). Has many additional tables on the municipal elections. “Alcaldes indígenas electos. Elecciones generales 2003. Período edilicio del 15 de enero de 2004 al 15 de enero de 2008” (pages 16-18). Gives the name of the elected mayor, the municipality, the department, and the party to which they belong. Book has separate chapters on each department in Guatemala with detailed information on the 2003 election. “Partidos políticos que participaron en las elecciones generales 2003” (page 208). “Comités cívicos ganadores. Elección municipal 2003” (page 213). Gives department, municipality, acronym, and full name.

Country profile. Guatemala 2004: “The centre-right Gran Alianza Nacional (Gana) won 47 seats in the legislative election in 2003, making it the largest party in the 158-seat unicameral Congress” (page 9).

Country report. Guatemala November 2003: Discusses the election (pages 12-13).

Guatemala: monografía de partidos políticos 2000-2004 2004: “En el proceso electoral del 2003 la DCG postuló como candidato presidencial a Juan Jacobo Antonio Arbenz Vilanova y como candidato vicepresidencial a Mario Rolando Castro de León, habiendo obtenido el octavo lugar en la elección presidencial, con 42,186 votos…Cerezo Arévalo, quien encabezaba el listado nacional de candidatos a diputados, fue reelecto al Congreso de la República, siendo ésta la única diputación obtenida por este partido. Aunque logró postular candidaturas en aproximadamente el 73% de los municipios del país—242 planillas municipales—, duplicando el número de postulaciones efectuadas en 1999 al mismo nivel, sólo ganó 7 alcaldías” (page 23). “En las elecciones generales del 2003 el PAN postuló como candidato presidencial a Leonel Eliseo López Rodas…(L)ogró el cuarto lugar en la elección presidencial, con un total de 224,127 votos, alcanzando además 17 diputaciones al Congreso de la República, 4 por lista nacional y 13 distritales. Así como 2 al PARLACEN y de 300 planillas municipales que postuló, logró un total de 34 alcaldías” (page 37). “En las elecciones generales del 2003 el FRG postuló al General Efraín Ríos Montt como su candidato a la presidencia y al ingeniero agrónomo Edí Barrientos para la vicepresidencia, habiendo obtenido el tercer lugar, con 518,328 votos (19.31%). El FRG alcanzó 43 diputaciones al Congreso, de las cuales son 7 por el listado nacional y 36 distritales. Asimismo, logró 5 diputados al PARLACEN y un total de 121 alcaldías de 323 planillas que presentó para corporaciones municipales. Con estos resultados se convirtió en la segunda fuerza parlamentaria y en el partido que alcanzó el mayor número de alcaldías” (page 46). “En las elecciones generales del 2003 la UN postuló como candidato a la presidencia al médico y empresario Francisco Alfredo Arredondo Mendoza y a Jorge Francisco Canale Nanne, Secretario General del partido, a la vicepresidencia. En la elección presidencial alcanzó el penúltimo lugar con 11,979 votos, no logrando ninguna diputación al Congreso ni ninguna alcaldía” (page 53). “(E)l PLP tuvo una participación marginal en las elecciones generales de 2003, no habiendo postulado candidatos a la presidencia ni a la vicepresidencia. Unicamente postuló algunas pocas candidaturas a diputados distritales y 13 planillas municipales, sin lograr ningún cargo” (page 67). “El partido Los Verdes no participó en las elecciones generales del 2003, debido a que el Tribunal Supremo Electoral no aceptó la inscripción de sus candidaturas, por no estar la organización legalmente constituida” (page 72). “En las elecciones generales de 2003 el PP participó como integrante de la coalición Gran Alianza Nacional (GANA), conformada por los partidos PP, MR y PSN…La GANA obtuvo el primer lugar con 921,233 votos en la primera vuelta…La GANA logró 47 diputaciones de las 158 que conforman el Congreso de la República. De ellas 10 corresponden al PP (2 por lista nacional y 8 distritales)…De las 76 alcaldías ganadas en conjunto por la GANA, 6 corresponden al PP: 4 en alianza con el MR y 2 en alianza con el PSN” (pages 109-110). “En la primera vuelta de la elección presidencial los candidatos de la UNE obtuvieron el segundo lugar con 707,578 votos” (page 127). “En cuanto a diputaciones, la UNE logró 32: 6 por el listado nacional y 26 por distritales. En el Parlamento Centroamericano logró 5 diputaciones, y 38 alcaldías de 302 planillas municipales que postuló” (page 128). “En las elecciones generales de 2003 el Partido Unionista…obtuvo 80,943 votos, logrando la quinta posición y 7 diputaciones al Congreso de la República, 2 por listado nacional y 5 distritales…También alcanzó 9 alcaldías de 248 planillas municipales que postuló, destacando entre éstas las de la ciudad capital y de Villa Nueva. El expresidente de la República (1996-2000) y líder del partido, Alvaro Arzú Irigoyen, fue electo nuevamente como Alcalde del Municipio de Guatemala, cargo que ya había desempeñado en el período 1986-1989” (page 137). “En las elecciones generales de 2003 la ANN sólo participó en las elecciones para diputados al Congreso de la República y en las municipales, habiendo logrado 6 diputaciones y una alcaldía” (page 157).

Hacia dónde vamos? Guía electoral 2003 2003: “Perfil básico del padrón electoral 2003” (pages 129-191). Gives information on registered voters and lists for each political party presidential and vice-presidential candidates, political platforms, candidate biographies, and candidates for congress.

Keesing’s record of world events November 2003: “Results of the presidential election in Guatemala” (electronic edition). “Results of legislative elections in Guatemala” (electronic edition).

Latin American regional report: Caribbean and Central America November 18, 2003: Discusses the election (electronic edition). “(T)he FRG looks like being the most successful party at a local level. With the results of 324 of the 331 municipal elections released, the FRG won more municipalities than any of its main rivals…Arzú swept the mayoral contest in Guatemala City but those who voted for him as mayor did not transfer their support to PU presidential candidate, Fritz García Gallont.”

NotiCen June 26, 2003: “The Nov. 9 exercise will elect not only a president, but also an entire Congress of 158 members and local authorities in 331 municipalities. In total, the TSE says 25,000 candidates will vie for 3,696 offices. There will be at least 10 presidential candidates” (page 4).

Peacock 2003: “The congressional and the first round of the presidential elections…were crucial for the FRG’s ability to maintain or further consolidate its political power. Many Guatemalans viewed compensation of the PACs as a blatant attempt to buy votes for the FRG in order to solidify the party’s electoral base and ensure Gen. Ríos Montt’s election as president…Voters turned out in record numbers and ousted the FRG from the executive” (pages 47-48).

Report on Guatemala 24, 4 winter 2003: “Special focus issue: elections.”

Sáenz de Tejada 2005: “Elecciones generales del 2003: la exclusión continúa” (pages 213-257). Includes many tables.

November

Central America report 5 December 2003: “Despite the calm that prevailed at a national level after the elections on November 9, at a local level the story was different. There were disturbances and violence in 20 municipalities and more than 30 mayors have received death threats…In many cases the reaction of the disappointed candidates and their supporters stemmed from the perception that they had lost their electoral ‘investment’ which they had hoped would open the door to the town coffers. In other cases, conflicts are the result of deep seated divisions dating from the period of the armed conflict” (page 6).

Central America report 12 December 2003: “On November 25, both Berger and Colom took part in a meeting with the Mayan, Garifuna and Xinca Elders Council. The following day the two candidates found themselves sharing the stage at a massive demonstration of small farmers and indigenous groups in Guatemala City” (page 3).

December 28: second round (Berger / GANA)

Azpuru 2005: “Results of the presidential election in Guatemala, November-December 2003” (page 146).

Central America report 9 January 2004: “Oscar Berger’s victory was confirmed just over three hours after polling closed on December 28. A simplified ballot paper combined with relatively low voter turnout (46%) meant that the majority of votes were counted in record time…Berger won just nine of Guatemala’s 22 departments, but he took the most heavily populated and urban departments…Colom won almost all the departments with large indigenous populations and high levels of exclusion and poverty” (page 2).

Comportamiento electoral municipal en Guatemala 2004: “La segunda vuelta de la elección presidencial, fue ganada por la alianza PP-MR-PSN (GANA) con el 54% de los votos; la UNE ocupó el segundo lugar con el 46% de los votos” (page 3). Discusses results.

Keesing’s record of world events December 2003: “Turnout in the second round was estimated at 44 per cent—some ten per cent lower than the turnout in the first round…Since GANA would not by itself command a majority in Congress (the unicameral legislature), the leadership of the alliance opened negotiations with both the leadership of the centre-left UNE and PAN in order to construct a working majority” (electronic edition).

Latin American regional report: Caribbean and Central America November 18, 2003: Discusses the electoral alliances in the second round (electronic edition).

2004

January

Azpuru 2005: “The new government took office on 15 January 2004” (page 148).

Central America report 28 November 2003: “Of the 158 deputies who will be sworn into office on January 14, more than 90% are men. Only 15 (9.5%) are women…The majority of new women deputies were elected from the National List and the Metropolitan District, followed by the Department of Guatemala. Only four women won seats in other departments” (page 4).

Central America report 2 April 2004: “Maya participation in Congress has…decreased. In the previous administration there were 13 Maya legislators out of 113, and now there are 15 out of 158, therefore representation has decreased from 11.5% to 9.5%” (page 8).

Country profile. Guatemala 2004: “Given its minority position in Congress, Gana forged a governability pact with the UNE and the PAN” (page 7).

Country profile. Guatemala 2006: “Upon coming to power, Mr Berger’s government oversaw the indictment of a number of high-ranking members of the Portillo administration on charges of corruption…With the strong backing of the US, public institutions, including the public prosecutor’s office, have been purged. A number of high-ranking military officers have also been charged with embezzlement and corruption” (page 7).

Fischer 2006: “After leaving office in 2004, former President Portillo fled the country (and is believed to be living in Mexico), and his vice president was arrested on corruption charges” (page 97).

Keesing’s record of world events January 2004: “In a breakthrough for the newly inaugurated President, it was announced on Jan. 11 that the leadership of GANA had struck a ‘governability pact’ with two opposition parties—the centre-left [UNE] and the centre-right [PAN]—which (in theory) gave the government a working majority in the legislature” (electronic edition).

Latin American regional report: Caribbean and Central America January 20, 2004: “Oscar Berger was sworn in as Guatemala’s president on 14 January…Berger’s efforts to induce Colom’s [UNE] and his former party the [PAN] to forge an alliance with his ruling [Gana] looked like failing until an eleventh-hour meeting on 11 January…The triunvirate will enjoy a commanding majority in the legislature, with 96 of the 158 seats” (electronic edition).

Peacock 2003: “When he steps down as president of the Guatemalan Congress in January 2004, Ríos Montt will lose his immunity, and court cases can proceed against him for his role in the genocide of the early 1980s” (page 48).

February

Guatemala: monografía de partidos políticos 2000-2004 2004: “Al no alcanzar el 4% de los votos en la elección presidencial del 09.11.03, ni haber logrado por lo menos una diputación, el partido UN fue cancelado en febrero del 2004” (page 49).

NotiCen February 19, 2004: On February 12, 2004 Berger “installed Nobel laureate Rigoberta Menchu as goodwill ambassador, charged with seeing that the provisions of the stalled December 1996 Peace Accords are complied with. After seven years of procrastination, Guatemala has come under international scrutiny for shamelessly turning its back on its obligations under that agreement…Menchu’s collaboration with this government represents a radical departure with her traditional role as sharp critic of the state” (LADB).

NotiCen February 26, 2004: “Stripped of his mantle of immunity from prosecution, Alfonso Portillo, erstwhile president of Guatemala from 2000 to 2004, has fled the country. His hasty exit coincides with revelations of scams and malfeasance allegedly perpetrated by several officials within the [FRG]” (page 1).

March

Central America report 16 April 2004: “After nearly a month of negotiations, proposed reforms to the Elections and Political Parties Law passed third and final vote and an article-by-article revision on March 31, but remained stalled due to differences among political parties” (page 1). Discusses proposed reforms and points of contention (page 2).

Latin American regional report: Caribbean and Central America March 23, 2004: “Earlier this month…Efraín Ríos Montt…was placed under house arrest charged with…masterminding a series of criminal offences during the events of Black Thursday and Mourning Friday when supporters of the then-ruling [FRG] went on the rampage in Guatemala City in a bid to intimidate the constitutional court into overturning the bar on Ríos Montt’s presidential candidacy” (electronic edition).

May

Country profile. Guatemala 2004: “(I)n May 2004 Gana was left with the support of just 44 legislators in Congress after the governability pact collapsed and the PP withdrew from the alliance. This followed vehement disagreement over talks between Gana and the [FRG]” (page 7).

June

Central America report 1 October 2004: “The Commission for Political Equality—consisting of women’s organizations—is asking the Special Congressional Commission for Electoral Affairs (CEAE) to reform article 212 of the Electoral and Political Parties Law, which deals with the application and inscription of candidates. Its goal is to establish a minimum quota of women participating in politics…The proposal presented…on June 29 2004, contains five points: minimum percentages, alternate male and female candidates on ballot papers, scope of application, legal regulations and combating discrimination” (page 3).

August

Central America report 5 November 2004: “The Women’s Parliament was…established via accord 37-2004 on August 12 as a mechanism to open up spaces for the traditionally marginalized social group. However, the accord was found to be unconstitutional as it granted jurisdiction to the parliament to propose laws” (page 3).

September

Central America report 16 April 2004: “(O)n September 23 the congressional leadership board issued a new accord, 43-2004, which established a Women’s Assembly, appointed to the Women’s Commission of the Legislature, and revoked roles previously assigned to the Women’s Parliament” (page 3).

October

Country report. Guatemala February 2005: “In October it was confirmed that the PSN, one of the parties in the ruling GANA alliance, would be the platform for the launch of GANA as a single political party. Members of Movimiento 17 (M-17), another party in the GANA coalition, confirmed that they would support the proposal to merge the parties and form a single force to contest the 2007 general elections…The new party will need to collect the requisite number of signatures (around 5,600) and hold municipal assemblies in at least 50 of the 331 municipalities in the country, including one in each of the 12 departments of Guatemala, as stipulated by the Electoral Law, before it can be legally registered” (page 16). “In October Efraín Ríos Montt was re-elected as the secretary-general of the opposition [FRG] at the party’s annual conference. He also confirmed that he would not stand for the presidency in 2007…Members of the Portillo administration…announced their intention to set up a new party, the Unidad de Cambio Nacional, to contest the 2007 elections” (page 17).

December

Country report. Guatemala February 2005: “Bitter divisions emerged in late 2004 in the opposition [UNE] as an acrimonious battle ensued between the party general secretary and ex-presidential candidate, Alvaro Colom, and a UNE deputy and then president of Congress, Rolando Morales…Mr Morales left the UNE in December, prompting an exodus from the party and leaving the UNE’s congressional representation at 26, down from 32” (page 17).

2005

Central America report September 9 2005: “Currently, the number of registered voters in Guatemala is declining, as voting authorities in charge of registration fail to keep up with the number of deaths. Less than half the number of Guatemalans who receive their legal identification cards when they turn 18 years of age bother to register for voting. In the first half of 2005, the total number of registered voters dropped from 5.134 million people to 5.117 million” (page 1). “An estimate based on national census figures suggests there are now about 6.2 million Guatemalan citizens of voting age—a million of whom are unregistered to vote” (page 2).

Central America report February 17 2006: “On March 31, 1995 Guatemala took an historic step forward in the fight against discrimination of indigenous peoples with the signing of the Accord on the Identity and Rights of Indigenous Peoples (AIDPI). However, sources such as the United Nations highlight that 10 years on little has been achieved. Many consider that the legislative and institutional advances fail to address the most urgent needs of the indigenous population who remain systematically excluded from the social, economic and political spheres of the country” (page 8).

Country report. Guatemala August 2005: “During the past quarter, many of the main political parties and parties under formation held their conventions and focused on increasing party membership to comply with the recent electoral law reforms and to meet the new requirements to run for office. These reforms raised the threshold for registration threefold…At present, 13 parties lack the requisite number of affiliates, including the [URNG, UNE and ANN], parties currently represented in Congress. The reform aims to reduce the number of splinter parties competing in the elections and subsequent divisions in Congress that hamper legislative effectiveness” (page 13).

January

Country profile. Guatemala 2005: “(D)espite the poor record and subsequent discrediting of the Portillo administration, the FRG retains support, particularly in rural areas. Following a number of defections, the FRG congressional bench stood at 30 in January 2005” (page 10).

March

Latin American regional report: Caribbean and Central America April 2005: “The launch of the CAI [Consejo Asesor Indígena] on 31 March is consistent with Berger’s electoral promises. It will be headed by Rigoberta Menchú and will have five other members. They were chosen by 346 representatives of the 23 Mayan ethnic groups in Guatemala. They will advise the government on policy decisions involving the Mayas, who comprise 42% of the country’s population” (electronic edition).

May

Central America report May 20 2005: “On May 11, deputies Alfredo de León, Nineth Montenegro and Jeanette Pérez resigned from the ANN, announcing their newfound allegiance to the recently created ‘Encuentro por Guatemala,’ a broadly left wing group seeking to become a political party for the 2007 elections” (page 6).

Country report. Guatemala August 2005: “The UNE held its national assembly in May, confirming…Alvaro Colom as its general secretary” (page 14).

June

Country report. Guatemala August 2005: “Although the [PSN] and the [MR] agreed to merge and to convert the GANA alliance into a single party in April, their May assembly was postponed as differences persisted between the different parties and factions…over who would control the new party. An assembly finally held at the end of June named a businessman…as the first general secretary of the new party” (page 14). “Local activists have used the provisions of the new municipal code, approved in 2002, to carry out popular consultations on controversial development projects. In mid-June 13 communities in the Sipacapa municipality of San Marcos held a popular referendum on the Marlin open cast mining project of a Canadian company, Glamis Gold. The turnout was less than 50%, but over 95% of voters rejected the project…The ILO Convention 169 on indigenous and tribal peoples…establishes the right of prior consultation of indigenous people over development projects that affect them” (page 15).

July

Country report. Guatemala August 2005: “At the end of July the public prosecutor’s office issued a request to the Mexican authorities for the extradition of [former president] Mr Portillo, who currently resides there” (page 14). “In another consultation organised in July by communities in Río Hondo, Zacapa, less than 30% of those eligible to vote rejected a proposed hydroelectric development…The government faces a difficult challenge, as investment contracts are increasingly contested by local communities through legal or quasi-legal mechanisms” (page 15).

Country report. Guatemala November 2005: “The Partido Unionista (PU), controlled by former president, Alvaro Arzú (1996-2000), held its convention in July. Party officials are concerned that they may not meet the 15,220-member threshold for party registration established by recent reforms to the electoral law” (page 15).

August

Country report. Guatemala November 2005: “Serious prison riots between two notorious rival gangs, Mara 18 and Mara Salvatrucha, left 36 people dead and 60 wounded in August” (page 16).

October

Country report. Guatemala November 2005: “On October 7th Congress declared a 30-day state of emergency in the wake of Tropical Storm Stan, which caused a large death toll and more damage than Hurricane Mitch in 1998” (page 12).

2006

Central America report February 24, 2006: “With campaigning for the 2007 national elections due to begin later this year, candidates are currently defining their platforms and seeking strategic alliances. Divisions remain among the three main right wing parties—the Party for National Advancement (PAN), the Unionist Party (PU) and the governing Grand National Alliance (GANA)—as they attempt to balance the conflicting interests of their party leaders and the business groups they represent. Meanwhile, the left and center-left parties are engaged in a broader discussion over common policy goals, from which new political movements may emerge” (page 1).

Central America report July 28, 2006: “With general elections due to take place on September 2, 2007, the nation’s 18 active political parties have already begun campaigning…Of the 18 parties initially registered with the TSE, two have been barred from participating in the elections due to insufficient membership” (page 4). “Registered parties” (page 5).

Country report. Guatemala November 2005: “Local communities may find some support if the 2007 elections bring them increased municipal autonomy—the electoral law allows non-party civic committees to stand for municipal office. One hundred and eighty-six such committees contested the last elections, whereas the [TSE] estimates that more than 300 civic committees may run for municipal office in 2007” (page 16).

January

Latin American regional report: Caribbean and Central America January 2006: “(S)everal thousand protesters took part in a protest on 14 January in Guatemala City calling on Berger to hold the referendum on his rule [promised during his campaign for president]” (electronic edition).

Latin American regional report: Caribbean and Central America February 2006: “The government is warning that drug-traffickers will get actively involved in the 2007 elections by offering financial support for candidates in exchange for them tolerating, or even colluding in, their activities. The warning…fits in with the government’s strategy of persuading the US to fund a so-called Plan Guatemala, along the lines of its massive counter-narcotics (counter-insurgency) initiative Plan Colombia. Security is the one issue that is completely confounding the government” (electronic edition).

February

Central America report February 24, 2006: “On February 7, the secretary general of the [URNG]…announced that his party would create a social and political alliance with the [ANN] which would work together with the country’s social movements…Meanwhile, congresswoman Nineth Montenegro and her party ‘Encuentro por Guatemala,’ are campaigning in 15 departments in the south coast, center and west of the country” (page 2).

March

Latin American regional report: Caribbean and Central America July 2006: “Retired General Otto Pérez Molina announced…in March that he will run for the presidency at the head of the right-wing Partido Patriota (PP)” (electronic edition).

April

Country report. Guatemala May 2006: “On April 18th 16 deputies of the ruling Gran Alianza Nacional (GANA) coalition led by the president, Oscar Berger, resigned from the coalition and declared themselves independents, further damaging the government’s prospects of building working majorities to pass legislation. Eleven of the deputies are members of the [M-17] group, which was previously considered close to the president, while five belong to the [PSN]. The decision to leave the coalition came as GANA prepares to hold primary elections in 2006 to choose its presidential candidate for the November 2007 general election. The defection reduced GANA’s number of seats in Congress from 47 to 31, out of a total of 158 seats” (page 12).

Latin American weekly report April 25, 2006: “The Coordinadora Nacional Indígena y Campesina (CONIC), backed by the Unidad de Acción Sindical y Popular (UASP) and the teachers’ unions, called for the announced ‘national uprising’ to be launched on 20 April. The previous day the government made a big show out of the distribution of some US$2.2m of recently purchased anti-riot equipment to the special forces units of the Policía Nacional Civil (PNC)…(T)he gesture seems to have made an impact. On the day only 2,000 or-so demonstrators turned out in the capital to protest in front of the US embassy against Cafta and march demanding land redistribution…The combination of poor turnout and tough police action persuaded the organisers of the uprising to…accept an invitation by Vice-President Eduardo Stein to…discuss the start of negotiations…The government may have been able to contain the peasant uprising, but its mass mobilisation of police auxiliaries drawn from the military was not perceived as having made much of an impact on the overall rate of violent crime…(A)ttention [was] attracted by a special category of violent crime: the assassination of opposition politicians—four between the end of March and mid-April…One of the big items pending on Guatemala’s security agenda is an independent investigation into the activities of the ‘clandestine groups,’ a network of rightwing politicians with links in government and the security services as well as with organised crime” (electronic edition).

Latin American weekly report May 2, 2006: “On 26 April Berger anounced that he was mobilising almost 11,000 soldiers to help the police maintain order…This new mobilisation comes on the heels of the mass mobilisation of 26,000 police officers, soldiers and members of the emergency services to keep crime in check during the Easter season, a peak period for tourism” (electronic edition).

May

Central America report May 26, 2006: “On 18 May, Congress finally approved CAFTA’s Implementation Law. Votes in favor came from [GANA, FRG, PAN], the Unionist Party, the Integrationist bloc and the Patriotic Party (PP)” (page 1).

Country report. Guatemala August 2005: “(F)rom May 2006 the parties must have a membership equal to 3% of the electorate at the last general election, or around 15,220 members” (page 13).

June

Central America report July 14, 2006: “On June 20, following the publication of a survey in ‘Prensa Libre,’ in which 71.2% of respondents said they considered the election of an indigenous president a viable option, the press began to speculate about the possible creation of an indigenous party led by Rigoberta Menchú. The Nobel Peace Prize winner said she would be willing to lead a party for the 2011 elections although no concrete proposals have been put forward to date” (page 1). Discusses the issues involved (pages 1-2).

July

Central America report August 4, 2006: “In a popular consultation carried out between July 25 and 27 in the department of Huehuetenango, ninety nine per cent of residents rejected proposed mining projects in the area. 27,292 people took part in the consultation…Mining projects involve ten per cent of Guatemalan territory and ninety per cent of these lands are inhabited by indigenous people…The plebiscite was based on national and international law, mainly International Labor Organization (ILO) Convention 169 which states that the government must consult indigenous people on any legislation and decision-making that will have an impact on their lives. The right to carry out popular consultations on sensitive issues is also enshrined in the Guatemalan Constitution, the Municipal Code…and the Law on Urban and Rural Development Councils” (pages 4-5).

Country report. Guatemala August 2006: “The MR was the most recent of the parties to leave GANA in July 2006. M-17 is the only founder member of the original alliance that still remains, but it has been reduced significantly by the defections in April” (page 13).

Latin American regional report: Caribbean and Central America November 2006: “Rigoberta Menchú…presented charges against…eight men in 1999 in the Spanish courts because she claimed she could not get justice in Guatemala. In July this year the Spanish courts issued the international arrest warrant for three former presidents and Generals; Ríos Montt, Oscar Mejía Víctores and Romeo Lucas García (who had died two months earlier in Venezuela) [and five others]” (electronic edition).

August

Country report. Guatemala August 2006: “Jockeying for position ahead of GANA’s primary elections, which will take place on December 3rd, has begun in earnest…Rigoberto Quemé, twice mayor of Quetzaltenango…and an indigenous leader, will…stand after unsuccessfully attempting to become the presidential nominee of a left-wing party” (page 13).

Latin American regional report: Caribbean and Central America July 2006: “Former president Vinicio Cerezo will appeal to the constitutional court on 4 August to repeal a law prohibiting presidential re-election. Cerezo, the first civilian president to serve in office (1986 to 1990) after a long period of military rule, is making his move just as aspirant candidates within the principal political parties contending presidential elections in November 2997 start to jostle for position…If successful, Cerezo, a legislator for Democracia Cristiana (DC), says he will stand for the DC in the presidential elections and provide the centre-left with the candidate it currently lacks…Alvaro Colom, who lost the 2003 run-off to Berger, is intent on standing again for the [UNE]…What remains unsure is whether Guatemala will finally have an indigenous presidential candidate…Rigoberta Menchú is preparing to launch an indigenous political party that will be capable of winning elections in Guatemala, although she stressed that it might be difficult to get the party up and running in time for the presidential elections in 2007” (electronic edition).

NotiCen September 21, 2006: “The international community responded to Guatemala’s skyrocketing murder rates by sending to the country a special rapporteur for extrajudicial, summary, or arbitrary executions. Philip Alston arrived in the country Aug. 21…Five days later, having conducted his investigations and interviews, Alston blamed the government for the insecurity…Alston said he was particularly concerned about the high number of apparently systematic or patterned killings of young women. Another paramount concern is extrajudicial execution carried out by the Policia Nacional Civil (PNC) and the Army, including the ‘social cleansing’ against members of the juvenile gangs, the maras…In the past two years, the PNC has contracted 3,000 soldiers and has stepped up combined military-police patrols” (electronic edition).

September

Central America report September 8, 2006: “By recently launching a series of media ads across the country, the main political parties appear to be flaunting a ruling by the [TSE] that election campaigning can only begin on May 2, 2007…The main problem posed by the current Electoral Law is its unclear definition of the difference between campaigning for new voters (illegal) and advertising to current party members (legal)…Beyond all the arguments about legal details, some analysts believe the current dispute says much about the way the electoral process in Guatemala has become increasingly commodified. In recent years, the number of votes received by the winning party has been directly proportional to the funds available for its propaganda campaign” (page 8).

Central America report September 29, 2006: “The nascent [FSPI] seeks to challenge the dogmatic approach of the old Left of the 1960s and 70s and has emphasized the need to include marginalized groups such as women and indigenous people in the new political front” (page 3). “(T)he [FSPI] will hold a general assembly on September 30 to debate its possible participation in next year’s elections” (page 4).

NotiCen September 28, 2006: “Bolivia’s President Evo Morales briefly visited Guatemala Sept. 12…Morales…met with indigenous leaders and representatives of the recently formed Frente Social y Politico de Izquierdas (FSPI)…The leftist organization came into being on Sept. 10 with a meeting of about 200 people, including indigenous leaders and representatives of women’s groups, environmentalists, professionals, academics, unions, and others” (electronic edition).

December

Latin American regional report: Caribbean and Central America December 2006: “The problem of paramilitarism remains in Guatemala but the efforts of the government of President Oscar Berger to deal with it has diminished, to some extent, the threat of paramilitary interference in the presidential elections of November 2007…The ex-PAC could well become a political force in the run-up to the November 2007 elections. They account for an important tranche of the electorate. At the moment there is no clear favourite to win the elections. The ruling [Gana] has fragmented. It was forced to cancel primary elections that were scheduled for 3 December…The ex-PAC could again be mobilised for political ends by the FRG. Ríos Montt, if he can overcome the legal obstacles to his candidacy, will stand for the FRG which, despite its corrupt past, is the one party with a strong regional base (it holds 179 out of 332 mayorships). Alternatively, retired General Otto Pérez Molina…who is running for the [PP] might try and seek their support by promising financial compensation” (electronic edition).

Latin American weekly report November 28, 2006: “The ruling party [Gana] faces rupture after two of the three candidates slated to stand in the party primary elections on 3 December pulled out of the contest. Corruption played a part in both cases but it is internal factionalism that is really undermining Gana’s chances of bucking a 20-year trend in next November’s presidential elections: no ruling party has secured a second term since the return to democracy in 1986…[Alvaro Aguilar] is now the last man standing. The primary elections will be cancelled and, according to Gana deputy Virna López, the party will hold a general assembly in early 2007 to select a candidate” (electronic edition).

NotiCen January 4, 2007: “With the passing this month of the tenth anniversary of the Peace Accords of Dec. 29, 1996, in Guatemala, there is little to celebrate as the country finds itself woefully behind schedule in the implementation of the principles and obligations of the treaty the government signed with the umbrella organization of the rebel forces, the Unidad Revolucionaria Nacional Guatemalteca (URNG)… The tenth anniversary was marked by popular protest against the government for its failure to comply with the provisions of the accords, and President Oscar Berger, perhaps shamed by the performance, has indicated he will take major steps…On the occasion of the anniversary celebration, Berger said he would revisit a plan, scuttled in the 1990s, to reform the Guatemalan Constitution and to promote 13 reforms derived directly from the accords” (electronic edition).