Elections and Events 1981-1989


Ball 1999: “By the early 1980s, most of the dead were Maya villagers living in western Guatemala, killed in large groups that often included high percentages of women and small children, all victims of a government plan to stop the insurgency by terrorizing the civilian population” (page 3).

Berger 2006: “In 1981, at the urging of the Comisión Interamericana de Mujeres…and the Labor ministers of Central America, the Guatemalan government formed the Oficina Nacional de la Mujer…as the state watchdog on women’s issues. Although ONAM’s powers and financial resources remained minuscule, the decision by the authoritarian regime to establish such an agency at all signals the growth of domestic and international pressure on the government to bureaucratically do something about women” (page 28).

Grandin 2004: “Beginning in 1981, the army executed a scorched earth campaign that murdered over one hundred thousand Mayans and completely razed more than four hundred indigenous communities. Anti-communist zeal and racist hatred were refracted through counterinsurgent exactitude” (page 3). “The military’s 1981-1983 scorched earth campaign…was specifically designed to destroy rural support for the powerful insurgent group known as the Ejército Guerrillero de los Pobres…that operated mostly in the country’s western highlands” (page 127). “Between 1978 and 1981, death squads killed scores of social and Christian democrats, murdered an average of one trade unionist a day, and singled out for elimination university professors and students. This violence was not just directed at present enemies but at past memories, particularly those associated with the 1944 October Revolution” (page 159).

Guatemala: causas y orígenes del enfrentamiento armado interno 2000: “Las constantes violaciones a los derechos humanos llevaron al Vicepresidente de la República a su renuncia en 1981, siendo sustituido por el coronel Oscar Mendoza Azurdia” (page 130). “Entre 1978 y 1981, diecinueve líderes más del FUR, y otros quince del PSD fueron asesinados” (page 135).

Guatemala: crisis y opciones. Informe final 1986: “A fines de año [1981] después de las primeras ejecuciones colectivas de campesinos indígenas no combatientes y de darse cuenta que la fuerza de la guerrilla no radicaba fundamentalmente en su contingente militar sino en su bases social de apoyo, el ejército declaró que había abortado la ofensiva final de la guerrilla, paralelamente, se iniciaron los grandes desplazamientos y movilizaciones de refugio interno y externo de campesinos” (page 19).

Jonas 2000: “The guerrilla military offensive reached its height in 1980-1981, gaining 6,000 to 8,000 armed fighters and 250,000 to 500,000 active collaborators and supporters and operating in most parts of the country” (page 23).

Montenegro Ríos 2002: “(D)urante el curso del año 1981 [el PNR] presentó formalmente como candidato a la Alcaldía Metropolitana a Alvaro Arzú Irigoyen y formalizó alianza electoral con el Partido Democracia Cristiana Guatemalteca, formando la denominada Unión Opositora” (page 57).

Schirmer 1998: “By 1981, an estimated 250,000 to 500,000 in the Indian community supported the guerrillas” (page 39).

Tooley 1994: “The Christian Democrat party reported that between 1980 and 1981 238 of its leaders were assassinated” (page 41).


Guatemala: crisis y opciones. Informe final 1986: “(E)n febrero [1981] la Central Auténtica Nacionalista—CAN—se retiró de la coalición de gobierno” (page 18).


Le Bot 1995: “En septiembre-octubre de 1981, el EGP y la ORPA unieron sus esfuerzos con vistas a controlar el núcleo de los altiplanos, la región central al encuentro de los departamentos de Quiché, de Sololá y de Chimaltenango” (page 198). “Desde finales del año de 1981, [general] Benedicto Lucas decidió organizar las primeras Patrullas de Autodefensa Civil (PAC)” (page 199).

Schirmer 1998: “In September 1981, Army Chief of Staff, General Benedicto Lucas García, ordered the formation of the first Civil Defense Patrol (Patrulla de Autodefensa Civil)” (page 83).


Ball 1999: “In 1981, during the guerrilla movement’s expansion in western highlands, the army under new Chief of Staff Benedicto Lucas García (the President’s brother) began to search out communities in which to organize pro-government citizen militias to counter the guerrillas’ organization of the population through its Local Irregular Forces (FIL)” (page 100).

McCleary 1999: “In October 1981, the military initiated the first of two tiers in an offensive to regain control of the countryside...Lacking manpower, the military became a mobilized force through the Fuerzas de Tarea. In order to move among the indigenous population and gather intelligence, the military established civil defense forces (known as Patrullas de Auto Defensa or PACs), which were made up of individuals from an area” (page 45).


Arias 1990: “For the Guatemalan army, the time had come to cut [the resistance movement] to ribbons. They correctly saw danger not in the guerrillas’ military capacity, but rather in the enormous mobilization of the Indians in the highlands. This was why a campaign of genocide was initiated against the insurgent Indian population in November 1981" (page 255).

Ball 1999: “The army began ‘Operación Ceniza’ in November 1981 and continued in 1982” (page 26). “(S)ome 15,000 troops participated in a slow sweep through the department of El Quiché, into Huehuetenango, and all the way to the border with Mexico…Troops regularly burned villagers’ houses and crops and killed their farm animals in a ‘scorched earth’ policy designed to depopulate the zones of guerrilla operations. What had been a selective campaign against guerrilla sympathizers turned into a mass slaughter designed to eliminate any support or ‘potential’ support for the rebels, and included widespread killing of children, women and the elderly” (page 27).


Ball 1999: “(T)he level of state terror peaked in 1982, a year when the Guatemalan army murdered tens of thousands of civilians in the country’s western highlands and decimated hundreds of Indian communities” (page 11). “One of the most destructive aspects of state terror in Guatemala was the State’s widespread use of civilians to attack other civilians. This practice began with the military commissioner system, but became fully realized in 1982 with the country-wide imposition of the civil patrol system” (page 100).

Jonas 2000: “By the spring of 1982, the revolutionary movement had taken very serious losses to its infrastructure in the city, where security forces had already, in 1978-1980, decapitated the unions and other popular movements and political opposition forces. In the highlands, the army unleashed a virtual holocaust upon the indigenous communities …As a result of the URNG’s weaknesses and of major changes within the ruling coalition, the army gained the upper hand and dealt decisive blows against the insurgents” (page 24).

Painter 1987: “120 Christian Democrat members were killed in the twelve months before the March 1982 elections” (page 68).

Schirmer 1998: “By early 1982, in a region where few Indians had ever volunteered for military service, the EGP alone had grown to major proportions in the Ixil Triangle” (page 41). “The inability of the guerrillas to defend the peasant population against a brutal military offensive was to be a major miscalculation on their part…By early 1982, the guerrilla forces, now united as the Unidad Revolucionaria Nacional Guatemalteca…, formulated a plan to declare a portion of Guatemala liberated territory…with an insurgent government…and prepared for a major offensive in the departments of Huehuetenango, Quiché, and Chimaltenango” (page 42).

Villagrán Kramer 2004: “El proceso electoral” (pages 236-241).


Anderson 1988: “In February 1982, EGP, FARM, ORPA, and the PGT announced the formation of the National Patriotic Unity Front (Frente Unido Nacional Patriótico, FUNP)...The month after the establishment of the FUNP, civilian leaders in exile in Mexico City announced the formation of the Guatemalan Committee of Popular Unity (Comité Guatemalteca de Unidad Popular, CGUP) to run the civil arm of the struggle” (pages 52-53).

Brockett 2005: “In February 1982, the formation of the Unidad Revolucionaria Nacional Guatemalteca (URNG) was announced. The creation of the URNG occurred at the height of the guerrillas’ strength and just as the indiscriminate violence of the military’s counterinsurgency operations was to escalate again to horrific levels” (pages 123-124).

Luciak 2001: FAR, EGP, and ORPA “together with a faction of the Partido Guatemalteco de Trabajo, which had existed since 1949, officially formed the URNG on February 7, 1982” (page 130). “The URNG was constituted during 1982 in Managua, Nicaragua, amidst infighting among the leaders and the rank and file of the four organizations. Officials of the Department of the Americas of the Cuban Communist Party who mediated the unification process finally suppressed the mutual recriminations” (page 132).

The 1990 national elections in Guatemala. 1991: “In 1982, the three primary armies of the insurgency formed the Guatemalan National Revolutionary Unity (URNG)...By then, the guerrillas...were militarily active in more than half the country” (page 11).

March 7: general election (Guevara Rodríguez / PDF)

Anderson 1988: Gives percent of eligible voters who voted, percent of these who cast blank and null votes, and number and percent of vote for each candidate (page 53).

Calvert 1985: Gives numbers of votes for top four candidates (page 110). “On 13 March the Congress ratified the result by thirty-nine votes to thirteen with a handful of abstentions.”

Chronicle of parliamentary elections and developments 16 1982: For the March 7, 1982 election for congress gives the characteristics of parliament, the electoral system, general political considerations and conduct of the elections, and statistics (pages 67-69).

Daetz Caal 1999: “Elecciones de 1982” (page 94). “Distribución de votos en las elecciones presidenciales de 1982” (page 95).

Ebel 1990: “The coalition unraveled completely in the elections of 1982 when both the right-wing MLN and CAN (as well as the centrist Christian Democrats) ran candidates against Lucas’s handpicked successor. When electoral fraud became obvious, these parties, as well as sectors of the army, combined to overthrow the Lucas regime” (page 506).

Gramajo Morales 1997: “Unable to find a civilian candidate loyal to him, General Lucas asked the...PID and...PR leaders to identify and present to him three prospective civilian candidates...The party leaders came up with...General...Guevara, minister of defense. Under Guatemala’s constitution, military officers are not allowed to vote...When Guevara was declared the winner...the three opposition candidates joined forces and led an uprising to protest the electoral fraud” (pages 114-115).

Guatemala, elecciones ‘95 1995: “Elecciones de marzo de 1982. Candidatos, votos recibidos y partidos postulantes” (page 78).

Hacia dónde vamos? Guía electoral 2003 2003: “No obstante el abstencionismo de un 60% de la población, en marzo de 1982 el Congreso de la República declaró ganador al Gral. Angel Aníbal Guevara, ante múltiples señalamientos de fraude” (page 33).

LaFeber 1993: “In March 1982 elections, an army candidate won the fraudulent presidential election” (page 321).

Montenegro Ríos 2002: “No obstante la aguda confrontación militar que involucraba a 17 de los 21 departamentos de la República...fueron convocadas y efectuadas las elecciones generales de marzo de 1982, cuyo proceso de escrutinio en apariencia fraudulento, otorgó el triunfo al General de turno en la línea de sucesión militar en el mando presidencial” (page 19). “En 1982 [FUN] se coaligó con los partidos [PID] y [PR], cuyos comicios fueron anulados posteriormente al golpe de estado del 23 de marzo” (page 44). “En las elecciones de 1982 [el CAN] participó sin formar coalición alguna, postulando candidatos para la Presidencia, Vicepresidencia, Diputaciones al Congreso de la República y Corporaciones Municipales” (page 48). “Finalizados los comicios de 1982, los resultados oficiales le adjudicaron a la Unión Opositora un tercer lugar (220.2 miles de sufragios), abajo del Movimiento de Liberación Nacional (274.2 miles de sufragios) y de la coalición formada por los partidos Revolucionario, de Unidad Nacional e Institucional Democrático (377.8 miles de sufragios)” (page 57). “Para estas elecciones se encontraban inscritos 2,555,064 electores, de los cuales votan por el MLN 275,487 simpatizantes—electores—lo que permite al partido obtener el segundo lugar en las elecciones y el 25.52% de los votos. En esta fecha, la población de Guatemala se estima en 9,200,000 habitantes, es decir, sólo el 25.60% de la población participa en la elección para Presidente; y si tomamos a los electores participantes, tenemos que el abstencionismo fue del 60%” (page 135).

Painter 1987: The Christian Democrats form the “United National Opposition (UNO) with the National Renovation Party (PNR) after abandoning idea of broad front with sections of the military. [Their candidate] leads the UNO in fraudulent presidential elections in which 35 per cent of the registered electorate vote” (page 67).

Schirmer 1998: “When Guevara was declared the winner in the 7 March 1982 elections, the three opposing candidates staged a public protest of electoral fraud; all three were beaten and thrown in jail” (pages 19-20).

Schooley 1987: Gives percent of vote for PDF (page 27).

Villagrán Kramer 2004: “Los resultados electorales” (pages 243-244).

Williams 2003: “In yet another fraudulent election, the Supreme Electoral Tribunal (TSE) declared the regime’s candidate, General Aníbal Guevara, the winner with 35% of the vote, followed by the [MLN] with 26% and UNO (21%)” (page 318).

March 14

Le Bot 1995: Describes army massacre on March 14, 1982 in Cuatro Pueblos, Ixcán (page 201).

March 22-23

Anderson 1988: Election declared null and void (page 53).

Calvert 1985: President deposed, elections nullified, and three-man junta announced, with Ríos Montt as leading figure (page 111).

Ebel 1990: “Ríos was brought to power by victorious junior officers to implement an essentially incompatible agenda: conduct free elections, root out military corruption, end state terrorism, stimulate a flagging economy, and defeat the leftist insurgency” (page 506).

Leonard 1998: “In 1982 the Army chief of staff, General Efraín Rios Montt, engineered a coup and immediately ordered an end to violence in urban areas but not in the countryside, violence that took an estimated 2,600 lives in 1983 and sent countless indigenous people into Mexico” (page 105).

McCleary 1999: Junta consists of José Efraín Ríos Montt, Horacio Maldonado Shaad, and Luis Gordillo (page 238).

Montenegro Ríos 2002: “El 23 de marzo de 1982 fue depuesto del mando el General Fernando Romeo Lucas García, mediante golpe de estado que altos mandos del ejército dirigieron; argumentando manipuleos electorales fraudulentos...Se argumentó, también, el desgaste de las fuerzas democráticas, desorden y corrupción en la administración pública, por lo cual se decretó, la suspensión de la vigencia de la Constitución de la República, la anulación de las elecciones generales practicadas el 7 de marzo último, la disolución del Congreso de la República y la suspensión de las actividades de los partidos políticos” (page 20).

Schirmer 2002: “(W)ith the coup of 1982, a hybrid project of ‘strategic democracy’ was ‘born’ out of the womb of a counterinsurgency campaign that had already killed, according to interviews with army officers, 35,000 on both sides of the conflict, just between the months of November 1980 and February 1981” (page 54).

Schooley 1987: “On the day after the coup Congress was closed, the constitution abrogated, political parties suspended and the March 7 elections declared null and void” (page 27).

Steigenga 2001: “In March of 1982, a delegation of bishops met with Ríos Montt and leaders of the coup coalition and expressed the need to end human rights abuses and return to democracy” (page 73).

Villagrán Kramer 2004: “El golpe del 22 de marzo de 1982” (pages 245-247).


Civil patrols in Guatemala 1986: “The Ríos Montt regime began in early 1982 with 25,000 patrollers and in eighteen months increased that number to 700,000” (page 2).

Peacock 2003: “During the war Civil Self-Defense Patrols (‘Patrullas de Auto-Defensa Civil,’ PACs) were formed as a paramilitary force to help the Guatemalan Army in its counter-insurgency efforts. The PACs were legally established on April 1, 1982 under the National Plan for Security and Development (‘Plan Nacional de Seguridad y Desarrollo’) of the military junta…In each community a ‘military commissioner’ (‘comisionado militar’) was selected from among the inhabitants to serve as the army’s representative and to head up a PAC. These ‘commissioners,’ backed by and linked to the military, came to exercise significant, and often unchecked power in their communities” (page 25).

Schirmer 1998: The confidential Plan Nacional de Seguridad y Desarrollo “was formally signed by the Junta on 10 April 1982, and the campaign officially began on 20 April…Militarily, the Plan resulted in a centralized and highly coordinated system of command for an intensification of the massacre campaign” (page 46). “(I)t was estimated that over 250 peasants in [three villages in Chimaltenango] had been killed [on 20 April 1982]” (page 49). Describes the organization of the massacre campaign and how villages were selected for annihilation. “As intended, this wave of tortures, burnings, rapes, garrotings, massacres, and lootings terrified the population, prompting entire villages to be abandoned and dislocating between 250,000 and 1 million people, or 10 percent of the total population” (page 56). “Penetration of the militarized state directly into the heretofore isolated indigenous village was underway” (page 62).

Schirmer 2002: “(A)n intensified campaign…would kill another 50,000 to 75,000 over the next 18 months—most of the killing in the first 8 months between April and December 1982 and primarily in the indigenous highland departments…Ninety percent of these victims were noncombatants and indigenous…It was primarily the indigenous population in the most highly active guerrilla zones that was targeted in order to sever the guerrillas from their civilian support network” (page 54). “Not only was the army fighting an insurgency but also the legacy of a ladino-centered state in which the Indian had been not only marginalized politically and economically, but also perceived as minimally human” (page 55).


Garrard-Burnett 1998: “On 28 May 1982, Ríos Montt called a temporary halt to the army’s siege of the highlands and offered a thirty-day general amnesty to the guerrillas and their supporters…Despite [a] modest number of surrenders, the amnesty served its purpose, for it legitimated the resumption of what could now be classified as a ‘just war’ against those who rebuffed the government’s terms” (page 146).


Alcántara Sáez 1989: “Ríos Montt cumplió un objetivo fundamental: aniquilar las bases reales or potenciales de apoyo al movimiento insurgente. Objetivo que era prioritario en el Plan de Seguridad Nacional diseñado con anterioridad al golpe de Ríos Montt” (page 168).

Ball 1999: “The government of Ríos Montt pacified nearly the entire Guatemalan countryside in less than six months. It did not stop the massacres in the countryside but combined them with highly effective forms of population control” (page 27).

Barrios 2001: Ríos Montt “suprimió de nuevo la autonomía municipal, nombrando a través de los gobernadores departamentales un alcalde y un vice-alcalde para cada municipio.” (page 219).

Bastos 2003: “Tras el golpe de Estado, Ríos Montt pone a sus propios alcaldes [en las municipalidades indígenas], especialmente ladinos” (page 271).

Calvert 1985: “On 9 June, a further political change took place. General Ríos Montt dissolved the junta, assumed both the presidency and the command of the armed forces, and declared a state of emergency” (page 111).

Dosal 1995: “The military’s internal conflicts did not prevent Ríos Montt from carrying out one of the most brutal counteroffensives in Latin American history. By its own admission, the military destroyed 440 villages, killed or disappeared 100,000, and displaced one million people” (page 150).

Dunkerley 1996: “During the past decade the counter-insurgency strategy developed after 1982 extended the influence of the armed forces into the lives of the rural population to an unprecedented extent, generating a profound transformation in the nature of military power. Partly in consequence, the division between civilian and military spheres in Guatemala — both substantive and perceived — is blurred to a degree without parallel in the rest of the region” (page 82). “Ample documentation exists of the legacy of systematic human rights abuse by the armed forces, which reached its peak during the 1978-1983 period” (page 83).

Figueroa Ibarra 1994: “(L)a dictadura militar encabezada por Ríos Montt elevaría de 15.000 a 500.000 los hombres organizados en las Patrullas de Autodefensa Civil” (page 53).

Fischer 2001: “Ríos Montt maintained the military philosophy of the Lucas García administration—either the native populace accepted beans and ideological indoctrination or they were subject to extermination as accessories to the fact—and in 1982 he adopted the National Plan for Security and Development, which sought political, economic, psychosocial, and military stability” (page 77).

Garrard-Burnett 1998: “Ríos Montt’s religious affiliation [Pentecostal Protestant] seems to have had virtually nothing to do with his political ascendancy, which was the product of his 1974 presidential bid when he had run as a Christian Democrat—and a Roman Catholic” (page 140).

Grandin 2000: “The military’s installation of civil patrols in 1982—which obliged all adult men to serve as armed sentries and placed the onus of keeping a community free of guerrilla influence on the community itself—provided leaders hostile to the guerrillas an opportunity to reestablish a power base within the community” (page 231).

Jickling 2002: In 1982, after “almost forty years of popularly electing mayors, the government of General Ríos Montt suspended all elected municipal executives, replacing them with local administrators chosen by him. This attack on the traditional municipal power structure angered local elites and contributed to General Ríos Montt’s downfall” (page 146).

Jonas 2000: “Accompanying [the] massive population displacements was the deliberate destruction of huge areas of the highlands…The aim of these genocidal policies was not only to eliminate the guerrillas’ popular support base but also to destroy the culture, identity, and communal structures of the indigenous populations” (page 24).

Le Bot 1995: “(E)n junio de 1982 aparecían las primeras ciudades de reagrupamiento, llamadas ‘aldeas modelo’ por las autoridades” (page 199). “La población [en Huehuetenango] a veces era tomada entre dos fuegos [ejército y guerrilla], y la única protección eficaz ante el avance del ejército, era la huida a México. De junio a septiembre, el éxodo (que había comenzado en 1981) fue en masa. Miles de indios pasaron la frontera, y los que se quedaron en su mayoría fueron reagrupados bajo control militar” (page 203). Discusses Rios Montt’s ties to the Iglesia del Verbo and the church’s role in the “pacification” of Indian villages (pages 210-227).

Metallo 1998: “Evangelicals have been in the political limelight ever since Ríos Montt, a conservative, anti-communist, military general assumed the presidency” (page 326).

Nickson 1995: “In 1982 political autonomy was once again contradicted by the appointment of municipal executives” (page 184).

Paz 1993: “El presidente Ríos Mont estableció, en 1982, por decreto ley 65-82, el Consejo de Estado, compuesto por 30 miembros, de los cuales una tercera parte fueron indígenas de los grupos mayas” (page 29).

Rudolph 1983: “Municipal government underwent a vast change during the first year of the Ríos Montt regime. All elected mayors and previously appointed governors were replaced by government appointees” (page 146).

Smith 1990a: “The civil patrol system became the cornerstone of military control over Indian communities, insofar as it organized...Indian communities into paramilitary forces under direct military command. The system was established in virtually every municipio of the western highlands between 1982 and 1983, after the military had replaced elected officials with appointed ones. But it remains in place as the main local-level political weapon of the military, even now that local officials have been reelected” (page 272).

Steigenga 2001: “During this period, Montt’s counterinsurgency program known as ‘fusiles y frijoles’ (rifles and beans) went into effect in the Ixil triangle of Northeast Guatemala. This plan combined counterinsurgency with civic action in an attempt to win the allegiance of Indians living in zones where the guerrillas were active” (page 72).


Metallo 1998: “The greatest show of support for Ríos Montt’s administration occurred in the fall of 1982. That year marked the one-hundredth anniversary of the arrival of the first Protestant missionaries in Guatemala” (page 327).

Steigenga 2001: “In November of 1982…hundreds of thousands of Protestants gathered in Guatemala City…to celebrate 100 years of Protestantism in Guatemala” (page 72).


Garrard-Burnett 1998: “In late 1982, the army began construction of the first model villages, located in the Departments of Huehuetenango and El Quiché…While the official purpose of the model villages…was to house campesinos who had lost their homes and crops…, they also served as a mechanism for indigenous integration” (page 153).

Nelson 1999: “The system of model villages, developed since 1982 in the areas hardest hit by the counterinsurgency war, provides an example of the complexity of the militarized state’s relation to the Maya” (page 96). “Until 1988, every model village had an army post on an overlooking hill with anywhere from thirty to one thousand soldiers stationed there” (page 97).

Schirmer 1998: In December 1982, “the army began to organize the relocation of a portion of the estimated 250,000 (50,000 families) to 1 million displaced” (page 64).


Guatemala elections ’90 1990: “The UCN was organized in 1983, with the purpose of beginning their political activity by participating in the 1984 Constituent Assembly elections” (volume 4 page 3).

Le Bot 1995: “De 1981 a 1983, decenas de pueblos y aldeas, en su gran mayoría situados en las comunidades indias, fueron destruidos y masacradas sus poblaciones, parcial o totalmente. Varias decenas de miles de personas perecieron, y centenas de miles fueron desplazadas” (page 205).


Castañeda 1994: “En marzo de 1983, sometido a nuevas presiones, el gobierno militar avanzó otro poco. En ese entonces, el gobierno emitió la Ley de Registro de Ciudadanos, la Ley del Tribunal Supremo Electoral y la Ley Orgánica de Partidos Políticos. Las nuevas disposiciones dejaron a los partidos existentes como comités pro-formación, es decir, necesitados de revalidar su registro en las elecciones venideras de la Asamblea Nacional Constituyente que redactaría la nueva Carta Magna. Además, la nueva legislación redujo la exigencia de 50 mil a 4 mil firmas para la inscripción de partidos politicos, y desató una proliferación de miniagrupaciones…Por si fuera poco, no se fijó fecha para la convocatoria, votación y posesión de la Asamblea” (page 370).

Central America report 11 June 1998: “The 1983 law that created the (TSE) called for general elections every five years, which would include elections for local government. Towns with populations below 20,000, however, would have elections every two and a half years, which meant mid-term elections for most municipalities” (page 2).

Daetz Caal 1999: “El Gobierno de facto emitió tres importantes leyes electorales: la Ley Orgánica del Tribunal Supremo Electoral, la Ley del Registro de Ciudadanos y la Ley de Organizaciones Políticas. Se creó el Tribunal Supremo Electoral, como un ente autónomo…Se establecieron, como órganos electorales, el Registro de Ciudadanos, las Juntas Electorales Departamentales, las Juntas Electorales Municipales y las Juntas Receptoras de Votos…Las nuevas leyes electorales fueron promulgadas por el General Efraín Ríos Montt, pero el proceso se desarrolló bajo la jefatura del General Oscar Humberto Mejía Víctores” (page 95).

Documento informativo II: documento informativo: segunda elección presidencial 1999: “El 23 de marzo de 1983…se emitió el Decreto Ley 30-83 que contenía la Ley Orgánica del Tribunal Supremo Electoral” (page 4).

Fauriol 1985: “Formed in 1983, the Supreme Electoral Tribunal is composed of ten members: 5 which serve on a permanent basis, and 5 alternates capable of serving when a permanent member is unable” (volume 2 page 11).

Metallo 1998: Ríos Montt’s State Council “was originally rejected by the parties in great measure as a result of the limited participation that they had been conceded. However, after consulting with the general over the proposed political regulation, the State Council elaborated three projects of law and sent them to the Executive. The so-called ‘pre-electoral laws’ were the following: (a) 30-83 Organic Law of the Supreme Electoral Tribunal; (b) Law 31-83, the Citizen Registration Law; and (c) Law 32-83, the Political Organizations Law” (page 328). Describes each law (pages 328-330).

Montenegro Ríos 2002: En 1983 “fue anunciada la denominada apertura democrática, y se emiten tres leyes llamadas a regir el futuro proceso electoral (Ley del Tribunal Supremo Electoral; Ley del Registro de Ciudadanos y del Registro de Población; y Ley de Organizaciones Políticas); abriéndose la inscripción provisional de comités pro-formación de partidos políticos” (page 21).

Rudolph 1983: “It was not until March 23, 1983, that President Ríos Montt announced the first steps of the transition. The state of siege was lifted, and new regulations were announced that would allow political parties, which had been legally abolished for a year, to begin organizational efforts in order to regain legal status and would lead to the creation of an Electoral Registry, which would write a new electoral code and oversee constituent assembly elections” (page 137). “In March 1983 Ríos Montt announced the formation, by the following June 30, of a new five-member Electoral Registry, whose function would be to rewrite the 1965 electoral code; rectify the nation’s electoral rolls..., and oversee the election of a constituent assembly” (pages 166-167).

Williams 2003: “In addition to the deteriorating human rights situation, the Christian Democrats were angered by Ríos Montt’s political reforms. All parties had to re-register according to new rules, [which] resulted in a proliferation of new parties that threatened traditional parties, such as the DCG” (page 319).


Guatemala elections ’90 1990: “MEC was founded in April 1983 by supporters of retired Col. Luis Francisco Gordillo, a member of the military Junta that ruled Guatemala after the March 1982 coup” (volume 4 page 2).


McCleary 1999: “By June 1983, facing the possibility of a coup and confronting open and public criticism by officers, Ríos Montt disbanded his ‘juntita.’ To assuage his critics, Ríos Montt reached an agreement with political parties on the scheduling of elections for the National Constituent Assembly. But it was clear that Ríos Montt had no intentions of holding elections in the near future” (page 55).

July 8

Calvert 1985: “It was not until July 1983 that Ríos Montt was shorn of his powers, his young advisers forced to resign, and power concentrated in the hands of the military command” (page 113).

August 8

Alcántara Sáez 1999: “Mejía Víctores aceleró el proceso de puesta en marcha de las instituciones democráticas, para lo cual se suspendieron los Tribunales de Fuero Especial, creados el año anterior para atender delitos contra la seguridad colectiva y del Estado y que desarrollaban su actuación con nulas garantías jurídicas. Al mismo tiempo, se promulgó una ley electoral para la elección de la Asamblea Nacional Constituyente, compuesta por 88 diputados, 23 elegidos por medio de listas nacionales y 65 por distritos electorales” (page 184).

Bastos 2003: “La convocatora a una Asamblea Constituyente en 1984 abre espacios a distintos tipos de actores indígenas que buscan continuidad con la línea electoral” (page 78).

Dosal 1995: “To restore the chain of command, stabilize the political system, and placate the United States, senior officers led by General Oscar Humberto Mejía Víctores overthrew Ríos Montt” (page 152).

Fischer 2001: “Ríos Montt’s reign was ended by another coup, in August of 1983. He was succeeded by General Oscar Mejía Víctores” (page 78).

Guatemala: causas y orígenes del enfrentamiento armado interno 2000: “El 8 de agosto de 1983 miembros del alto mando del Ejército, comandantes de cuerpos y de zonas militares separaron al general Efraín Ríos Montt de la Jefatura de Estado. La medida no fue sorpresiva. Desde hacía unos meses la oposición al Gobierno riosmonttista era pública” (page 148).

Guatemala: crisis y opciones. Informe final 1986: “El golpe de estado del 9 de agosto permitió a las clases dominantes ‘corregir’ los ‘errores’ del régimen de facto precedente” (page 21).

McCleary 1999: “Upon assuming the presidency, Mejía Víctores immediately lifted the state of emergency and declared his regime a ‘provisional government’” (page 45).

Metallo 1998: “(W)hen General Mejía Víctores took power in August 1983, the Roman Catholic hierarchy embraced the coup” (page 331).

Montenegro Ríos 2002: “El 8 de agosto de 1983 por decisión del Alto Mando del Ejército fue depuesto el General Efraín Ríos Montt y nombrado Jefe de Estado el anterior Ministro de la Defensa, conforme a una decisión interna para introducir un relevo en la cúpula del mando, a fin de restaurar la jerarquía, subordinación y disciplina y la separación entre iglesia, sectas y estado” (page 21).


Metallo 1998: “In 1984, the Guatemalan Civic Organization was born as a support unit for Jorge Serrano Elías’s presidential campaign...[It] finally became a national organization with evangelicals from all denominations” (page 336).


Chronicle of parliamentary elections and developments 18 1984: “The legal framework for holding elections to a National Constituent Assembly on 1 July 1984…was established by the promulgation on 20 January 1984 of a ‘Law on Election of a Constituent Assembly.’ The Assembly’s main task would be to draft a new Constitution and electoral law in preparation for a return to civilian rule” (page 11). “The 20 January Law…barred any holders of public office prior to the March 1982 coup from running for election” (page 12).

Guatemala: causas y orígenes del enfrentamiento armado interno 2000: “El 19 de enero de 1984 el Gobierno anunció por Decretos-Ley 3-84 y 4-84 la Ley Electoral y la convocatoria a elecciones para Asamblea Nacional Constituyente a realizarse el 1 de julio de ese mismo año” (pages 152-153).

Williams 2003: “In January 1984, the Mejía government announced an electoral calendar and new electoral laws. Elections for a constituent assembly charged with drafting a new constitution were scheduled for July 1984, to be followed by presidential, legislative, and municipal elections in November 1985” (page 319).


McQuerry 1988: “The 1984 formation of the [Grupo de Apoyo Mutuo] marks a turning point in the organization of women. Groups with similar agendas to the GAM are not able to operate within the country for fear of their safety but the GAM has sustained a movement in support of human rights against the wishes of the country’s repressive political and military elite” (page 23). “Ninety percent of the women in the group are indigenous” (page 32).

Tooley 1994: GAM is founded on June 5, 1984 (page 98).

July 1: constituent assembly election

Alcántara Sáez 1999: “Resultados de la elección de la asamblea constituyente de 1984” (page 195).

Anderson 1988: Gives votes and seats won by each party (page 60).

Bastos 2003: “Mauricio Quixtán se presenta a diputado constituyente por el departamento de Totonicapán a través de la Organización Campesina de Acción Social-OCAS” (page 78).

Castañeda 1994: “Para la votación de la Constituyente, el primero de Julio de 1984…de 3.5 millones de votantes potenciales, solo 2.6 millones se empadronaron; el abstencionismo fue del 57% y, del total de votos emitidos, el 23% (460 mil votos) fueron en blanco; la DCG fue el partido con el primer lugar respecto de los votos emitidos, aunque alcanzó solamente un 19%. A esto hay que agregar la caída de los partidos tradicionales de derecha (MLN, PID, CAN), junto a la aparición de partidos centristas como la UCN (segundo lugar en esas elecciones) y el PDCN, asociado a un PR remozado” (page 370).

Centro de Estudios de Guatemala 1994: “En julio de 1984, tuvieron lugar elecciones para Asamblea Nacional Constituyente, convocadas por el gobierno militar. Emitieron su voto el 50.15% de los ciudadanos con derecho a voto (72.33% de los empadronados); el 10% de los votantes lo hicieron en blanco o votaron nulo” (page 21).

Daetz Caal 1999: “El 1º de julio de 1984 se convocó a elecciones para Asamblea Nacional Constituyente. Provisionalmente se inscribieron 17 partidos políticos y tres comités cívicos electorales, que participaron con 1,174 candidatos para 88 curules. Por primera vez se recurrió al procedimiento de una lista nacional y planillas distritales que incluyeron el distrito metropolitano. El total de ciudadanos inscritos fue de 2,400,002. La coalición MLN-CAN obtuvo el primer lugar en cuanto al número de diputados electos por distrito, con 18 curules de un total de 65; el segundo fue para UCN que ganó 16, y el para la DCG que obtuvo 14. Al sumar, en el caso de cada partido, los diputados obtenidos por la lista nacional, resultó MLN-CAN con 23, UCN con 21 y la DCG con 20” (page 95).

Documento informativo II: documento informativo: segunda elección presidencial 1999: “Las elecciones a diputados de Asamblea Nacional Constituyente se llevaron a cabo en el más completo orden, sin que se produjeran incidentes de ninguna clase que afectaran su normal desarrollo…Aunque se tenían dudas sobre si el número de 650 ciudadanos asignados a cada mesa electoral fuese excesivo y produciría congestionamientos, la realidad demostró lo contrario” (page 4).

Ebel 1990: “When the antimilitary, center-left Christian Democratic party won a surprising plurality of the votes in the 1984 election for the Constituent Assembly, the central question for the military regime became which parties should be allowed to compete for power in 1985" (page 507).

Fauriol 1985: “A total of 88 members were elected to the Assembly; 23 national deputies were chosen from a national list, and 65 local deputies were selected from district lists. Electoral districts geographically coincided with Guatemala’s 22 departments...and the Department of Guatemala was itself split into two districts” (volume 2 page 3). “A sum total of 1179 candidates participated: 300 candidates vied for the 23 national seats and 879 candidates for the 65 local districts...By law, any parties tied to the guerrilla umbrella organization, the...URNG, were denied participation in the elections, effectively excluding involvement of the extreme left-wing portion of Guatemalan politics” (volume 2 page 4). Gives the results of the election (volume 2 pages 4-5).

Fauriol 1986: Gives percent of voter turnout (page 18). Gives seats won by the UCN, DCG, and MLN-CAN (pages 19-20).

Figueroa Ibarra 1994: “(E)n las elecciones a la Asamblea Constituyente en julio de 1984 veremos a un partido representativo de las viejas dictaduras militares (...MLN), contabilizar junto a dos partidos de la modernización política (...UCN y la Democrácia Cristiana) aproximadamente el 45% de los votos. Será la última ocasión durante la década de los ochenta que un partido de la vieja derecha alcance un porcentaje decoroso de votación” (page 54).

Gálvez Borrell 1991: “Resumen general de escrutinios y resultados de la elección por departmentos (Asamblea Nacional Constituyente) 1984" (page 55). “Abstencionismo electoral en los comicios de julio de 1984" (page 59).

González Davison 1988: “Resumen general de resultados en las elecciones del 1o de julio de 1984" (page 327). Gives for 15 parties the number of votes, percent of vote, and seats won on the national list and for 19 parties the number of votes, percent of vote, and seats won on the district lists. Gives also for each list the total votes and the number and percent of valid votes, null votes, and blank votes.

McCleary 1999: “The Christian Democratic Party (DCG), National Centrist Union (UCN), and National Liberation Movement-National Authentic Center (MLN-CAN) alliance won 42 percent of the votes” (page 60).

Memoria de la elección de Asamblea Nacional Constituyente 1984: “Resumen por departamentos del padrón electoral formado para las elecciones del 1o de julio de 1984" (page 5)(also in Memoria de las elecciones generales celebradas en los meses de noviembre y diciembre de 1985 1986 page 80) . For each department gives number and percent of registered voters who are literate males, literate females, total of literate registered voters, illiterate males, illiterate females, total of illiterate voters, and total registered voters. “Resumen por municipios del padrón electoral correspondiente al departamento de...” (page 6) (also in Memoria de las elecciones generales celebradas en los meses de noviembre y diciembre de 1985 1986 pages 82-124). Gives for each municipality the information on literate and illiterate adults given in the previous table. “Inscripción de partidos politicos y de sus candidatos” gives for the “lista nacional” (page 30) and the “planilla distrital” (page 33) the names of candidates by party. “Resumen general de escrutinios y resultado de la elección por departamentos” (page 60) (also in Memoria de las elecciones generales celebradas en los meses de noviembre y diciembre de 1985 1986 page 130). Gives for each party total valid votes, blank votes, null votes, and total votes cast. Further tables give totals for these categories for the 327 municipalities for both the “lista nacional” (page 63) and the “planilla distrital” (page 111). Also included are the number of seats won by each party in each department, how the seat allocation was determined, and the names of the elected candidates.

Menjívar 1986: “Guatemala: elecciones de Asamblea Nacional Constituyente, 1984--listado nacional” (page 51).

Metallo 1998: “Despite the fact that Ríos Montt had been replaced the year before, in that religious-political atmosphere, a dozen evangelicals were elected to the Constituent Assembly the following year” (page 333).

Montenegro Ríos 2002: “(E)n los comicios del 1o. de julio de 1984 llegaron a participar 17 comités pro-formación de partidos y 3 comités cívicos” (page 21). “Durante las elecciones para Asamblea Nacional Constituyente celebradas en 1984, el [FUN] obtuvo una diputación en la mencionada Asamblea” (page 44). “Durante los comicios de 1984, el PNR obtuvo 133,680 votos a su favor, ubicándolo en un quinto lugar entre los participantes, habiéndosele adjudicado 5 diputaciones en la Asamblea Nacional Constituyente” (page 55).

The 1990 national elections in Guatemala. 1991: Gives seats won by PDCG, UCN, and “right-wing coalition” (page 12).

Olascoaga 2003: “A la Constituyente de 1984 concurrieron 17 partidos, pero aun así se mantuvo el peso y la importancia de las opciones conservadoras. De hecho, el Partido Social Demócrata PSD consideró que no había condiciones para participar” (page 40).

Organización social: notas sobre el pasado y lineamientos para el futuro 1991: “Elecciones para la Asamblea Nacional Constituyente julio 1984" (page 198). Gives by region the number of registered voters, votes cast, blank and null votes, percent of registered voters who voted, and percent of votes cast that were blank or null.

Painter 1987: “In the Constituent Assembly elections of 1 July the party [Christian Democrats] wins the highest percentage of the valid vote (15.6 per cent), and 20 of the 88 Congressional seats” (page 67).

Rosada Granados 1985: Key source for detailed information on all aspects of the election.

Rosada Granados 1986: “Resumen general de resultados en las elecciones del 1ro. de julio de 1984" (page 15). This gives for each party in the election the total votes for the Lista Nacional and the departmental candidates and the seats won in each. “Elecciones practicadas el 1ro. de julio de 1984, comites pro-formación de partidos con mayoría de votos según regiones geográficas y departamentos” (17). “Elecciones practicadas el 1 de julio de 1984, curules obtenidas según comite pro-formación de partido y por departamento” (page 19). “Elecciones practicadas el 1ro. de julio de 1984, votos nulos y en blanco clasificados según región geográfica y departamento” (page 23).

Sáenz de Tejada 2005: “La Constituyente de 1984” (pages 111-127). Includes many tables.

Schooley 1987: Gives seats won by each party, total votes for the PDCG and the MLN-CAN coalition, percent of turnout, and number of votes spoiled or blank (page 29).

Soto Rosales 2002: “Elección de Asamblea Nacional Constituyente de 1984” (page 145). Gives votes for each party and coalition. “Triunfos a nivel municipal por partidos políticos en la elección de Asamblea Nacional Constituyente de 1984” (page 151). Gives number of seats won by each party in each department.

Torres Rivas 1987: “Guatemala. Elecciones a Asamblea Nacional Constituyente en 1984--listado nacional” (page 181). Gives by party total votes and percent these are of the valid vote, total votes, and registered voters. Gives null votes, blank votes, total invalid votes, total voters, abstentions, registered voters and for each gives percent of valid votes, total votes, and registered voters. “Guatemala: elecciones de Asamblea Nacional Constituyente. 1984--Listado nacional--Resultados según bloques políticos” (page 183). Divides parties by political leanings and indicates total votes received, percent of valid votes, percent of total votes, and percent of electorate. Gives total valid votes, null votes, blank votes, total invalid votes, total voters, abstentions, and registered voters.

Torres Rivas 1996: “(S)eventeen parties participated in the elections for the Constituent Assembly (1984), eight of which were created one month before the election and five of which were less than one year old” (page 55). Gives percent of the vote for each party.

Trudeau 1989: “In July 1984 voters went to the polls to elect eighty-eight members of a constituent assembly. The bulk of these, sixty-five, were elected by districts corresponding to Guatemala’s twenty-three departments; the remaining twenty-three were elected on an at-large basis from national lists” (page 101).

Trudeau 1993: "Constituent Assembly Election Results, 1984" (page 69) Gives party, national votes, percent of votes, number of assembly seats won at the national level, departmental votes, percent of votes, number of assembly seats won at the departmental level, and the total number of seats won. (Source is Rosada Granados 1985)

Villagrán Kramer 2004: “Elecciones de Asamblea Constituyente” (pages 292-293). “Resultados electorales” (pages 293-294). “Reacciones a los resultados electorales” (pages 295-296).

Williams 2003: “Despite winning a plurality of the vote in the 1984 elections, the DCG placed third in the number of seats won: the Christian Democrats received 20 seats compared to 23 for the MLN-led alliance and 21 for the new ‘centrist’ party, the UCN…Despite being free from fraud, the election was characterized by low voter turnout (43% of the potential electorate)” (page 320).


McCleary 1999: Eighty-eight “popularly elected members were installed in August. With a timetable of ninety days in which to draft a new constitution and habeas corpus laws, the political liberalization of the country was steadily taking place. In preparation for legitimate democratic institutions, the regime disbanded the special tribunals of justice and suspended the Council of State...Adding to the political volatility of the situation was the rotation of the assembly chair among the three parties that had won the most votes. The assembly went beyond the decreed deadline for writing the constitution, thereby postponing general elections” (page 60).


McQuerry 1988: “In November, 1984, 284 GAM members occupied the National Assembly to protest the lack of attention given to the human rights situation” (pages 36-37).


Garrard-Burnett 1998: “By the mid-1980s, there were approximately ten thousand Protestant churches in Guatemala divided among nearly three hundred distinct denominations” (page 155). “(B)y the mid-1980s, even by conservative estimates, Protestants accounted for approximately one third of Guatemala’s total population” (page 162).

Guatemala elections ’90 1990: “The PAN emerged in 1985, first as a committee to promote Alvaro Arzú for mayor, but with goals of becoming a major political force in the country” (volume 4 page 3).

Luciak 2001: “It was not until 1985, with the creation of the ‘comandancia general’ that the URNG had an executive national structure, whose members had the authority to make decisions on behalf of their respective organizations. The three leaders in the Comandancia were Rodrigo Asturias for the ORPA, Jorge Soto for the FAR, and Ricardo Ramírez for the EGP. Ricardo Rosales, the leader of the PGT, joined the Comandancia first in 1986” (page 132). The UNAMG “suffered greatly from the repression unleashed by the Guatemalan government in the 1980s. For example, in 1985, Silvia Gálvez, a cofounder and general secretary of the UNAMG was disappeared. In these difficult circumstances, the organization became defunct” (page 188).

Metallo 1998: “Jorge Serrano Elías’s candidacy in the 1985 presidential election marked the first time in Guatemalan history that an evangelical was running for president. Serrano Elías, who had occupied the presidency of the State Council during the Ríos Montt administration, captured the support of the evangelical leadership...The Catholic church reacted with force and proclaimed its support of the Christian Democratic candidate, Vinicio Cerezo. The political campaign was emotional in religious-political terms because the Catholic church blamed Serrano for wanting to provoke a religious war” (page 335).

Steigenga 2001: “During the 1985 campaign, none of the candidates raised issues of human rights, corruption, or major structural reforms” (page 74).

Tooley 1994: “In 1985, General Mejia referred to GAM as a pressure group directed by subversives...A government spokesperson added that GAM’s actions would not be tolerated. Within two weeks, two of GAM’s leaders…were dead” (pages 103-104).

May: constitution promulgated

Central America report 26 February 1988: “According to recent reforms in the electoral law [1985], towns with populations below 20,000 must elect mayors and councils every two and a half years. Those with populations between 20,000 and 50,000 must hold elections every five years...(T)he departmental capitals [and] the 36 cities with populations greater than 50,000...will hold elections in 1990 and every five years thereafter” (page 63).

Daetz Caal 1999: “La Asamblea Nacional Constituyente promulgó la Constitución Política de la República de Guatemala el 31 de mayo de 1985, la cual entró en vigencia a partir del 14 de enero de 1986, excepto los artículos transitorios relativos a las elecciones generales a celebrarse el 3 de noviembre de 1985” (page 96).

Dunkerley 1996: “Following the scorched earth policies employed during the Lucas García regime (1978-1982), military strategy shifted to more sophisticated counter-insurgency policies aimed primarily at controlling the rural civilian population. Mechanisms included: mandatory participation in civil patrols...; forced resettlement of displaced rural population in camps or ‘model villages’...’ and inter-institutional coordinating councils which centralised administration of all development projects at every level of government under military command. All these institutions were legalised in the Constitution of 1985" (page 83).

Ebel 1990: In the May 31, 1985 constitution, presidential “and congressional terms were increased from four to five years, thus extending the mandate (and the power) of an elected government. The size of Guatemala’s unicameral Congress was increased from 66 to 100 seats, of which 25 are elected by proportional representation” (page 513). “Under the new constitution, if there is no winner with a majority, the top two candidates submit to a runoff” (page 514).

Electoral observation: Guatemala, 1995-1996 1997: “As defined by the Constitution of May 31, 1985, Guatemala’s system of government is ‘republican, democratic, and representative.’ For administrative purposes, the republic’s territory is divided into 22 departments, which are subdivided into 330 municipalities. A governor, named by the president, is in charge of each department; mayors, trustees, and council members, all elected by universal and secret vote, run the municipalities” (page 9).

Escobar Armas 1987: Discusses the “Ley Electoral y de Partidos Políticos” which goes into effect on January 14, 1986.

Guatemala: causas y orígenes del enfrentamiento armado interno 2000: “El 31 de mayo de 1985 se aprobó la Constitución…(P)or condición del gobierno militar, la Constitución entró en vigencia el 14 de enero de 1986, cuando asumió el gobernante electo. Durante esos seis meses, el Gobierno continuó legislando a través de decretosleyes…(U)no de los artículos que más polémica ha causado lo constituye el 186, que veta para la aspiración a la Presidencia al caudillo de un golpe de Estado o a los partícipes en juntas de Gobierno derivadas de éste” (page 154). “En materia de participación electoral y política, la creación del Tribunal Supremo Electoral y la promulgación de la Ley Electoral y de Partidos Políticos, la complementó la Constitución con el reconocimiento del derecho de libre organización política” (page 155).

Jickling 2002: “The democratic reformers who gained control of Guatemala in 1985...attempted to overcome the long history of stalemate between the mayor and the city council by mandating (in the 1985 constitution) that the political party of the mayor be given an automatic majority in the municipal council” (page 153).

Nickson 1995: “The 1985 Constitution reasserted a degree of political autonomy to local government by means of provisions for the direct election of municipal officeholders” (page 184).

Ochoa García 1995: “Las disposiciones legales que rigen para la organización y funcionamiento de los Comités Cívicos están contenidas en la Ley Electoral y de Partidos Políticos, Decreto 1-85 de la Asamblea Nacional Constituyente, en vigor a partir del 14 de enero de 1986. Los Comités Cívicos Electorales son organizaciones políticas, de carácter temporal, que postulan candidatos a cargos de elección popular, para integrar corporaciones municipales. Cumplen la función de representar corrientes de opinión pública, en procesos electorales correspondientes a gobiernos municipales” (page 23).

Paiz-Andrade 1997: “The 1985 Constitution sought to decentralize power and redirect it toward municipal governments. However Cerezo achieved little progress in that direction” (Page 155).

Paz 1993: “La Asamblea Constituyente que redactó la Nueva Constitución Política de la República de Guatemala, en Mayo de 1985 y que entró en vigencia el 14 de Enero de 1986, incluyó, por primera vez, la sección Tercera sobre comunidades indígenas” (page 21).

Puente Alcaraz 2000: “La Ley Electoral y de Partidos Políticos, Decreto 1-85 de la Asamblea Nacional Constituyente, en vigor desde el 14 de enero de 1986 regula la participación de los Comités Cívicos en la vida política municipal. Se las considera organizaciones políticas organizadas temporales, que postulan candidatos a cargos de elección popular municipal, para integrar corporaciones populares” (page 281). Gives requirements for comités cívicos and discusses reasons for their emergence (pages 281-283).

Torres-Rivas 1996: “The new constitution…finally recognized that Guatemala is a multiethnic and pluricultural society and therefore has begun to admit that the incorporation of the indigenous population into national life entails the recognition of and respect for their cultural rights and differences” (page 61).

Villanueva 1994: Gives details of Guatemalan electoral law.


Montenegro Ríos 2002: The Gran Alianza Centrista, composed of the Unión del Centro Nacional, the Partido Revolucionario and the Partido Nacional Renovador, is dissolved in July 1985 (page 58).

November 3: general election

Anderson 1988: Gives votes for top two presidential candidates (page 61).

Bastos 2003: “En el nuevo Congreso los indígenas suman un total de 8 por 100 diputados” (page 84).

Booth 1985: “The November 3 elections filled posts at the national, departmental and local level. Guatemalan voters chose from among eight presidential and vice presidential tickets, elected 100 representatives to the National Congress, 25 of whom were elected at large, and the remaining 75 of whom were elected by the departments, and voted for the municipal offices of mayor, “síndico” (non-voting city council representative), and “concejal” (voting city council representative) (page 19). Gives number of eligible voters registered to vote, percent who are male, percent who registered for a particular party, percent who are literate, and percent who are illiterate (pages 26-27). Gives number of polling places (page 67). Gives results of the election, including percent of presidential vote for each candidate, seats for each party, percent of votes cast that were blank, percent that were nullified, and abstention rate (page 76-77).

Central America report 26 February 1988: “In the November 3, 1985 general elections the Christian Democrats won 54% of the municipal elections, the National Center Union (UCN) won 21%, the National Liberation Movement (MLN) 15 % and the remaining were divided up by eight other parties or civic committees” (page 63).

Chronicle of parliamentary elections and developments 20 1986: For the November 3, 1985 election for congress gives the characteristics of parliament, the electoral system, general considerations and conduct of the elections, and statistics, including the distribution of deputies according to sex and age group (pages 79-81).

Daetz Caal 1999: “El 3 de noviembre de 1985 se efectuaron las elecciones generales para Presidente y Vicepresidente de la República, diputados al Congreso y corporaciones municipales. La afluencia de ciudadanos fue considerable, ya que concurrió un total de 1,907,771 electores, lo que equivalía al 69.2% de la población en capacidad de votar…El padrón electoral fue de 2,400,002. En la elección presidencial se usó el sistema de mayoría absoluta, de mayoría relativa en la de alcaldes; y de representación proporcional, la de diputados al Congreso y concejos edilicios” (page 96). “Distribución de votos en las elecciones del 3 de noviembre de 1985” (page 96).

Ebel 1990: “A total of twelve parties grouped in eight slates competed for the presidency on November 3, 1985...(T)he UCN’s reputation as the ‘army party’ plus the division of the vote among at least three other center-right groups enabled the DCG once again to win. It also won 51 of the 100 seats in Guatemala’s unicameral Congress” (page 507). “The Guatemalan elections of 1985" (page 508). Gives percent of vote and seats won by each party.

Ebel 1997: “A Protestant Indian was elected alcalde of Ostuncalco in November 1985" (page 191).

Elecciones generales, Guatemala, 1985 1986: “Cuadro resumén de los fiscales capacitados de los partidos políticos y comites civicos en la República de Guatemala” (page 100).

Fauriol 1985: “The November elections involve the selection of the president, a vice president, 100 deputies sitting in a single chamber legislature, of which 75 will be chosen by direct local vote and the remaining will be determined by proportional representation. The above selections all involve five-year terms. In addition, 326 mayoralties are up for ballotting” (volume 1 page 15). Describes the candidates from each party (volume 1 page 16). Describes each of the parties in the election (volume 3 pages 5-15). Gives details of events on election day (volume 4 pages 3-5). “Guatemalan elections: results of first round, November 3, 1985 (98.85%of the polling places reporting)” (Appendix A). “Congressional Election Results” (Appendix A).

Fauriol 1986: Gives number/percent of registered voters who voted, percent of blank and soiled ballots, and number of voting tables (page 45). “Guatemalan elections: results of first round, November 3, 1985 (98.85%of the polling places reporting)” (Appendix B). “Congressional Election Results” (Appendix B).

Gálvez Borrell 1991: “Guatemala: elecciones 3 de noviembre de 1985 (primera vuelta) resumen final de votos planilla presidencial y lista nacional, toda la república” (page 65). Divided by department. “Guatemala: alcaldias adjudicadas por partido y departamento (elecciones generales 1985)” (page 68). “Guatemala: abstencionismo electoral en los comicios generales de 1985 (primera vuelta)” (page 71).

González Davison 1988: “Elecciones generales 1985. Resumen final de la República (primera vuelta)” (page 339). For nine parties gives the number of votes for president and congress and the percent of total votes and valid votes these constituted. Gives valid votes, null votes, blank votes, and total registered voters.

Goodman 1992: “Legislative assembly elections, Guatemala, 1985" (page 372). Gives party and seats won.

Guatemala: causas y orígenes del enfrentamiento armado interno 2000: “Las interpretaciones sobre los resultados electorales señalaron tres puntos en común. El Gobierno democrata cristiano estaba ahora sujeto a multiplicidad de expectativas internas y externas; su triunfo representaba un rechazo de la población hacia el pasado inmediato; y, sobre todo, se había convertido en un voto de desconfianza hacia los militares” (page 159).

Guatemala: crisis y opciones. Informe final 1986: “En el consenso electoral generalizado los partidos del centro conservador (DC—38,65%, y UCN—20.23%) adquirieron importante peso electoral y un nuevo partido de ese mismo espectro quedó constituido como tal (PDCN—13.78%--en coalición con el viejo PR)” (page 23).

Guatemala, elecciones generales 1995: informe especial 1995: “Guatemala: elecciones generales de 1985" (page 6).

Guatemala, elecciones ‘95 1995: “Elecciones noviembre de 1985. Candidatos, votos recibidos y partidos postulantes” (page 79).

Guatemala elections 1985 1985: Provides detailed information on the events leading up to the election, the candidates, and the parties.

Guatemala: monografía de partidos políticos 2000-2004 2004: “Después de una larga lucha de oposición democrática y popular, en la que su dirigencia nacional y local sufrió diversas manifestaciones de represión, en 1985 [DCG] conquistó la presidencia del país y la mayoría absoluta en el Congreso de la República” (page 15). “En las primeras elecciones generales de la transición a la democracia, celebradas el 3 de noviembre de 1985, participaron doce partidos, habiendo obtenido la DCG el primer lugar con 648,853 votos (38%) y la Unión del Centro Nacional el segundo con 339,700 (18%)…(L)a DCG logró la mayoría absoluta de escaños en el Congreso (51 diputados de 100) y la mayoría de las 330 alcaldías” (page 22). El Comité Cívico Electoral “Plan de Avanzada Nacional” “participó en las elecciones municipales de noviembre de 1985, postulando a [Alvaro] Arzú a la alcaldía de Guatemala. El triunfo del PAN fue contundente, convirtiéndose el líder del Comité en el Alcalde Municipal de Guatemala para el período 1986-1991” (page 26).

Keesing’s record of world events April 1986: “Elections held on Nov. 3, 1985, were contested by 15 parties and eight candidates. The Supreme Electoral Tribunal put voter turnout at 73 per cent of the 2,750,000 eligible voters, and the proportion of blank and invalid votes at 6 percent…The elections had been scheduled for July 1985 but were postponed due to delays in the writing up of a new Constitution by the National Constituent Assembly…Barred from the elections were member organizations of the armed opposition, the [URNG]” (page 34285).

McDonald 1989: “Guatemalan presidential (first round) and congressional election results by party, 1985" (page 287).

Memoria de las elecciones generales celebradas en los meses de noviembre y diciembre de 1985 1986: “Nomina de candidatos inscritos por los partidos políticos para diputados al congreso de la república por distritos departamentales” (pages 29-42). Includes “suplentes” also. “Composición del proximo congreso de la república” (pages 66-68). Gives successful candidates from national and district lists and their party affiliations. “Resumen por departamentos del padrón electoral formado para las elecciones generales de 1985" (page 81). For each department gives number and percent of registered voters who are literate males, literate females, total of literate registered voters, illiterate males, illiterate females, total of illiterate voters, and total registered voters. “Resumen por municipios del padrón electoral correspondiente al departamento de...elecciones generales de 1985” (pages 83-125). “Resumen final de votos planilla presidencial y lista nacional, toda la república” (page 131). For each department gives votes for each party, valid votes, null votes, blank votes, unused ballots, missing ballots, and total ballots. “Resultado final de votos planilla presidencial y lista nacional municipios del departamento de ....” (pages 132-153). For each municipality gives the information listed in the previous table. “Resultado final de votos diputados planilla distrital de toda la república” (page 156). Gives for each department the votes for each party, valid votes, null votes, blank votes, unused ballots, missing ballots, and total ballots. “Resultado final de votos diputados planilla distrital (distrito municipal, municipios del departamento de...” (pages 157-179). For each municipality gives the information listed in the previous table. “Elección de municipalidades [district or department] postulaciones...resultados ...adjudicaciones” (pages 255-463). For each municipality gives the candidates for each party, the votes for each party, and the successful candidates in each party.

Menjívar 1986: “Guatemala: elecciones generales--Noviembre 1985" (page 52).

Metallo 1998: “Serrano’s party, an alliance of the [PDCN] and the Revolutionary Party, only managed to capture 13.8% of the vote. It was concluded from this experience that the major obstacle facing an Evangelical presidential candidate was the lack of a unified support base among the Evangelical churches. It was also concluded that, apparently, the disunity among the churches was greater than the attraction of having an Evangelical president for the first time” (pages 335-336). Miguel Angel Montepeque of the OCG is elected to congress in 1985 (page 336).

Montenegro Ríos 2002: “(E)n 1985, [el FUN] coaligado con los partidos Movimiento Emergente de Concordia (MEC) y de Unificación Anticomunista (PUA), fueron relegados al último lugar en los resultados sin haber obtenido representación alguna en el Congreso de la República” (page 44). “En 1984 [should say 1985] coaligado con el Movimiento de Liberación Nacional, [el CAN] postuló candidatos a la Presidencia y Vicepresidencia de la República, al Congreso de la República y a Consejos Municipales, habiendo obtenido 5 alcaldías y una diputación al Congreso de la República” (page 48). El PSD “participó por primera vez en un proceso electoral en las elecciones de 1985; a pesar de que como expresión política e ideológica exista desde los años cuarenta” (page 53). “En las elecciones de 1985 obtuvieron [los del PNR] 52,949 votos, ocupando un séptimo lugar entre los participantes y logrando una sola diputación al Congreso de la República” (page 57).

Painter 1987: “In first round of presidential elections in November, Vinicio Cerezo wins 38.6 per cent of valid votes, 300,000 more than his nearest rival. The DCG also wins around three-quarters of the country’s elections for mayors, and 51 of the 100 seats in Congress” (page 67).

Paz 1993: “Elecciones de 3 de Noviembre de 1985” (pages 35-36). “Efectivamente (en 1985) fueron electos 8 diputados mayas, (1) por listado nacional y (7) distritales” (page 35). “Elecciones municipales 1985” (page 39). “Candidatos mayas a diputados en Guatemala. Elecciones: 03.11.1985” (page 49). “Candidatos a diputados por departamento. Elecciones 03.11.1985” (page 50). “Diputados mayas electos en las elecciones del 03.11.1985” (page 52). “Alcaldes municipales mayas electos en elecciones 03.11.1985” (pages 60-62).

Paz 1995: Gives number of candidates on national list and central highland and western departmental lists, number that were Mayan, and number that were elected (page 106).

Rabine 1986: “After decades of fighting an illegal and “dirty” war, by 1985 the Guatemalan military government had become an international pariah...If international aid was to approach the level needed to stabilize the economy, as well as prosecute the war in a more sophisticated manner, an improvement in Guatemala’s international image was imperative. The 1985 elections served not only to wash the blood off Guatemala’s image, but also to obscure from world public opinion the transition of the counterinsurgency state to a new form. In the U.S. it was particularly important to “sell” the election to a hesitant Congress, in order to assure that the occurrence of a non-fraudulent election would release a new flow of U.S. aid to Guatemala” (page 63).

Rosada Granados 1986: “Número de personas empadronadas por departamento” (page 12). “Elecciones generales 1985, resumen final de la república (primera vuelta)” (page 14). Gives by party for the presidential and congressional elections the number of votes, percents of total and valid votes, totals these categories for the total valid vote for the country, gives numbers and percents of null and blank votes, and gives the total vote. “Elecciones generales 1985, partidos políticos con mayoría de votos según regiones geográficas y departamentos (primera vuelta)” (page 16). “Elecciones practicadas el 3 de noviembre de 1985, curules obtenidas según partido y por departamento” (page 18). “Elecciones 3 de noviembre de 1985, resumen final de votos planilla presidencial y lista nacional. Toda la república” (page 20). “Elecciones 3 de noviembre de 1985. Diputados, resumen final de votos diputados planilla distrital de toda la república (datos no oficiales)” (page 21).

Rosada Granados 1990: "Resultados del proceso electoral primera elección" (page 46). Gives by party votes and percents they constitute of the total and valid votes. Compares these results with those of the November 11, 1990 presidential election.

Sáenz de Tejada 2005: “Las elecciones de 1985” (pages 129-146). Includes many tables.

Sandoval 2003: “Las elecciones de 1985” (pages 121-150).

Schooley 1987: Gives percent of vote and seats in Congress for the PDCG and percent of the vote for the UCN (page 30).

Soto Rosales 2002: “Resultados finales a nivel nacional, en la primera vuelta. Elecciones presidenciales de 1985” (page 161). “Municipalidades de 2a y 3a categorías ganadas por los partidos políticos, coaliciones y comités cívicos. Elecciones de 1985” (page 177).

Torres Rivas 1987: “Guatemala, elecciones generales--noviembre 1985" (page 181). Gives by party total votes and percent these are of the valid vote, total votes, and registered voters. Gives null votes, blank votes, total invalid votes, total voters, abstentions, registered voters and for each gives percent of valid votes, total votes, and registered voters.

Trudeau 1989: On November 3rd “a new congress of one hundred members was elected (seventy-five of these by electoral districts corresponding to Guatemala’s twenty-three departments and twenty-five elected at large on a national basis). At the local level, 328 municipalities held elections for mayors and municipal councils” (page 102).

Trudeau 1993: "Presidential elections, first-round results, 1985" (page 70). Gives party, candidate, percent of vote, number of potential voters, number of registered voters, total ballots cast, nullified ballots and percent of total votes, blank ballots and percent of total votes, and valid ballots and percent of total votes (Source is Embassy of Guatemala). "Congressional election results, 1985" (page 71). Gives party, percent of votes, national-level seats, district-level seats, and total seats. (Source is Rosada Granados 1986).

Villagrán Kramer 2004: “Las elecciones nacionales de 1985” (pages 298-302).

Weaver 1994: “The Guatemalan military had no interest in even the shallowest electoral system until they had suppressed the Indian insurgents. Only after 1983 were they willing to entertain the idea of holding a carefully controlled election in order to receive more U.S. aid. Pressures from middle and upper classes uneasy about the military’s increasing political insulation from the influence of even the most influential civilians also contributed to the military’s decision to hold elections in 1985" (page 238).

Williams 2003: The “DCG won a majority in the new congress (51 of 100 seats) and 148 out of 328 municipalities” (page 320).

December 8: presidential election--second round (Cerezo Arévalo / PDCG)

Anderson 1988: Gives total votes for each candidate (page 61).

Centro de Estudios de Guatemala 1994: “En las elecciones generales de 1985, al realizarse una segunda vuelta entre los dos candidatos que habían obtenido mayor número de votos en la primera, el democristiano Vinicio Cerezo ganó la Presidencia de la República. Obtuvo el 68.38% de los votos válidos. Votaron el 47.21% de los ciudadanos con derecho a hacerlo. Cerezo resultó elegido con el voto del 29.79% de los guatemaltecos mayores de 18 años” (page 21).

Fauriol 1985: Gives details on election day (volume 5 pages 3-5). “Guatemalan presidential run-off election, December 8, 1985 (98% of polling places reporting)” (Appendix A). “Guatemalan elections: results of first and second rounds” (Appendix A).

Fauriol 1986: “Guatemalan presidential run-off election, December 8, 1985 (98% of polling places reporting)” (Appendix B). “Guatemalan elections: results of first and second rounds” (Appendix B).

Gálvez Borrell 1991: “Guatemala: elecciones 8 de diciembre de 1985--presidente y vicepresidente--resumen final por departamentos” (page 69). “Guatemala: abstencionismo electoral en los comicios presidenciales de 1985 (segunda vuelta)” (page 72).

Jonas 2000: “The 1985 presidential election, although free of fraud, was severely restricted and unrepresentative of large sectors of the population, as only rightist and centrist parties that had reached agreement with the military were allowed to participate…Nevertheless, the election did permit nonmilitary candidates for the first time in fifteen years; it was overwhelmingly won by Christian Democrat Vinicio Cerezo, the most progressive of the candidates. Cerezo’s victory was greeted with high hopes for a real change from the many years of military dictatorship” (page 26).

Keesing’s record of world events April 1986: Discusses the second round of presidential elections (page 34285).

Memoria de las elecciones generales celebradas en los meses de noviembre y diciembre de 1985 1986: “Presidente y vice-presidente elecciones 8 de diciembre de 1985 resumen final por departamento (calculado sobre el total de electores del departamento)” (page 184). Gives by department the number of votes and percent of vote for DCG and UCN, of valid votes, of null votes, of blank votes, of voters who abstained, of lost ballots, of total ballots, of municipalities surveyed, and of voting tables. “Elección de presidente correspondiente al 8 de diciembre de 1985 resultados finales municipios del departamento de...” (pages 185-206). Gives number of each item in the previous table (no percentages).

Menjívar 1986: “Guatemala: elecciones generales--Diciembre 1985" (page 53).

Metallo 1998: “Between the two rounds of the presidential election, political debate centered on two issues. The first was an allegation by the MLN that the first round of voting had been fraudulent. This contention was rejected by the Supreme Electoral Tribunal. The second centered on the run-off instructions for the losing parties to give their adherents. The PSD, PR, and PNR announced their support for the Christian Democrats. Except for the MLN, the parties of the right released their voters, suggesting that they vote for the candidate of their choosing. After the MLN’s allegation of fraud had been rejected, its leadership urged its voters to cast blank or null ballots” (page 337).

Organización social: notas sobre el pasado y lineamientos para el futuro 1991: “Elecciones generales 1985" (page 199). Gives by region the population over 18 years of age, the number of registered voters, and the votes cast and blank and null votes in each round. “Nivel de participación en las elecciones generales 1985" (page 200). Gives the percent of eligible voters who registered to vote, and the percent of registered voters who voted and percent of votes cast that were blank or null in each round.

Paiz-Andrade 1997: “Cerezo’s party, the Christian Democrats, obtained a congressional majority (51 out of 100 representatives) and won 182 of the country’s 330 municipalities” (page 142).

Rosada Granados 1986: “Presidente y vice-presidente, elecciones 8 de deciembre de 1985 datos no oficiales, % calculado sobre el total de electores del departamento” (page 22). For two participating parties gives for each department the votes and percent of departmental vote won, and the number and percent of valid, null, and blank votes.

Rosada Granados 1990: "Resultados del proceso electoral segunda elección" (page 47). Gives party, votes, percents of total and valid votes, numbers and percents of total votes of the valid, null, and blank votes. Compares these results with those of the January 6, 1991 presidential election.

Soto Rosales 2002: “Resultados finales obtenidos en la segunda vuelta. Elecciones para presidente de la república (8 de diciembre de 1985)” (page 167).

Torres Rivas 1987: “Guatemala, elecciones generales--deciembre 1985" (page 182). Gives by party total votes and percent these are of the valid vote, total votes, and registered voters. Gives total valid votes, total invalid votes, total voters, abstentions, registered voters and for each gives percent of valid votes, total votes, and registered voters.


Sichar Moreno 1999: El Movimiento de Acción Solidaria (MAS) fue creado “tras la ruptura del evangélico Serrano Elías con el [PDCN], después de las elecciones presidenciales de 1985, en donde obtuvo el tercer lugar” (page 20).


Berger 2006: “(T)he election of civilian Vinicio Cerezo Arévalo to the presidency in 1986 clearly marked a watershed in the women’s movement in Guatemala. After 1986, women’s groups focusing specifically on women’s issues proliferated” (page 29).

Dunkerley 1996: “It is generally agreed that the return to civilian rule in 1986 was part of a long-term military strategy begun under the regime of Mejía Victores (1983-1986), intended to improve the country’s international image and facilitate greater aid flows...However, although formal political power was returned to the civilian administration of Vinicio Cerezo in 1986, military control of the rural population has remained non-negotiable in the transition...Prior to leaving office, the Mejía Victores regime had passed an amnesty law...covering the period March 1982 to January 1986 which Cerezo accepted in the hope of obtaining at least some measure of neutrality from the bulk of the officer corps” (page 83).

Guatemala: causas y orígenes del enfrentamiento armado interno 2000: “Entre las elecciones y la toma de posesión de Vinicio Cerezo el Gobierno de Mejía Víctores aprobó una serie de decretos que mantenían algunos aspectos principales de su proyecto militar. Entre el 1 y 14 de enero se emitieron 33 decretos leyes que se relacionaban, entre otros, con la continuación del Proyecto de Asistencia de las Areas de Conflicto, la amnistía general para delitos políticos y comunes ocurridos entre marzo de 1982 y 1986, la creación del Consejo de Seguridad del Estado, [y] el reconocimiento de las patrullas civiles como órganos civiles a cargo del Ministerio de la Defensa” (pages 160-161).

Keesing’s record of world events April 1986: “The inauguration of President Cerezo for a five-year term took place on Jan. 14, 1986” (page 34285).

Leonard 1998: “Cerezo was allowed to win the 1985 presidential election, but he was still subject to numerous restrictions on his power by the military. By his own estimate, he entered office with 30 percent of the power, and he made it clear that he would not interfere in internal military affairs and that the defense minister would be selected by the military” (page 106).

Jickling 2002: “Guatemala City mayors since 1986 have become notably more proactive. Mayor Alvaro Arzu (1986-1990) developed the country’s first capital city based political machine and institutionalized it as the National Advancement Party (Partido por el Adelantamiento Nacional, PAN)” (page 154).

Montenegro Ríos 2002: “Así asume el candidato seleccionado por los militares y la oligarquía guatemalteca, el civil Vinicio Cerezo. Inicia con un importante apoyo de las clases dominantes, un prudente apoyo de las clases medias y un escaso apoyo popular” (page 24). “Al 14 de enero de 1986 la organización partidaria del PSD alcanzó 14 de un total de 23 distritos electorales, siendo el único partido de izquierda legalmente reconocido, miembro pleno de Internacional Socialista” (page 54).

Schirmer 1998: “The urgent question on the minds of officers, uneasy with the election of Christian Democrat Vinicio Cerezo as president…, was whether the military could maintain its control in the highlands with the election of a civilian government…To overcome officers’ anxieties about civilian rule, an ‘oral agreement’ was reached between the military and Cerezo…as to how this military-civilian shift would take place juridically, including the passage of several decree-laws that would protect the army from possible prosecution for human rights violations” (page 76).


Brockett 2005: “Survivors [of the CUC] regrouped, deciding at a meeting in March 1986 to begin rebuilding its base, drawing especially on hostility in the highlands toward the civil patrols” (page 225).


Brockett 2005: “(I)n rural areas…it was not long after the regime change before mass organizations began reappearing. The first was a newcomer. Soon after Cerezo came into the presidency, Father Andrés Giron led some 15,000 peasants from the south coast of Escuintla up to the capital in April 1986, calling for land for the landless” (page 224).


Guatemala: causas y orígenes del enfrentamiento armado interno 2000: “En mayo de 1986 se llevó a cabo una reunión de presidentes centroamericanos en Esquipulas, Chiquimula” (page 161).


McQuerry 1988: “Over the first 20 months of Cerezo’s term, politically-motivated assassinations totaled 1,606. Ironically, the election of the country’s first civilian president after 16 years of military dictatorship delegitimated the need to address the human rights situation” (pages 37-38). Political violence “began to rise during the last three months of 1987, prompting the government to finally recognize ‘political violence’ as a cause of the country’s extraordinarily high homicide rate” (page 42).

Schirmer 2002: “General Hector Gramajo [is appointed] defense minister in 1987” (page 68).


Guatemala: causas y orígenes del enfrentamiento armado interno 2000: “Una segunda reunión [de presidentes centroamericanos] condujo el 7 de agosto de 1987 a la firma del Procedimiento para establecer la Paz Firme y Duradera en Centroamérica, también conocida como Esquipulas II” (pages 161-162).


Guatemala: causas y orígenes del enfrentamiento armado interno 2000: “(E)n septiembre el Gobierno creó la Comisión Nacional de Reconciliación (CNR), constituida por funcionarios, personalidades políticas y de la Iglesia Católica” (page 163).


Dunkerley 1996: “The first meeting in October 1987 between the URNG and Comisión Nacional de Reconciliación (CNR)...was vetoed by the army after the series of proposals presented by the URNG proved unacceptable to the high command” (page 84).

Guatemala: causas y orígenes del enfrentamiento armado interno 2000: “A finales de octubre de 1987 se amplió el decreto de amnistía, como complemento psicológico y político del plan Fortaleza 87…El plan incluyó una ofensiva militar a finales de ese año, que representó un esfuerzo por presionar a las bases guerrilleras” (page 162).


Soto Rosales 2002: “El 15 de diciembre de 1987 el Tribunal Supremo Electoral convoca a la realización de elecciones en 272 municipios de segunda y tercera categorías; vale decir, aquellos que no constituían cabecera departamental y cuya población no alcanzaba a los mil habitantes” (page 175).


Ball 1999: In 1988, “a faction of the army attempted to overthrow the civilian government. Though President Cerezo was allowed to remain in office, he reportedly had to concede to most of the demands of hard-line officers, including the cancellation of a dialogue with the URNG guerrillas. In the wake of the coup attempt, the level of state violence increased in both rural and urban areas” (page 29).

Berger 2006: “The Agrupación de Mujeres Tierra Viva (…known as Tierra Viva) and the Grupo Guatemalteco de Mujeres (…GGM), two of the first self-identified feminist organizations in Guatemala—both formed in 1988 after the Latin American Feminist Encuentro in Taxco, Mexico” (page 29).

McCleary 1999: “The umbrella organization Unidad de Acción Sindical y Popular (UASP) is formed [in 1988], bringing together for the first time popular and union organizations representing urban and rural constituencies that were made up of indigenous and ‘ladino’ members” (page 83).

Montenegro Ríos 2002: “(A) casi dos años de ejercicio gubernamental la falta de capacidad para establecer alianzas políticas durables, el continuo accionar del movimiento revolucionario y la imposibilidad para solventar los problemas sociales, hacen del gobierno de Vinicio Cerezo una pieza fundamental de la estructura contrainsurgente del ejército; el cual delimitó los contornos políticos en los cuales el régimen demócrata cristiano podía moverse” (page 24).

Thillet de Solórzano 2001: The Agrupación de Mujeres Tierra Viva is founded in 1988, author describes their political goals (pages 331-333).


Brockett 2005: “CUC…reemerged publicly in 1988, joining a labor march in the capital in January” (page 225).

Central America report 26 February 1988: “The announcement in early January of an alliance of right-wing parties was formalized last week and included parties as traditional as the National Liberation Movement (MLN) and recently established parties such as the Movement of Solidarity Action (MAS), created in 1986. Also joining the coalition are the Authentic Nationalist Central (CAN), the Democratic Institutional Party (PID), the National Renovation Party (PNR), the United National Front (FUN), and the Emergent Concordance Movement (MEC)” (page 64).

McQuerry 1988: “(I)n January, 1988, the GAM marched with some 30,000 demonstrators in protest of recent rate hikes of government utilities. It also accused government officials of complicity in the ‘desaparecido’ question in a 26 January, 1988 press conference” (page 44).

April 24: municipal election

Alcántara Sáez 1999: “El carácter de partido mayoritario de la DCG quedó ratificado en los comicios municipales de 1988, en los que ganó 140 de los 272 municipios en liza electoral; igualmente se definió el segundo partido del país en torno a la UCN capaz de conseguir y mantener el 20 por 100 del electorado en su favor y 56 municipios” (page 189).

Central America report 26 February 1988: “Mayors and town councils will be chosen in 272 municipalities from a total of 2,478 candidates representing 12 political parties and a handful of civic committees. In an effort to regain some of the terrain lost in past elections, seven right-wing parties join forces for the elections...In the April elections, 242 towns will elect officials for two and a half years and 30 towns will name officials to hold office for the next five years...The national electoral commission estimates that there are 2.85 mn eligible voters for the upcoming elections. Under the new Constitution, however, voters are under no legal obligation to vote, as in the past. In the past, however, the number of voters who avoided the elections or cast blank ballots outnumbered any single party’s support, in spite of the legal obligation to vote” (pages 63-64). “A brief history of the group of seven parties” (page 63). Includes those in the coalition.

Central America report April 29 1988: “The Christian Democrats (DC) win a clear majority in municipal elections on April 24...The National Center Union (UCN) achieves a second place showing, while right-wing alliances trail in third place” (page 124). “Guatemala: preliminary results of 271 municipal elections, April 24, 1988” (page 124). “According to the National Electoral Council, some 60% of the country’s 2.85 mn eligible voters did not cast ballots in the recent elections...(A) possible cause for the abstentionism is that under the new electoral law Guatemalans are no longer required to vote. [It was also] claimed that many rural Guatemalans were unable to vote since it is the height of the harvest season, when campesinos from the hghlands migrate to work on the South Coast plantations” (page 125).

Central America report 14 May 1993: “Election results in number of mayorships won by each political party in 1988 and 1993” (page 132).

Country profile. Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras 3, 1988: “Elections for 272 municipal councils outside Guatemala City were fought on April 24 and won overwhelmingly by the ruling [PDC], who now have direct control of 140 councils…At less than 50 per cent the turnout was low but this was the first election to have taken place under new rules which mean voting is not obligatory” (page 14).

Documento informativo II: documento informativo: segunda elección presidencial 1999: “Se trataba de elecciones municipales en 272 municipios medianos y pequeños, excluyéndose la Capital, las cabeceras departamentales y municipios con diez mil o más ciudadanos inscritos, cuyas corporaciones fueron electas por cinco años en 1985…Se registró una participación del 43%” (page 6).

Gálvez Borrell 1991: “Guatemala: alcaldias adjudicadas por partido y departamento (elecciones municipales, abril de 1988)” (page 75).

Gramajo Morales 1997: “To the opposition’s despair and panic, the Christian Democrats won the majority of municipalities [in the April 1988 mayoralty elections]” (page 130).

Guatemala: monografía de partidos políticos 2000-2004 2004: “En 1988 se realizaron elecciones municipales en 272 municipios, habiendo obtenido la DCG 141 alcaldías” (page 22).

Memoria de elección de corporaciones municipales 1988: “Se trataba sólo de elecciones municipales en 272 municipios medianos y pequeños, excluyéndose la Capital, las cabeceras departamentales y municipios con diez mil o más ciudadanos inscritos, cuyas corporaciones fueron electas por cinco años en 1985. De esa suerte, tuvieron dercho a participar sólo 1,251,517 ciudadanos del total de 2,871,392 que integraban toda la república, o sea un 44 por ciento del electorado...La Democracia Cristiana, con un 34% de los votos, obtuvo 141 alcaldías, o sea el 52%, debido a su mayoría relativa en igual proporción de municipios. El 48% restante de las alcaldías se distribuyó entre los partidos de oposición y los comités cívicos electorales” (page 3). Lists by department the municipalities in which elections took place (pages 9-11, 13-14). Lists the names of the members of the “juntas electorales municipales” in each municipality (pages 25-32). “Estadística de empadronados en municipios que realizaron elecciones en 1988" (pages 54-75). For each department and municipality gives the number and percent of registered voters who are literate or illiterate men or women. “Postulaciones y resultados de votación” (pages 77-360). Gives candidates from each party in each municipality, the number of votes for each party at each voting table, and the successful candidates.

Paz 1993: “Elecciones municipales 1988” (page 41). “Alcaldes municipales mayas electos en elecciones 1988” (pages 63-66).

Rosada Granados 1988: Tables cover elections in 272 “municipios” of Guatemala. They include “Resultados electorales municipales 24 de abril de 1988 (según número de municipalidades ganadas y rendimiento obtenido)” (page 9); “Resultados electorales en elecciones municipales celebradas el 24 de abril de 1988 (clasificados según partidos y comités contendientes)” (page 10); “Resultados electorales en elecciones municipales celebradas el 24 de abril de 1988 (según partidos y comités cívicos contendientes)” (page 11); and “Resultados electorales en coaliciones (según bloques ideológicos)” (page 11).

Soto Rosales 2002: “Municipalidades de 2a y 3a categorías ganadas por los partidos políticos, coaliciones y comités cívicos. Elecciones de 24 de abril de 1988” (page 178).

Thillet de Solórzano 2001: “Postulaciones a corporaciones municipales, elecciones de 1988” (page 297). Numbers of men and women by department. “Adjudicaciones elecciones municipales de 1988” (page 298).


Report on Guatemala 9, 4 July/August 1988: “A failed coup attempt by two Guatemalan Army officers on May 11 was brief and bloodless, but it evidenced growing dissension within the military over the Army’s counterinsurgency strategy to defeat Central America’s longest running guerrilla war. As a result of this challenge from junior officers, President Cerezo has become even more dependent on the support of the high command of the Army, in particular Defense Minister General Gramajo” (page 2).


Brockett 2005: The “Consejo de Comunidades Etnicas ‘Runujel Junam’ (CERJ)…grew out of a meeting concerning how to gain freedom from the civil patrols held in June 1988 by representatives from towns throughout the highland department of El Quiché” (page 225).


Brockett 2005: CERJ “emerged publicly that August with a march all the way from the department capital to the nation’s capital, a distance of about one hundred miles” (page 225).


Berger 2006: “(T)he Coordinadora Nacional de Viudas de Guatemala…[was] formed in 1988 by indigenous women in the highland province of Quiché…CONAVIGUA was one of the first organizations to link democracy with ethnic, class, ‘and’ gender rights” (page 31).

North 1999: “CONAVIGUA, founded in 1988, was composed mostly of indigenous women and focused on human rights and women’s issues” (page 25).

Tooley 1994: “On September 11 and 12, 1988…local [women’s] groups gathered for a national assembly of widows to discuss the repression in Guatemala as it affected women, especially widows, and the poor. At the conclusion of the assembly, they formed one national organization, CONAVIGUA, the National Coordinator of Guatemalan Widows…CONAVIGUA is led by a democratically-elected National Council with local and regional groups scattered through the country…Most women in CONAVIGUA are indigenous, although ‘ladina’ women also participate. Country and city women, widows, married women, and single women participate” (pages 106-107). “Since its beginning, CONAVIGUA has been the object of death threats and harassment from the military and right-wing groups loosely associated with the military. The Army has accused CONAVIGUA members in villages, regional groups, and in Guatemala City of being collaborators with the URNG” (pages 109-110).


McCleary 1999: “In November 1988, the National Reconciliation Commission convened the National Dialogue that would not begin to function until March of the following year. Various sectors of civil society participated, but some unions and nongovernmental organizations were excluded because they lacked ‘legitimacy’—that is, they were directly affiliated with the URNG” (page 84).


Fischer 2001: The “Consejo de Organizaciones Mayas de Guatemala (COMG) [is] formed in 1989. COMG’s membership is composed of fifteen independent Maya groups working throughout the country” (page 99).

Jonas 2001: “During 1989, the National Reconciliation Commission (established by the 1987 Central American Peace Accords) sponsored a National Dialogue. Although boycotted by the army, the government, and the private sector, this dialogue expressed a clear national consensus among all other sectors in favor of a substantive political settlement to the war” (page 51).

Metallo 1998: “The OCG maintained itself until 1989 as a non-partisan political association. From it...emerged a group lead by Abigail Moratay that constituted the original...Partido Reformador Guatemalteco (PREG)” (page 336).

Mujeres latinoamericanas en cifras: Guatemala 1992: “En 1989 se formó el Partido Femenino Guatemalteco, primero en su tipo que reúne a hombres y mujeres” (page 95).


Brockett 2005: “Organizing by CUC and other groups on the south coast was sufficient to bring 60,000 workers out on a one-week strike in January 1989…One of the most distinctive characteristics of this new wave of mass mobilization in Guatemala is the extent of its indigenous complexion” (page 225).


Schirmer 2002: “In February 1989, a Grand National Dialogue was held with 47 organizations and 84 delegates participating, including, for the first time, indigenous groups” (page 68).


McCleary 1999: “On May 9, 1989, another coup attempt took place...The instability and violence aimed to undermine the civilian president and to strengthen the hard-line of the military” (page 84).

Sichar Moreno 1999: “Inscrito como partido político desde el 11 de mayo de 1989, [el Partido de Avanzada Nacional] ya actuaba a través de Comités Cívicos desde 1985” (page 48).


Chronicle of parliamentary elections and developments 24 1990: “An amendment to the Electoral and Political Parties Law, approved on 18 October 1989, introduced changes concerning the definition of electoral districts, the number of representatives to be elected according to population and the funding of the Supreme Electoral Tribunal in an election year” (page 14).


Guatemala: monografía de partidos políticos 2000-2004 2004: “El antecedente del Partido de Avanzada Nacional (PAN) es el Comité Cívico Electoral ‘Plan de Avanzada Nacional’, que se constituyó en 1985 para conquistar la alcaldía del municipio de Guatemala en las elecciones generales de dicho año” (page 25). “El esfuerzo por convertir al comité cívico PAN en organización política permanente se inició en 1987, en un proceso que culminó el 15 de noviembre de 1989, cuando se le reconoce el status legal de partido” (page 26).