Weekly News Roundup

March 15th– March 29th  

National News

  • Ex-Guatemalan Police Chief Accused of Extra-Judicial Killings. The former head of the Guatemalan National Police Marlene Raquel Blanco was arrested for her alleged involvement in several extra-judicial killings in 2009.  According to CICIG, Blanco assisted a group of ex-police officers in capturing at least 3 men as part of purported social cleansing.
  • President accepts part of the campesino’s demands.  President Pérez Molina approved 5 of the 8 petitions brought by the campesinos that marched to Guatemala City.   Among the five points mentioned was agricultural debt relief, analysis of the evictions in the Polochic Valley, evaluation of mines and hydroelectric dams, and possible troop withdrawal from conflict areas.  Negotiations lasted 8 hours.  Here is the detailed list of the government’s response and here is an interview with Miguel de León Ceto, a representative of three indigenous communities in Ixil.   Here is the detailed list of the government’s response and an interview with Miguel de León Ceto, a representative of three indigenous communities in Ixil.  Many campesinos are returning home with the hope that the government will listen to their demands.

International News

  • Banners were hung, supposedly by the leaders of the Zeta gang on the streets of Petén that threaten attacks on civilians if the government does not stop its prosecution of the Zetas.  An example of a current prosecution is the case of Gustavo Adolfo Colindres Arreaga, a former Kaibil and current Zeta leader, who was captured on March 19 in Petén and is now being transported to Guatemala City.
  • Salvadoran President boycotted Central American summit.   The President of El Salvador Mauricio Funes announced that he did not attend the next SICA (Sistema de la Integración Centroamericana) summit because of President Pérez Molina’s drug legalization proposals.   President Ortega of Nicaragua and President Lobo of Honduras also did not attend.
  • President Perez Molina meets with US Assistant Secretary of State for the Bureau of International Narcotics In the press conference following the meeting, William Brownfield, Assistant Secretary of State for the Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs, said that the United States was doing its own research on legalization of drugs but that they were open to discussion. He did assure that the United States would continue to support the Guatemalan government in their fight against organized crime but remains opposed to drug legalization.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s