This article discusses continued US pressure on the Guatemalan government to reduce the role of the military across the country, even as Otto Pérez Molina’s administration has overseen the expansion of the military into law enforcement and recently passed a new executive order supporting nine reserve military squadrons to assist with “citizen security” and help “combat organized crime.”
The military is also being used to protect the interests of foreign and multinational corporations working in Guatemala, and to threaten and intimidate land rights activists. Although conditions on US funding remain in place, the US continues to provide support and training to the Guatemalan army in order to combat drug trafficking.
GHRC, quoted in the article, has raised concerns about the increased militarization of daily life in Guatemala, noting that it is also a violation of the peace accords.
US Ambassador Todd Robinson has expressed support for the International Commission Against Impunity in Guatemala (CICIG), stating that he will seek out support from the international community for its continuation.
Although Guatemalan President Otto Pérez Molina recently announced that he would not request an extension for the CICIG, several Guatemalan and international civil society groups have called for its continuation. A survey by the Guatemalan Chamber of Commerce also found that 70% of those interviewed are in favor of extending the mandate of the CICIG for another two years.
This week, heads of the institutions that make up the justice sector also held a closed-door meeting to discuss the permanence of the CICIG; a decision about the extension will be made within the next two months. Continue reading