Coordinates: 15°30′N 90°15′W / 15.500°N 90.250°W /
Republic of Guatemala
Coat of arms
"Libre Crezca Fecundo"
"El País de la Eterna Primavera"
"The Land of the Eternal Spring"
Himno Nacional de Guatemala
(English: "National Anthem of Guatemala")
(English: "The Song of the Grenadier")
Location of Guatemala (dark green)
Claimed area, but not controlled (light green)
in Central America (grey)
and largest city
14°38′N 90°30′W / 14.633°N 90.500°W / 14.633; -90.500
Ethnic groups (2010)
41% indigenous peoples
8.6% other Maya
0.2% non-Maya indigenous
Unitary presidential republic
• Vice President
• President of the Congress
Álvaro Arzú Escobar
• President of the Supreme Court
Antonio Pineda Barales
Congress of the Republic
from the Spanish Empire
15 September 1821
• Declared from the
First Mexican Empire
1 July 1823
• Current constitution
31 May 1985
108,889 km2 (42,042 sq mi) (105th)
• Water (%)
• 2018 estimate
129/km2 (334.1/sq mi) (85th)
• Per capita
• Per capita
medium · 128th
Drives on the
ISO 3166 code
Guatemala (/ˌɡwɑːtəˈmɑːlə/ ( listen)
GWAH-tə-MAH-lə; Spanish: [gwateˈmala]), officially the
Guatemala (Spanish: República de Guatemala), is a country
Central America bordered by
Mexico to the north and west, the
Pacific Ocean to the southwest,
Belize to the northeast, the Caribbean
to the east,
Honduras to the east and
El Salvador to the southeast.
With an estimated population of around 16.6 million, it is the most
populated state in Central America.
Guatemala is a representative
democracy; its capital and largest city is Nueva
Guatemala de la
Asunción, also known as
The territory of modern
Guatemala once formed the core of the Maya
civilization, which extended across Mesoamerica. Most of the country
was conquered by the Spanish in the 16th century, becoming part of the
viceroyalty of New Spain.
Guatemala attained independence in 1821 as
part of the Federal
Republic of Central America, which dissolved in
From the mid to late 19th century,
Guatemala experienced chronic
instability and civil strife. Beginning in the early 20th century, it
was ruled by a series of dictators backed by the United Fruit Company
United States government. In 1944, authoritarian leader Jorge
Ubico was overthrown by a pro-democratic military coup, initiating a
decade-long revolution that led to sweeping social and economic
reforms. A U.S.-backed military coup in 1954 ended the revolution and
installed a dictatorship.
From 1960 to 1996,
Guatemala endured a bloody civil war fought between
the US-backed government and leftist rebels, including genocidal
massacres of the Maya population perpetrated by the military.
Since a United Nations-negotiated peace accord,
witnessed both economic growth and successful democratic elections,
though it continues to struggle with high rates of poverty, crime,
drug trade, and instability. As of 2014,
Guatemala ranks 31st of 33
Latin American and Caribbean countries in terms of the Human
Guatemala's abundance of biologically significant and unique
ecosystems includes a large number of endemic species and contributes
to Mesoamerica's designation as a biodiversity hotspot.
2.2 Colonial era (1519–1821)
2.3 Independence and the 19th century (1821–1847)
2.5 Second Carrera government (1851–1865)
Vicente Cerna y Cerna
Vicente Cerna y Cerna regime (1865–1871)
2.7 Liberal governments (1871–1898)
Manuel Estrada Cabrera
Manuel Estrada Cabrera regime (1898–1920)
Jorge Ubico regime (1931–1944)
Guatemalan Revolution (1944–1954)
2.11 Coup and civil war (1954–1996)
2.14 Pérez Molina government and "La Línea"
3.1 Natural disasters
4.1 Political system
4.2 Foreign relations
4.4 Administrative divisions
4.5 Human rights
6.2 Ethnic groups
6.4 Indigenous integration and bilingual education
6.5 Largest cities
7.3 Media and news
7.6.4 Other sports
8 See also
11 Further reading
12 External links
The name "Guatemala" comes from the Nahuatl word Cuauhtēmallān
(nahwiki), or "place of many trees", a derivative of the K'iche' Mayan
word for "many trees" or perhaps more specifically for the
Cuate/Cuatli tree Eysenhardtia. This was the name the Tlaxcaltecan
soldiers who accompanied
Pedro de Alvarado
Pedro de Alvarado during the Spanish Conquest
gave to this territory.
Main article: History of Guatemala
The first evidence of human habitation in
Guatemala dates back to
12,000 BC. Evidence, such as obsidian arrowheads found in various
parts of the country, suggests a human presence as early as 18,000
BC. There is archaeological proof that early Guatemalan settlers
were hunter-gatherers. Pollen samples from Petén and the Pacific
coast indicate that maize cultivation had developed by 3500 BC.
Sites dating back to 6500 BC have been found in the Quiché region in
the Highlands, and
Escuintla on the central Pacific
Archaeologists divide the pre-Columbian history of
the Preclassic period (2999 BC to 250 BC), the Classic period (250 to
900 AD), and the Postclassic period (900 to 1500 AD). Until
recently, the Preclassic was regarded as a formative period, with
small villages of farmers who lived in huts, and few permanent
buildings. However, this notion has been challenged by recent
discoveries of monumental architecture from that period, such as an
altar in La Blanca, San Marcos, from 1000 BC; ceremonial sites at
Naranjo from 801 BC; the earliest monumental masks; and
Mirador Basin cities of Nakbé, Xulnal, El Tintal, Wakná and El
Maya city of Tikal
The Classic period of
Mesoamerican civilization corresponds to the
height of the Maya civilization, and is represented by countless sites
throughout Guatemala, although the largest concentration is in Petén.
This period is characterized by urbanisation, the emergence of
independent city-states, and contact with other Mesoamerican
This lasted until approximately 900 AD, when the Classic Maya
civilization collapsed. The Maya abandoned many of the cities of
the central lowlands or were killed off by a drought-induced
famine. The cause of the collapse is debated, but the drought
theory is gaining currency, supported by evidence such as lakebeds,
ancient pollen, and others. A series of prolonged droughts, among
other reasons such as overpopulation, in what is otherwise a seasonal
desert is thought to have decimated the Maya, who relied on regular
rainfall. The drought also brought an epidemic of hemorrhagic
fever in the 16th century, when 80–90% of the indigenous population
died off. The Post-Classic period is represented by regional
kingdoms, such as the Itza, Kowoj,
Kejache in Petén, and
the Mam, Ki'che', Kackchiquel, Chajoma, Tz'utujil, Poqomchi', Q'eqchi'
and Ch'orti' in the highlands. Their cities preserved many aspects of
Maya culture. The
Maya civilization shares many features with other
Mesoamerican civilizations due to the high degree of interaction and
cultural diffusion that characterized the region. Advances such as
writing, epigraphy, and the calendar did not originate with the Maya;
however, their civilization fully developed them. Maya influence can
be detected from Honduras, Guatemala, Northern
El Salvador to as far
north as central Mexico, more than 1,000 km (620 mi) from
the Maya area. Many outside influences are found in
Maya art and
architecture, which are thought to be the result of trade and cultural
exchange rather than direct external conquest.
Colonial era (1519–1821)
Spanish conquest of Guatemala
Spanish conquest of Guatemala and Spanish conquest of Petén
Pedro de Alvarado
Pedro de Alvarado led the initial Spanish efforts to
After they arrived in the New World, the Spanish started several
expeditions to Guatemala, beginning in 1519. Before long, Spanish
contact resulted in an epidemic that devastated native populations.
Hernán Cortés, who had led the Spanish conquest of Mexico, granted a
permit to Captains Gonzalo de Alvarado and his brother, Pedro de
Alvarado, to conquer this land. Alvarado at first allied himself with
the Kaqchikel nation to fight against their traditional rivals the
K'iche' (Quiché) nation. Alvarado later turned against the Kaqchikel,
and eventually brought the entire region under Spanish domination.
During the colonial period,
Guatemala was an audiencia, a
captaincy-general (Capitanía General de Guatemala) of Spain, and a
New Spain (Mexico). The first capital, Villa de Santiago
Guatemala (now known as Tecpan Guatemala), was founded on 25 July
1524 near Iximché, the Kaqchikel capital city. The capital was moved
Ciudad Vieja on 22 November 1527, as a result of a Kaqchikel attack
on Villa de Santiago de Guatemala.
On 11 September 1541, the new capital was flooded when the lagoon in
the crater of the Agua Volcano collapsed due to heavy rains and
earthquakes; the capital was then moved 6 km (4 mi) to
Antigua in the Panchoy Valley, now a
UNESCO World Heritage Site. This
city was destroyed by several earthquakes in 1773–1774. The King of
Spain authorized moving the capital to its current location in the
Ermita Valley, which is named after a
Catholic church dedicated to the
Virgen del Carmen. This new capital was founded on 2 January 1776.
Independence and the 19th century (1821–1847)
Criollos rejoice upon learning about the declaration of independence
Spain on 15 September 1821.
On 15 September 1821, the
Captaincy General of Guatemala, formed by
Chiapas, Guatemala, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, and Honduras,
officially proclaimed its independence from Spain. The
Captaincy-general was dissolved two years later. This region was
formally a part of the
New Spain throughout the
colonial period, but as a practical matter had been administered
separately. It was not until 1825 that
Guatemala created its own
In 1838 the liberal forces of Honduran leader
Francisco Morazán and
José Francisco Barrundia invaded
Guatemala and reached
San Sur, where they executed Chúa Alvarez, father-in-law of Rafael
Carrera, then a military commander and later the first president of
Guatemala. The liberal forces impaled Alvarez's head on a pike as a
warning to followers of the Guatemalan caudillo. Carrera and his
wife Petrona – who had come to confront Morazán as soon as they
learned of the invasion and were in
Mataquescuintla – swore they
would never forgive Morazán even in his grave; they felt it
impossible to respect anyone who would not avenge family members.
After sending several envoys, whom Carrera would not receive – and
especially not Barrundia whom Carrera did not want to murder in cold
blood – Morazán began a scorched-earth offensive, destroying
villages in his path and stripping them of assets. The Carrera forces
had to hide in the mountains. Believing Carrera totally defeated,
Morazán and Barrundia marched to
Guatemala City, and were welcomed as
saviors by state governor Pedro Valenzuela and members of the
conservative Aycinena clan (es), who proposed to sponsor one of
the liberal battalions, while Valenzuela and Barrundia gave Morazán
all the Guatemalan resources needed to solve any financial problem he
had. The criollos of both parties celebrated until dawn that they
finally had a criollo caudillo like Morazán, who was able to crush
the peasant rebellion.
Central America (1823–1838) with its capital
Morazán used the proceeds to support Los Altos and then replaced
Valenzuela with Mariano Rivera Paz, a member of the Aycinena clan,
although he did not return to that clan any property confiscated in
1829. In revenge,
Juan José de Aycinena y Piñol
Juan José de Aycinena y Piñol voted to dissolve
Central American Federation
Central American Federation in
San Salvador a little later,
forcing Morazán to return to
El Salvador to fight for his federal
mandate. Along the way, Morazán increased repression in eastern
Guatemala, as punishment for helping Carrera. Knowing that
Morazán had gone to El Salvador, Carrera tried to take
the small force that remained, but was defeated, and lost his brother
Laureano in combat. With just a few men left, he managed to escape,
badly wounded, to Sanarate. After recovering somewhat, he attacked
a detachment in
Jutiapa and got a small amount of booty which gave to
the volunteers who accompanied him. He then prepared to attack Petapa
Guatemala City, where he was victorious, although with heavy
In September of that year, he attempted an assault on the capital of
Guatemala, but the liberal general
Carlos Salazar Castro defeated him
in the fields of Villa Nueva and Carrera had to retreat. After
unsuccessfully trying to take Quetzaltenango, Carrera found himself
both surrounded and wounded. He had to capitulate to Mexican General
Agustin Guzman, who had been in
Quetzaltenango since Vicente
Filísola's arrival in 1823. Morazán had the opportunity to shoot
Carrera, but did not, because he needed the support of the Guatemalan
peasants to counter the attacks of
Francisco Ferrera in El Salvador.
Instead, Morazán left Carrera in charge of a small fort in Mita,
without any weapons. Knowing that Morazán was going to attack El
Francisco Ferrera gave arms and ammunition to Carrera and
convinced him to attack
Meanwhile, despite insistent advice to definitively crush Carrera and
his forces, Salazar tried to negotiate with him diplomatically; he
even went as far as to show that he neither feared nor distrusted
Carrera by removing the fortifications of the Guatemalan capital, in
place since the battle of Villa Nueva. Taking advantage of
Salazar's good faith and Ferrera's weapons, Carrera took Guatemala
City by surprise on 13 April 1839; Castro Salazar,
Mariano Gálvez and
Barrundia fled before the arrival of Carrera's militia men. Salazar,
in his nightshirt, vaulted roofs of neighboring houses and sought
refuge, reaching the border disguised as a peasant.
With Salazar gone, Carrera reinstated Rivera Paz as head of state.
Between 1838 and 1840 a secessionist movement in the city of
Quetzaltenango, founded the breakaway state of Los Altos and sought
independence from Guatemala. The most important members of the Liberal
Guatemala and liberal enemies of the conservative régime
moved to Los Altos, leaving their exile in El Salvador. The
liberals in Los Altos began severely criticizing the Conservative
government of Rivera Paz. Los Altos was the region with the main
production and economic activity of the former state of Guatemala.
Without Los Altos, conservatives lost many of the resources that had
Guatemala hegemony in Central America. The government of
Guatemala tried to reach to a peaceful solution, but two years of
bloody conflict followed.
In 1840, Belgium began to act as an external source of support for
Carrera's independence movement, in an effort to exert influence in
Central America. The Compagnie belge de colonisation (Belgian
Colonization Company), commissioned by Belgian King Leopold I, became
the administrator of Santo Tomas de Castilla replacing the failed
British Eastern Coast of
Central America Commercial and Agricultural
Company. Even though the colony eventually crumbled, Belgium
continued to support Carrera in the mid-19th century, although Britain
continued to be the main business and political partner to Carrera's
Rafael Carrera was elected Guatemalan Governor in 1844.
Germany arrived in the mid-19th century. German settlers
acquired land and grew coffee plantations in
Alta Verapaz and
On 21 March 1847,
Guatemala declared itself an independent republic
and Carrera became its first president.
Proclamation Coin 1847 of the independent
Republic of Guatemala
During the first term as president, Carrera brought the country back
from extreme conservatism to a traditional moderation; in 1848, the
liberals were able to drive him from office, after the country had
been in turmoil for several months. Carrera resigned of his
own free will and left for México. The new liberal regime allied
itself with the Aycinena family and swiftly passed a law ordering
Carrera's execution if he returned to Guatemalan soil.
The liberal criollos from
Quetzaltenango were led by general Agustín
Guzmán who occupied the city after Corregidor general Mariano Paredes
was called to
Guatemala City to take over the presidential office.
They declared on 26 August 1848 that Los Altos was an independent
state once again. The new state had the support of Doroteo
Vasconcelos' régime in
El Salvador and the rebel guerrilla army of
Vicente and Serapio Cruz, who were sworn enemies of Carrera. The
interim government was led by Guzmán himself and had Florencio Molina
and the priest Fernando Davila as his Cabinet members. On 5
September 1848, the criollos altenses chose a formal government led by
Fernando Antonio Martínez.
In the meantime, Carrera decided to return to
Guatemala and did so,
entering at Huehuetenango, where he met with native leaders and told
them that they must remain united to prevail; the leaders agreed and
slowly the segregated native communities started developing a new
Indian identity under Carrera's leadership. In the meantime, in
the eastern part of Guatemala, the
Jalapa region became increasingly
dangerous; former president
Mariano Rivera Paz
Mariano Rivera Paz and rebel leader
Vicente Cruz were both murdered there after trying to take over the
Corregidor office in 1849.
When Carrera arrived to
Chiantla in Huehuetenango, he received two
altenses emissaries who told him that their soldiers were not going to
fight his forces because that would lead to a native revolt, much like
that of 1840; their only request from Carrera was to keep the natives
under control. The altenses did not comply, and led by Guzmán and
his forces, they started chasing Carrera; the caudillo hid, helped by
his native allies and remained under their protection when the forces
Miguel Garcia Granados
Miguel Garcia Granados arrived from
Guatemala City looking for
On learning that officer
José Víctor Zavala
José Víctor Zavala had been appointed as
Corregidor in Suchitepéquez, Carrera and his hundred jacalteco
bodyguards crossed a dangerous jungle infested with jaguars to meet
his former friend. Zavala not only did not capture him, he agreed to
serve under his orders, thus sending a strong message to both liberal
and conservatives in
Guatemala City that they would have to negotiate
with Carrera or battle on two fronts –
Jalapa. Carrera went back to the
Quetzaltenango area, while Zavala
Suchitepéquez as a tactical maneuver. Carrera
received a visit from a cabinet member of Paredes and told him that he
had control of the native population and that he assured Paredes that
he would keep them appeased. When the emissary returned to
Guatemala City, he told the president everything Carrera said, and
added that the native forces were formidable.
Guzmán went to
Antigua Guatemala to meet with another group of
Paredes emissaries; they agreed that Los Altos would rejoin Guatemala,
and that the latter would help Guzmán defeat his enemy and also build
a port on the Pacific Ocean. Guzmán was sure of victory this
time, but his plan evaporated when in his absence Carrera and his
native allies occupied Quetzaltenango; Carrera appointed Ignacio
Yrigoyen as Corregidor and convinced him that he should work with the
k'iche', q'anjobal and mam leaders to keep the region under
control. On his way out, Yrigoyen murmured to a friend: Now he is
the king of the Indians, indeed!
Guzmán then left for Jalapa, where he struck a deal with the rebels,
Luis Batres Juarros
Luis Batres Juarros convinced president Paredes to deal with
Carrera. Back in
Guatemala City within a few months, Carrera was
commander-in-chief, backed by military and political support of the
Indian communities from the densely populated western highlands.
During the first presidency, from 1844 to 1848, he brought the country
back from excessive conservatism to a moderate regime, and – with
the advice of
Juan José de Aycinena y Piñol
Juan José de Aycinena y Piñol and Pedro de Aycinena
– restored relations with the Church in Rome with a Concordat
ratified in 1854.
Second Carrera government (1851–1865)
Rafael Carrera after being appointed President for
Life in 1854.
After Carrera returned from exile in 1849 the president of El
Salvador, Doroteo Vasconcelos, granted asylum to the Guatemalan
liberals, who harassed the Guatemalan government in several different
José Francisco Barrundia established a liberal newspaper for
that specific purpose. Vasconcelos supported a rebel faction named "La
Montaña" in eastern Guatemala, providing and distributing money and
weapons. By late 1850, Vasconcelos was getting impatient at the slow
progress of the war with
Guatemala and decided to plan an open attack.
Under that circumstance, the Salvadorean head of state started a
campaign against the conservative Guatemalan regime, inviting Honduras
Nicaragua to participate in the alliance; only the Honduran
government led by
Juan Lindo accepted. In 1851
an Allied army from
El Salvador at the Battle of La
In 1854 Carrera was declared "supreme and perpetual leader of the
nation" for life, with the power to choose his successor. He held that
position until he died on 14 April 1865. While he pursued some
measures to set up a foundation for economic prosperity to please the
conservative landowners, military challenges at home and a three-year
war with Honduras, El Salvador, and
Nicaragua dominated his
His rivalry with Gerardo Barrios, President of El Salvador, resulted
in open war in 1863. At Coatepeque the
Guatemalans suffered a severe
defeat, which was followed by a truce.
Honduras joined with El
Costa Rica with Guatemala. The contest was
finally settled in favor of Carrera, who besieged and occupied San
Salvador, and dominated
Honduras and Nicaragua. He continued to act in
concert with the Clerical Party, and tried to maintain friendly
relations with European governments. Before he died, Carrera nominated
his friend and loyal soldier, Army Marshall Vicente Cerna y Cerna, as
Vicente Cerna y Cerna
Vicente Cerna y Cerna regime (1865–1871)
Vicente Cerna y Cerna
Vicente Cerna y Cerna was the president of
Guatemala from 1865 to
Further information: Vicente Cerna y Cerna
Vicente Cerna y Cerna
Vicente Cerna y Cerna was president of
Guatemala from 24 May 1865 to
29 June 1871. Liberal author Alfonso Enrique
Barrientos (es),[full citation needed] described Marshall
Cerna's government in the following manner:[full citation needed]
A conservative and archaic government, badly organized and with worse
intentions, was in charge of the country, centralizing all powers in
Vicente Cerna, ambitious military man, who not happy with the general
rank, had promoted himself to the Army Marshall rank, even though that
rank did not exist and it does not exist in the Guatemalan military.
The Marshall called himself President of the Republic, but in reality
he was the foreman of oppressed and savaged people, cowardly enough
that they had not dared to tell the dictator to leave threatening him
with a revolution.
The State and Church were a single unit, and the conservative régime
was strongly allied to the power of regular clergy of the Catholic
Church, who were then among the largest landowners in Guatemala. The
tight relationship between church and state had been ratified by the
Concordat of 1852, which was the law until Cerna was deposed in
1871. Even liberal generals like Serapio Cruz (es) realized
that Rafael Carrera's political and military presence made him
practically invincible. Thus the generals fought under his
command, and waited—for a long time—until Carrera's death
before beginning their revolt against the tamer Cerna. During
Cerna's presidency, liberal party members were prosecuted and sent
into exile; among them, those who started the Liberal Revolution of
Liberal governments (1871–1898)
Further information: Justo Rufino Barrios
Guatemala's "Liberal Revolution" came in 1871 under the leadership of
Justo Rufino Barrios, who worked to modernize the country, improve
trade, and introduce new crops and manufacturing. During this era
coffee became an important crop for Guatemala. Barrios had
ambitions of reuniting
Central America and took the country to war in
an unsuccessful attempt to attain it, losing his life on the
battlefield in 1885 against forces in El Salvador.
Manuel Barillas was president from 16 March 1886 to 15 March 1892.
Manuel Barillas was unique among liberal presidents of Guatemala
between 1871 and 1944: he handed over power to his successor
peacefully. When election time approached, he sent for the three
Liberal candidates to ask them what their government plan would
be. Happy with what he heard from general Reyna Barrios,
Barillas made sure that a huge column of
Totonicapán indigenous people came down from the mountains to vote
for him. Reyna was elected president. 
José María Reina Barrios
José María Reina Barrios was President between 1892 and 1898. During
Barrios's first term in office, the power of the landowners over the
rural peasantry increased. He oversaw the rebuilding of parts of
Guatemala City on a grander scale, with wide, Parisian-style avenues.
Guatemala hosting the first "Exposición Centroamericana"
Central American Fair") in 1897. During his second term, Barrios
printed bonds to fund his ambitious plans, fueling monetary inflation
and the rise of popular opposition to his regime.
His administration also worked on improving the roads, installing
national and international telegraphs and introducing electricity to
Guatemala City. Completing a transoceanic railway was a main objective
of his government, with a goal to attract international investors at a
time when the
Panama Canal was not built yet.
Manuel Estrada Cabrera
Manuel Estrada Cabrera regime (1898–1920)
Main article: Manuel Estrada Cabrera
Manuel Estrada Cabrera
Manuel Estrada Cabrera ruled
Guatemala between 1898 and 1920.
After the assassination of general
José María Reina Barrios
José María Reina Barrios on 8
February 1898, the Guatemalan cabinet called an emergency meeting to
appoint a new successor, but declined to invite Estrada Cabrera to the
meeting, even though he was the designated successor to the
Presidency. There are two different descriptions of how Cabrera was
able to become president. The first states that Cabrera entered the
cabinet meeting "with pistol drawn" to assert his entitlement to the
presidency, while the second states that he showed up unarmed to
the meeting and demanded the presidency by virtue of being the
The first civilian Guatemalan head of state in over 50 years, Estrada
Cabrera overcame resistance to his regime by August 1898 and called
for elections in September, which he won handily. In 1898 the
Legislature convened for the election of President Estrada Cabrera,
who triumphed thanks to the large number of soldiers and policemen who
went to vote in civilian clothes and to the large number of illiterate
family that they brought with them to the polls.
One of Estrada Cabrera's most famous and most bitter legacies was
allowing the entry of the
United Fruit Company
United Fruit Company (UFCO) into the
Guatemalan economic and political arena. As a member of the Liberal
Party, he sought to encourage development of the nation's
infrastructure of highways, railroads, and sea ports for the sake of
expanding the export economy. By the time Estrada Cabrera assumed the
presidency there had been repeated efforts to construct a railroad
from the major port of
Puerto Barrios to the capital,
Due to lack of funding exacerbated by the collapse of the internal
coffee trade, the railway fell 100 kilometres (60 mi) short of
its goal. Estrada Cabrera decided, without consulting the legislature
or judiciary, that striking a deal with the UFCO was the only way to
get finish the railway. Cabrera signed a contract with UFCO's
Minor Cooper Keith
Minor Cooper Keith in 1904 that gave the company tax-exemptions, land
grants, and control of all railroads on the Atlantic side.
Estrada Cabrera often employed brutal methods to assert his authority.
Right at the beginning of his first presidential period he started
prosecuting his political rivals and soon established a well-organized
web of spies. One American ambassador returned to the United States
after he learned the dictator had given orders to poison him. Former
Manuel Barillas was stabbed to death in
Mexico City. Estrada
Cabrera responded violently to workers' strikes against UFCO. In one
incident, when UFCO went directly to Estrada Cabrera to resolve a
strike (after the armed forces refused to respond), the president
ordered an armed unit to enter a workers' compound. The forces
"arrived in the night, firing indiscriminately into the workers'
sleeping quarters, wounding and killing an unspecified number."
In 1906 Estrada faced serious revolts against his rule; the rebels
were supported by the governments of some of the other Central
American nations, but Estrada succeeded in putting them down.
Elections were held by the people against the will of Estrada Cabrera
and thus he had the president-elect murdered in retaliation. In 1907
Estrada narrowly survived an assassination attempt when a bomb
exploded near his carriage. It has been suggested that the extreme
despotic characteristics of Estrada did not emerge until after an
attempt on his life in 1907.
Guatemala City was badly damaged in the 1917
Estrada Cabrera continued in power until forced to resign after new
revolts in 1920. By that time his power had declined drastically and
he was reliant upon the loyalty of a few generals. While the United
States threatened intervention if he was removed through revolution, a
bipartisan coalition came together to remove him from the presidency.
He was removed from office after the national assembly charged that he
was mentally incompetent, and appointed Carlos Herrera in his place on
8 April 1920.
Jorge Ubico regime (1931–1944)
Main article: Jorge Ubico
Great Depression began in 1929 and badly damaged the Guatemalan
economy, causing a rise in unemployment, and leading to unrest among
workers and laborers. Afraid of a popular revolt, the Guatemalan
landed elite lent their support to Jorge Ubico, who had become well
known for "efficiency and cruelty" as a provincial governor. Ubico won
the election that followed in 1931, in which he was the only
candidate. After his election his policies quickly became
authoritarian. He replaced the system of debt peonage with a brutally
enforced vagrancy law, requiring all men of working age who did not
own land to work a minimum of 100 days of hard labor. His
government used unpaid Indian labor to build roads and railways. Ubico
also froze wages at very low levels, and passed a law allowing
land-owners complete immunity from prosecution for any action they
took to defend their property, an action described by historians
as legalizing murder. He greatly strengthened the police force,
turning it into one of the most efficient and ruthless in Latin
America. He gave them greater authority to shoot and imprison
people suspected of breaking the labor laws. These laws created
tremendous resentment against him among agricultural laborers. The
government became highly militarized; under his rule, every provincial
governor was a general in the army.
Ubico continued his predecessor's policy of making massive concessions
to the United Fruit Company, often at a cost to Guatemala. He granted
the company 200,000 hectares (490,000 acres) of public land in
exchange for a promise to build a port, a promise he later waived.
Since its entry into Guatemala, the
United Fruit Company
United Fruit Company had expanded
its land-holdings by displacing farmers and converting their farmland
to banana plantations. This process accelerated under Ubico's
presidency, with the government doing nothing to stop it. The
company received import duty and real estate tax exemptions from the
government and controlled more land than any other individual or
group. It also controlled the sole railroad in the country, the sole
facilities capable of producing electricity, and the port facilities
Puerto Barrios on the Atlantic coast.
Ubico saw the
United States as an ally against the supposed communist
threat of Mexico, and made efforts to gain its support. When the US
declared war against
Germany in 1941, Ubico acted on American
instructions and arrested all people in
Guatemala of German
descent. He also permitted the US to establish an air base in
Guatemala, with the stated aim of protecting the
However, Ubico was an admirer of European fascists, such as Francisco
Franco and Benito Mussolini, and considered himself to be "another
Napoleon". He dressed ostentatiously and surrounded himself with
statues and paintings of Napoleon, regularly commenting on the
similarities between their appearances. He militarized numerous
political and social institutions—including the post office,
schools, and symphony orchestras—and placed military officers in
charge of many government posts.
Guatemalan Revolution (1944–1954)
Main article: Guatemalan Revolution
On 1 July 1944 Ubico was forced to resign from the presidency in
response to a wave of protests and a general strike inspired by brutal
labor conditions among plantation workers. His chosen replacement,
General Juan Federico Ponce Vaides, was forced out of office on 20
October 1944 by a coup d'état led by Major
Francisco Javier Arana and
Jacobo Árbenz Guzmán. About 100 people were killed in the
coup. The country was then led by a military junta made up of Arana,
Árbenz, and Jorge Toriello Garrido.
Guatemala's democratically elected president
Jacobo Árbenz was
overthrown in a coup planned by the CIA to protect the profits of the
United Fruit Company.
The junta organized Guatemala's first free election, which the
philosophically conservative writer and teacher Juan José Arévalo,
who wanted to turn the country into a liberal capitalist society won
with a majority of 86%. His "Christian Socialist" policies were
inspired to a large extent by the U.S.
New Deal of President Franklin
D. Roosevelt during the Great Depression. Arévalo built new
health centers, increased funding for education, and drafted a more
liberal labor law, while criminalizing unions in workplaces with
less than 500 workers, and cracking down on communists.
Although Arévalo was popular among nationalists, he had enemies in
the church and the military, and faced at least 25 coup attempts
during his presidency.
Arévalo was constitutionally prohibited from contesting the 1950
elections. The largely free and fair elections were won by Jacobo
Árbenz Guzmán, Arévalo's defense minister. Árbenz continued
the moderate capitalist approach of Arévalo. His most important
policy was Decree 900, a sweeping agrarian reform bill passed in
Decree 900 transferred uncultivated land to landless
peasants. Only 1,710 of the nearly 350,000 private land-holdings
were affected by the law, which benefited approximately 500,000
individuals, or one-sixth of the population.
Coup and civil war (1954–1996)
Guatemalan Civil War
Guatemalan Civil War and 1954 Guatemalan coup d'état
See also: List of authoritarian regimes supported by the United States
Despite their popularity within the country, the reforms of the
Guatemalan Revolution were disliked by the
United States government,
which was predisposed by the
Cold War to see it as communist, and the
United Fruit Company
United Fruit Company (UFCO), whose hugely profitable business had been
affected by the end to brutal labor practices. The attitude
of the U.S. government was also influenced by a propaganda campaign
carried out by the UFCO.
Harry Truman authorized
Operation PBFORTUNE to topple
Árbenz in 1952, with the support of Nicaraguan dictator Anastasio
Somoza García, but the operation was aborted when too many
details became public.
Dwight D. Eisenhower
Dwight D. Eisenhower was elected U.S.
President in 1952, promising to take a harder line against communism;
the close links that his staff members
John Foster Dulles
John Foster Dulles and Allen
Dulles had to the UFCO also predisposed him to act against
Árbenz. Eisenhower authorized the CIA to carry out Operation
PBSUCCESS in August 1953. The CIA armed, funded, and trained a force
of 480 men led by Carlos Castillo Armas. The force invaded
Guatemala on 18 June 1954, backed by a heavy campaign of psychological
warfare, including bombings of
Guatemala City and an anti-Árbenz
radio station claiming to be genuine news. The invasion force
fared poorly militarily, but the psychological warfare and the
possibility of a U.S. invasion intimidated the Guatemalan army, which
refused to fight. Árbenz resigned on 27 June.
Following negotiations in San Salvador,
Carlos Castillo Armas
Carlos Castillo Armas became
President on 7 July 1954. Elections were held in early October,
from which all political parties were barred from participating.
Castillo Armas was the only candidate and won the election with 99% of
the vote. Castillo Armas reversed
Decree 900 and ruled until 26
July 1957, when he was assassinated by Romeo Vásquez, a member of his
personal guard. After the rigged election that followed, General
Miguel Ydígoras Fuentes assumed power. He is celebrated for
challenging the Mexican president to a gentleman's duel on the bridge
on the south border to end a feud on the subject of illegal fishing by
Mexican boats on Guatemala's Pacific coast, two of which were sunk by
the Guatemalan Air Force. Ydigoras authorized the training of 5,000
Cubans in Guatemala. He also provided airstrips in the
region of Petén for what later became the US-sponsored, failed Bay of
Pigs Invasion in 1961. Ydigoras' government was ousted in 1963 when
the Guatemalan Air Force attacked several military bases; the coup was
led by his Defense Minister, Colonel Enrique Peralta Azurdia.
In 1963, the junta called an election, which permitted Arevalo to
return from exile and run. However a coup from within the military,
backed by the Kennedy Administration, prevented the election from
taking place, and forestalled a likely victory for Arevalo. The new
régime intensified the campaign of terror against the guerrillas that
had begun under Ydígoras-Fuentes.
Julio César Méndez Montenegro was elected president of
Guatemala under the banner "Democratic Opening". Mendez Montenegro was
the candidate of the Revolutionary Party, a center-left party that had
its origins in the post-Ubico era. During this time rightist
paramilitary organizations, such as the "White Hand" (Mano Blanca),
and the Anticommunist Secret Army (Ejército Secreto Anticomunista)
were formed. Those groups were the forerunners of the infamous "Death
Squads". Military advisers from the
United States Army
(Green Berets) were sent to
Guatemala to train these troops and help
transform the army into a modern counter-insurgency force, which
eventually made it the most sophisticated in Central America.
In 1970, Colonel
Carlos Manuel Arana Osorio
Carlos Manuel Arana Osorio was elected president. By
1972, members of the guerrilla movement entered the country from
Mexico and settled in the Western Highlands. In the disputed election
of 1974, General Kjell Laugerud García defeated General Efraín Ríos
Montt, a candidate of the Christian Democratic Party, who claimed that
he had been cheated out of a victory through fraud.
On 4 February 1976, a major earthquake destroyed several cities and
caused more than 25,000 deaths, especially among the poor, whose
housing was substandard. The government's failure to respond rapidly
to the aftermath of the earthquake and to relieve homelessness gave
rise to widespread discontent, which contributed to growing popular
Romeo Lucas García
Romeo Lucas García assumed power in 1978 in a
The 1970s saw the rise of two new guerrilla organizations, the
Guerrilla Army of the Poor (EGP) and the Organization of the People in
Arms (ORPA). They began guerrilla attacks that included urban and
rural warfare, mainly against the military and some civilian
supporters of the army. The army and the paramilitary forces responded
with a brutal counter-insurgency campaign that resulted in tens of
thousands of civilian deaths. In 1979, the U.S. president, Jimmy
Carter, who had until then been providing public support for the
government forces, ordered a ban on all military aid to the Guatemalan
Army because of its widespread and systematic abuse of human
rights. However, documents have since come to light that suggest
that American aid continued throughout the Carter years, through
Memorial to the victims of the Río Negro massacres
On 31 January 1980, a group of indigenous K'iche' took over the
Spanish Embassy to protest army massacres in the countryside. The
Guatemalan government armed forces launched an assault that killed
almost everyone inside in a fire that consumed the building. The
Guatemalan government claimed that the activists set the fire, thus
immolating themselves. However the Spanish ambassador survived
the fire and disputed this claim, saying that the Guatemalan police
intentionally killed almost everyone inside and set the fire to erase
traces of their acts. As a result, the government of
Spain broke off
diplomatic relations with Guatemala.
This government was overthrown in 1982 and General Efraín Ríos Montt
was named President of the military junta. He continued the bloody
campaign of torture, forced disappearances, and "scorched earth"
warfare. The country became a pariah state internationally, although
the regime received considerable support from the Reagan
Administration, and Reagan himself described Ríos Montt as "a
man of great personal integrity." Ríos Montt was overthrown by
General Óscar Humberto Mejía Victores, who called for an election of
a national constitutional assembly to write a new constitution,
leading to a free election in 1986, won by Vinicio Cerezo Arévalo,
the candidate of the Christian Democracy Party.
In 1982, the four guerrilla groups, EGP, ORPA, FAR and PGT, merged and
formed the URNG, influenced by the Salvadoran guerrilla FMLN, the
Nicaraguan FSLN and Cuba's government, in order to become stronger. As
a result of the Army's "scorched earth" tactics in the countryside,
more than 45,000
Guatemalans fled across the border to Mexico. The
Mexican government placed the refugees in camps in
In 1992, the
Nobel Peace Prize
Nobel Peace Prize was awarded to
Rigoberta Menchú for
her efforts to bring international attention to the
government-sponsored, US backed genocide against the indigenous
An outdoor market in Chichicastenango, 2009.
Guatemalan Civil War
Guatemalan Civil War ended in 1996 with a peace accord between the
guerrillas and the government, negotiated by the United Nations
through intense brokerage by nations such as Norway and Spain. Both
sides made major concessions. The guerrilla fighters disarmed and
received land to work. According to the U.N.-sponsored truth
commission (the Commission for Historical Clarification), government
forces and state-sponsored, CIA-trained paramilitaries were
responsible for over 93% of the human rights violations during the
In the last few years, millions of documents related to crimes
committed during the civil war have been found abandoned by the former
Guatemalan police. The families of over 45,000 Guatemalan activists
who disappeared during the civil war are now reviewing the documents,
which have been digitized. This could lead to further legal
During the first ten years of the civil war, the victims of the
state-sponsored terror were primarily students, workers,
professionals, and opposition figures, but in the last years they were
thousands of mostly rural Maya farmers and non-combatants. More than
450 Maya villages were destroyed and over 1 million people became
refugees or displaced within Guatemala. According to the report,
Recuperación de la Memoria Histórica (REMHI), some 200,000 people
died. More than one million people were forced to flee their homes and
hundreds of villages were destroyed. The Historical Clarification
Commission attributed more than 93% of all documented violations of
human rights to Guatemala's military government, and estimated that
Maya Indians accounted for 83% of the victims. It concluded in 1999
that state actions constituted genocide.
In some areas such as Baja Verapaz, the Truth Commission found that
the Guatemalan state engaged in an intentional policy of genocide
against particular ethnic groups in the Civil War. In 1999, U.S.
Bill Clinton said that the
United States had been wrong to
have provided support to the Guatemalan military forces that took part
in these brutal civilian killings.
Since the peace accords
Guatemala has had both economic growth and
successive democratic elections, most recently in 2015. In the 2015
Jimmy Morales of the
National Convergence Front
National Convergence Front won the
presidency. He assumed office on 14 January 2016.
In January 2012 Efrain Rios Montt, the former dictator of Guatemala,
appeared in a Guatemalan court on genocide charges. During the
hearing, the government presented evidence of over 100 incidents
involving at least 1,771 deaths, 1,445 rapes, and the displacement of
Guatemalans during his 17-month rule from 1982–1983.
The prosecution wanted him incarcerated because he was viewed as a
flight risk but he remained free on bail, under house arrest and
guarded by the Guatemalan National Civil Police (PNC). On 10 May 2013,
Rios Montt was found guilty and sentenced to 80 years in prison. It
marked the first time that a national court had found a former head of
state guilty of genocide. The conviction was later overturned,
and Montt's trial resumed in January 2015. In August 2015, a
Guatemalan court ruled that Rios Montt could stand trial for genocide
and crimes against humanity, but that he could not be sentenced due to
his age and deteriorating health.
Alfonso Portillo was arrested in January 2010 while
trying to flee Guatemala. He was acquitted in May 2010, by a panel of
judges that threw out some of the evidence and discounted certain
witnesses as unreliable. The Guatemalan Attorney-General, Claudia
Paz y Paz, called the verdict "a terrible message of injustice," and
"a wake up call about the power structures." In its appeal the
International Commission Against Impunity in Guatemala (CICIG), a UN
judicial group assisting the Guatemalan government, called the
decision's assessment of the meticulously-documented evidence against
Portillo Cabrera "whimsical" and said the decision's assertion that
the president of
Guatemala and his ministers had no responsibility for
handling public funds ran counter to the constitution and laws of
Guatemala. A New York grand jury had indicted Portillo Cabrera in
2009 for embezzlement; following his acquittal on those charges in
Guatemala that country's Supreme Court authorized his extradition to
the US. The Guatemalan judiciary is deeply corrupt and the
selection committee for new nominations has been captured by criminal
Pérez Molina government and "La Línea"
Main article: Otto Pérez Molina
Otto Pérez Molina
Otto Pérez Molina was elected president in 2011 along
with Roxana Baldetti, the first woman ever elected vice-president in
Guatemala; they began their term in office on 14 January 2012. But on
16 April 2015, a
United Nations (UN) anti-corruption agency report
implicated several high-profile politicians including Baldetti's
private secretary, Juan Carlos Monzón, and the director of the
Guatemalan Internal Revenue Service (SAT).[who?] The revelations
provoked more public outrage than had been seen since the presidency
of General Kjell Eugenio Laugerud García. The International
Commission against Impunity in
Guatemala (CICIG) worked with the
Guatemalan attorney-general to reveal the scam known as "La Línea",
following a year-long investigation that included wire taps.
Officials received bribes from importers in exchange for discounted
import tariffs, a practice rooted in a long tradition of customs
corruption in the country, as a fund-raising tactic of successive
military governments for counterinsurgency operations during
Guatemala’s 36-year-long civil war.
A Facebook event using the hashtag #RenunciaYa (Resign Now) invited
citizens to go downtown in
Guatemala City to ask for Baldetti's
resignation. Within days, over 10,000 people RSVPed that they would
attend. Organisers made clear that no political party or group was
behind the event, and instructed protesters at the event to follow the
law. They also urged people to bring water, food and sunblock, but not
to cover their faces or wear political party colors. Tens of
thousands of people took to the streets of
Guatemala City. Baldetti
resigned a few days later. She was forced to remain in
United States revoked her visa. The Guatemalan government
arraigned her, since it had enough evidence to suspect her involvement
in the "La Linea" scandal. The prominence of US Ambassador Todd
Robinson in the Guatemalan political scene once the scandal broke led
to the suspicion that the US government was behind the investigation,
perhaps because it needed an honest government in
Guatemala to counter
the presence of China and Russia in the region.
The UN anti-corruption committee has reported on other cases since
then, and more than 20 government officials have stepped down. Some
were arrested. Two of those cases involved two former presidential
private secretaries: Juan de Dios Rodríguez in the Guatemalan Social
Service and Gustave Martínez, who was involved in a bribery scandal
at the coal power plant company.
Jaguar Energy (es) Martínez was
also Perez Molina's son-in-law.
Leaders of the political opposition have also been implicated in CICIG
investigations: several legislators and members of Libertad
Democrática Renovada party (LIDER) were formally accused of
bribery-related issues, prompting a large decline in the electoral
prospects of its presidential candidate, Manuel Baldizón, who until
April had been almost certain to become the next Guatemalan president
in the 6 September 2015 presidential elections. Baldizón's popularity
steeply declined and he filed accusations with the Organization of
American States against CICIG leader Iván Velásquez of international
obstruction in Guatemalan internal affairs.
CICIG reported its cases so often on Thursdays that
the term "CICIG Thursdays". But a Friday press conference brought the
crisis to its peak: on Friday 21 August 2015, the CICIG and Attorney
General Thelma Aldana presented enough evidence to convince the public
that both president Pérez Molina and former vice president Baldetti
were the actual leaders of "La Línea". Baldetti was arrested the same
day and an impeachment was requested for the president. Several
cabinet members resigned and the clamor for the president's
resignation grew after Perez Molina defiantly assured the nation in a
televised message broadcast on 23 August 2015 that he was not going to
Thousands of protesters took to the streets again, this time to demand
the increasingly isolated president’s resignation. Guatemala’s
Congress named a commission of five legislators to consider whether to
remove the president’s immunity from prosecution. The Supreme Court
approved. A major day of action kicked off early on 27 August, with
marches and roadblocks across the country. Urban groups who had
spearheaded regular protests since the scandal broke in April, on the
27th sought to unite with the rural and indigenous organizations who
orchestrated the road blocks.
The strike in
Guatemala City was full of a diverse and peaceful crowd
ranging from the indigenous poor to the well-heeled, and it included
many students from public and private universities. Hundreds of
schools and businesses closed in support of the protests. The Comité
Coordinador de Asociaciones Agrícolas, Comerciales, Industriales y
Financieras (CACIF) Guatemala’s most powerful business leaders,
issued a statement demanding that Pérez Molina step down, and urged
Congress to withdraw his immunity from prosecution.
The attorney general’s office released its own statement, calling
for the president's resignation "to prevent ungovernability that could
destabilize the nation." As pressure mounted, the president’s former
ministers of defence and of the interior, who had been named in the
corruption investigation and resigned, abruptly left the country.
Pérez Molina meanwhile had been losing support by the day. The
private sector called for his resignation; however, he also managed to
get support from entrepreneurs that were not affiliated with the
private sector chambers: Mario López Estrada – grand child of
Manuel Estrada Cabrera
Manuel Estrada Cabrera and the billionaire owner of
cellular phone companies – had some of his executives assume the
vacated cabinet positions.
The Guatemalan radio station Emisoras Unidas reported exchanging text
messages with Perez Molina. Asked whether he planned to resign, he
wrote: "I will face whatever is necessary to face, and what the law
requires." Some protesters demanded the general election be postponed,
both because of the crisis and because it was plagued with accusations
of irregularities. Others warned that suspending the vote could lead
to an institutional vacuum. However, on 2 September 2015 Pérez
Molina resigned, a day after Congress impeached him. On 3
September 2015 he was summoned to the Justice Department for his first
legal audience for the La Linea corruption case.
In June 2016 a United Nations-backed prosecutor described the
administration of Pérez Molina to a crime syndicate and outlined
another corruption case, this one dubbed Cooperacha (Kick-in). The
head of the Social Security Institute and at least five other
ministers pooled funds to buy him luxurious gifts such as motorboats,
spending over $4.7 million in three years.
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Main article: Geography of Guatemala
A map of Guatemala.
Köppen climate types of Guatemala
The highlands of Quetzaltenango.
Guatemala is mountainous with small patches of desert and sand dunes,
all hilly valleys, except for the south coast and the vast northern
lowlands of Petén department. Two mountain chains enter Guatemala
from west to east, dividing
Guatemala into three major regions: the
highlands, where the mountains are located; the Pacific coast, south
of the mountains and the Petén region, north of the mountains.
All major cities are located in the highlands and Pacific coast
regions; by comparison, Petén is sparsely populated. These three
regions vary in climate, elevation, and landscape, providing dramatic
contrasts between hot, humid tropical lowlands and colder, drier
highland peaks. Volcán Tajumulco, at 4,220 metres (13,850 feet), is
the highest point in the
Central American countries.
The rivers are short and shallow in the Pacific drainage basin, larger
and deeper in the Caribbean and the Gulf of
Mexico drainage basins.
These rivers include the Polochic and Dulce Rivers, which drain into
Lake Izabal, the Motagua River, the Sarstún, which forms the boundary
with Belize, and the Usumacinta River, which forms the boundary
between Petén and Chiapas, Mexico.
A town along the Pan-American
Highway within a volcanic crater.
Guatemala's location between the
Caribbean Sea and
Pacific Ocean makes
it a target for hurricanes such as
Hurricane Mitch in 1998 and
Hurricane Stan in October 2005, which killed more than 1,500 people.
The damage was not wind-related, but rather due to significant
flooding and resulting mudslides. The most recent was Tropical Storm
Agatha in late May 2010, which killed more than 200.
Guatemala's highlands lie along the Motagua Fault, part of the
boundary between the Caribbean and North American tectonic plates.
This fault has been responsible for several major earthquakes in
historic times, including a 7.5 magnitude tremor on 4 February 1976
which killed more than 25,000 people. In addition, the Middle America
Trench, a major subduction zone lies off the Pacific coast. Here, the
Cocos Plate is sinking beneath the Caribbean Plate, producing volcanic
activity inland of the coast.
Guatemala has 37 volcanoes, four of them
active: Pacaya, Santiaguito, Fuego and Tacaná. Fuego and Pacaya
erupted in 2010.
Natural disasters have a long history in this geologically active part
of the world. For example, two of the three moves of the capital of
Guatemala have been due to volcanic mudflows in 1541 and earthquakes
Guatemala has 14 ecoregions ranging from mangrove forests to both
ocean littorals with 5 different ecosystems.
Guatemala has 252 listed
wetlands, including five lakes, 61 lagoons, 100 rivers, and four
Tikal National Park was the first mixed
Guatemala is a country of distinct fauna. It has some
1246 known species. Of these, 6.7% are endemic and 8.1% are
Guatemala is home to at least 8,681 species of vascular
plants, of which 13.5% are endemic. 5.4% of
Guatemala is protected
under IUCN categories I-V.
Maya Biosphere Reserve
Maya Biosphere Reserve in the department of Petén has 2,112,940
ha, making it the second-largest forest in
Central America after
Main article: Politics of Guatemala
The Congress of the
Republic of Guatemala.
Guatemala is a constitutional democratic republic whereby the
President of Guatemala
President of Guatemala is both head of state and head of government,
and of a multi-party system.
Executive power is exercised by the
Legislative power is vested in both the government and the
Congress of the Republic. The judiciary is independent of the
executive and the legislature.
On 2 September 2015,
Otto Pérez Molina
Otto Pérez Molina resigned as President of
Guatemala due to a corruption scandal and was replaced by Alejandro
Maldonado until January 2016. Congress appointed former
Universidad de San Carlos President Alfonso Fuentes Soria as the new
vice president to replace Maldonado.
Jimmy Morales assumed office on 14 January 2016.
Further information: Foreign relations of Guatemala
Guatemala has long claimed all or part of the territory of neighboring
Belize. Due to this territorial dispute,
Guatemala did not recognize
Belize's independence until 6 September 1991, but the dispute is
not resolved. Negotiations are currently under way under the auspices
Organization of American States
Organization of American States to conclude it.
Further information: Military of Guatemala
Guatemala has a modest military, with between 15,000 and 20,000
Departments of Guatemala
Departments of Guatemala and Municipalities of
Guatemala is divided into 22 departments (Spanish: departamentos) and
sub-divided into about 335 municipalities (Spanish: municipios).
Violence against women in Guatemala
Violence against women in Guatemala and Guatemalan Civil War
Killings and death squads have been common in
Guatemala since the end
of the civil war in 1996. They often had ties to Clandestine Security
Apparatuses (Cuerpos Ilegales y Aparatos Clandestinos de Seguridad –
CIACS), organizations of current and former members of the military
involved in organized crime. They had significant influence, now
somewhat lessened. But extrajudicial killings continue. In
July 2004, the
Inter-American Court condemned the 18 July 1982,
massacre of 188 Achi-Maya in Plan de Sanchez, and for the first time
in its history, ruled the Guatemalan Army had committed genocide. It
was the first ruling by the court against the Guatemalan state for any
of the 626 massacres reported in its 1980s scorched-earth
campaign. In those massacres, 83% of the victims were Maya and
Extra-Judicial Killings in Guatemala
source: Center for Legal Action in Human Rights (CALDH)
Guatemala became the first country to officially recognize
femicide, the murder of a female because of her gender, as a
Guatemala has the third-highest femicide rate in the
El Salvador and Jamaica, with around 9.1 murders every
100,000 women from 2007 to 2012.
Main article: Economy of Guatemala
A proportional representation of Guatemala's exports.
Fields in Quetzaltenango.
An indoor market in the regional city of Zunil.
A ship picking up Guatemalan bananas for export.
Guatemala is the largest economy in Central America, with a GDP (PPP)
per capita of US$5,200. However,
Guatemala faces many social problems
and is one of the poorest countries in Latin America. The income
distribution is highly unequal with more than half of the population
below the national poverty line and just over 400,000 (3.2%)
unemployed. The CIA World Fact Book considers 54.0% of the population
Guatemala to be living in poverty in 2009.
In 2010, the
Guatemalan economy grew by 3%, recovering gradually from
the 2009 crisis, as a result of the falling demands from the United
States and others
Central American markets and the slowdown in foreign
investment in the middle of the global recession.
Guatemalans living in
United States now constitute
the largest single source of foreign income (two thirds of exports and
one tenth of GDP).
Some of Guatemala's main exports are fruits, vegetables, flowers,
handicrafts, cloths and others. In the face of a rising demand for
biofuels, the country is growing and exporting an increasing amount of
raw materials for biofuel production, especially sugar cane and palm
oil. Critics say that this development leads to higher prices for
staple foods like corn, a major ingredient in the Guatemalan diet. As
a consequence of the subsidization of US American corn, Guatemala
imports nearly half of its corn from the
United States that is using
40 percent of its crop harvest for biofuel production. The
government is considering ways to legalize poppy and marijuana
production, hoping to tax production and use tax revenues to fund drug
prevention programs and other social projects.
Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in purchasing power parity (PPP) in 2010
was estimated at $70.15 billion USD. The service sector is the largest
component of GDP at 63%, followed by the industry sector at 23.8% and
the agriculture sector at 13.2% (2010 est.). Mines produce gold,
silver, zinc, cobalt and nickel. The agricultural sector accounts
for about two-fifths of exports, and half of the labor force. Organic
coffee, sugar, textiles, fresh vegetables, and bananas are the
country's main exports. Inflation was 3.9% in 2010.
The 1996 peace accords that ended the decades-long civil war removed a
major obstacle to foreign investment. Tourism has become an increasing
source of revenue for
Guatemala thanks to the new foreign investment.
In March 2006, Guatemala's congress ratified the Dominican
Central American Free Trade Agreement (DR-CAFTA)
Central American nations and the United States.
Guatemala also has free trade agreements with
Taiwan and Colombia.
Tourism has become one of the main drivers of the economy, with
tourism worth $1.8 billion to the economy in 2008.
about two million tourists annually. In recent years an increased
number of cruise ships have visited Guatemalan seaports, leading to
more tourists visiting the country.
In its territory there are fascinating Mayan archaeological sites
Tikal in the Peten, Quiriguá in Izabal, Iximche in Tecpan
Guatemala City). As natural beauty destinations is
Lake Atitlan and Semuc Champey. As historical tourism is the colonial
city of Antigua Guatemala, which is recognized by
There is a strong interest of the international community for
archaeological sites like the city of
Tikal was built and inhabited in
a period where the culture had its greatest literary and artistic
expression, was ruled by a dynasty of 16 kings, the Maya of Tikal
built many temples, a ball park, altars and stelae in high and low
Guatemala is very popular for its archaeological sites, pre-Hispanic
cities as well as tourist-religious centers like the Basilica of
Esquipulas in the city of Esquipulas and the beautiful beaches on the
Pacific and Atlantic coasts of Guatemala. Other tourist destinations
are the national parks and other protected areas such as the Maya
Main article: Demographics of Guatemala
Guatemala's population (1950–2010).
Tz'utujil men in Santiago Atitlán.
Guatemala has a population of 16,582,469 (2016 est). With only
885,000 in 1900, this constitutes the fastest population growth in the
Western Hemisphere during the 20th century.
Guatemala is heavily centralized: transportation, communications,
business, politics, and the most relevant urban activity takes place
in the capital of
Guatemala City, which numbers around 2 million
inhabitants within the city limits and more than 5 million in the
metropolitan, constituting over a third of the country's
The estimated median age in
Guatemala is 20 years old, 19.4 for males
and 20.7 years for females.
Guatemala is demographically one of
the youngest countries in the Western Hemisphere, comparable to most
of central Africa and Iraq. The proportion of the population below the
age of 15 in 2010 was 41.5%, 54.1% were aged between 15 and 65 years
of age, and 4.4% were aged 65 years or older.
Indigenous Guatemalan women in Antigua Guatemala.
A significant number of
Guatemalans live outside of their country. The
majority of the Guatemalan diaspora is located in the
United States of
America, with estimates ranging from 480,665 to 1,489,426.
The difficulty in getting accurate counts for
Guatemalans abroad is
because many of them are refugee claimants awaiting determination of
their status. Emigration to the
United States of America has led
to the growth of Guatemalan communities in California, Delaware,
Florida, Illinois, New York, New Jersey, Texas, Rhode Island and
elsewhere since the 1970s.
Below are estimates of the number of
Guatemalans living abroad for
480,665 – 1,489,426
23,529 – 190,000
14,253 – 34,665
2,491 – 5,000
Language map of Guatemala. The "Castilian" areas represent Spanish.
Guatemala is a highly diverse country, populated by a variety of
ethnic, cultural, racial, and linguistic groups. According to the 2010
Census conducted by the National Institute of Statistics (INE), about
41.5% of the population is
Mestizo (also known as Ladino), reflecting
mixed indigenous and European heritage. A similar proportion of
Guatemalans (41%) are of full
Amerindian ancestry, which is among one
of the largest percentage in Latin America, behind only Peru and
Bolivia. Most indigenous
Guatemalans are of the Maya people, namely
K'iche' (11.0% of the total population), Q'eqchi (8.3%), Kaqchikel
(7.8%), Mam (5.2%), and "other Maya" (7.6%). Less than 1% are
Guatemalans of European descent (also called Criollo) represent
18.5% of the population. The majority are descendants of German and
Spanish settlers, followed by other Europeans like Italians, British,
French, Swiss, Belgians, Dutch, Russians and Danish.
There are smaller communities present, including about 110,000
Salvadorans. The Garífuna, descended primarily from Black Africans
who lived and intermarried with indigenous peoples from St. Vincent,
live mainly in Livingston and Puerto Barrios. Afro-
mulattos descended primarily from banana plantation workers. There are
also Asians, mostly of Chinese descent but also Arabs of Lebanese and
Syrian descent. A growing Korean community in
Guatemala City and in
nearby Mixco, currently numbers about 50,000. Guatemala's German
population is credited with bringing the tradition of a Christmas tree
to the country.
Main article: Languages of Guatemala
Guatemala's sole official language is Spanish, spoken by 93 percent of
the population as either the first or second language.
Mayan languages are spoken, especially in rural areas, as
well as two non-Mayan
Amerindian languages: Xinca, which is indigenous
to the country, and Garifuna, an
Arawakan language spoken on the
Caribbean coast. According to the Language Law of 2003, these
languages are unrecognized as National Languages.
The peace accords signed in December 1996 provide for the translation
of some official documents and voting materials into several
indigenous languages (see summary of main substantive accords) and
mandate the provision of interpreters in legal cases for non-Spanish
speakers. The accord also sanctioned bilingual education in Spanish
and indigenous languages. It is common for indigenous
learn or speak between two and five of the nation's other languages,
in addition to Spanish.
There are also significant numbers of German, Chinese, French and
English language speakers.
Indigenous integration and bilingual education
Throughout the 20th century there have been many developments in the
Mayan languages into the Guatemalan society and
educational system. Originating from political reasons, these
processes have aided the revival of some
Mayan languages and advanced
bilingual education in the country.
In 1945, in order to overcome "the Indian problem", the Guatemalan
government founded The Institute Indigents ta National (NH), the
purpose of which was to teach literacy to Mayan children in their
mother tongue instead of Spanish, to prepare the ground for later
assimilation of the latter. The teaching of literacy in the first
language, which received support from the UN, significantly advanced
in 1952, when the SIL (Summer Institute of Linguistics), located in
Dallas, Texas, partnered with the Guatemalan Ministry of Education;
within 2 years, numerous written works in
Mayan languages had been
printed and published, and vast advancement was done in the
translation of the New Testament. Further efforts to integrate the
indigenous into the Ladino society were made in the following
years, including the invention of a special alphabet to assist Mayan
students transition to Spanish, and bilingual education in the
Q'eqchi' area. When Spanish became the official language of Guatemala
in 1965, the government started several programs, such as the
Bilingual Castellanizacion Program and the Radiophonic Schools, to
accelerate the move of Mayan students to Spanish. Unintentionally, the
efforts to integrate the indigenous using language, especially the new
alphabet, gave institutions tools to use Mayan tongues in schools, and
while improving Mayan children's learning, they left them unequipped
to learn in a solely Spanish environment. So, an additional expansion
of bilingual education took place in 1980, when an experimental
program in which children were to be instructed in their mother tongue
until they are fluent enough in Spanish was created. The program
proved successful when the students of the pilot showed higher
academic achievements than the ones in the Spanish-only control
schools. In 1987, when the pilot was to finish, bilingual education
was made official in Guatemala.
Largest cities or towns in Guatemala
San Juan Sacatepéquez
Main article: Religion in Guatemala
The Catedral Metropolitana,
Christianity continues to remain strong and vital for the life of
Guatemalan society, but its composition has changed over generations
of social and political unrest. Roman Catholicism, introduced by the
Spanish during the colonial era, remains the dominant church,
accounting for 48.4% of the population as of 2007[update].
Protestants, most of them Evangelical (most
Protestants are called
Evangelicos in Latin America) made up 33.7% of the population at that
time, followed by 1.6% in other religions (such as Judaism, Islam, and
Buddhism), and 16.1% claiming no religious affiliation. A more recent
2012 survey reveals Catholics at 47.6%,
Protestants at 38.2%, other
religions at 2.6%, and the non-religious at 11.6%.
Since the 1970s, and particularly since the 1990s,
experienced the rapid growth of Evangelical Protestantism, whose
adherents currently form more than 38% of the population, and still
Over the past two decades, particularly since the end of the civil
Guatemala has seen heightened missionary activity. Protestant
denominations have grown markedly in recent decades, chiefly
Pentecostal varieties; growth is particularly strong
among the ethnic Maya population, with the National Evangelical
Presbyterian Church of
Guatemala maintaining 11 indigenous-language
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has
grown from 40,000 members in 1984 to 164,000 in 1998, and continues to
The growth of Eastern Orthodox Church in
Guatemala has been especially
strong, with hundreds of thousands of converts in the last five
years,[better source needed] giving the
country the highest proportion of Orthodox adherents in the Western
Maya religion persists through the process of
inculturation, in which certain practices are incorporated into
Catholic ceremonies and worship when they are sympathetic to the
meaning of Catholic belief. Indigenous religious practices
are increasing as a result of the cultural protections established
under the peace accords. The government has instituted a policy of
providing altars at every Maya ruin to facilitate traditional
A church in San Andrés Xecul.
Between 1990 and 2012, the PROLADES Corporation made a study of public
opinion polls in Guatemala. Its data reveal a relative decline in
Catholicism and significant growth in Evangelical Protestantism,
people adhering to no religion, and minority faiths (including
Religion in Guatemala
Religion in Guatemala by Census
October 2000 to January 2001
April to May 2009
*Including Jews, Islam, Mayan religion, etc. **Including other
religions and None/NA.
During the colonial era
Guatemala received immigrants (settlers) only
from Spain. Subsequently,
Guatemala received waves of immigration from
Europe in the mid 19th century and early 20th century.[clarification
needed] Primarily from Germany, these immigrants installed coffee and
cardamom fincas in Alta Verapaz, Zacapa, Quetzaltenango, Baja Verapaz
and Izabal. To a lesser extent people also arrived from Spain, France,
Belgium, England, Italy, Sweden, etc.
Many European immigrants to
Guatemala were politicians, refugees and
entrepreneurs as well as families looking to settle. Up to 1950
Guatemala was the
Central American country that received the most
immigrants, behind Costa Rica, and large numbers of immigrants are
still received today.[clarification needed] Since the 1890s there have
been small communities of Asians (in particular from Korea, China,
Singapore and the Philippines) but in recent decades this has
been growing. Also, beginning with the First World War, the immigrant
population is being strengthened by
During the second half of the twentieth century, Latin American
immigration grew in Guatemala, particularly from other Central
American countries, Mexico, Cuba, and Argentina, although most of
these immigrants stayed only temporarily before going to their final
destinations in the United States.
12,484 – 50,000
* Including immigrants from Taiwan, China, Japan, Palestine, Iraq,
Cuba, Venezuela, Canada, Switzerland, Russia, Belgium, Sweden, among
Main article: Health in Guatemala
Guatemala has among the worst health outcomes in Latin America with
some of the highest infant mortality rates, and one of the lowest life
expectancies at birth in the region.
Guatemala has about 16,000
doctors for its 16 million people about half the ration the WHO
recommends. Since the end of the
Guatemalan Civil War
Guatemalan Civil War in 1997 the
Ministry of Health has extended healthcare access to 54% of the rural
Healthcare has received different levels of support from different
political administrations who disagree on how best to manage
distribution of services – via a private or a public entity – and
the scale of financing that should be made available. As of
2013[update] the Ministry of Health lacked the financial means to
monitor or evaluate its programs.
Total health care spending, both public and private, has remained
constant at between 6.4–7.3% of GDP. Per-capita average
spending was $368 a year in 2012. Guatemalan patients choose
between indigenous treatments or Western medicine when they engage
with the health system.
Main article: Education in Guatemala
74.5% of the population aged 15 and over is literate, the lowest
literacy rate in Central America.
Guatemala has a plan to increase
literacy over the next 20 years.
The government runs a number of public elementary and secondary-level
schools, as youth in
Guatemala do not fully participate in education.
These schools are free, though the cost of uniforms, books, supplies,
and transportation makes them less accessible to the poorer segments
of society and significant numbers of poor children do not attend
school. Many middle and upper-class children go to private schools.
Guatemala has one public university (USAC or Universidad de San Carlos
de Guatemala), and fourteen private ones (see List of universities in
Guatemala). USAC was the first university in
Guatemala and one of the
first Universities of America.
Organizations such as Child Aid, Pueblo a Pueblo, and Common Hope,
which train teachers in villages throughout the Central Highlands
region, are working to improve educational outcomes for children. Lack
of training for rural teachers is one of the key contributors to
Guatemala's low literacy rates.
Main article: Culture of Guatemala
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A Guatemalan woman selling souvenirs.
Guatemala City is home to many of the nation's libraries and museums,
including the National Archives, the National Library, and the Museum
of Archeology and Ethnology, which has an extensive collection of Maya
artifacts. It also boasts private museums such as the Ixchel Museum of
Indigenous Textiles and Clothing and the Museo Popol Vuh, which
focuses on Maya archaeology. Both these museums are housed on the
Universidad Francisco Marroquín
Universidad Francisco Marroquín campus. Most of the 329
municipalities in the country have at least a small museum.
Guatemala has produced many indigenous artists who follow
centuries-old Pre-Columbian traditions. Reflecting Guatemala's
colonial and post-colonial history, encounters with multiple global
art movements also have produced a wealth of artists who have combined
the traditional primitivist or naive aesthetic with European, North
American, and other traditions.
The Escuela Nacional de Artes Plásticas "Rafael Rodríguez Padilla"
is Guatemala's leading art school, and several leading indigenous
artists, also graduates of that school, have work in the permanent
collection of the Museo Nacional de Arte Moderno in the capital city.
Contemporary Guatemalan artists who have gained reputations outside of
Guatemala include Dagoberto Vásquez, Luis Rolando Ixquiac Xicara,
Carlos Mérida, Aníbal López, Roberto González Goyri, and
Elmar René Rojas.
Further information: Guatemalan literature
Author Rigoberta Menchú
Guatemala National Prize in Literature is a one-time-only award
that recognizes an individual writer's body of work. It has been given
annually since 1988 by the Ministry of Culture and Sports.
Miguel Ángel Asturias
Miguel Ángel Asturias won the
Nobel Prize in Literature
Nobel Prize in Literature in 1967.
Among his famous books is El Señor Presidente, a novel based on the
government of Manuel Estrada Cabrera.
Rigoberta Menchú, winner of the
Nobel Peace Prize
Nobel Peace Prize for fighting
oppression of indigenous people in Guatemala, is famous for her books
I, Rigoberta Menchú and Crossing Borders.
Media and news
Further information: Media of Guatemala
Major national newspapers in
Guatemala include Prensa Libre, El
Periodico and Siglo21. The
Guatemala Times is a digital
English news magazine.
Guatemala also has a few major local
channels and radio stations, such as one of Guatemala's major radio
stations, Emisoras Unidas.
Further information: Music of Guatemala
Black and red tamales in Guatemala
Guatemalan music comprises a number of styles and expressions.
Guatemalan social change has been empowered by music such as nueva
cancion, which blends together histories, present-day issues, and the
political values and struggles of common people. The Maya had an
intense musical practice, as documented by their
Guatemala was also one of the first regions in
the New World to be introduced to European music, from 1524 on. Many
composers from the Renaissance, baroque, classical, romantic, and
contemporary music styles have contributed works of all genres. The
marimba is the national instrument; it has developed a large
repertoire of very attractive pieces that have been popular for more
than a century.
The Historia General de
Guatemala has published a series of CDs
compiling the historical music of Guatemala, in which every style is
represented, from the Maya, colonial, independent and republican eras
to the present. Many contemporary music groups in
Caribbean music, salsa, Garifuna-influenced punta, Latin pop, Mexican
regional, and mariachi.
Main article: Guatemalan cuisine
Many traditional foods in
Guatemalan cuisine are based on Mayan
cuisine and prominently feature maize, chilies and black beans as key
ingredients. Traditional dishes also include a variety of stews
including Kak'ik (Kak-ik), which is a tomato-based stew with turkey,
pepian, and cocido.
Guatemala is also known for its antojitos, which
include small tamales called chuchitos, fried plantains, and tostadas
with tomato sauce, guacamole or black beans. Certain foods are also
commonly eaten on certain days of the week; for example, a popular
custom is to eat paches (a kind of tamale made from potatoes) on
Thursday. Certain dishes are also associated with special occasions,
such as fiambre for
All Saints' Day
All Saints' Day on 1 November, or tamales and
ponche (fruit punch), which are both very common around Christmas.
Main article: Football in Guatemala
Football is the most popular sport in
Guatemala and its national team
has appeared in 18 editions of the CONCACAF Championship, winning it
once, in 1967. However, the team has failed to qualify to a FIFA World
Cup so far. Established in 1919, the National Football Federation of
Guatemala organizes the country's national league and its lower-level
Futsal is probably the most successful team sport in Guatemala. Its
national team won the 2008 CONCACAF
Futsal Championship as hosts. It
was also the runner-up in 2012 as hosts and won the bronze medal in
Guatemala participated for the first time in the FIFA
Futsal World Cup
in 2000, as hosts, and has played in every competition from 2008
onwards. It has never passed the first round. It has also participated
in every Grand Prix de
Futsal since 2009, reaching the semifinals in
Guatemala at the Olympics
Guatemalan Olympic Committee
Guatemalan Olympic Committee was founded in 1947 and recognized by
International Olympic Committee
International Olympic Committee that same year. Guatemala
participated in the 1952 Summer Olympics, and in every edition since
the 1968 Summer Olympics. It has also appeared in a single Winter
Olympics edition, in 1988.
Erick Barrondo won the only Olympic medal for
Guatemala so far, silver
in race walking at the 2012 Summer Olympics.
Guatemala also keeps national sports teams in several disciplines.
Latin America portal
Index of Guatemala-related articles
Outline of Guatemala
^ Banco de
^ Aguirre 1949, p. 254.
^ "Así asume el nuevo presidente de Guatemala". ElPeriódico (in
Spanish). Guatemala. 14 January 2016. Archived from the original on 14
^ a b c d e International Monetary Fund. "Guatemala".
United Nations 2011, p. 129.
^ a b "World Population Prospects: The 2017 Revision". ESA.UN.org
(custom data acquired via website).
United Nations Department of
Economic and Social Affairs, Population Division. Retrieved 10
^ Cooper 2008, p. 171.
^ Solano 2012, p. 3–15.
^ Navarro 1999.
Human Development Index
Human Development Index (HDI) Human Development Reports".
hdr.undp.org. Retrieved 15 January 2017.
^ Conservation International 2007.
^ Campbell 1997.
^ Troika study abroad programs 2006.
^ Rain Forest Wordpress 2013.
^ Mary Esquivel de Villalobos. "Ancient Guatemala". Authentic Maya.
Archived from the original on 23 May 2007. Retrieved 29 April
^ Barbara Leyden. "Pollen Evidence for Climatic Variability and
Cultural Disturbance in the Maya Lowlands" (PDF). University of
Florida. Archived from the original (PDF) on 6 February 2009.
^ "Chronological Table of
Mesoamerican Archaeology". Regents of the
University of California : Division of Social Sciences. Retrieved
29 April 2007.
^ "John Pohl's MESOAMERICA: CHRONOLOGY: MESOAMERICAN TIMELINE".
Retrieved 3 July 2016.
^ a b c Gill, Richardson Benedict (2000). The Great Maya Droughts.
University of New
Mexico Press. p. 384.
^ Foster 2000.
^ Acuna-Soto R1; Stahle DW; Therrell MD; Gomez Chavez S; Cleaveland MK
(2005). "Drought, epidemic disease, and the fall of classic period
Mesoamerica (AD 750–950). Hemorrhagic fevers as a cause
of massive population loss". Medical Hypotheses. 65 (2): 405–9.
doi:10.1016/j.mehy.2005.02.025. PMID 15922121 – via
^ Lovell 2005, p. 58.
^ Lienzo de Quauhquechollan digital map exhibition on the History of
the conquest of Guatemala.
^ Foster 2000, pp. 69–71.
^ Foster 2000, pp. 134–136.
Guatemala Go. Archived from the original on September 26,
2013. Retrieved September 22, 2013.
^ González Davison 2008, p. 84-85.
^ González Davison 2008, p. 85.
^ González Davison 2008, p. 86.
^ González Davison 2008, p. 87.
^ González Davison 2008, p. 88.
^ González Davison 2008, p. 89.
^ González Davison 2008, p. 91-92.
^ González Davison 2008, p. 92.
^ a b Hernández de León 1959, p. 20 April.
^ González Davison 2008, p. 96.
^ a b Hernández de León 1959, p. 48.
^ a b González Davison 2008, pp. 122–127.
^ a b c Hernández de León 1959, p. ?.
^ a b Compagnie Belge de Colonisation 1844.
^ Woodward 1993, p. 498.
^ a b c d e Hernández de León 1930.
^ Miceli 1974, p. 72.
^ González Davison 2008, p. 270.
^ González Davison 2008, pp. 270–271.
^ González Davison 2008, p. 271.
^ a b c d González Davison 2008, p. 275.
^ a b González Davison 2008, p. 278.
^ González Davison 2008.
^ a b González Davison 2008, p. 279.
^ a b González Davison 2008, p. 280.
^ Weaver 1999, p. 138.
^ Calvert 1985, p. 36.
^ prensalibre.com. "Vicente Cerna". Archived from the original on 6
January 2015. Retrieved 5 September 2014.
^ Barrientos 1948, p. 106.
^ Barrientos & s.f., p. 106.
^ Aycinena 1854, p. 2–16.
^ González Davison 2008, p. 428.
^ Foster 2000, pp. 173–175.
^ a b De los Ríos 1948, p. 78.
^ De los Ríos 1948, p. 82.
^ Chapman 2007, p. 54.
^ Arévalo Martinez 1945, p. 42.
^ Arévalo Martinez 1945, p. 46.
^ Torres Espinoza 2007, p. 42.
^ Dosal 1993.
^ Chapman 2007.
^ Chapman 2007, p. 83.
^ de Aerenlund 2006.
^ Arévalo Martinez 1945, p. 146.
^ Dosal 1993, p. 27.
^ Forster 2001, pp. 12–15.
^ Gleijeses 1991, pp. 10–11.
^ a b Forster 2001, p. 29.
^ Gleijeses 1991, p. 13.
^ Gleijeses 1991, p. 17.
^ Forster 2001, pp. 29–32.
^ Gleijeses 1991, p. 14.
^ Gleijeses 1991, p. 22.
^ Forster 2001, p. 19.
^ Schlesinger & Kinzer 1999, pp. 67–71.
^ Gleijeses 1991, p. 20.
^ Immerman 1982, p. 37.
^ Gleijeses 1991, p. 19.
^ De los Ríos 1948, p. 98.
^ Streeter2000, p. 11–12.
^ Immerman 1982, p. 32.
^ Grandin 2000, p. 195.
^ Benz 1996, p. 16–17.
^ Loveman & Davies 1997, p. 118–120.
^ Forster, Cindy (1994). "The Time of "Freedom": San Marcos Coffee
Workers and the Radicalization of the Guatemalan National Revolution,
1944–1954". Radical History Review. 58: 35–78.
^ Forster 2001, pp. 89–91.
^ Streeter 2000, pp. 12–15.
^ a b c Chomsky, Noam (1985). Turning the Tide. Boston, Massachusetts:
South End Press. pp. 154–160.
^ Streeter 2000, pp. 14–15.
^ Forster 2001, pp. 98–99.
^ a b Streeter 2000, pp. 15–16.
^ Streeter 2000, pp. 16–17.
^ Gleijeses 1991, pp. 73–84.
^ Streeter 2000, pp. 18–19.
^ a b Immerman 1982, pp. 64–67.
^ Gleijeses 1991, pp. 144–146.
^ a b Gleijeses 1991, pp. 149–164.
^ Immerman 1982, pp. 48–50.
^ Paterson 2009, p. 304.
^ a b Schlesinger & Kinzer 1999, p. 102.
^ Gleijeses 1991, pp. 228–231.
^ Immerman 1982, pp. 122–127.
^ a b Immerman 1982, pp. 161–170.
^ Schlesinger & Kinzer 1999, pp. 171–175.
^ a b c Immerman 1982, pp. 173–178.
^ Schlesinger & Kinzer 1999, pp. 190–204.
^ McClintock, Michael (1987). American Connection.
^ Chomsky, Noam (1985). Turning the Tide. Boston, Massachusetts: South
^ LaFeber 1993, p. 165.
^ McClintock, Michael (1987). The American Connection Vol II.
^ "Outright Murder". Time.com. 11 February 1980. Retrieved 1 June
^ What Guilt Does the U.S. Bear in Guatemala? The New York Times, 19
May 2013. Retrieved 13 July 2014.
^ Allan Nairn: After Ríos Montt Verdict, Time for U.S. to Account for
Its Role in Guatemalan Genocide.
Democracy Now! 15 May 2013.
^ Burgos-Debray, Elizabeth (2010). I, Rigoberta Menchu. Verso.
^ a b "Conclusions: Human rights violations, acts of violence and
assignment of responsibility". Guatemala: Memory of Silence.
Guatemalan Commission for Historical Clarification. Archived from the
original on 29 December 2006. Retrieved 26 December 2006.
^ "Los archivos hallados en 2005 podrían ayudar a esclarecer los
crímenes cometidos durante la guerra civil" (in Spanish).
Europapress.es. 9 February 2012. Retrieved 22 September 2013.
^ "Gibson film angers Mayan groups".
BBC News. 8 December 2006.
^ "GENOCIDE – GUATEMALA"
^ Babington, Charles (11 March 1999). "Clinton: Support for Guatemala
Was Wrong". Washington Post. pp. Page A1. Retrieved 21 September
^ Malkin, Elisabeth (10 May 2013). "Gen.
Efraín Ríos Montt
Efraín Ríos Montt of
Guatemala Guilty of Genocide". The New York Times.
Guatemala Rios Montt genocide trial to resume in 2015. BBC, 6
Guatemala court: former dictator can be tried for genocide – but
not sentenced. The Guardian. 25 August 2015.
^ a b Steven Dudley (21 November 2011). "
Guatemala to Extradite
Portillo, but Real Problem Remains". InsightCrime. Retrieved 21 July
^ CICIS. "PRESS RELEASE 041: CICIG APPEALS ACQUITTAL OF FORMER
PRESIDENT PORTILLO AND TWO EX MINISTERS".
^ MIKE MCDONALD (24 May 2013). "Guatemalan ex-president extradited to
U.S. on money laundering charges". GUATEMALA CITY. Reuters.
access-date= requires url= (help)
^ "Sealed Indictment: UNITED STATES OF AMERICA -v.- ALFONSO PORTILLO"
(PDF). UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF NEW
^ a b Véliz, Rodrigo (17 April 2015). "El Caso SAT: el legado de la
inteligencia militar". Centro de Medios Independientes de Guatemala
(in Spanish). Guatemala. Archived from the original on 22 April 2015.
Retrieved 22 April 2015.
^ "Caso SAT: Así operaba La Línea según el informe de la CICIG". El
Periódico (in Spanish). Guatemala. 10 June 2015. Archived from the
original on 10 June 2015. Retrieved 10 June 2015.
^ Solano, Luis (22 April 2015). "#Caso SAT ¿La punta del iceberg?".
Albedrío (in Spanish). Guatemala. Archived from the original on 25
April 2015. Retrieved 25 April 2015.
^ Itzamná, Ollantay (21 May 2015). "Guatemala: Indígenas y
campesinos indignados exigen la renuncia del Gobierno y plantean un
proceso de Asamblea Constituyente popular". Albedrío (in Spanish).
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^ Porras Castejón, Gustavo (19 June 2015). "Los Estados Unidos y su
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Plaza Pública (in Spanish). Guatemala. Retrieved 19 June 2015.
^ "Capturan al ex secretario general de la presidencia". Emisoras
Unidas (in Spanish). Guatemala. 9 July 2015. Archived from the
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