CONSIDERATION OF REPORTS SUBMITTED BY STATES PARTIES UNDER ARTICLE 19 OF THE
Second periodic reports of States parties due in 1995
* The initial report submitted by the Government of Guatemala is contained
in document CAT/C/12/Add.5 and Add.6; for its consideration by the Committee,
see documents CAT/C/SR.232, 233/Add.1 and Add.2, 237/Add.1 and the Official
Records of the General Assembly, Forty-ninth session, Supplement No. 44
(A/51/44, paras. 42-57).
[13 February 1997]
1. This document
contains the first supplementary report (second periodic report) submitted
by Guatemala to the United Nations Committee against Torture under article
19 of the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading
Treatment or Punishment pursuant to the obligation assumed by States parties
to submit supplementary reports every four years. These reports describe the
new measures taken by the State party in giving effect to the provisions of
2. This report accordingly
presents an account of the efforts made by the Government of Guatemala to
comply with its international obligations in this respect during the period
31 June 1995 to 30 August 1996. This time span is explained by the fact that
Guatemala's initial report was presented officially to the Committee against
Torture at its 232nd and 233rd meetings on 16 November 1995. Furthermore,
the Government of the Republic of Guatemala on 31 July 1995 submitted an addendum
to its initial report which was reproduced by the Committee in document CAT/C/12/Add.6
of 10 August 1995. The present document summarizes its contents and also describes
the efforts made by the Government of Guatemala in the light of the comments
that the international community transmitted to it through the Committee against
3. Section I deals
with the general situation prevailing in the country and particularly during
the first few months of the new Government, which took office on 14 January
4. Section II gives
an account of the general context in which the human rights policy is being
implemented and the most significant achievements in this area.
5. Section III analyses
the situation in Guatemala from the standpoint of the rights protected by
the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment
or Punishment. This analysis is based on information published not only by
the United Nations Human Rights Verification Mission in Guatemala (MINUGUA)
but also by the most important non-governmental organizations (NGOs) working
to promote and protect human rights.
6. Section IV describes
the main activities being carried out in order to implement the provisions
of the Convention, as well as the obstacles encountered by the Government
in its efforts to improve the situation in the light of the decision and undertaking
to redouble "efforts that have hitherto been inadequate and to overcome hitherto
insuperable obstacles".* * Statement by Mr. Alvaro Arzú Trigoyen on assuming
the office of President of the Republic on 14 January 1996.
I. THE GENERAL SITUATION IN THE COUNTRY
7. In view of the
transparency of the results of the electoral process that began at the end
of 1995 and came to an end on 7 January last with a second round of balloting,
it may be said that it constitutes a resolute step forward in the consolidation
of the democratization process, particularly as for the first time it entailed
broad participation by various segments of society such as the indigenous
population and human rights advocates.
8. This point is
also of importance insofar as the elections resulted not only in a change
of administration but also changes and transformations towards genuine democratization,
which can be achieved only if major efforts are made in sensitive areas such
as security of person, the peace agenda, measures to curb impunity, discrimination
and privileges, the improvement of living conditions and the modernization
of the State, that constitute the main elements on which the Government proposal
for 1996-2000 proposal has been based.
9. The country's
present situation is influenced to a great extent by activities connected
with the peace negotiation process. In this respect, the Government's first
act was to establish a new Government Peace Commission which created conditions
favourable for negotiations that will undoubtedly result in a firm and lasting
peace agreement, thereby putting an end to the armed conflict that has plagued
our society for the past 36 years.
10. In addition,
the Comandacia General de la Unidad Revolucionaria Nacional Guatemalteca (URNG)
unilaterally decided to suspend offensive military operations against military
objectives. The President of the Republic, in his capacity as Commander in
Chief of the Army, responded by officially announcing that Guatemala's army,
was also being ordered through its military commanders, to suspend counter-insurgency
11. Once this new
scenario had been brought into being, it became possible, on 6 May last, to
sign the Agreement on Social and Economic Aspects and the Agrarian Situation
in Mexico City. The content of this Agreement is in itself of importance,
since it highlights various matters such as social participation and concertation,
the participation of women in economic and social development, education and
training, health, social security, housing, access to land and production
resources, support structures, the legal framework and judicial guarantees,
labour protection, protection of the environment, resources, modernization
of the public administration and fiscal policy, on the basis of which the
situation in post-war Guatemala will be tackled.
12. The peace negotiation
process has followed its course and hopefully it will shortly be possible
to sign the Agreement on the Strengthening of Civilian Power and on the Role
of the Armed Forces in a Democratic Society.
13. In line with
the efforts made to achieve the signature of a firm and lasting peace agreement,
on 5 June 1996 the President of the Republic officially introduced the members
of the Political Commission on International Cooperation for Peace, which
will be responsible for administering the international financial assistance
to be used in implementing the agreements concluded during this process.
14. With respect
to security of person, it is obvious that previous efforts made in this area
have been inadequate since they failed to do away with insecurity, high risk
levels, corruption and the critical situation as regards the administration
of justice and law-enforcement which has created a climate that undermines
the confidence of citizens in bodies responsible for ensuring their protection.
15. For this reason
public security is to be protected under the Government's Programme for 1996-2000
in the following way: (a) protection of the exercise, in a free and responsible
manner, the rights and freedoms of individuals and groups guaranteed by the
Constitution of the Republic; (b) preventive action or reaction, as necessary,
to minimize the risks to which persons, groups and communities are exposed
in order to ensure that they are able to live together in a harmonious and
peaceful fashion; (c) assistance to individuals, groups and communities in
the event of a public emergency or calamity; (d) action to prevent the commission
of offences, to investigate offences and prosecute their perpetrators; (e)
restoration of normal and peaceful conditions by appropriate methods in the
event of disturbances; and (f) the formulation of a public security policy.
16. There is clearly
an urgent need for action to improve the administration of justice. This reflects
recognition of the fact that legal proceedings are still slow, that magistrates
and judges, secretaries, officials and court officers lack adequate training,
that the cost of legal proceedings is beyond the means of the people, that
there are not enough courts, whose location leaves much to be desired, that
applications for proceedings must be submitted in writing and in Spanish and
in most cases with the help of a lawyer, and that the new Code of Penal Procedure
is not operational and calls for the participation of judges, defence lawyers
and bilingual interpreters. It is also clear that social awareness is lacking,
that persons responsible for the administration of justice are incapable of
discharging their functions properly and that the officials and staff of the
Judiciary act in an erratic way.
17. In view of this
deplorable situation, the Government of the Republic, in its 1996-2000 Programme
takes the view that it is vital to organize the Judiciary in an efficient
manner and ensure the complete availability of its human and material resources
so that it can provide legal safeguards and enforce the law when asked to
do so by any citizen.
18. The Government's
main objective in this area is to provide decisive support for the functional
restructuring of the Judiciary on the basis of complete respect for and guarantees
of the independence of the branches of government in order to restore the
people's confidence in the administration of justice in accordance with the
principles of accessibility, independence and efficiency.
19. If, on the other
hand, arbitrariness, violence, corruption, impunity, the abuse of power and
delays in the application of the law persist, the task of consolidating the
rule of law will become even more difficult.
20. Of particular
importance from the standpoint of bolstering the efforts needed to overcome
the difficulties that still bedevil the exercise of human rights in Guatemala
was the Mission of the United Nations Centre for Human Rights which visited
the country at the end of May. The purpose of this visit was to identify areas
requiring assistance under institutional aid programmes, such as the Office
of the Procurator for Human Rights and the National Police.
II. THE HUMAN RIGHTS POLICY CONTEXT
21. The formulation
of a new human rights policy reflects the fact that the State of Guatemala
has made institutional progress in respect of such rights. However, existing
legislation has failed to create the necessary confidence among citizens in
the institutions responsible for ensuring that they can live together peacefully.
22. For this reason,
the protection and defence of human rights must be consolidated. Yet this
can be done only through greater participation by members of society as a
whole so that they will be able, in a simple, open and reliable manner, to
assert their rights and assume their responsibilities. In short, what is required
is a general effort by society as a whole and not by the Government alone.
23. The formulation
of a policy in this sense is possible only if it is based on national and
international efforts that are coherent and realistic. In other words, what
is needed is public recognition of our difficulties, errors and shortcomings
and a search for practical and realistic solutions*.
24. The implementation
of a policy of this nature calls for the restructuring of the relevant government
bodies, and this is precisely what is being done by the Presidential Coordinating
Committee for Government Human Rights Policy (COPREDEH) pursuant to the Government's
commitments to the international community*. The following action is being
taken as a result of its work:
* Statement by the
Minister for Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Guatemala, Dr. Eduardo Stein,
in the Commission on Human Rights at its fifty-second session in Geneva, Switzerland.
(a) On the basis
of direct contact with NGOs dealing with human rights and representatives
of the victims, their version of the facts as well as reports of irregularities
in the work of State bodies are being heard;
(b) When complaints
against the State are received and investigated as a result of the identification
of State agents as the likely perpetrators of human rights violations, their
possible responsibility is to be recognized;
(c) COPREDEH is
speeding up the execution of warrants issued by the courts for the arrest
of persons accused of human rights violations;
(d) COPREDEH is
supporting, to the best of its ability, the action and measures taken by the
Public Prosecutor's Office and the National Police to ensure that the results
of investigations carried out provide evidence enabling the authorities to
initiate proceedings based on the principle of due process;
(e) The various
bodies and services of the Executive are being urged to take effective action
to curb the impunity from which the population has suffered;
(f) In accordance
with the peace agreements, action is being taken to downsize and rationalize
the armed forces and to disband the Voluntary Civil Defence Committees;
(g) A policy taking
into account the actual situation that prevailed in the country during the
past 36 years has been adopted in respect of cases before the Inter-American
Commission on Human Rights and the Inter-American Court of Human Rights. It
is also considered that amicable solutions must be sought in respect of claims
against the State;
(h) The body established
to provide protection for threatened persons is being reactivated.
III. THE SITUATION AS REGARDS RIGHTS PROTECTED BY THE CONVENTION AGAINST
TORTURE AND OTHER CRUEL, INHUMAN OR DEGRADING TREATMENT OR PUNISHMENT IN
25. Various bodies
and NGOs have carried out a statistical analysis of the situation during the
period 1 January to 30 June 1996 to determine how far human rights in Guatemala
were or were not respected. All the statistics on rights protected by the
Convention against Torture reveal a decline in the number of cases reported.
On the other hand, complaints of cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment, and
particularly of acts committed by agents of the State, are still being received.
26. As a result of
MINUGUA's verification of the Comprehensive Agreement on Human Rights concluded
by the Government of the Republic and the Unidad Revolucionaria Nacional Guatemalteca,
the Mission in its fifth report to the United Nations Secretary-General (A/50/1006)
of 19 July 1996 stated that only four cases of torture were reported during
the period in question. These complaints involved the alleged violations of
eight rights. Of these violations only two cases were subjected to the verification
process and neither was substantiated.
27. The Mission received
seven complaints of cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment involving the violation
of 10 rights of the persons in question. Nine of these cases were verified
and only five were substantiated.
28. With regard to
ill-treatment, MINUGUA reported that a total of 39 complaints had been received
which, according to the Mission, involved a total of 73 violations of the
right to physical integrity; 27 violations were verified and 21 were substantiated.
29. During the same
period, the Human Rights Office of the Archbishopric of Guatemala recorded
a total of three documented cases of torture as well as 255 cases of threats.
The Guatemalan Commission for Human Rights (CDHG) reported that, during the
first six months of 1966, there had been 97 death threats and that in two
cases of enforced disappearance the victims showed signs of having been tortured.
30. In evaluating
the statistics in this area, it is noteworthy that, according to MINUGUA,
"Even though complaints of torture have decreased, the large number of violations
of the right to integrity and security of person show that the Government
has not fully guaranteed this right, especially where cruel, inhuman or degrading
treatment by State agents is concerned" (A/50/1006, para. 170). This confirms
once again that the problem is the result of the State's weakness and does
not reflect a deliberate policy pursued by Guatemala against its people. What
is needed therefore is to develop and improve the necessary machinery enabling
the State, through the Government, to fulfil its obligation to protect its
population against such acts and to bring to justice State agents who are
found to be responsible for these offences.
IV. INFORMATION ON MEASURES AND ACTIVITIES CONNECTED WITH THE APPLICATION
OF THE CONVENTION AGAINST TORTURE AND OTHER CRUEL, INHUMAN OR DEGRADING
TREATMENT OR PUNISHMENT
A. Measures to strengthen the rule of law
31. Pursuant to the
recommendations addressed by the international community to the Government
in the context of the advisory services received by Guatemala in the field
of human rights, the Penal Code was amended by Decrees Nos. 18-95 and 58-95,
adopted by Congress, to define the offences of extrajudicial execution, enforced
disappearance and torture, which did not appear in Guatemalan legislation,
since it is clear that such offences constitute a serious threat to society,
mainly by encouraging insecurity, anxiety and disquiet, and place the physical
integrity and lives of individuals at serious risk (see annex 1).
32. The institution
of "military commissioner" has been done away with, and as a result 24,400
commissioners were demobilized on 14 September 1995. In order to complete
this process, Congress, by Decree No. 79-95, amended the Organic Law of the
Army and abolished this post. Furthermore, the Executive, on 15 September
1995, issued Government Order No. 434-95 rescinding the Regulations for Military
Commissioners (see annex 2).
33. In addition,
the Ministry of National Defence ordered all military commands to launch information
campaigns at the national level to acquaint the population with this demobilization
and to call in all the credentials of military commissioners or their collaborators
to prevent them from being misused (Circulars Nos. DI-85-01-0086-07 and DI-85-01-0087-07
of 11 May 1996).
34. The implementation
of these measures has the effect of strengthening the rule of law since the
abolition of the post of military commissioner reinforces civil authority
in areas where State agents were few and far between.
35. The information
presented above constitutes official notification of the amendment of the
Penal Code and the abolition of the institution of military commissioner,
since these developments were only described verbally at the 232nd and 233rd
meetings of the Committee against Torture on 16 November 1995.
36. The commitment
to do away with all illegal ways in which persons perform their military service
- which is a right and duty under the Constitution - as well as ways in which
they are forced to do so against their will has been complied with.
37. The undertaking
not to encourage or promote the formation of new Voluntary Civil Defence Committees
is also being complied with. In this connection it may be noted that, independently
of the possibility that the Agreement on a Firm and Lasting Peace might contain
a reference to this subject, the disbandment of these Committees consisting
of about 220,000 persons, of whom 15,000 were still armed, began on 15 July
38. On 9 August 1996,
800 regional Civilian Patrols were disarmed and disbanded in the town of Colotenango,
Huehuetenango department; this action was important from the standpoint of
the communities concerned which, like many others, had been affected by the
armed conflict. This step, which had not been scheduled, was taken pursuant
to a request by COPREDEH that priority should be given to demobilization in
39. It may be added
that the present Government is of the view that this demobilization does not
relieve members of Voluntary Civil Defence Committees who may have committed
acts punishable under the law of the obligation to appear before the courts
to clarify their situation.
40. The Code of Penal
Procedure was amended by Decree No. 32-96 adopted by Congress to make the
administration of justice more efficient. The amendments in question prohibit
alternative penalties (house arrest, surety, etc.) in proceedings against
recidivists or habitual offenders or in the case of aggravated homicide, murder,
parricide, aggravated rape, culpable rape, the rape of a minor under 12 years
of age, kidnapping or abduction of any kind, sabotage, aggravated robbery
and aggravated theft (see annex 3).
41. Decree No. 41-96
of the Congress of the Republic amended article 2 of the second part of Decree
No. 214-1878, Military Code, and deleted article 58 (f) of the Judiciary Act,
Decree No. 2-89 of the Congress of the Republic, thereby transferring jurisdiction
over essentially military offences or minor offences to the courts established
by the Military Code, and making the Code of Penal Procedure applicable in
cases of offences, minor offences and similar acts under the ordinary law
committed by members of the armed forces, who will be tried by the ordinary
courts covered by the Judiciary Act. This reform reflects one of MINUGUA's
recommendations concerning the reform of the military courts. As a result,
since 24 July of this year about 400 cases involving offences under the ordinary
law of which members of the army were accused and that were being dealt with
by the military courts were transferred to the civil courts (see annex 4).
42. A large number
of the members of the National Police and Financial Police have been dismissed
and turned over to the authorities for alleged participation in violations
of human rights and for minor offences justifying their replacement. During
the first stage of this purge, 118 members of the National Police were handed
over to the authorities and during the second the same fate befell a further
122, mainly for acts of corruption. Six former members of the Police are being
sought, accused of abuses against street children.
43. The Congress
of the Republic, by Decree No. 63-96, amended the Weapons and Munitions Act
so as to prohibit the bearing of arms by persons under 25 years of age with
the exception of those who are active members of the army and the civil security
forces (see annex 5). It is noteworthy that, during the first few months of
1996, the number of weapons confiscated by the security forces increased considerably,
the National Police seizing 1,108 weapons during this period in comparison
with 572 during the same period of 1995. Greater efforts to control the proliferation
of weapons in the possession of individuals resulted in a doubling of the
number of weapons seized this quarter in comparison with the previous period,
and enforcement of the provisions of the above Act will enable the Government
gradually to master the situation.
B. Programmes for the intensive training of prosecutors, judges
and police officers
44. The Public Prosecutor's
Office, through its Training, Education and Human Resources Development Unit,
and with the support of MINUGUA and the Centre for Strengthening the Rule
of Law (CREA), offered various courses on the following subjects between May
and November 1995:
(a) The handling
(b) The system of
criminal justice (initial and intermediary); and
to criminal investigation procedures.
45. These courses
were organized for prosecutors and court officers, of whom 528 participated
(104 women and 424 men).
46. During the period
from March to June 1996, the Public Prosecutor's Office, with the assistance
of CREA, organized two seminars on (a) specific procedure in legislation on
criminal proceedings and (b) the theory of offences. Both seminars were intended
for district prosecutors and court officials, of whom 278 participated (56
women and 222 men).
47. In 1995, the
Judiciary, through its College of Legal Studies,
offered 58 various
types of training in which 1,778 members of the Judiciary participated. Between
January and July 1996, 44 training courses attended by 473 members of the
Judiciary were given.
48. Between February
and June 1996, 24 courses were offered under the Institutional Criminal Investigation
Training Programme (ICITAP) and attended by 557 prosecutors and staff of the
Public Prosecutor's Office, National Police investigators and members of the
Anti-Drug Operations Department of the Financial Police.
49. The Joint MINUGUA-UNDP
Unit is offering a basic course for future National Police officers, and a
6-month programme of studies was developed for this purpose. The course is
being attended by 480 students from the National Police Academy. The Joint
Unit is also developing teaching materials to be used in the programme of
50. MINUGUA is making
efforts to improve the efficiency of the National Police by assigning to it
five police observers who initiated this process in the key areas of police
training and criminal investigation. Similarly, the Mission recommended the
introduction of a system of rotation within the Identity Card Office and the
Criminological Investigation Department in order to improve the coordination
demanded by the investigation process.
51. During the first
six months of 1996, COPREDEH organized courses on human rights for 1,677 members
of the National Police and Financial Police.
C. Facilities and financial resources made available toprosecutors,
judges and the National Police with a view to improving law enforcement
52. It is clear that
the Public Prosecutor's Office must be strengthened if it is to overcome obvious
shortcomings. For this purpose, a cooperation agreement was concluded between
the Public Prosecutor's Office and MINUGUA in February 1995 and was renewed
in August 1995.
53. This agreement
resulted in the establishment of the Technical Advisory Unit. During the past
few months this Unit has been drawing up the first draft of the Prosecutor's
Manual, and it is also preparing appropriate forms to facilitate the work
of the Public Prosecutor's Office. In addition it has drawn up the draft regulations
for the career structure of the Public Prosecutor's Office and on the functioning
of the Council of the Public Prosecutor's Office, which were approved in February
54. Under this agreement,
the Procurator-General was provided with advice concerning instructions of
a general nature to be used in the technical organization of the Public Prosecutor's
Office. To this end, a comprehensive plan for the reorganization of the Metropolitan
Procurator-General's Office is being drawn up. Cooperation with the National
Police is being improved and arrangements are being made which in the near
future will result in the harmonization of scientific investigation methods.
55. In view of the
appointment of a new Procurator-General on 16 May 1996, it was decided that
the resources available to the Public Prosecutor's Office should be allocated
in a way that would facilitate the work of prosecutors. This was done in the
(a) District prosecutors
were provided with computers as well as furniture and office equipment which
will help to rationalize the work of the Public Prosecutor's Office; and
(b) District prosecutors
were provided with vehicles and the equipment they need having regard to the
requirements and special features of each region.
56. MINUGUA is doing
a great deal to promote the administration of justice in Guatemala and to
this end it is supporting the following projects:
of a Centre for the Administration of Justice for Area Ixil, through which
the Judiciary will establish a court and a Public Defender's Office in this
area and provide translation and interpretation services for Maya languages.
The Public Prosecutor's Office will provide a prosecutor, the National Police,
a local police station, and the National Fund for Peace (FONAPAZ) will finance
the cost of their equipment as well as salaries for one year. The project
is to be implemented this year;
(b) The Administration
of Justice and Linguistic Pluralism Project. The purpose of this project is
to incorporate Maya languages into the administration of justice system. The
project has been approved by the Judiciary and the Public Prosecutor's Office
which, together with regional indigenous organizations are participating in
(c) The establishment
of peoples' buffets in the Quiché and the Petén departments in cooperation
with the local authorities and private universities;
(d) Seminars on
local Solutions for the Administration of Justice which are intended to stimulate
dialogue and provide joint training for various officials of the administration
of justice system such as prosecutors of the Public Prosecutor's Office, judges
and National Police officers;
(e) Technical Cooperation
Agreement with the Public Criminal Defence Service of the Judiciary.
57. The wages of
the civil security forces must be increased as a matter of urgency and these
forces must be provided with the equipment and weapons they need to perform
their functions in the most efficient manner. There are a large number of
shortcomings in this area although during the first six months of the present
Government over 25 million quetzales were spent on the purchase of this equipment.
58. The National
Police have authorized the use of the phone number 110 on a 24-hour basis
by persons wishing to make complaints or to convey information of a confidential
nature. This service has proved its value as a law-enforcement device since
it enables the population to cooperate with the authorities in combating organized
D. Measures taken to protect witnesses, judges and prosecutors
who have been threatened or intimidated
59. The situations
created by threats directed at judges, prosecutors and witnesses obliged the
National Police to form a special brigade to provide them with a measure of
60. Moreover, the
Congress of the Republic has approved, by Decree No. 72-96, an Act establishing
the Service for the Protection of Persons involved in Proceedings and Persons
connecting with the Administration of Justice. This Decree states that, in
order to ensure the effective administration of justice and the integrity
and security of judges, prosecutors, defence lawyers and other persons participating
in proceedings, such persons may in future, should they be threatened, ask
to have their telephones tapped so that the source of the threats can be determined.
61. The body in charge
of this Service consists of officials from the Office of the Attorney-General
of the Republic and the Ministry of the Interior plus the Director of the
Office for Protection, who will form a council responsible for examining requests
and deciding whether or not to provide protection.
62. The service offered
under this Act is made available on the basis of an evaluation carried out
by the Office; what has to be determined in the case of witnesses is whether
the risk is real, the seriousness of the punishable act, the probative value
of the declaration, and whether information leading to the identification
of participants in other acts connected with the case can be obtained by other
63. A study on security
was carried out by the Public Prosecutor's Office with a view to drawing up
a body of recommendations that would be of practical use to prosecutors and
the staff of the Public Prosecutor's office in their work. These recommendations
were used as a basis for the preparation of a document entitled Security Instructions
for Judicial Officials and Officials of the Public Prosecutor's Office.
E. Limitations on the application of the Convention against Torture
and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment
the progress that has been made, it is obvious that efforts to comply with
the provisions of the Convention against Torture are encountering various
difficulties. The identification of the main ones, and above all the search
for possible alternative ways of overcoming them, has obliged the Government
to recognize that what has been done so far is not enough.
65. What must be
taken into account in this connection is the continued existence of various
factors, such as (a) a climate of violence that creates a feeling of insecurity
among citizens; (b) the large number of threats, abductions and other offences
whose perpetrators have not been identified; and (c) the reservations of the
population about the effectiveness of the bodies responsible for investigating
and punishing offences, which to some extent explains why individuals decide
to do justice themselves. Although this happens in only a few cases greater
efforts have to be made by the authorities to put an end to the practice,
which is unacceptable, as stated by MINUGUA in its fifth report.
66. There are a number
of reasons for this situation which in a way explain the existence of the
difficulties being encountered. However, the Government is endeavouring to
overcome them so as to be able in the near future to provide citizens with
the security to which they are entitled and to live up to its obligations
under the agreements and conventions to which the State of Guatemala has acceded,
including the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading
Treatment or Punishment. In the circumstances, action must be taken to promote
the implementation of a comprehensive policy to curb impunity as well as to
establish effective coordination between the Judiciary, the Public Prosecutor's
Office and the security forces.
List of annexes*
1. Decree No. 48-95
of the Congress of the Republic of Guatemala on the amendment of the Penal
Code, Decree No. 17-73.
2. Decree No. 79-95
of the Congress of the Republic of Guatemala.
3. Decree No. 32-96
of the Congress of the Republic of Guatemala.
4. Decree No. 41-96
of the Congress of the Republic of Guatemala.
5. Decree No. 63-96
of the Congress of the Republic of Guatemala.
6. Decree No. 70-96
of the Congress of the Republic of Guatemala.
* The annexes may
be consulted in the archives of the United Nations Centre for Human Rights.