Shutting down peace institutions in Guatemala puts at risk stability, peace, and victims’ rights: Policy Brief  

After more than 20 years since the signing of the peace agreements that ended Guatemala’s internal armed conflict (1960-1996), the Government is seeking to put an end to the institutions in charge of the fulfilment of the Peace Accords and the country’s international human rights obligations.

President Alejandro Giammattei recently announced the definitive closure of the Secretariat of Peace (SEPAZ) and the Secretariat of Agrarian Affairs (SAA), which were created as part of the Peace Accords, as well as the Presidential Commission of Human Rights (COPREDEH) which is in charge of following up on the resolutions of the Inter-American Human Rights System. With these dispositions, the Government seeks to omit its obligations with the peace agenda and the rights of the victims of the internal armed conflict.

The Government took these decisions amidst the Covid-19 pandemic and without consulting with the victims and civil society organisations. The latter have have rejected these measures because they put at risk the stability of peace and violate victims’ rights to reparations as well as the guarantees of non-recurrence of violence. Victims and civil society organisations have presented six legal actions against these measures before the Guatemalan Constitutional Court.  

In this policy brief we analyse the impact of the closure of the peace and human rights institutions on victims and the future of democracy in Guatemala. We also present some recommendations to the Government and the international community.

The policy brief is available here in Spanish