Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Call for Guatemala Civil War Justice

Amnesty International has called on the Guatemalan authorities to do more to provide justice for thousands of victims of the country's civil war.

More than 200,000 people - most of them civilians - were killed or disappeared between 1960 and 1996.

The group said that tens of thousands of cases have yet to be heard by the commission established to probe cases.

They said that without justice, Guatemala would not be able to "move forward from its dark past".

Amnesty called on the Guatemalan government to approve a law for a National Search Commission for the Disappeared.

Read the rest of the story at BBC News

US $7 Billion Needs to be Invested in Infrastructure

Guatemala needs to invest US $7 billion from 2009-15 to make up for its 10-year infrastructure deficit, the executive director of investment promotion agency Invest in Guatemala, Mario Marroquín, told BNamericas.

"The country needs a more robust investment policy to become competitive in terms of infrastructure," he said.

"To attain this goal, Invest in Guatemala is proposing a multimodal transport plan, which was designed in conjunction with a Spanish consulting firm," he added.

The Guatemalan congress is currently analyzing the bill for this initiative, which should be approved shortly, according to Marroquín.

Read the rest of the story at Business News Americas

Guatemala Interested in Russian Weapons in Exchange for Food

Guatemala's vice-president has said the Central American country is interested in buying Russian military hardware in exchange for food.

"Guatemala is interested in acquiring aircraft, armored vehicles, and other armaments to fight organized crime. We could pay, as the Russian side suggests, with sugar and coffee for the arms deliveries," said Rafael Espada.

Espada said the issues were discussed with Russian diplomats on Wednesday.

"The Russian side presented information on the armaments that could interest Guatemala's Armed Forces and national police," he said, adding that no specific agreements have been reached yet.

"The government has been instructed to study the Russian side's proposals and draft relevant recommendations," Espada said.

In turn, Guatemalan Armed Forces spokesman Francisco Loranca told journalists that the country's Ground Forces, Air Force and Navy were in need of arms deliveries.

Russian News Agency, Novosti