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U.S. Statement on the UPR of Guatemala
October 24, 2012

U.S. Statement on the UPR of Guatemala
14th Session –  October 24, 2012

As Delivered by Kim D’Auria-Vazira

The United States welcomes Secretary Antonio Arenales Forno and the Guatemalan delegation.

We recognize that progress has been made to combat impunity, including with regard to serious human rights violations.  We note in particular the convictions in the Dos Erres massacre and that other important emblematic cases are continuing to move forward.  However, overall conviction rates are still very low.

We are encouraged by the government’s increasing efforts to investigate and prosecute human trafficking cases through an increased number of dedicated police and prosecutors, but remain concerned that these investigations have not yet focused on possible official complicity in trafficking.

We are also concerned that the worst forms of child labor and deficiencies in labor law administration and enforcement of court orders continue.

We are concerned with the lack of transparent consultation between the government and local communities, including indigenous peoples, regarding large infrastructure or other projects.

We remain concerned about the safety of members of vulnerable groups, including women, indigenous populations, LGBT persons, journalists, and human and labor rights defenders.

Bearing in mind these concerns, the United States makes the following recommendations:

  1. Complete the transfer of capacity from the International Commission Against Impunity in Guatemala to Guatemalan institutions and protect those made most vulnerable to crimes because of impunity, including judges, witnesses, prosecutors, human and labor rights defenders, journalists, and trafficked persons.
  2. Develop a process, trusted by the public, for regular community-government consultations regarding concerns of indigenous peoples and local community groups, including construction of infrastructure and other projects on their lands.
  3. Provide the necessary resources, personnel and authority to the Ministry of Labor to effectively enforce Guatemalan labor law, and comply with internationally recognized worker rights.