Rights group urges Guatemala to approve civil war search commission

[JURIST] Amnesty International (AI) on Wednesday urged the Guatemalan Congress [official website, in Spanish] to approve a law establishing a National Search Commission for the Persons Forcibly and Involuntarily Disappeared. The proposed legislation [text, PDF, in Spanish] was presented to the Guatemalan Congress in January 2007, and was an important part of a 1999 report [text] by the Commission for Historical Clarification. Prompted by the Peace Accords of 1996 [text], the report stated that 200,000 people were disappeared during the 30-year internal conflict [GlobalSecurity backgrounder]. AI's Americas Deputy Director Kerrie Howard commented [press release]:

The Historical Clarification Commission’s report was a massive landmark for human rights in Guatemala. Now it is time for the government to deliver some justice.
Also included in the report were recommendations to make amends to the survivors and victim's families.

Earlier this month, the director of Guatemala's National Compensation Program (PNR) announced that the government has filed [JURIST report] more than 3,000 criminal complaints for human rights violations committed during the internal armed conflict on behalf of 5000 victims. There remains a backlog of 98,000 civilian complaints, and 1,000 were made in 2008.


 

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