IPJ Assessment Trip to Guatemala

Assessment Trip to Guatemala, June 15 – 23, 2008

“Impunity remains the rule.” [1]

“Guatemala is among the four countries in the world with the biggest gap between rich and poor.”[2]

“Abre la oportunidad de plantear al Estado recomendaciones que deberían ser acatadas.”[3]

A number of challenges and opportunities face the Guatemalan state and its citizens over a decade after the signing of the historic 1996 Firm and Lasting Peace Accords. As a new government took control in January 2008, many still questioned the strength of the state to overcome historic discrimination and address lingering consequences of the 36-year internal armed conflict that ravaged the country.

To assess the current windows of opportunity and analyze potential mechanisms to support a just peace in Guatemala, IPJ program officers Elena McCollim and Laura Taylor will conduct a series of interviews and consultations with diverse sectors of society. Informed by this broad engagement with a range of actors at various levels, the institute will build on existing relationships with individuals and organizations within Guatemala to better understand the peacebuilding needs of the country and its people.

Relation to University of San Diego’s mission

Undertaking a new country project would advance the university’s international mission while also fulfilling the mission of the Joan B. Kroc School of Peace Studies to create new knowledge in peacebuilding. As a community of practitioners in peace and conflict studies, the IPJ is positioned to support the school in this mission and thus further more broadly the university’s goal to grow as a globally competent institution. With the IPJ as a laboratory for the School, it could eventually integrate graduate students and faculty from the School in its projects and programs.

[1] “Universal Periodic Review of Guatemala” Human Rights Watch, 5-5-08, accessed on May 21, 2008. http://hrw.org/english/docs/2008/04/07/global18579_txt.htm
[2] “International Human Rights Day” Nonviolent Peaceforce, December 2007, accessed on May 19, 2008. http://www.nonviolentpeaceforce.org/en/print/735


[3] “ONU examinará al país en DD.HH” Prensa Libre, Feb. 7, 2008, accessed on May 19, 2008 http://www.prensalibre.com/pl/2008/febrero/07/218876.html

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