Nį 47/07



Washington, August 31, 2007 ó The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) expresses its deep concern regarding the serious acts of violence that have taken place in the context of the electoral process underway in Guatemala, in advance of the September 9 elections.


The Commission has received information indicating that there have been more than 50 politically motivated murders of candidates, political activists and their family members. The IACHR urges the Public Prosecutorís Office to conduct a serious, exhaustive investigation into these troubling events in order to determine motives and to ensure that the courts bring to trial and punish those responsible.


The Commission notes that these serious acts regrettably are taking place within a context of generalized violence which has been steadily on the rise in recent years in Guatemala. A marked increase in organized crime, criminal activity and violence against women, a resurgence of actions against human rights defenders and the impunity that prevails all point to a profound weakness of institutions and imperil the rule of law in Guatemala.


The Inter-American Commission reminds States of their obligation to guarantee the security of citizens and the rule of law, with full respect for human rights. The Commission urges the authorities to adopt all necessary measures to resolve the grave situation that affects Guatemala, within a framework of full respect for their international human rights obligations.



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