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GUATEMALA




Introduction
Background: Guatemala was freed of Spanish colonial rule in 1821. During the second half of the 20th century, it experienced a variety of military and civilian governments as well as a 36-year guerrilla war. In 1996, the government signed a peace agreement formally ending the conflict, which had led to the death of more than 100,000 people and had created some 1 million refugees.


Geography
Area: total: 108,890 sq km
land: 108,430 sq km
water: 460 sq km
Land boundaries: total: 1,687 km
border countries: Belize 266 km, El Salvador 203 km, Honduras 256 km, Mexico 962 km
Coastline: 400 km
Maritime claims: continental shelf: 200-m depth or to the depth of exploitation
exclusive economic zone: 200 NM
territorial sea: 12 NM
Climate: tropical; hot, humid in lowlands; cooler in highlands
Terrain: mostly mountains with narrow coastal plains and rolling limestone plateau (Peten)
Elevation extremes: lowest point: Pacific Ocean 0 m
highest point: Volcan Tajumulco 4,211 m

Natural resources: petroleum, nickel, rare woods, fish, chicle, hydropower
Land use: arable land: 12%
permanent crops: 5%
permanent pastures: 24%
forests and woodland: 54%
other: 5% (1993 est.)
Irrigated land: 1,250 sq km (1993 est.)

Natural hazards: numerous volcanoes in mountains, with occasional violent earthquakes; Caribbean coast subject to hurricanes and other tropical storms Environment - current issues: deforestation; soil erosion; water pollution; Hurricane Mitch damage
Environment - international agreements: party to: Antarctic Treaty, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Environmental Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping, Nuclear Test Ban, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Wetlands
Signed, but not ratified: Antarctic-Environmental Protocol
Geography - note: no natural harbors on west coast


People
Population: 12,974,361 (July 2001 est.)
Age structure: 0-14 years: 42.11% (male 2,789,189; female 2,674,747)
15-64 years: 54.25% (male 3,518,209; female 3,519,851)
65 years and over: 3.64% (male 220,640; female 251,725) (2001 est.)
Population growth rate: 2.6% (2001 est.)
Birth rate: 34.61 births/1,000 population (2001 est.)
Death rate: 6.79 deaths/1,000 population (2001 est.)
Net migration rate: -1.84 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2001 est.)
Infant mortality rate: 45.79 deaths/1,000 live births (2001 est.)
Life expectancy at birth: total population: 66.51 years
male: 63.85 years
female: 69.31 years (2001 est.)
Total fertility rate: 4.58 children born/woman (2001 est.)
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate: 1.38% (1999 est.)
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS: 73,000 (1999 est.)
HIV/AIDS - deaths: 3,600 (1999 est.)
Ethnic groups: Mestizo (mixed Amerindian-Spanish or assimilated Amerindian - in local Spanish called Ladino), approximately 55%, Amerindian or predominantly Amerindian, approximately 43%, whites and others 2%
Religions: Roman Catholic, Protestant, indigenous Mayan beliefs
Languages: Spanish 60%, Amerindian languages 40% (more than 20 Amerindian languages, including Quiche, Cakchiquel, Kekchi, Mam, Garifuna, and Xinca)
Literacy: definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 63.6%
male: 68.7%
female: 58.5% (2000 est.)


Government
Government type: constitutional democratic republic
Capital: Guatemala
Administrative divisions: 22 departments (departamentos, singular - departamento); Alta Verapaz, Baja Verapaz, Chimaltenango, Chiquimula, El Progreso, Escuintla, Guatemala, Huehuetenango, Izabal, Jalapa, Jutiapa, Peten, Quetzaltenango, Quiche, Retalhuleu, Sacatepequez, San Marcos, Santa Rosa, Solola, Suchitepequez, Totonicapan, Zacapa
Independence: 15 September 1821 (from Spain)
National holiday: Independence Day, 15 September (1821)
Constitution: 31 May 1985, effective 14 January 1986; note - suspended 25 May 1993 by former President SERRANO; reinstated 5 June 1993 following ouster of president; amended November 1993
Legal system: civil law system; judicial review of legislative acts; has not accepted compulsory ICJ jurisdiction
Suffrage: 18 years of age; universal (active duty members of the armed forces may not vote)

Executive branch: chief of state: President Alfonso Antonio PORTILLO Cabrera (since 14 January 2000); Vice President Juan Francisco REYES Lopez (since 14 January 2000); note - the president is both the chief of state and head of government
Head of government: President Alfonso Antonio PORTILLO Cabrera (since 14 January 2000); Vice President Juan Francisco REYES Lopez (since 14 January 2000); note - the president is both the chief of state and head of government
Cabinet: Council of Ministers named by the president
Elections: president elected by popular vote for a four-year term; election last held 7 November 1999; runoff held 26 December 1999 (next to be held NA November 2003)
Election results: Alfonso Antonio PORTILLO Cabrera elected president; percent of vote - Alfonso Antonio PORTILLO Cabrera (FRG) 68%, Oscar BERGER Perdomo (PAN) 32%

Legislative branch: unicameral Congress of the Republic or Congreso de la Republica (113 seats; members are elected by popular vote to serve four-year terms)
Elections: last held on 7 November 1999 (next to be held in November 2003)
Election results: percent of vote by party - NA%; seats by party - FRG 63, PAN 37, ANN 9, DCG 2, UD/LOV 1, PLP 1
Note: for the 7 November 1999 election, the number of congressional seats was increased from 80 to 113

Judicial branch: Supreme Court of Justice or Corte Suprema de Justicia (thirteen members serve concurrent five-year terms and elect a president of the Court each year from among their number; the president of the Supreme Court of Justice also supervises trial judges around the country, who are named to five-year terms); Constitutional Court or Corte de Constitutcionalidad (five judges are elected for concurrent five-year terms by Congress, each serving one year as president of the Constitutional Court; one is elected by Congress, one elected by the Supreme Court of Justice, one appointed by the President, one elected by Superior Counsel of Universidad San Carlos de Guatemala, and one by Colegio de Abogados)
Political parties and leaders: Authentic Integral Development or DIA [Jorge Luis ORTEGA]; Democratic Union or UD [Jose Luis CHEA Urruela]; Green Party or LOV [Jose ASTURIAS Rudecke]; Guatemalan Christian Democracy or DCG [Vinicio CEREZO Arevalo]; Guatemalan National Revolutionary Unity or URNG [Pablo MONSANTO, also known as Jorge SOTO]; Guatemalan Republican Front or FRG [Efrain RIOS Montt]; New Nation Alliance or ANN [leader NA], which includes the URNG; National Advancement Party or PAN [Leonel LOPEZ Rodas]; Progressive Liberator Party or PLP [Acisclo VALLADARES Molina]
Political pressure groups and leaders: Agrarian Owners Group or UNAGRO; Alliance Against Impunity or AAI; Committee for Campesino Unity or CUC; Coordinating Committee of Agricultural, Commercial, Industrial, and Financial Associations or CACIF; Mutual Support Group or GAM
International organization participation: BCIE, CACM, CCC, ECLAC, FAO, G-24, G-77, IADB, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICFTU, ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, Intelsat, Interpol, IOC, IOM, ISO (correspondent), ITU, LAES, LAIA (observer), NAM, OAS, OPANAL, OPCW, PCA, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UNU, UPU, WCL, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WToO, WTrO


Economy
Economy - overview: The agricultural sector accounts for about one-fourth of GDP, two-thirds of exports, and half of the labor force. Coffee, sugar, and bananas are the main products. Former President ARZU (1996-2000) worked to implement a program of economic liberalization and political modernization. The 1996 signing of the peace accords, which ended 36 years of civil war, removed a major obstacle to foreign investment. In 1998, Hurricane Mitch caused relatively little damage to Guatemala compared to its neighbors. Ongoing challenges include increasing government revenues, negotiating further assistance from international donors, and increasing the efficiency and openness of both government and private financial operations. Despite low international prices for Guatemala's main commodities, the economy grew by 3% in 2000 and is forecast to grow by 4% in 2001. Guatemala, along with Honduras and El Salvador, recently concluded a free trade agreement with Mexico and has moved to protect international property rights. However, the PORTILLO administration has undertaken a review of privatizations under the previous administration, thereby creating some uncertainty among investors.
GDP: purchasing power parity - $46.2 billion (2000 est.)
GDP - real growth rate: 3% (2000 est.)
GDP - per capita: purchasing power parity - $3,700 (2000 est.)
GDP - composition by sector: agriculture: 23%
industry: 20%
services: 57% (2000 est.)
Population below poverty line: 60% (2000 est.)
Inflation rate (consumer prices): 6% (2000 est.)
Labor force: 4.2 million (1999 est.)
Labor force - by occupation: agriculture 50%, industry 15%, services 35% (1999 est.)
Unemployment rate: 7.5% (1999 est.)

Budget: revenues: $2.2 billion
expenditures: $1.8 billion, including capital expenditures of $NA (2001 est.)
Industries: sugar, textiles and clothing, furniture, chemicals, petroleum, metals, rubber, tourism
Industrial production growth rate: 4.1% (1999)
Electricity - production: 3.785 billion kWh (1999)
Electricity - production by source: fossil fuel: 38.31%
hydro: 61.69%
nuclear: 0%
other: 0% (1999)
Electricity - consumption: 3.295 billion kWh (1999)
Electricity - exports: 435 million kWh (1999)
Electricity - imports: 210 million kWh (1999)

Agriculture - products: sugarcane, corn, bananas, coffee, beans, cardamom; cattle, sheep, pigs, chickens
Exports: $2.9 billion (f.o.b., 2000)
Exports - commodities: coffee, sugar, bananas, fruits and vegetables, cardamom, meat, apparel, petroleum, electricity
Exports - partners: US 51.4%, El Salvador 8.7%, Honduras 5%, Costa Rica 3.4%, Germany 2.7% (1998)
Imports: $4.4 billion (f.o.b., 2000)
Imports - commodities: fuels, machinery and transport equipment, construction materials, grain, fertilizers, electricity
Imports - partners: US 42.8%, Mexico 9.9%, Japan 4.8%, El Salvador 4.3%, Venezuela 3.8% (1998)
Debt - external: $4.7 billion (2000 est.)
Economic aid - recipient: $212 million (1995)
Currency: quetzal (GTQ), US dollar (USD), others allowed
Exchange rates: quetzales per US dollar - 7.8020 (January 2001), 7.7632 (2000), 7.3856 (1999), 6.3947 (1998), 6.0653 (1997), 6.0495 (1996), 5.8103 (1995)
Fiscal year: calendar year


Communications
Telephones - main lines in use: 665,061 (June 2000)
Telephones - mobile cellular: 663,296 (September 2000)
Telephone system: general assessment: fairly modern network centered in the city of Guatemala
domestic: NA
international: connected to Central American Microwave System; satellite earth station - 1 Intelsat (Atlantic Ocean)
Radio broadcast stations: AM 130, FM 487, shortwave 15 (2000)
Radios: 835,000 (1997)
Television broadcast stations: 26 (plus 27 repeaters) (1997)
Televisions: 1.323 million (1997)
Internet country code: .gt
Internet Service Providers (ISPs): 5 (2000)
Internet users: 65,000 (2000)


Transportation
Railways: total: 884 km (102 km privately owned)
narrow gauge: 884 km 0.914-m gauge (single track)
Highways: total: 13,856 km
paved: 4,370 km (including 140 km of expressways)
unpaved: 9,486 km (1998)
Waterways: 990 km
note: 260 km navigable year round; additional 730 km navigable during highwater season
Pipelines: crude oil 275 km
Ports and harbors: Champerico, Puerto Barrios, Puerto Quetzal, San Jose, Santo Tomas de Castilla
Merchant marine: none (2000 est.)
Airports: 477 (2000 est.)
Airports - with paved runways: total: 11
2,438 to 3,047 m: 3
1,524 to 2,437 m: 1
914 to 1,523 m: 5
under 914 m: 2 (2000 est.)
Airports - with unpaved runways: total: 466
2,438 to 3,047 m: 1
1,524 to 2,437 m: 9
914 to 1,523 m: 124
under 914 m: 332 (2000 est.)


Military
Military branches: Army, Navy, Air Force
Military manpower - military age: 18 years of age
Military manpower - availability: males age 15-49: 3,092,050 (2001 est.)
Military manpower - fit for military service: males age 15-49: 2,018,636 (2001 est.)
Military manpower - reaching military age annually: males: 140,358 (2001 est.)
Military expenditures - dollar figure: $120 million (FY99)
Military expenditures - percent of GDP: 0.6% (FY99)


Transnational Issues
Disputes - international: Guatemala periodically asserts claims to territory in southern Belize; to deter cross-border squatting, both states in 2000 agreed to a "line of adjacency" based on the de facto boundary, which is not recognized by Guatemala
Illicit drugs: transit country for cocaine and heroin; minor producer of illicit opium poppy and cannabis for the international drug trade; proximity to Mexico makes Guatemala a major staging area for drugs (cocaine and heroin shipments); money laundering is probably increasing