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Guatemala: News & Updates

Guatemala had the longest and bloodiest civil war in Central American history: 36 years (1960-96). The US-backed military was responsible for a genocide (“scorched earth policy”) that wiped out 200,000 mostly Maya indigenous civilians.  War criminals are still being tried in the courts.

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The 63-year-old Aldana was Guatemala’s top prosecutor from 2014 to 2018. Her biggest successes were the jailing of former President Otto Perez Molina, his Vice President Roxana Baldetti and most of his cabinet on corruption charges. Perez Molina resigned in 2015 and is awaiting trial in corruption cases.
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Though he initially supported CICIG (anti-corruption commission), President Morales reversed course in 2017 when the attorney general and the commission implicated him and his party, the National Convergence Front, in campaign finance violations and sought to lift his immunity. The commission is also investigating his son and his brother on corruption charges, a trial that has now been hobbled—the presiding judges have dismissed CICIG as co-prosecutors in the case.
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Maya communities bore the brunt of almost four decades of a civil war that ended in 1996, leaving over 200,000 casualties, the majority indigenous Guatemalans, according to the United Nations. Now the mostly Maya organizations and many human rights groups worry that the violence is making a comeback: In just the last year, 26 members of mostly indigenous campesino organizations have been killed. "Guatemala is on the verge of a major human rights catastrophe," says Jo-Marie Burt, a senior fellow at the Washington Office on Latin America.
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the lifeless body of Jakelin Caal Maquín, 7, who died in the custody of the U.S. Customs and Border Patrol, was returned to her family home in Guatemala. Then on Christmas Day, the Border Patrol announced another Guatemalan child, 8-year-old Felipe Gómez Alonso, had died in the agency’s custody.
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The circumstances of Jakelin Caal Maquin’s death are being seized upon as evidence both for and against the Trump administration’s hardline approach to immigration
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murder of seven-year-old Jakelin Ameí Rosmery Caal Maquin while in Border Patrol custody
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A U.N. commission investigating corruption in Guatemala said Tuesday that President Jimmy Morales' government has denied or revoked visas for about a dozen of its personnel including staffers probing the president, his relatives and the ruling party.

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