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UA 012/19
Guatemala
Abgeschlossen am 12. März 2019
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07.03.2019: News

During a second reading, Bill 5377 has been approved, there is only a third and last reading remaining before approving article by article:

https://www.prensalibre.com/guatemala/politica/reforma-a-la-ley-de-reconciliacion-pasa-la-segunda-lectura/

It’s very important that we continue our efforts and we encourage you to please take action online. See sample message below.

Bill 5377 threatens the rights of victims to achieve justice for atrocities experienced during the #Guatemala civil war. Don’t let grave crimes go unpunished! #NoAla5377 @AlvaroArzuE @CongresoGT

Please note that the right twitter handle for the Congress is @CongresoGT (and not @CongresoGuate).


19.02.2019 News

We were informed today that Congress rescheduled the discussion on bill 5377 for tomorrow Wednesday 20th February.

Last Wednesday 13th February, at the very last-minute, Members of Congress changed the agenda, removing from the agenda the discussion on bill 5377. We believe that the strong pressure from the international community, the media and social media contributed to this. However, we still need to continue to put pressure on Congress as the discussion was rescheduled for tomorrow Wednesday 20th February.

Bill 5377 threatens the rights to justice, truth and reparation for victims of the internal armed conflict (1960 -1996). It would grant an amnesty to the perpetrators of serious crimes committed during the internal armed conflict, such as torture, genocide or enforced disappearance. This could lead to the release of those found guilty within 24 hours of its approval and to the suspension of ongoing investigations into these crimes.

More details are available in the following press release:
https://www.amnesty.org/en/latest/news/2019/02/guatemala-legislative-initiatives-seriously-threaten-human-rights/

Please continue to take action. You can send messages on social media to members of Congress:

ENGLISH
#Guatemala Bill 5377 would bring serious setbacks in the struggle for justice and human rights, @AlvaroArzuE @CongresoGT must guarantee access to justice for victims of the internal armed conflict. #NoALa5377
#Guatemala @AlvaroArzuE @CongresoGT must guarantee the rights of victims of human rights violations. #NoALa5377

SPANISH
#Guatemala La iniciativa de la ley 5377 traería serios retrocesos en la lucha por la justicia y los derechos humanos. @AlvaroArzuE @CongresoGT debe garantizar el acceso a la justicia para las víctimas del conflicto armado interno. #NoALa5377
#Guatemala @AlvaroArzuE @CongresoGT debe garantizar los derechos de las víctimas de violaciones de los derechos humanos #NoALa5377

Thank you very much for your support!

 

11.02.2019: News

Action is needed immediately as bill 5377 (aimed at extending an amnesty for grave human rights violations perpetrated during the internal armed conflict) is one step closer to be approved. The second discussion is scheduled for this Wednesday 13th February. The law could be then passed during the third and last discussion. If passed at least 30 persons sentenced by Guatemalan courts would be released within 24 hours, putting at risk thousands of victims, witnesses and lawyers and the proceeding against other dozens of alleged perpetrators would be permanently suspended. Please encourage your networks to take action.

Digital action is encouraged. Please tweet:


Bill 5377 threatens the rights of victims to achieve justice for atrocities experienced during the #Guatemala civil war. Don’t let grave crimes go unpunished! #NoAla5377 @AlvaroArzuE @CongresoGuate

Bill could grant amnesty for grave crimes

AI-Index: AMR 34/9750/2019

Guatemala’s Congress could imminently pass a law that would grant an amnesty to those suspected or found guilty of crimes such as genocide, torture, and enforced disappearances during the internal armed conflict (1960-1996). The bill could lead to the release of those found guilty within 24 hours of its approval. It would also lead to the suspension of ongoing investigations into these crimes. Guatemala’s Congress must refrain from passing this bill to respect the rights of victims to justice, truth and reparation.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

Bill 5377 was originally presented in November 2017 by Congressman Fernando Linares Beltranena, and was co-signed by 12 other members. It aims to repeal articles 2, 4 and 8 of the National Reconciliation Law and amend articles 1, 5 and 11, leading to the establishment of a general amnesty for crime acts relating to the country’s civil war, including for individuals accused of serious crimes under international law.

According to the Commission for Historical Clarification, established to clarify human rights violations during the internal armed conflict, approximately 200,000 persons were killed or disappeared during the internal armed conflict (1960-1996). 93% of the violations were attributed to state forces and related paramilitary groups, whereas 3% were attributed to insurgency groups.

After decades of impunity, from 2008 onwards at least 30 former military officials, military commissioners and former members of civil defence patrols have been convicted of crimes such as torture, enforced disappearances, extrajudicial executions, sexual violence and sexual slavery, under international law. If passed, the bill would lead to the immediate release of all the individuals already convicted and the suspension of any ongoing investigations.

The proposed reform passed the first reading, and to become a law it needs to pass two more readings and be approved article by article. The second reading could be tabled at any time during the following weeks.

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