chapter
Guatemala
Pages 6

July 1992: The Minister of the Interior, Fernando Hurtado Prem, was forced to resign amid allegations of police brutality. 25 May 1993: With the support of the military, Serrano Elías partially suspended the Constitution and dissolved the Congreso Nacional announcing his intention to rule by decree. The USA, the European Union (EU) and several other countries introduced economic sanctions. 1 June 1993: International pressure and overwhelming domestic opposition led the military to effect a return to constitutional rule, forcing the resignation of Serrano Elías. The Minister of National Defence, Gen. José Domingo García Samayoa, assumed control of the country, pending the election of a new president. An attempt by Vice-President Gustavo Adolfo Espina Salguero to assume the presidency was prevented by a legislative boycott of his ratification. He was later ruled ineligible for the post by the Constitutional Court. 3 June 1993: The entire Cabinet, excluding García Samayoa and the Minister of the Interior, Francisco Perdomo Sandoval, resigned. On the same day, charges, including violation of the Constitution, abuse of authority and embezzlement, were presented against Serrano, Espina and Perdomo. 5 June 1993: Following an order by the Constitutional Court, Congress reconvened and elected Ramiro de León Carpio to complete what remained of Serrano’s term. The URNG announced a unilateral cease-fire as a gesture of goodwill to the incoming President. The USA subsequently restored its aid programme to Guatemala. August 1993: President de León Carpio requested the voluntary resignation of the legislature and the Supreme Court as an initial measure in a campaign to eradicate corruption from state institutions and restore public confidence in his Government. September 1993: The army announced that it would be resuming military operations against the rebels, which had been suspended in June. October 1993: The Government presented a revised peace plan to the UN, providing for the creation of a Permanent Forum for Peace and renewed cease-fire negotiations; the plan was, however, rejected by the rebels. January 1994: Negotiations between the Government and the URNG were resumed in Mexico, and resulted in an agreement on the resumption of formal peace negotiations. March 1994: President de León Carpio oversaw the signing of a human-rights accord with the URNG, which included a mandate for a UN mission, the Human Rights Verification Mission in Guatemala (MINUGUA), which was formally established in September to supervise the implementation of the accord. August 1994: Legislative elections were held at which Ríos Montt’s Frente Republicano Guatemalteco (FRG) won the greatest number of seats (32 of a total of 80), followed by PAN and the PDCG. Also in that month the URNG withdrew from the peace negotiations and accused the Government of failing to observe the human rights provisions agreed in March. November 1994: Peace negotiations between the Government and the URNG resumed, but failed to make any progress.