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United Nations

Under the 1996 peace accords, the mandate of MINUGUA was due to expire at year's end. In March, President Portillo asked MINUGUA to extend its stay, but at this writing the U.N. General Assembly had yet to decide on an extension. Significant aspects of the accords have yet to be implemented, so indicating a need for continued international verification.

MINUGUA's reports on aspects of the peace process contained detailed human rights analyses. In September, MINUGUA issued a human rights report for the period October 1999 to June 2000, and at other times it issued communiques on specific human rights abuses.

European Union

The European Parliament passed a resolution in May offering support for Guatemala's prosecution of crimes against humanity, for witness protection and for other protection measures for judges and lawyers. In March, cooperation between the PNC and Spain's Civil Guard (Guardia Civil), who had been providing technical assistance to the Guatemalan police since 1998, was suspended. The European Union was to provide funding to the police in the amount of some 34 million ECUS (approximately U.S. $40 million) between 1998 and 2003.

Organization of American States

The IACHR praised President Portillo's March admission of state responsibility in three pending cases as an "example for the entire Hemisphere." In August, President Portillo followed up on his March statements by agreeing to settle ten additional cases involving two massacres and sixteen executions and "disappearances," a step that obliged his government to provide compensation to the victims or their relatives, and to oversee the investigation and prosecution of each case. At the time of this writing, dozens of Guatemalan cases remained pending before the IACHR.

United States

In March, the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) awarded one of its highest honors, the Distinguished Career Intelligence Medal, to former official Terry Ward, who was dismissed from the agency in 1995 for failing to report CIA ties to a Guatemalan colonel implicated in the murders of Efraín Bamaca Velásquez and U.S. citizen Michael Devine. After fierce political debate, Guatemala in April approved the deployment of U.S. military forces to the country to combat illicit drug trafficking. In June, the National Security Archive, a Washington, D.C.-based NGO, released a report entitled "The Guatemalan Military: What the U.S. Files Reveal." This named 232 Guatemalan officers and contained information on their activities and command responsibilities, so assisting NGOs and victims in their efforts to identify and bring to justice those responsible for gross abuses during Guatemala's civil war.

Human Rights Watch World Report 2000

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