Time: 09:00-17:00
Venue: Noref, Borggt. 2B, Oslo (Fafo annex)

Whilst many Latin American countries have recently seen positive developments regarding poverty levels, political inclusion and the development of multicultural states, Guatemala continues to demonstrate a series of worrying trends. While it has made significant progress regarding the establishment of formal democracy and democratic institutions, the country has among the highest levels of violence in Latin America (it has murder rates similar to the worst years of the 36 year long civil war). Moreover, Guatemala continues to suffer from persistently high levels of poverty, repeated outbreaks of famines, and frequent confrontations between indigenous peoples and the state. For some analysts these features have been highlighted as evidence of a state in crisis.

The reasons for these trends are complex, but key factors appear to include the vulnerability of the Guatemalan state to the penetration of transnational organized crime, aided in part by economic liberalization, the legacy of one of Latin America’s longest civil wars, and a complex web of clandestine forces. Together these forces have undermined the states ability to protect its citizens, and to develop and implement policies favorable to a multicultural, inclusive development.

The aim of this seminar is to take stock of the situation in Guatemala regarding poverty, security and indigenous rights and analyze the root causes of the disappointing developments following the signing of the peace accords in 1996. It will also highlight what has been done and what can be done to counteract these trends. Norway had a key role in the processes leading up to conclusion of the civil war in Guatemala. The seminar considers the role and responsibility Norway now shares in searching for solutions to ongoing civil violence in the country.

Regsitrate your participation to: norlarnet@sum.uio.no

Deadline: 12 May

THis one day seminar organized by Chr. Michelsen Institute (CMI), the Latin American Faculty of Social Sciences (FLACSO), Guatemala, Norwegian Peacebuilding Centre (NOREF) and Norwegian Network for Latin America Research (NorLARNet).


Preliminary programme

09:00 Registration     

09:30 Welcome     Benedicte Bull, Norlarnet, John-Andrew McNeish, CMI

09:45 Social and environmental conflicts Virgilio Reyes, FLACSO, Guatemala

10:30 Poverty and violence    Vicente Quino, FLACSO, Guatemela

11:15 Coffee break     

11:30 Chronic Impunity and Social Cohesion in Post-War Guatemala: Implications for Future Social Interventions    Tani Adams, IIARS, Guatemala /Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, Washington, DC

12:15 Plural Systems of Justice in Guatemala   Rachel Sieder, CIESAS, Mexico

13:00 Lunch

14:00 Crime, violence and the shadow of the state    Ivan Briscoe, Clingendael, Holland

14:45 Combating crime and violence in Mayan Guatemala: Examples from Totonicapán  Stener Ekern, Center for Human Rights, University of Oslo

15:30 Guatemalan youth gangs: Caught between Institutional Weakness and the Persistence of Illegality  Elin Ranum, Norwegian Development Fund/Unviersidad Centroamericana, El Salvador

16:15 Final discussion 

17:00 End