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Yearbook 1996

Guatemala. The newly elected President Alvaro Arz˙ took office on January 1. Arz˙ belongs to the National Development Party (Partido de Avanzada Nacional, PAN). One of his counter-candidates was Rigoberta Mench˙, recipient of the 1992 Nobel Peace Prize.

1996 Guatemala

According to, Arz˙ started intensive work to stop the civil war since the 1960s. On March 20, representatives of the government and the URNG guerrillas signed a ceasefire agreement. The war had then harvested about 100,000 casualties, and 40,000 people had disappeared.

On September 19, part of the peace agreement was signed. This meant that the UN monitoring group, MINUGUA, would monitor compliance with human rights conventions and agreements. The Mayan Indians' identity and rights were protected by the agreement. The government appointed a Truth Commission with the task of investigating what violations of human rights were committed during the civil war. A land reform was also promised.

The final agreement was signed in Guatemala City on December 29 and marked the end of 36 years of civil war.

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