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  • Introduction :: GUATEMALA

  • The Maya civilization flourished in Guatemala and surrounding regions during the first millennium A.D. After almost three centuries as a Spanish colony, Guatemala won its independence in 1821. During the second half of the 20th century, it experienced a variety of military and civilian governments, as well as a 36-year guerrilla war. In 1996, the government signed a peace agreement formally ending the internal conflict, which had left more than 200,000 people dead and had created, by some estimates, about 1 million refugees.
  • Geography :: GUATEMALA

  • Central America, bordering the North Pacific Ocean, between El Salvador and Mexico, and bordering the Gulf of Honduras (Caribbean Sea) between Honduras and Belize
    15 30 N, 90 15 W
    Central America and the Caribbean
    total: 108,889 sq km
    land: 107,159 sq km
    water: 1,730 sq km
    slightly smaller than Pennsylvania
    Area comparison map:
    total: 1,667 km
    border countries (4): Belize 266 km, El Salvador 199 km, Honduras 244 km, Mexico 958 km
    400 km
    territorial sea: 12 nm
    exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
    continental shelf: 200 m depth or to the depth of exploitation
    tropical; hot, humid in lowlands; cooler in highlands
    mostly mountains with narrow coastal plains and rolling limestone plateau
    lowest point: Pacific Ocean 0 m
    highest point: Volcan Tajumulco 4,211 m
    note: highest point in Central America
    petroleum, nickel, rare woods, fish, chicle, hydropower
    agricultural land: 41.2%
    arable land 14.2%; permanent crops 8.8%; permanent pasture 18.2%
    forest: 33.6%
    other: 25.2% (2011 est.)
    3,121 sq km (2003)
    111.3 cu km (2011)
    total: 3.46 cu km/yr (15%/31%/54%)
    per capita: 259.1 cu m/yr (2006)
    numerous volcanoes in mountains, with occasional violent earthquakes; Caribbean coast extremely susceptible to hurricanes and other tropical storms
    volcanism: significant volcanic activity in the Sierra Madre range; Santa Maria (elev. 3,772 m) has been deemed a Decade Volcano by the International Association of Volcanology and Chemistry of the Earth's Interior, worthy of study due to its explosive history and close proximity to human populations; Pacaya (elev. 2,552 m), which erupted in May 2010 causing an ashfall on Guatemala City and prompting evacuations, is one of the country's most active volcanoes with frequent eruptions since 1965; other historically active volcanoes include Acatenango, Almolonga, Atitlan, Fuego, and Tacana
    deforestation in the Peten rainforest; soil erosion; water pollution
    party to: Antarctic Treaty, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Environmental Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Wetlands, Whaling
    signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements
    no natural harbors on west coast
  • People and Society :: GUATEMALA

  • noun: Guatemalan(s)
    adjective: Guatemalan
    Mestizo (mixed Amerindian-Spanish - in local Spanish called Ladino) and European 59.4%, K'iche 9.1%, Kaqchikel 8.4%, Mam 7.9%, Q'eqchi 6.3%, other Mayan 8.6%, indigenous non-Mayan 0.2%, other 0.1% (2001 census)
    Spanish (official) 60%, Amerindian languages 40%
    note: there are 23 officially recognized Amerindian languages, including Quiche, Cakchiquel, Kekchi, Mam, Garifuna, and Xinca
    Roman Catholic, Protestant, indigenous Mayan beliefs
    Guatemala is a predominantly poor country that struggles in several areas of health and development, including infant, child, and maternal mortality, malnutrition, literacy, and contraceptive awareness and use. The country's large indigenous population is disproportionately affected. Guatemala is the most populous country in Central America and has the highest fertility rate in Latin America. It also has the highest population growth rate in Latin America, which is likely to continue because of its large reproductive-age population and high birth rate. Almost half of Guatemala's population is under age 19, making it the youngest population in Latin America. Guatemala's total fertility rate has slowly declined during the last few decades due in part to limited government-funded health programs. However, the birth rate is still more than three children per woman and is markedly higher among its rural and indigenous populations.
    Guatemalans have a history of emigrating legally and illegally to Mexico, the United States, and Canada because of a lack of economic opportunity, political instability, and natural disasters. Emigration, primarily to the United States, escalated during the 1960 to 1996 civil war and accelerated after a peace agreement was signed. Thousands of Guatemalans who fled to Mexico returned after the war, but labor migration to southern Mexico continues.
    14,647,083 (July 2014 est.)
    0-14 years: 36.2% (male 2,698,238/female 2,597,026)
    15-24 years: 22.1% (male 1,625,139/female 1,615,543)
    25-54 years: 32.4% (male 2,251,665/female 2,487,332)
    55-64 years: 5.2% (male 362,686/female 393,273)
    65 years and over: 4.2% (male 286,041/female 330,140) (2014 est.)
    population pyramid:
    total dependency ratio: 80.7%
    youth dependency ratio: 72.4%
    elderly dependency ratio: 8.3%
    potential support ratio: 12% (2014 est.)
    total: 21 years
    male: 20.4 years
    female: 21.7 years (2014 est.)
    1.86% (2014 est.)
    25.46 births/1,000 population (2014 est.)
    4.82 deaths/1,000 population (2014 est.)
    -2 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2014 est.)
    urban population: 51.1% of total population (2014)
    rate of urbanization: 3.4% annual rate of change (2010-15 est.)
    GUATEMALA CITY (capital) 2.847 million (2014)
    at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female
    0-14 years: 1.04 male(s)/female
    15-24 years: 1.01 male(s)/female
    25-54 years: 0.91 male(s)/female
    55-64 years: 0.97 male(s)/female
    65 years and over: 0.87 male(s)/female
    total population: 0.97 male(s)/female (2014 est.)
    note: median age at first birth among women 25-29 (2008/09 est.)
    140 deaths/100,000 live births (2013 est.)
    total: 23.51 deaths/1,000 live births
    male: 25.57 deaths/1,000 live births
    female: 21.35 deaths/1,000 live births (2014 est.)
    total population: 71.74 years
    male: 69.82 years
    female: 73.76 years (2014 est.)
    2.99 children born/woman (2014 est.)
    6.5% of GDP (2013)
    0.93 physicians/1,000 population (2009)
    0.6 beds/1,000 population (2011)
    urban: 99.1% of population
    rural: 88.6% of population
    total: 93.8% of population
    urban: 0.9% of population
    rural: 11.4% of population
    total: 6.2% of population (2012 est.)
    urban: 88.4% of population
    rural: 72.1% of population
    total: 80.3% of population
    urban: 11.6% of population
    rural: 27.9% of population
    total: 19.7% of population (2012 est.)
    0.59% (2013 est.)
    52,800 (2013 est.)
    2,600 (2013 est.)
    degree of risk: high
    food or waterborne diseases: bacterial diarrhea, hepatitis A, and typhoid fever
    vectorborne disease: dengue fever and malaria (2013)
    16.4% (2014)
    13% (2009)
    2.8% of GDP (2013)
    definition: age 15 and over can read and write
    total population: 81.5%
    male: 87.4%
    female: 76.3% (2015 est.)
    total: 11 years
    male: 11 years
    female: 10 years (2007)
    total number: 929,852
    percentage: 21%
    note: data represents children ages 5-17 (2006 est.)
    total: 7.5%
    male: 4.5%
    female: 13.6% (2011 est.)
  • Government :: GUATEMALA

  • conventional long form: Republic of Guatemala
    conventional short form: Guatemala
    local long form: Republica de Guatemala
    local short form: Guatemala
    constitutional democratic republic
    name: Guatemala City
    geographic coordinates: 14 37 N, 90 31 W
    time difference: UTC-6 (1 hour behind Washington, DC, during Standard Time)
    22 departments (departamentos, singular - departamento); Alta Verapaz, Baja Verapaz, Chimaltenango, Chiquimula, El Progreso, Escuintla, Guatemala, Huehuetenango, Izabal, Jalapa, Jutiapa, Peten, Quetzaltenango, Quiche, Retalhuleu, Sacatepequez, San Marcos, Santa Rosa, Solola, Suchitepequez, Totonicapan, Zacapa
    15 September 1821 (from Spain)
    Independence Day, 15 September (1821)
    several previous; latest adopted 31 May 1985, effective 14 January 1986; suspended, reinstated, and amended in 1993 (2013)
    civil law system; judicial review of legislative acts
    has not submitted an ICJ jurisdiction declaration; accepts ICCt jurisdiction
    18 years of age; universal; note - active duty members of the armed forces and police by law cannot vote and are restricted to their barracks on election day
    chief of state: President Otto Fernando PEREZ MOLINA (since 14 January 2012); note - the president is both chief of state and head of government
    head of government: President Otto Fernando PEREZ MOLINA (since 14 January 2012); Vice President (vacant); note - Vice President Ingrid Roxana BALDETTI Elias (since 14 January 2012) resigned 8 May 2015
    cabinet: Council of Ministers appointed by the president
    elections: president and vice president elected on the same ticket by popular vote for a four-year term (may not be reelected); election last held on 11 September 2011; runoff held on 6 November 2011 (next to be held on 6 September 2015)
    election results: Otto Fernando PEREZ MOLINA elected president in a runoff election; percent of vote - Otto Fernando PEREZ MOLINA 53.7%, Manuel BALDIZON 46.3%
    description: unicameral Congress of the Republic or Congreso de la Republica (158 seats; 127 members directly elected in multi-seat constituencies within each of the country's 22 departments by simple majority vote and 31 directly elected in a single nationwide constituency by proportional representation vote; members serve 4-year terms)
    elections: last held on 11 September 2011 (next to be held on 6 September 2015)
    election results: percent of vote by party - PP 26.62%, UNE-GANA 22.67%, UNC 9.50%, LIDER 8.87%, CREO 8.67%, VIVA-EG 7.87%, Winaq-URNG-ANN 3.23%, PAN 3.12%, FRG 2.74%, PU 2.70%, other 3.59%; seats by party - PP 57, UNE-GANA 48, LIDER 14, UCN 14, CREO 12, VIVA-EG 6, PAN 2, Winaq-URNG-ANN 2, FRG 1, PU 1, Victoria 1; note - changes in party affiliation now reflect the following seat distribution: as of 1 May 2015 - LIDER 62, PP 37, UNE 23, TODOS 10, CREO 8, EG 3, PRI 2, PU 1, UCN 1, URNG 1, Victoria 1, VIVA 1, Winaq 1, independents 7
    highest court(s): Supreme Court of Justice or Corte Suprema de Justicia (consists of 13 magistrates including the court president and organized into 3 chambers); note - the court president also supervises trial judges countrywide; Constitutional Court or Corte de Constitucionalidad (consists of 5 judges and 5 alternates)
    judge selection and term of office: Supreme Court magistrates elected by the Congress of the Republic from candidates proposed by the Postulation Committee, an independent body of deans of the country's university law schools, representatives of the country's law associations, and representatives of the Courts of Appeal; magistrates elected for concurrent, renewable 5-year terms; Constitutional Court judges - 1 elected by the Congress of the Republic, 1 by the Supreme Court, 1 by the president of the republic, 1 by the (public) University of San Carlos, and 1 by the lawyers bar association; judges elected for concurrent, renewable 5-year terms; the presidency of the court rotates among the magistrates for a single 1-year term
    subordinate courts: numerous first instance and appellate courts
    Commitment, Renewal, and Order or CREO [Roberto GONZALEZ Diaz-Duran]
    Democratic Union or UD [Edwin Armando MARTINEZ Herrera]
    Encounter for Guatemala or EG [Nineth MONTENEGRO Cottom]
    Everyone Together for Guatemala or TODOS [Felipe ALEJOS]
    Grand National Alliance or GANA [Jaime Antonio MARTINEZ Lohayza]
    Guatemalan National Revolutionary Unity or URNG [Angel SANCHEZ Viesca]
    Institutional Republican Party (formerly the Guatemalan Republican Front) or PRI [Luis Fernando PEREZ]
    National Advancement Party or PAN [Juan GUTIERREZ Strauss]
    National Unity for Hope or UNE [Sandra TORRES]
    Nationalist Change Union or UCN [Mario ESTRADA]
    New National Alternative or ANN [Pablo MONSANTO]
    Patriot Party or PP [Ingrid Roxana BALDETTI Elias]
    Renewed Democratic Liberty or LIDER [Manuel BALDIZON]
    Unionista Party or PU [Alvaro ARZU Irigoyen]
    Victoria (Victory) [Amilcar RIVERA]
    Vision with Values or VIVA [Harold CABALLEROS] (part of a coalition with EG during the last legislative election)
    Winaq [Rigoberta MENCHU]
    Alliance Against Impunity or AI (which includes among others Center for Legal Action on Human Rights (CALDH), and Family and Friends of the Disappeared of Guatemala (FAMDEGUA))
    Civic and Political Convergence of Women
    Committee for Campesino Unity or CUC
    Coordinating Committee of Agricultural, Commercial, Industrial, and Financial Associations or CACIF
    Foundation for the Development of Guatemala or FUNDESA
    Guatemala Visible
    Mutual Support Group or GAM
    Movimiento PRO-Justicia
    National Union of Agriculture Workers or UNAGRO
    BCIE, CACM, CD, CELAC, EITI (compliant country), FAO, G-24, G-77, IADB, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC (national committees), ICCt (signatory), ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO (correspondent), ITSO, ITU, ITUC (NGOs), LAES, LAIA (observer), MIGA, MINUSTAH, MONUSCO, NAM, OAS, OPANAL, OPCW, Pacific Alliance (observer), PCA, Petrocaribe, SICA, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UNIFIL, Union Latina, UNISFA, UNITAR, UNMISS, UNOCI, UNWTO, UPU, WCO, WFTU (NGOs), WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO
    chief of mission: Ambassador Jose Julio Alejandro LIGORRIA Carballido (since 5 September 2013)
    chancery: 2220 R Street NW, Washington, DC 20008
    telephone: [1] (202) 745-4952
    FAX: [1] (202) 745-1908
    consulate(s) general: Atlanta, Chicago, Denver, Houston, Los Angeles, McAllen (TX), Miami, New York, Phoenix, Providence (RI), San Francisco, Silver Spring (MD), Tucson (AZ)
    chief of mission: Ambassador Todd D. ROBINSON (since 10 October 2014)
    embassy: 7-01 Avenida Reforma, Zone 10, Guatemala City
    mailing address: DPO AA 34024
    telephone: [502] 2326-4000
    FAX: [502] 2326-4654
    three equal vertical bands of light blue (hoist side), white, and light blue, with the coat of arms centered in the white band; the coat of arms includes a green and red quetzal (the national bird) representing liberty and a scroll bearing the inscription LIBERTAD 15 DE SEPTIEMBRE DE 1821 (the original date of independence from Spain) all superimposed on a pair of crossed rifles signifying Guatemala's willingness to defend itself and a pair of crossed swords representing honor and framed by a laurel wreath symbolizing victory; the blue bands represent the Pacific Ocean and Caribbean Sea; the white band denotes peace and purity
    quetzal (bird); national colors: blue, white
    name: "Himno Nacional de Guatemala" (National Anthem of Guatemala)
    lyrics/music: Jose Joaquin PALMA/Rafael Alvarez OVALLE
    note: adopted 1897, modified lyrics adopted 1934; Cuban poet Jose Joaquin PALMA anonymously submitted lyrics to a public contest calling for a national anthem; his authorship was not discovered until 1911
  • Economy :: GUATEMALA

  • Guatemala is the most populous country in Central America with a GDP per capita roughly one-half that of the average for Latin America and the Caribbean. The agricultural sector accounts for 13.7% of GDP and 32% of the labor force; key agricultural exports include sugar, coffee, bananas, and vegetables. The 1996 peace accords, which ended 36 years of civil war, removed a major obstacle to foreign investment, and since then Guatemala has pursued important reforms and macroeconomic stabilization. The Dominican Republic-Central America Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA-DR) entered into force in July 2006, spurring increased investment and diversification of exports, with the largest increases in ethanol and non-traditional agricultural exports. While CAFTA-DR has helped improve the investment climate, concerns over security, the lack of skilled workers, and poor infrastructure continue to hamper foreign direct investment. The distribution of income remains highly unequal with the richest 20% of the population accounting for more than 51% of Guatemala's overall consumption. More than half of the population is below the national poverty line, and 13% of the population lives in extreme poverty. Poverty among indigenous groups, which make up more than 40% of the population, averages 73%, with 22% of the indigenous population living in extreme poverty. Nearly one-half of Guatemala's children under age five are chronically malnourished, one of the highest malnutrition rates in the world. Guatemala is the top remittance recipient in Central America as a result of Guatemala's large expatriate community in the United States. These inflows are a primary source of foreign income, equivalent to one-half of the country's exports or one-tenth of its GDP. In November 2014 along with his counterparts from El Salvador and Honduras, President PEREZ MOLINA announced the “Plan of the Alliance for Prosperity in the Northern Triangle.” This plan seeks to address the challenges facing the three Northern Triangle countries, including steps the governments will take to stimulate economic growth, increase transparency and fiscal responsibility, reduce violence, modernize the justice system, improve infrastructure, and promote educational opportunities over the next several years.
    $118.7 billion (2014 est.)
    $114.8 billion (2013 est.)
    $110.7 billion (2012 est.)
    note: data are in 2014 US dollars
    $58.3 billion (2014 est.)
    3.4% (2014 est.)
    3.7% (2013 est.)
    3% (2012 est.)
    $7,500 (2014 est.)
    $7,400 (2013 est.)
    $7,300 (2012 est.)
    note: data are in 2013 US dollars
    country comparison to the world: 151
    12.2% of GDP (2014 est.)
    11.5% of GDP (2013 est.)
    12.4% of GDP (2012 est.)
    household consumption: 85.8%
    government consumption: 10.6%
    investment in fixed capital: 14.3%
    investment in inventories: 0.6%
    exports of goods and services: 23.6%
    imports of goods and services: -34.9%
    (2014 est.)
    agriculture: 13.3%
    industry: 23.5%
    services: 63.2% (2014 est.)
    sugarcane, corn, bananas, coffee, beans, cardamom; cattle, sheep, pigs, chickens
    sugar, textiles and clothing, furniture, chemicals, petroleum, metals, rubber, tourism
    3% (2014 est.)
    4.576 million (2014 est.)
    agriculture: 38%
    industry: 14%
    services: 48% (2011 est.)
    4.1% (2011 est.)
    3.5% (2010 est.)
    54% (2011 est.)
    lowest 10%: 1.3%
    highest 10%: 42.4% (2006)
    55.1 (2007)
    55.8 (1998)
    revenues: $6.785 billion
    expenditures: $8.137 billion (2014 est.)
    11.6% of GDP (2014 est.)
    -2.3% of GDP (2014 est.)
    29.9% of GDP (2014 est.)
    30.3% of GDP (2013 est.)
    calendar year
    3.5% (2014 est.)
    4.3% (2013 est.)
    6.5% (31 December 2010)
    13.6% (31 December 2014 est.)
    13.6% (31 December 2013 est.)
    $8.905 billion (31 December 2014 est.)
    $8.311 billion (31 December 2013 est.)
    $23.83 billion (31 December 2013 est.)
    $22.3 billion (31 December 2012 est.)
    $25.68 billion (31 December 2014 est.)
    $23.02 billion (31 December 2013 est.)
    $-1.527 billion (2014 est.)
    $-1.515 billion (2013 est.)
    $10.6 billion (2014 est.)
    $10.19 billion (2013 est.)
    sugar, coffee, petroleum, apparel, bananas, fruits and vegetables, cardamom, manufacturing products, precious stones and metals, electricity
    US 37.2%, El Salvador 8.7%, Honduras 7.8%, Mexico 5%, Nicaragua 4.8%, Costa Rica 4.3% (2013)
    $17.15 billion (2014 est.)
    $16.36 billion (2013 est.)
    fuels, machinery and transport equipment, construction materials, grain, fertilizers, electricity, mineral products, chemical products, plastic materials and products
    US 36.4%, Mexico 11.4%, China 9.7%, El Salvador 4.7%, Colombia 4.4% (2013)
    $7.546 billion (31 December 2014 est.)
    $7.269 billion (31 December 2013 est.)
    $15.94 billion (31 December 2014 est.)
    $15.58 billion (31 December 2013 est.)
    quetzales (GTQ) per US dollar -
    7.83 (2014 est.)
    7.86 (2013 est.)
    7.83 (2012 est.)
    7.79 (2011 est.)
    8.06 (2010 est.)
  • Energy :: GUATEMALA

  • 8.361 billion kWh (2011 est.)
    8.143 billion kWh (2011 est.)
    346 million kWh (2012 est.)
    372 million kWh (2012 est.)
    2.813 million kW (2011 est.)
    55.8% of total installed capacity (2011 est.)
    0% of total installed capacity (2011 est.)
    31.7% of total installed capacity (2011 est.)
    12.5% of total installed capacity (2011 est.)
    13,990 bbl/day (2013 est.)
    10,960 bbl/day (2010 est.)
    0 bbl/day (2010 est.)
    83.07 million bbl (1 January 2014 est.)
    1,253 bbl/day (2010 est.)
    80,330 bbl/day (2013 est.)
    4,911 bbl/day (2010 est.)
    71,390 bbl/day (2010 est.)
    0 cu m (2012 est.)
    0 cu m (2012 est.)
    0 cu m (2012 est.)
    0 cu m (2012 est.)
    2.96 billion cu m (1 January 2006 est.)
    13.07 million Mt (2012 est.)
  • Communications :: GUATEMALA

  • 1.744 million (2012)
    20.787 million (2012)
    general assessment: fairly modern network centered in the city of Guatemala
    domestic: state-owned telecommunications company privatized in the late 1990s opening the way for competition; fixed-line teledensity roughly 10 per 100 persons; fixed-line investments are being concentrated on improving rural connectivity; mobile-cellular teledensity approaching 140 per 100 persons
    international: country code - 502; landing point for both the Americas Region Caribbean Ring System (ARCOS-1) and the SAM-1 fiber optic submarine cable system that, together, provide connectivity to South and Central America, parts of the Caribbean, and the US; connected to Central American Microwave System; satellite earth station - 1 Intelsat (Atlantic Ocean) (2013)
    4 privately owned national terrestrial TV channels dominate TV broadcasting; multi-channel satellite and cable services are available; 1 government-owned radio station and hundreds of privately owned radio stations (2007)
    AM 130, FM 487, shortwave 15 (2000)
    26 (plus 27 repeaters) (1997)
    357,552 (2012)
    2.279 million (2009)
  • Transportation :: GUATEMALA

  • 291 (2013)
    total: 16
    2,438 to 3,047 m: 2
    1,524 to 2,437 m: 4
    914 to 1,523 m: 6
    under 914 m: 4 (2013)
    total: 275
    2,438 to 3,047 m: 1
    1,524 to 2,437 m: 2
    914 to 1,523 m: 77
    under 914 m:
    195 (2013)
    1 (2013)
    oil 480 km (2013)
    total: 332 km
    narrow gauge: 332 km 0.914-m gauge (2008)
    total: 11,501 km
    paved: 6,797 km (includes 127 km of expressways)
    unpaved: 4,704 km (2010)
    990 km (260 km navigable year round; additional 730 km navigable during high-water season) (2012)
    major seaport(s): Puerto Quetzal, Santo Tomas de Castilla
  • Military :: GUATEMALA

  • National Army of Guatemala (Ejercito Nacional de Guatemala, ENG; includes Guatemalan Navy (Fuerza de Mar, including Marines) and Guatemalan Air Force (Fuerza Aerea Guatemalteca, FAG)) (2013)
    all male citizens between the ages of 18 and 50 are eligible for military service; in practice, most of the force is volunteer, however, a selective draft system is employed, resulting in a small portion of 17-21 year-olds conscripted; conscript service obligation varies from 1 to 2 years; women can serve as officers (2013)
    males age 16-49: 3,165,870
    females age 16-49: 3,371,217 (2010 est.)
    males age 16-49: 2,590,843
    females age 16-49: 2,926,544 (2010 est.)
    male: 171,092
    female: 168,151 (2010 est.)
    0.42% of GDP (2012)
    0.41% of GDP (2011)
    0.42% of GDP (2010)
  • Transnational Issues :: GUATEMALA

  • annual ministerial meetings under the Organization of American States-initiated Agreement on the Framework for Negotiations and Confidence Building Measures continue to address Guatemalan land and maritime claims in Belize and the Caribbean Sea; Guatemala persists in its territorial claim to half of Belize, but agrees to Line of Adjacency to keep Guatemalan squatters out of Belize's forested interior; both countries agreed in April 2012 to hold simultaneous referenda, scheduled for 6 October 2013, to decide whether to refer the dispute to the ICJ for binding resolution, but this vote was suspended indefinitely; Mexico must deal with thousands of impoverished Guatemalans and other Central Americans who cross the porous border looking for work in Mexico and the United States
    IDPs: at least 248,500 (more than three decades of internal conflict that ended in 1996 displaced mainly the indigenous Maya population and rural peasants; ongoing drug cartel and gang violence) (2014) (2011)
    major transit country for cocaine and heroin; in 2005, cultivated 100 hectares of opium poppy after reemerging as a potential source of opium in 2004; potential production of less than 1 metric ton of pure heroin; marijuana cultivation for mostly domestic consumption; proximity to Mexico makes Guatemala a major staging area for drugs (particularly for cocaine); money laundering is a serious problem; corruption is a major problem