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Experts: More Resources Needed for Guatemalan Peace Process - 2003-05-15


In Guatemala City, a two-day meeting of representatives of donor nations and international organizations supporting Guatemala's peace process has ended, with a call to invigorate what many argue is a stagnating peace process.

Nearly six years after Guatemala's 36-year civil war ended, a group of nations and organizations that support the implementation of the peace accords met to assess the process. Government officials entered the meeting with a clear message that they have been working hard to implement the accords. Many of the representatives of the consultative group disagreed, saying the accords had stagnated.

At the Wednesday-night conclusion of the meeting, the consultative group recommended a series of steps for the government to take to accelerate the implementation of the accords. The group stressed Guatemala needs to increase tax revenue to fund the implementation of the accords.

The donors say more resources should be dedicated to social spending and less to the armed forces. Guatemala's military has the same budget level as it had during the civil war.

Pablo Ceto is a congressman for URNG -- the party of the former guerilla movement, which signed the accords with the government in 1996. He says -- because of upcoming elections and because of international pressure -- the ruling party is going to have to act.

The next consultative group meeting is to be held six months after the new administration assumes power, in January.

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