To understand the security crisis in Guatemala, the efforts to dismantle impunity and the organized crime response to these efforts, the context of the events need to be but in perspective. A chronological order of events dating from the 2007 Presidential election to date is presented to the reader.
1. The presidential election process in 2007 is marred by high levels of violence and killings of different party members. The race is between the status quo candidate, ex-military, ally of Guatemala's usual power structure, Otto Peres Molina and the Social Democrat Alvaro Colom who has no strong alliance with the old military power structure.
2. Just before the presidential elections in December 2007 a systematic plan of attacks and murders of bus drivers in the city of Guatemala causes alarm. Accusations are launched against Presidential Candidate Otto Perez Molina to be the brains behind the organized violence. The accusation was never proven.2008.
3. Increased violence related to organized crime and narco activity starts in 2008.
4. Guatemala's society is alarmed by the increase in violent crime, kidnappings and narco massacres in 2008.
5. October 3, Meeting between Government and Private Sector, CACIF, both sectors agree on National Security Strategy, but no actions are taken.
6. December 10th, CICIG urges national agreement to fight violence in Guatemala.
7. December 17th, Evidence of "silent" remilitarization in Guatemala is presented.
8. December 17th, Guatemala fears Mexico drug spill over.
9. Guatemala's government is taken by surprise by increased violence; it announces the creation of a National Security Pact. Vice President Rafael Espada is put in charge of formulation of the plan.
10. January. CICIG, International Commission against Impunity in Guatemala gets more support from Guatemala's civil society sectors and media who demand extension of CICIG´s mandate.
11. The international community provides funds and increased support for CICIG.
12. The international community pressures the government to address the impunity situation, both current and past (crimes committed during the internal conflict).
13. February 10th, Guatemala's President shows firm support for the CICIG, The International Commission against Impunity in Guatemala.
14. CICIG get's extension for its mandate for two more years and political support form the government.
15. February, The director of Guatemala's National Compensation Program (PNR) announced that the government has filed more than 3,000 criminal complaints for human rights violations committed during the internal armed conflict on behalf of 5000 victims. There remains a backlog of 98,000 civilian complaints, and 1,000 were made in 2008.
16. February 25th, 10year Anniversary of CEH "Guatemala's Memory of Silence report" and Day of Dignity for the Victims. CEH was Guatemala's Truth and Reconciliation commission.
17. The national and international media starts to address the issues of cero progress on impunity raised during the 10th anniversary of Memory of Silence report of the Guatemala's Historical Clarification Commission.
18. Media starts to address evidence of Organized crime using the same "modus operandy" as during the internal conflict, to cause terror and panic in the population is pointed out by media and civil rights groups: Organized crime in Guatemala has representatives in politics, government, private sector, political opposition and the media. The same people who "constructed" a weak and ineffective justice system during the internal conflict, to ensure impunity of their actions, are operating now. CICIG makes similar statements.
19. February 26th, Guatemala's military refuses to declassify military plans el internal conflict mandated by judge.
20. February 27th, Civil rights organizations protest and sue the Defense of Minister for refusing to hand over Military plans of internal conflict as ordered by the courts.
21. March 10, Guatemala´s President creates national commission against Impunity and declassification of military files.
22. March 18th, Historical Archives Lead to Arrest of Police Officers in Guatemalan Disappearance.
23. March 18th, Historical Archives show that U.S. knew about Guatemala abuses during internal conflict.
24. March 23th, Guatemala's government said it has uncovered evidence supporting a long-held belief: Children whose parents were killed during the country's 36-year civil war were put up for adoption.
25. March 24th, Sergio Morales, the Guatemalan government's human rights ombudsman, released the first report on the contents of 80 million documents unearthed four years ago that dated from the 1960-1996 conflict.
26. March 24th,Gun fire attacks on buses and killings of bus drivers in several strategic locations in the capital virtually paralyzed Guatemala City, disinformation causes panic in the population, demands of state of emergency are made by opposition leader General Otto Perez and sympathizers of the traditional military strong arm tactics.
27. March 25th, The wife of the Human Right Ombudsman of Guatemala is kidnapped and tortured, then released. No demand for ransom was made.
28. March 26th, CICIG investigations have lead to the arrest of high level military, Rios Sosa, involved in corruption case.
29. March 30th, two Ex - military syndicated of corruption, Sergio Hugo Cárdenas Sagastume and Randolfo Chacón hand themselves over to justice.
30. March 31, CICIG investigation leads to arrest in Zacapa Narco Crime of November 2008.
31. April 1, Laws are being passed in the Congress, laws that have been sitting there for over 7 years, like the law of arms and ammunition.
32. April 1, Several Guatemalan Columnist's are pointing out that the recent successes in challenging impunity in Guatemala by CICIG and Sergio Morales, the human rights ombudsman, have created a response of terror from the sectors that benefit from impunity. This terror tactics are similar to the ones employed during the internal conflict: kidnapping, torture, organized actions to destabilize the government and death threats and violence directed to the civil society organizations and the general public. Organized crime using the same "modus operandy" as during the internal conflict. Organized crime in Guatemala has representatives in politics, government, private sector, political opposition and the media.
Photo, Presidential Press Office