Media Center

Press Release


  May 27, 2009

Secretary General of the Organization of American States (OAS), José Miguel Insulza, said today to the permanent representatives of the 34 member states that “there is no real risk against democratic institutions in Guatemala”, the country he visited a few hours ago.

This was the main conclusion of his recent visit to the Central American country, planned in the framework of the resolution adopted by the Permanent Council members, in which they offer full support to the Government of Guatemala, following the crisis generated by the murder of attorney Rodrigo Rosenberg that occurred last Sunday, May 10th, in Guatemala City.

During his visit to the Guatemalan capital, Secretary General held more than 15 meetings, including President Álvaro Colom, the Chief of the International Commission against Impunity in Guatemala (CICIG), high level authorities of the judicial and legislative branches, chiefs of political parties, business representatives and members of different civil society sectors.

In his presentation, Insulza stressed that “political powers in Guatemala are working and no one is questioning that work” he underscored Guatemalan citizens’ determination to overcome the situation through democratic means. He also commented that Guatemalans want to maintain and deepen what they have achieved during the last few years in the areas of democracy, institutions building, and citizen agreement”.

According to the report, the main concern at this moment is the issue of justice: “this is a sensitive problem that Guatemala will need to face in the upcoming months”, said Insulza, and offered the support of the OAS General Secretariat to “a country in which it is clear that people wants democracy”.

Referring to public security, the Secretary General stated that this an important issue, and asserted that the confidence building that the country is intending to strengthen “is based on the hope that the efforts headed by the CICIG produce positive results”.

The chief of the hemispheric institution also commented that in the center of the Guatemalan government and society, all the efforts are being done to generate grater tranquility that can only be accomplished as long as the results of the investigations of the crime against Rodrigo Rosenberg become clear.

“My general impression is hopeful, we perceived that the society and all the actors are willing to overcome this situation through democratic means” said Insulza. He also commented that this willingness is restricted “by the need to clarify the crimes perpetuated” and emphasized on the risks of a violent situation that threatens to become out of control.” In this sense, Insulza reiterated the need for the adoption of the public security and judicial system that the citizens of Guatemala are looking for, and insisted that the current situation opens an opportunity for a deep reform of the judicial system that guarantees greater transparency and that fights against impunity.

On the other hand, the Permanent Representative of Guatemala to the OAS, Ambassador Jorge Skinner-Klee, expressed his appreciation for the prompt response of the members of the Permanent Council who decided to get all the information surrounding the situation in that country. He also recognized “the efforts, diligence, and promptness displayed by the Secretary General

Ambassador Skinner-Klee also said that “the celerity and responsibility demonstrated is precisely the reason why the Inter-American Democratic Charter was conceived, and was applied in this specific case”. He referred to article 17 of the Charter that mentions the assistance that the Organization can bring for the strengthening and preservation of the democratic institutions when the government of a member state considers that its democratic political institutional process or its legitimate exercise of power is at risk.

“The support offered by the OAS has been not only helpful, but also necessary and vital”, affirmed the Permanent Representative of Guatemala, who also reiterated his recognition for the assistance provided by the General Secretariat and by the international community “without that assistance it would had been much more difficult to confront the challenges we have” he concluded

Reference: E-182/09