Guatemala's indigenous people still face widespread discrimination: UN report

20 September 2001

Indigenous people in Guatemala still face racial, ethnic and cultural discrimination despite the Government's signing of a human rights agreement over seven years ago, the United Nations Verification Mission in the country said today.

Launching a new report in Guatemala City, the Mission which is known by its acronym MINUGUA, said there has been "little progress" since the Peace Agreement on Human Rights was signed.

The report, titled "Overcoming discrimination in the framework of the peace agreements," contains social and economic data and analyzes the situation of indigenous populations in a variety of sectors including health, education, justice and access to land and natural resources.

The UN Mission, which was established in 1994, called on the Guatemalan Congress to work on legislation that will adapt the laws of the country to respect for its multiethnic reality. It also recommended the establishment in Guatemala of an office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights with a mandate that would allow it to deal with issues related to the respect of indigenous rights.


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