Situation of human rights and fundamental freedoms in Guatemala : resolution / adopted by the General Assembly

  • Author: UN General Assembly (40th sess. : 1985-1986)
  • Document source:
  • Date:
    13 December 1985
 

Situation of human rights and fundamental freedoms in Guatemala

  The General Assembly, Reiterating that the Governments of all Member States have an obligation to promote and protect human rights and fundamental freedoms, Recalling its resolutions 37/184 of 17 December 1982, 38/100 of 16 December 1983 and 39/120 of 14 December 1984, Recalling also Commission on Human Rights resolution 1984/53 of 14 March 1984, and taking note of Commission resolution 1985/36 of 13 March 1985, in which it expressed its deep concern at the continuing serious and systematic violations of human rights in Guatemala and at restrictive measures that limit the freedoms of the rural and indigenous populations, Mindful of resolution 1985/28 of 30 August 1985 of the Sub-Commission on the Prevention of Discrimination and Protection of Minorities, Welcoming the general elections held on 3 November 1985 for President, Vice-President and representatives to the national Congress and of municipalities, with the participation of various political parties, Noting with satisfaction the set of provisions to safeguard human rights and fundamental freedoms contained in the new Constitution, which, when fully complied with by the new Government and all others concerned, could lead to a significant improvement in the situation of human rights in Guatemala, Alarmed at the continuation of politically motivated violence, particularly killings and kidnappings, as well as enforced and involuntary disappearances and the lack of effective measures by the authorities in investigating such practices, Recognizing that the internal armed conflict of a non-international character which continues to exist in Guatemala stems from economic, social and political factors of a structural nature, Expressing its concern at the widespread suffering caused by disregard for the principles of international humanitarian law applicable to that conflict, Welcoming the co-operation of the Government of Guatemala with the Special Rapporteur of the Commission on Human Rights as well as the invitation by the Government to several international human rights organizations to assess the situation of human rights and fundamental freedoms,

1. Welcomes the efforts of the Special Rapporteur of the Commission on Human Rights to fulfil his mandate and takes note of his interim report on the situation of human rights in Guatemala, submitted in accordance with Commission resolution 1985/36;

2. Expresses the hope that the recent elections will be the first step in a process leading to complete and effective enjoyment of human rights by the people of Guatemala;

3. Notes with satisfaction that a new Government and Congress are to take office on 14 January 1986, following a second round in the presidential elections on 8 December 1985, and that a new Constitution, which provides, inter alia, for the establishment of a national commission on human rights as well as a commissioner for human rights, is to take effect on the same date in January 1986;

4. Reiterates its deep concern at the continuing grave and widespread violations of human rights in Guatemala, particularly the violence against non-combatants, the widespread repression, killings, including extrajudicial executions, the practice of torture, disappearances and secret detention, as well as at practices such as the displacement of rural and indigenous populations, their confinement in development centres and their forced participation in civilian patrols organized and controlled by the armed forces;

5. Strongly urges the Government of Guatemala to take all measures necessary to halt violations of human rights and fundamental freedoms, particularly enforced and involuntary disappearances, as well as to take effective measures, within the framework of the Constitution to ensure that all its authorities and agencies, civilian as well as military, fully respect the human rights and fundamental freedoms of all Guatemalans, such as trade unionists, catechists and the predominantly indigenous rural and peasant population;

6. Again requests the Government of Guatemala to investigate and clarify the fate of those who have disappeared and whose whereabouts continue to be unknown, and to include within the framework of such an investigation the publication of the full details of the report of the Tripartite Commission;

7. Further urges the Government of Guatemala to establish the necessary conditions to ensure the independence of the judicial system and to enable the judiciary to uphold the rule of law, including the right of habeas corpus, and to prosecute and punish speedily and effectively those who are responsible for violations of human rights, including members of the military and security forces;

8. Calls upon the Government of Guatemala to allow independent and impartial bodies to function in the country to monitor and investigate alleged human rights violations, as well as to respect and protect human rights defenders such as the Mutual Support Group;

9. Calls upon the Government of Guatemala to guarantee to the rural and indigenous population the freedom to choose their place of residence and the freedom from forced participation in civilian patrols;

10. Calls upon all parties to the conflict to apply fully the principles and rules of international humanitarian law and reiterates its appeal to the Government of Guatemala to admit the International Committee of the Red Cross to the country, and subsequently to facilitate its operations for the alleviation of the suffering of the Guatemalan people;

11. Calls upon all Governments to refrain from intervening in any way in the internal situation in Guatemala, which could intensify the internal armed conflict and increase violations of human rights;

12. Deeply deplores the continuing gross violations of human rights arising from that conflict, which are largely due to the failure of the military and security forces to conduct their activities with the necessary respect for protecting the human rights of all Guatemalans;

13. Invites the Government of Guatemala and other parties concerned to continue co-operating with the Special Rapporteur of the Commission on Human Rights;

14. Invites the Commission on Human Rights to study carefully the report of its Special Rapporteur, as well as other information pertaining to the human rights situation in Guatemala, and to consider further steps for securing effective respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms for all in that country including, if so requested by the Government of Guatemala, the provision of appropriate technical assistance under the programme of advisory services in the field of human rights;

15. Decides to continue its examination of the situation of human rights and fundamental freedoms in Guatemala at its forty-first session..

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