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Guatemala: Threats Against Human Rights Ombudsman

Guatemala: UN Urges Probe Of Threats Against Human Rights Ombudsman

Calling attention to new threats against Guatemala's Human Rights Ombudsman, the United Nations Verification Mission (MINUGUA) is urging the local authorities to investigate.

The mission specifically pointed to acts of intimidation against Erwin Estuardo Orrego Borrayo, a member of the Unidad Revolucionaria Nacional Guatemalteca (URNG), who was forced to withdraw his candidacy in a municipal election because of the pressure.

A 1996 peace agreement between the rebel URNG and the Guatemalan Government led to the establishment of MINUGUA, which is mandated to monitor human rights in the country.

Mr. Orrego has been receiving assistance from staff of the Ombudsman's office. In a statement released yesterday, MINUGUA reported that over the past week, those workers have themselves received threats.

In calling for a probe of the matter, the mission warned that these acts of intimidation obstruct the work of civil society organizations and contribute to Guatemala's climate of insecurity.

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