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date: 25 February 2021

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter focuses on the United Nations Verification Mission in Guatemala (MINUGUA), a peacekeeping mission deployed by the United Nations between 1994 and 2004 to oversee the peace process in Guatemala. After providing an overview of the armed insurgency in Guatemala, the article outlines MINUGUA’s mandate and evaluates its operational achievements and limitations. MINUGUA had three distinct phases: a human rights observer mission from November 1994 to December 1996; a peacekeeping interlude (Spring 1997) dividing the two armed sides to the conflict, and demobilizing the rebels; and a longer and more complex set of tasks as the body responsible for verifying the implementation of the Guatemalan Peace Accords from 1996 to 2004. The chapter highlights the difficulties of the operation in fulfilling some of the more ambitious elements of its mandate. While the demobilization and peacekeeping tasks in 1997 were accomplished relatively successfully and some capacity-building initiatives in the field of civil society were advanced, the more long-term tasks of peacebuilding and human rights promotion proved far more difficult.

Keywords: peacekeeping mission, UN Security Council, peace process, human rights, Guatemala, insurgency, United Nations

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