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Guatemala (2001)

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Guatemala 2001 year

Administrative divisions 22 departments (departamentos, singular - departamento); Alta Verapaz, Baja Verapaz, Chimaltenango, Chiquimula, El Progreso, Escuintla, Guatemala, Huehuetenango, Izabal, Jalapa, Jutiapa, Peten, Quetzaltenango, Quiche, Retalhuleu, Sacatepequez, San Marcos, Santa Rosa, Solola, Suchitepequez, Totonicapan, Zacapa
Age structure 0-14 years:
42.11% (male 2,789,189; female 2,674,747)

15-64 years:
54.25% (male 3,518,209; female 3,519,851)

65 years and over:
3.64% (male 220,640; female 251,725) (2001 est.)
Agriculture - products sugarcane, corn, bananas, coffee, beans, cardamom; cattle, sheep, pigs, chickens
Airports 477 (2000 est.)
Airports - with paved runways total:

2,438 to 3,047 m:

1,524 to 2,437 m:

914 to 1,523 m:

under 914 m:
2 (2000 est.)
Airports - with unpaved runways total:

2,438 to 3,047 m:

1,524 to 2,437 m:

914 to 1,523 m:

under 914 m:
332 (2000 est.)
Area total:
108,890 sq km

108,430 sq km

460 sq km
Area - comparative slightly smaller than Tennessee
Background Guatemala was freed of Spanish colonial rule in 1821. During the second half of the 20th century, it experienced a variety of military and civilian governments as well as a 36-year guerrilla war. In 1996, the government signed a peace agreement formally ending the conflict, which had led to the death of more than 100,000 people and had created some 1 million refugees.
Birth rate 34.61 births/1,000 population (2001 est.)
Budget revenues:
$2.2 billion

$1.8 billion, including capital expenditures of $NA (2001 est.)
Capital Guatemala
Climate tropical; hot, humid in lowlands; cooler in highlands
Coastline 400 km
Constitution 31 May 1985, effective 14 January 1986; note - suspended 25 May 1993 by former President SERRANO; reinstated 5 June 1993 following ouster of president; amended November 1993
Country name conventional long form:
Republic of Guatemala

conventional short form:

local long form:
Republica de Guatemala

local short form:
Currency quetzal (GTQ), US dollar (USD), others allowed
Death rate 6.79 deaths/1,000 population (2001 est.)
Debt - external $4.7 billion (2000 est.)
Diplomatic representation from the US chief of mission:
Ambassador Prudence BUSHNELL

7-01 Avenida Reforma, Zone 10, Guatemala City

mailing address:
APO AA 34024

[502] 331-1541/55

[502] 334-8477
Diplomatic representation in the US chief of mission:
Ambassador Ariel RIVERA Irias

2220 R Street NW, Washington, DC 20008

[1] (202) 745-4952

[1] (202) 745-1908

consulate(s) general:
Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, New York, and San Francisco
Disputes - international Guatemala periodically asserts claims to territory in southern Belize; to deter cross-border squatting, both states in 2000 agreed to a "line of adjacency" based on the de facto boundary, which is not recognized by Guatemala
Economic aid - recipient $212 million (1995)
Economy - overview The agricultural sector accounts for about one-fourth of GDP, two-thirds of exports, and half of the labor force. Coffee, sugar, and bananas are the main products. Former President ARZU (1996-2000) worked to implement a program of economic liberalization and political modernization. The 1996 signing of the peace accords, which ended 36 years of civil war, removed a major obstacle to foreign investment. In 1998, Hurricane Mitch caused relatively little damage to Guatemala compared to its neighbors. Ongoing challenges include increasing government revenues, negotiating further assistance from international donors, and increasing the efficiency and openness of both government and private financial operations. Despite low international prices for Guatemala's main commodities, the economy grew by 3% in 2000 and is forecast to grow by 4% in 2001. Guatemala, along with Honduras and El Salvador, recently concluded a free trade agreement with Mexico and has moved to protect international property rights. However, the PORTILLO administration has undertaken a review of privatizations under the previous administration, thereby creating some uncertainty among investors.
Electricity - consumption 3.295 billion kWh (1999)
Electricity - exports 435 million kWh (1999)
Electricity - imports 210 million kWh (1999)
Electricity - production 3.785 billion kWh (1999)
Electricity - production by source fossil fuel:



0% (1999)
Elevation extremes lowest point:
Pacific Ocean 0 m

highest point:
Volcan Tajumulco 4,211 m
Environment - current issues deforestation; soil erosion; water pollution; Hurricane Mitch damage
Environment - international agreements party to:
Antarctic Treaty, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Environmental Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping, Nuclear Test Ban, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Wetlands

signed, but not ratified:
Antarctic-Environmental Protocol
Ethnic groups Mestizo (mixed Amerindian-Spanish or assimilated Amerindian - in local Spanish called Ladino), approximately 55%, Amerindian or predominantly Amerindian, approximately 43%, whites and others 2%
Exchange rates quetzales per US dollar - 7.8020 (January 2001), 7.7632 (2000), 7.3856 (1999), 6.3947 (1998), 6.0653 (1997), 6.0495 (1996), 5.8103 (1995)
Executive branch chief of state:
President Alfonso Antonio PORTILLO Cabrera (since 14 January 2000); Vice President Juan Francisco REYES Lopez (since 14 January 2000); note - the president is both the chief of state and head of government

head of government:
President Alfonso Antonio PORTILLO Cabrera (since 14 January 2000); Vice President Juan Francisco REYES Lopez (since 14 January 2000); note - the president is both the chief of state and head of government

Council of Ministers named by the president

president elected by popular vote for a four-year term; election last held 7 November 1999; runoff held 26 December 1999 (next to be held NA November 2003)

election results:
Alfonso Antonio PORTILLO Cabrera elected president; percent of vote - Alfonso Antonio PORTILLO Cabrera (FRG) 68%, Oscar BERGER Perdomo (PAN) 32%
Exports 435 million kWh (1999)
Exports $2.9 billion (f.o.b., 2000)
Exports - commodities coffee, sugar, bananas, fruits and vegetables, cardamom, meat, apparel, petroleum, electricity
Exports - partners US 51.4%, El Salvador 8.7%, Honduras 5%, Costa Rica 3.4%, Germany 2.7% (1998)
Fiscal year calendar year
Flag description three equal vertical bands of light blue (hoist side), white, and light blue with the coat of arms centered in the white band; the coat of arms includes a green and red quetzal (the national bird) and a scroll bearing the inscription LIBERTAD 15 DE SEPTIEMBRE DE 1821 (the original date of independence from Spain) all superimposed on a pair of crossed rifles and a pair of crossed swords and framed by a wreath
GDP purchasing power parity - $46.2 billion (2000 est.)
GDP - composition by sector agriculture:


57% (2000 est.)
GDP - per capita purchasing power parity - $3,700 (2000 est.)
GDP - real growth rate 3% (2000 est.)
Geographic coordinates 15 30 N, 90 15 W
Geography - note no natural harbors on west coast
Highways total:
13,856 km

4,370 km (including 140 km of expressways)

9,486 km (1998)
Household income or consumption by percentage share lowest 10%:

highest 10%:
46.6% (1989)
Illicit drugs transit country for cocaine and heroin; minor producer of illicit opium poppy and cannabis for the international drug trade; proximity to Mexico makes Guatemala a major staging area for drugs (cocaine and heroin shipments); money laundering is probably increasing
Imports 210 million kWh (1999)
Imports $4.4 billion (f.o.b., 2000)
Imports - commodities fuels, machinery and transport equipment, construction materials, grain, fertilizers, electricity
Imports - partners US 42.8%, Mexico 9.9%, Japan 4.8%, El Salvador 4.3%, Venezuela 3.8% (1998)
Independence 15 September 1821 (from Spain)
Industrial production growth rate 4.1% (1999)
Industries sugar, textiles and clothing, furniture, chemicals, petroleum, metals, rubber, tourism
Infant mortality rate 45.79 deaths/1,000 live births (2001 est.)
Inflation rate (consumer prices) 6% (2000 est.)
International organization participation BCIE, CACM, CCC, ECLAC, FAO, G-24, G-77, IADB, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICFTU, ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, Intelsat, Interpol, IOC, IOM, ISO (correspondent), ITU, LAES, LAIA (observer), NAM, OAS, OPANAL, OPCW, PCA, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UNU, UPU, WCL, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WToO, WTrO
Internet Service Providers (ISPs) 5 (2000)
Irrigated land 1,250 sq km (1993 est.)
Judicial branch Supreme Court of Justice or Corte Suprema de Justicia (thirteen members serve concurrent five-year terms and elect a president of the Court each year from among their number; the president of the Supreme Court of Justice also supervises trial judges around the country, who are named to five-year terms); Constitutional Court or Corte de Constitutcionalidad (five judges are elected for concurrent five-year terms by Congress, each serving one year as president of the Constitutional Court; one is elected by Congress, one elected by the Supreme Court of Justice, one appointed by the President, one elected by Superior Counsel of Universidad San Carlos de Guatemala, and one by Colegio de Abogados)
Labor force 4.2 million (1999 est.)
Labor force - by occupation agriculture 50%, industry 15%, services 35% (1999 est.)
Land boundaries total:
1,687 km

border countries:
Belize 266 km, El Salvador 203 km, Honduras 256 km, Mexico 962 km
Land use arable land:

permanent crops:

permanent pastures:

forests and woodland:

5% (1993 est.)
Languages Spanish 60%, Amerindian languages 40% (more than 20 Amerindian languages, including Quiche, Cakchiquel, Kekchi, Mam, Garifuna, and Xinca)
Legal system civil law system; judicial review of legislative acts; has not accepted compulsory ICJ jurisdiction
Legislative branch unicameral Congress of the Republic or Congreso de la Republica (113 seats; members are elected by popular vote to serve four-year terms)

last held on 7 November 1999 (next to be held in November 2003)

election results:
percent of vote by party - NA%; seats by party - FRG 63, PAN 37, ANN 9, DCG 2, UD/LOV 1, PLP 1

for the 7 November 1999 election, the number of congressional seats was increased from 80 to 113
Life expectancy at birth total population:
66.51 years

63.85 years

69.31 years (2001 est.)
Literacy definition:
age 15 and over can read and write

total population:


58.5% (2000 est.)
Location Middle America, bordering the Caribbean Sea, between Honduras and Belize and bordering the North Pacific Ocean, between El Salvador and Mexico
Map references Central America and the Caribbean
Maritime claims continental shelf:
200-m depth or to the depth of exploitation

exclusive economic zone:
200 NM

territorial sea:
12 NM
Merchant marine none (2000 est.)
Military branches Army, Navy, Air Force
Military expenditures - dollar figure $120 million (FY99)
Military expenditures - percent of GDP 0.6% (FY99)
Military manpower - availability males age 15-49:
3,092,050 (2001 est.)
Military manpower - fit for military service males age 15-49:
2,018,636 (2001 est.)
Military manpower - military age 18 years of age
Military manpower - reaching military age annually males:
140,358 (2001 est.)
National holiday Independence Day, 15 September (1821)
Nationality noun:

Natural hazards numerous volcanoes in mountains, with occasional violent earthquakes; Caribbean coast subject to hurricanes and other tropical storms
Natural resources petroleum, nickel, rare woods, fish, chicle, hydropower
Net migration rate -1.84 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2001 est.)
Pipelines crude oil 275 km
Political parties and leaders Authentic Integral Development or DIA [Jorge Luis ORTEGA]; Democratic Union or UD [Jose Luis CHEA Urruela]; Green Party or LOV [Jose ASTURIAS Rudecke]; Guatemalan Christian Democracy or DCG [Vinicio CEREZO Arevalo]; Guatemalan National Revolutionary Unity or URNG [Pablo MONSANTO, also known as Jorge SOTO]; Guatemalan Republican Front or FRG [Efrain RIOS Montt]; New Nation Alliance or ANN [leader NA], which includes the URNG; National Advancement Party or PAN [Leonel LOPEZ Rodas]; Progressive Liberator Party or PLP [Acisclo VALLADARES Molina]
Political pressure groups and leaders Agrarian Owners Group or UNAGRO; Alliance Against Impunity or AAI; Committee for Campesino Unity or CUC; Coordinating Committee of Agricultural, Commercial, Industrial, and Financial Associations or CACIF; Mutual Support Group or GAM
Population 12,974,361 (July 2001 est.)
Population below poverty line 60% (2000 est.)
Population growth rate 2.6% (2001 est.)
Ports and harbors Champerico, Puerto Barrios, Puerto Quetzal, San Jose, Santo Tomas de Castilla
Radio broadcast stations AM 130, FM 487, shortwave 15 (2000)
Radios 835,000 (1997)
Railways total:
884 km (102 km privately owned)

narrow gauge:
884 km 0.914-m gauge (single track)
Religions Roman Catholic, Protestant, indigenous Mayan beliefs
Sex ratio at birth:
1.05 male(s)/female

under 15 years:
1.04 male(s)/female

15-64 years:
1 male(s)/female

65 years and over:
0.88 male(s)/female

total population:
1.01 male(s)/female (2001 est.)
Suffrage 18 years of age; universal (active duty members of the armed forces may not vote)
Telephone system general assessment:
fairly modern network centered in the city of Guatemala


connected to Central American Microwave System; satellite earth station - 1 Intelsat (Atlantic Ocean)
Telephones - main lines in use 665,061 (June 2000)
Telephones - mobile cellular 663,296 (September 2000)
Television broadcast stations 26 (plus 27 repeaters) (1997)
Terrain mostly mountains with narrow coastal plains and rolling limestone plateau (Peten)
Total fertility rate 4.58 children born/woman (2001 est.)
Unemployment rate 7.5% (1999 est.)
Waterways 990 km

260 km navigable year round; additional 730 km navigable during highwater season
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