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Guatemala (2004)

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Guatemala 2004 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: 42.6% (male 3,118,396; female 2,970,729)

15-64 years: 54% (male 3,898,939; female 3,817,435)

65 years and over: 3.3% (male 221,154; female 253,943) (2004 est.)
Agriculture - products sugarcane, corn, bananas, coffee, beans, cardamom; cattle, sheep, pigs, chickens
Airports 452 (2003 est.)
Airports - with paved runways total: 11

2,438 to 3,047 m: 3

1,524 to 2,437 m: 2

914 to 1,523 m: 4

under 914 m: 2 (2004 est.)
Airports - with unpaved runways total: 441

2,438 to 3,047 m: 1

1,524 to 2,437 m: 8

914 to 1,523 m: 109

under 914 m: 323 (2004 est.)
Area total: 108,890 sq km

land: 108,430 sq km

water: 460 sq km
Area - comparative slightly smaller than Tennessee
Background The Maya civilization flourished in Guatemala and surrounding regions during the first millennium A.D. After almost three centuries as a Spanish colony, Guatemala won its independence 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 34.58 births/1,000 population (2004 est.)
Budget revenues: $2.741 billion

expenditures: $3.316 billion, including capital expenditures of $750 million (2003 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: Guatemala

local long form: Republica de Guatemala

local short form: Guatemala
Currency quetzal (GTQ), US dollar (USD), others allowed
Death rate 6.79 deaths/1,000 population (2004 est.)
Debt - external $4.957 billion (2003 est.)
Diplomatic representation from the US chief of mission: Ambassador John R. HAMILTON

embassy: 7-01 Avenida Reforma, Zone 10, Guatemala City

mailing address: APO AA 34024

telephone: [502] 2331-1541/55

FAX: [502] 2334-8477
Diplomatic representation in the US chief of mission: Ambassador Guillermo CASTILLO

chancery: 2220 R Street NW, Washington, DC 20008

telephone: [1] (202) 745-4952

FAX: [1] (202) 745-1908

consulate(s) general: Chicago, Denver, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, New York, and San Francisco
Disputes - international Guatemalan squatters continue to settle in Belize border region; OAS brokered Differendum in 2002 creating small adjustment to land boundary, large Guatemalan maritime corridor in Caribbean, joint ecological park for disputed Sapodilla Cays, and substantial US-UK financial package, but agreement was not brought to popular referendum leaving Guatemala to continue to claim the southern half of Belize intact; numbers of Guatemalans enter Mexico seeking work or transit to the US
Economic aid - recipient $250 million (2000 est.)
Economy - overview Guatemala is the largest and most populous of the Central American countries with a GDP per capita roughly one-half that of Brazil, Argentina, and Chile. 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. The 1996 signing of peace accords, which ended 36 years of civil war, removed a major obstacle to foreign investment, but widespread political violence and corruption scandals continue to dampen investor confidence. The distribution of income remains highly unequal, with perhaps 75% of the population below the poverty line. Ongoing challenges include increasing government revenues, negotiating further assistance from international donors, upgrading both government and private financial operations, curtailing drug trafficking, and narrowing the trade deficit.
Electricity - consumption 5.559 billion kWh (2001)
Electricity - exports 336 million kWh (2001)
Electricity - imports 95 million kWh (2001)
Electricity - production 6.237 billion kWh (2001)
Elevation extremes lowest point: Pacific Ocean 0 m

highest point: Volcan Tajumulco 4,211 m
Environment - current issues deforestation in the Peten rainforest; soil erosion; water pollution
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, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Wetlands

signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements
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 - 7.9409 (2003), 7.8216 (2002), 7.8586 (2001), 7.7632 (2000), 7.3856 (1999)
Executive branch chief of state: President Oscar Jose Rafael BERGER Perdomo (since 14 January 2004); Vice President Eduardo STEIN Barillas (since 14 January 2004); note - the president is both the chief of state and head of government

head of government: President Oscar Jose Rafael BERGER Perdomo (since 14 January 2004); Vice President Eduardo STEIN Barillas (since 14 January 2004); note - the president is both the chief of state and head of government

cabinet: Council of Ministers appointed by the president

elections: president elected by popular vote for a four-year term; election last held 9 November 2003; runoff held 28 December 2003 (next to be held NA November 2007)

election results: Oscar BERGER Perdomo elected president; percent of vote - Oscar BERGER Perdomo (GANA) 54.1%, Alvaro COLOM (UNE) 45.9%
Exports 336 million kWh (2001)
Exports $2.763 billion f.o.b. (2003 est.)
Exports NA (2001)
Exports - commodities coffee, sugar, bananas, fruits and vegetables, cardamom, meat, apparel, petroleum, electricity
Exports - partners US 56.7%, El Salvador 10.8%, Nicaragua 3.6% (2003)
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 - $56.5 billion (2003 est.)
GDP - composition by sector agriculture: 22.5%

industry: 18.9%

services: 58.5% (2003 est.)
GDP - per capita purchasing power parity - $4,100 (2003 est.)
GDP - real growth rate 2.1% (2003 est.)
Geographic coordinates 15 30 N, 90 15 W
Geography - note no natural harbors on west coast
Highways total: 14,118 km

paved: 4,871 km (including 74 km of expressways)

unpaved: 9,247 km (1999)
Household income or consumption by percentage share lowest 10%: 1.6%

highest 10%: 46% (1998)
Illicit drugs major transit country for cocaine and heroin; minor producer of illicit opium poppy and cannabis for mostly domestic consumption; proximity to Mexico makes Guatemala a major staging area for drugs (particularly for cocaine); money laundering is a serious problem; corruption is a major problem; remains on Financial Action Task Force Non-Cooperative Countries and Territories List for continued failure to address deficiencies in money-laundering control regime
Imports 95 million kWh (2001)
Imports $5.749 billion f.o.b. (2003 est.)
Imports NA (2001)
Imports - commodities fuels, machinery and transport equipment, construction materials, grain, fertilizers, electricity
Imports - partners US 34.1%, Mexico 8.8%, South Korea 7.8%, El Salvador 6.4%, China 4.6% (2003)
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 total: 36.91 deaths/1,000 live births

male: 37.71 deaths/1,000 live births

female: 36.07 deaths/1,000 live births (2004 est.)
Inflation rate (consumer prices) 5.5% (2003 est.)
International organization participation BCIE, CACM, FAO, G-24, G-77, IADB, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICFTU, ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, ISO (correspondent), ITU, LAES, LAIA (observer), MIGA, MINUSTAH, NAM, OAS, ONUB, OPANAL, OPCW, PCA, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UNOCI, UPU, WCL, WCO, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WToO, WTO
Irrigated land 1,250 sq km (1998 est.)
Judicial branch Constitutional Court or Corte de Constitutcionalidad is Guatemala's highest court (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); 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)
Labor force 3.84 million (2003 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: 12.54%

permanent crops: 5.03%

other: 82.43% (2001)
Languages Spanish 60%, Amerindian languages 40% (23 officially recognized 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 (158 seats; members are elected by popular vote to serve four-year terms)

elections: last held 9 November 2003 (next to be held NA November 2007)

election results: percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - GANA 49, FRG 41, UNE 33, PAN 17, other 18

note: for the 9 November 2003 election, the number of congressional seats increased from 113 to 158
Life expectancy at birth total population: 65.19 years

male: 64.3 years

female: 66.13 years (2004 est.)
Literacy definition: age 15 and over can read and write

total population: 70.6%

male: 78%

female: 63.3% (2003 est.)
Location Central America, bordering the North Pacific Ocean, between El Salvador and Mexico, and bordering the Gulf of Honduras (Caribbean Sea) between Honduras and Belize
Map references Central America and the Caribbean
Maritime claims territorial sea: 12 nm

exclusive economic zone: 200 nm

continental shelf: 200-m depth or to the depth of exploitation
Merchant marine none
Military branches Army, Navy (includes Marines), Air Force
Military expenditures - dollar figure $202.6 million (2003)
Military expenditures - percent of GDP 0.8% (2003)
Military manpower - availability males age 15-49: 3,421,682 (2004 est.)
Military manpower - fit for military service males age 15-49: 2,233,562 (2004 est.)
Military manpower - reaching military age annually males: 156,865 (2004 est.)
National holiday Independence Day, 15 September (1821)
Nationality noun: Guatemalan(s)

adjective: Guatemalan
Natural hazards numerous volcanoes in mountains, with occasional violent earthquakes; Caribbean coast extremely susceptible to hurricanes and other tropical storms
Natural resources petroleum, nickel, rare woods, fish, chicle, hydropower
Net migration rate -1.67 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2004 est.)
Pipelines oil 480 km (2004)
Political parties and leaders Authentic Integral Development or DIA [Eduardo SUGER]; Democratic Union or UD [Rodolfo PAIZ Andrade]; Grand National Alliance or GANA [Oscar BERGER Perdomo]; Green Party or LOV [Rodolfo ROSALES Garcis-Salaz]; Guatemalan Christian Democracy or DCG [Vinicio CEREZO Arevalo]; Guatemalan National Revolutionary Unity or URNG [Alba ESTELA Maldonado, secretary general]; Guatemalan Republican Front or FRG [Efrain RIOS Montt]; Movement for Guatemalan Unity or MGU [Jacobo ARBENZ Villanueva]; Movement for Principals and Values or MPV [Francisco BIANCHI]; National Advancement Party or PAN [Leonel LOPEZ Rodas, secretary general]; National Unity for Hope or UNE [Alvarado COLOM Caballeros]; New Nation Alliance or ANN, formed by an alliance of DIA, URNG, and several splinter groups most of whom subsequently defected [led by three co-equal partners - Nineth Varenca MONTENEGRO Cottom, Rodolfo BAUER Paiz, and Jorge Antonio BALSELLS TUT]; Patriot Party or PP [retired General Otto PEREZ Molina]; Progressive Liberator Party or PLP [Acisclo VALLADARES Molina]; Reform Movement or MR [Alfredo SKINNER-KLEE, secretary general]; Unionista Party [leader NA]
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 14,280,596 (July 2004 est.)
Population below poverty line 75% (2002 est.)
Population growth rate 2.61% (2004 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)
Railways total: 886 km

narrow gauge: 886 km 0.914-m gauge (2003)
Religions Roman Catholic, Protestant, indigenous Mayan beliefs
Sex ratio at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female

under 15 years: 1.05 male(s)/female

15-64 years: 1.02 male(s)/female

65 years and over: 0.87 male(s)/female

total population: 1.03 male(s)/female (2004 est.)
Suffrage 18 years of age; universal (active duty members of the armed forces may not vote and are restricted to their barracks on election day)
Telephone system general assessment: fairly modern network centered in the city of Guatemala

domestic: NA

international: country code - 502; connected to Central American Microwave System; satellite earth station - 1 Intelsat (Atlantic Ocean)
Telephones - main lines in use 846,000 (2002)
Telephones - mobile cellular 1,577,100 (2002)
Television broadcast stations 26 (plus 27 repeaters) (1997)
Terrain mostly mountains with narrow coastal plains and rolling limestone plateau (Peten)
Total fertility rate 4.6 children born/woman (2004 est.)
Unemployment rate 7.5% (2003 est.)
Waterways 990 km

note: 260 km navigable year round; additional 730 km navigable during high-water season (2004)
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