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Guatemala History

Guatemala - national flagGuatemala - national flag

The flag was introduced in 1871, but did not become official until 1968. It dates back to the Treaty of Independence with Spain in 1821, and the colors blue and white originate from the flag introduced by the Central American Union. The stripes in the Guatemalan flag are vertical unlike the flags of the other Central American states; blue stands for justice, and white for purity.

  • Countryaah: What does the flag of Guatemala look like? Follow this link, then you will see the image in PNG format and flag meaning description about this country.

Guatemala - History

Guatemala was approximately 100-900-t. the center of Mayan culture, after which the area came under Aztec influence. The Spaniard Pedro de Alvarado conquered most of Guatemala in 1523-24, but the conquest, which was first secured in the 1540's, was hampered by the mountainous regions, which provided protection for the Indians, which is also one of the explanations for the position of Native American cultures today. The administration was moved several times; Among other things, was the administrative city of Antigua from the mid-1500's, until it was destroyed by an earthquake in 1773, after which the current capital Ciudad de Guatemala Founded. Guatemala, which was of little economic importance to Spain, produced cocoa and later indigo by means of slaves and Native American forced labor; The capital was an important administrative center of Chiapas, Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador, Costa Rica and Nicaragua. After independence from Spain in 1821, these territories were united under Mexico. With the exception of Chiapas, the territories merged in 1823 into the United Provinces of independent Central America. With the constitution of 1824, the association became a federation, which, however, disintegrated during the 1830's, and in 1838 Guatemala became independent.

Guatemala History

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Heads of state since 1898
1898-1920'sort Manuel Estrada Cabrera
1920-22 Carlos Herrera
1922-26 José Orellana
1926-30 Lázaro Chacón
1930 Baudillo Palma
1930 Manuel Orellana
1931 José María Reina
1931-44 Jorge Ubico
1944 Federico Ponce Vaides
1944-45 Juan Jacobo Arbenz Guzman
1945-51 Juan José Arévalo Bermejo
1951-54 Juan Jacobo Arbenz Guzman
1954 Carlos Díaz
1954 Elfego Monzón
1954-57 Carlos Castillo Armas
1957 Luis Gonzales López
1957-58 Guillermo Flores
1958-63 Miguel Ydígoras Fuentes
1963-66 Enrique Peralta Azurdia
1966-70 Julio César Méndez Montenegro
1970-74 Carlos Arana Osorio
1974-78 Kjell Laugerud García
1978-82 Fernando Romeo Lucas García
1982 Angel Aníbal Guevara
1982-83 Efraín Ríos Montt
1983-86 Oscar Mejía Víctores
1986-91 Vinicio Cerezo Arévalo
1991-94 Jorge Serrano Elías
1994-96 Ramiro de León Carpio
1996-2000 Alvaro Arzú Irigoyen
2000-04 Alfonso Portillo Cabrera
2004-08 Óscar Berger Perdomo
2008-12 Álvaro Colom
2012-15 Otto Pérez Molina
2015-16 Alejandro Maldonado (acting)
2016- Jimmy Morales

The classic Latin American struggle between liberals and conservatives was then underway. The conservative Rafael Carrera was until 1865 the real leader of Guatemala. The revolution of 1871 ushered in a long period of liberal domination. Justo Rufino Barrios, president from 1873, seized the church property and began the development of industry and infrastructure, and to make room for plantation management, many Native American peasants were expelled from their lands.

Guatemala's problems were increasingly addressed through violence. Manuel Estrada Cabrera (1857-1924) began his 22-year dictatorship in 1898 and in 1901 gave the American United Fruit Company permission to establish themselves in the country. The company monopolized the production and export of bananas and had a decisive influence on Guatemala's economy. In 1931, General Jorge Ubico came to power; he increased production, but in return wages fell and the Native American peasant population was required to work for the plantation owners and the state. Growing resistance culminated in 1944 with a general strike that forced Ubico to resign. A coup with Jacobo Arbenz at the helm ended the same year the long period of liberal-led dictatorships. In 1945, Juan José Arévalo became president of the country's first free elections. He and from 1951 Arbenz sought to reduce dependence partly on foreign countries and partly on the one-sided banana and coffee production. The country got a new constitution, unions were allowed, forced labor was abolished, and in 1952, Arbenz implemented a land reform that affected the United Fruit Company and the estates. Parts of the army as well as the church, the landowners and the United States accused Arbenz of pursuing communist policies. A US-trained invasion army of exiled Guatemalans was organized in Honduras, and in 1954 the country was invaded and Arbenz overthrown. The leader of the invasion army, Carlos Castillo Armas, took over the presidency the same year. He banned political parties and unions and halted land reforms, but was assassinated in 1957 after internal power struggles. Now followed a period marked by death squads, massacres of Indians and struggle against the guerrilla movements, which from 1982 were united in the URNG, Guatemala's National Revolutionary Unit.

Hopes for new presidents were repeatedly shattered by the growing power of the military, and in 1976, Guatemala was hit by a powerful earthquake that killed more than 20,000 people. Rumors of oil discoveries in the north of the country led to renewed interest in Belize, which had been controversial since the 1800's, and Belize's independence from Britain in 1981 was therefore met with protests. It was not until 1991 that Guatemala recognized the country, in exchange for the British fulfilling a 1859 promise to establish road and port facilities to facilitate Guatemala's access to the Atlantic. The oil rumors also led to the area's Indians being driven to flee.

Economic problems and political violence continued into the 1980's, and international protests grew. In 1986, the Christian Democrat Vinicio Cerezo Arévalo (b. 1942) became president after a convincing election victory. Nor could his promises of peace be fulfilled, and in 1990 the United States recalled its ambassador in protest of human rights violations. They managed to reduce unemployment, but a fall in coffee prices hit the economy hard. Jorge Serrano Elías won the election in 1991 without any change. International criticism grew again after the assassination of the head of the police homicide unit, who had taken part in the investigation of murder cases involving the military, and after the 1992 awarding of the Nobel Peace Prize to the Indian Rigoberta Menchú.. When Serrano tried to impose dictatorship the following year, he was ousted by Congress, which replaced the human rights ombudsman Ramiro de León Carpio. After a narrow election victory, the right-wing Alvaro Arzú Irigoyen (b. 1946) became president in January 1996; a ceasefire with URNG was established, and in December a peace agreement was signed.

The rebel movement URNG and the government under President Alvaro Arzú signed a peace agreement in 1996. But the oppression of the Native American population continued, and the military remained behind the scenes the decisive power. In 1998, Catholic Bishop Juan Gerardi was assassinated, two days after he had published a report on army assaults during the Civil War. Several military personnel were later charged with the murder. The following year, a report from the country's Truth Commission found that the military and paramilitary groups were behind 80% of a total of 700 massacres. As another offshoot of the peace agreement, Guatemala's constitution was to be amended in 1999, giving 24 Native American languages ​​official status and the military deprived of some of its power. But in a referendum with less than 20% turnout, the 50 amendments fell, partly due to Indians' fears and mistrust, partly because mestizer and whites thought the proposals were too expensive to implement and that they would split the country. In 2000, Alfonso Portillo (b. 1951) from the right-wing party of the former dictator Efraín Ríos Montts (b. 1927) joined the FRG as president, but as president of the Congress, Rios Montt delayed any attempt at a showdown. Despite certain reform proposals and attempts at dialogue with the warring parties in the country, Portillo failed to achieve decisive results, and in the presidential election in 2003, the opposition politician Óscar Berger (b. 1946) won. Under Berger, Guatemala was included along with the rest of Central America and but as congressional chairman, Rios Montt delayed any attempt at a showdown. Despite certain reform proposals and attempts at dialogue with the warring parties in the country, Portillo failed to achieve decisive results, and in the presidential election in 2003, the opposition politician Óscar Berger (b. 1946) won. Under Berger, Guatemala was included along with the rest of Central America and but as congressional chairman, Rios Montt delayed any attempt at a showdown. Despite certain reform proposals and attempts at dialogue with the warring parties in the country, Portillo failed to achieve decisive results, and in the presidential election in 2003, opposition politician Óscar Berger (b. 1946) won. Under Berger, Guatemala was included along with the rest of Central America andDominican Republic a free trade agreement, DR-CAFTA, with the United States.

In the following years, several officers were convicted of crimes committed during the Civil War. Ex-President Alfonso Portillo was extradited from Mexico to Guatemala in 2008 on charges of corruption. He was acquitted, but in 2013 extradited to the United States, where he was arraigned on charges of money laundering. He was released in 2015, after which he returned to Guatemala.

In 2006, a Spanish judge issued an arrest warrant for Ríos Montt and a number of others accused of crimes committed during the Civil War. A tribunal in Guatamala sentenced 10.5.2013 former president Ríos Montt to 80 years in prison for genocide and crimes against humanity as the chief responsible for the killings of 1771 ixilmayas, which took place in 1982-83 when he ruled the country as dictator. The Guatemalan Constitutional Court subsequently overturned the ruling, ordering that the last part of the trial against the country's former dictator be reopened following procedural errors in the trial. The trial resumed in 2015.

Conservative Otto Peréz Molina (b. 1.12.1950) won the presidential election in 2011. He argued that the war on drugs had been a failure and wanted to legalize drugs. In 2015, he was convicted after an extensive corruption scandal, where UN investigators contributed to the clarification. Molina was forced to resign and was then arrested.

 

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