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UN Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances begins visit to Guatemala

19 September 2006

The United Nations WGEID began a four-day visit to Guatemala today. The delegation is headed by the Chairman of the Working Group, Mr. Santiago Corcuera, and the expert-member of the Working Group Mr. Darko Göttlicher.

The delegation will meet with representatives of the Government and civil society, including the Vice-President of the Republic, the Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, the President of COPREDEH, the Public Prosecutor, the Chairman of the Constitutional Court, the Chairman of the Supreme Court, the Human Rights Ombudsman and the Preparatory Commission of the Commission for the Search of Victims of Forced Disappearances, as well as representatives of the National Reparations Program.

The WGEID was established by the UN Commission on Human Rights in 1980 and has been assumed by the Human Rights Council in 1980 to assist the relatives of disappeared persons in ascertaining their fate and whereabouts and to act as a channel for communication between the families and Governments concerned. The WGEID is also mandated to oversee compliance by the State of the 1992 Declaration on the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearances.

The WGEID is composed of five independent experts: Santiago Corcuera, Chairman-Rapporteur, J.’Bayo Adekanye, Darko Göttlicher, Saied Rajaie Khorasani and Stephen J. Toope.