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SPECIAL RAPPORTEUR ON HUMAN RIGHTS OF INDIGENOUS PEOPLE TO UNDERTAKE FOLLOW-UP VISIT TO GUATEMALA

12 May 2006




The Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights and fundamental freedoms of indigenous people, Rodolfo Stavenhagen, will visit Guatemala from 15 to 18 May.

During this visit the Special Rapporteur will assess developments in the country regarding the protection and promotion of the rights of indigenous peoples since his first visit to Guatemala from 1 to 11 September 2002. The Special Rapporteur will focus particular attention on issues such as the implementation of relevant provisions on indigenous rights in the Peace Agreements singed in the country in 1996; improvements in the access to the system of administration of justice by indigenous peoples; indigenous participation in public life; the access to land; the fight against discrimination; improvements in the situation of indigenous women; steps being taken regarding indigenous children, and policies to ensure access to basic social services such as education and health by indigenous peoples. These issues were the subject of recommendations by the Special Rapporteur after his 2002 visit.

The Special Rapporteur is expected to hold talks with Government officials, including Vice-president Eduardo Stein, indigenous representatives, civil society organizations, members of academia and representatives of various institutions related to indigenous peoples. In addition to Guatemala City he will travel to the city of Antigua.

The Special Rapporteur will present a full report with his findings and recommendations in 2007.