Guatemala. An earthquake, measured at 7.4 on the Richter scale, shook the western part of the country in early November. At least 52 people were killed and dozens were missing after the quake, which was the worst to hit Guatemala since 1976. The quake had its epicenter 32 miles deep in the Pacific Ocean. As many as 70 aftershocks were noted, some of which were as strong as 4.9 on the Richter scale. Worst hit was the small town of San Marcos on the border with Mexico, where more than 30 buildings collapsed.
In February, President Otto Pérez Molina succeeded in enforcing the first part of a comprehensive tax reform in Congress as part of increasing the state’s tax revenue. An important objective of the reform is to fund the Hunger Cero Hunger Cero Program (“Zero Hunger”), a project aimed at addressing malnutrition problems that are considered to affect 4% of the population and which are the worst in children across Latin America. Initially, Hambre Cero will target Guatemala’s eight poorest municipalities, before being applied to all of the country’s 166 municipalities, and will consist of two parts; partly nutritional information campaigns in public schools, and a program that supports mothers during pregnancy and until children reach the age of two. The program has been acclaimed by the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) in particular.
- AbbreviationFinder.org: Provides most commonly used acronyms and abbreviations for Guatemala. Also includes location map, major cities, and country overview.
Migrants are sent back
Guatemala has forced nearly 3,500 migrants on their way to the United States to return home, mainly to Honduras. President Alejandro Giammattei says in a television speech that the security forces stopped the caravan of migrants because they risked spreading the corona virus. Most of them did not take the mandatory coronation test when they crossed the border on 1 October. They have since split into smaller groups to move on to Mexico, which has closed its border. Nearly 100,000 have been confirmed infected with the coronavirus in Guatemala and nearly 3,300 have died in covid-19. The country began to open up in July after four months of movement restrictions due to the pandemic.
Ex-minister is prosecuted in the US for money laundering
Acisclo Valladares Urruela, finance minister in Jimmy Morale’s government until January 2020, is being prosecuted in the United States for money laundering of millions from the drug trade. Valladares dismisses the allegations, saying they are based on a smear campaign by drug gangs, due to his father’s work as a public prosecutor in the 1990s that contributed to drug smugglers now being deported to the United States. The father, Acisclo Valladares Molina, is today Guatemala’s ambassador in London.
According to countryaah, the population of Guatemala in 2012 was 16,252,318, ranking number 67 in the world. The population growth rate was 2.130% yearly, and the population density was 151.6651 people per km2.
HUMAN AND ECONOMIC GEOGRAPHY
State of Central America, located in the isthmus. The population, which at the 2002 census amounted to 11,237,196 residents (12,599,000 residents To a 2005 estimate) has a high birth rate (34.1 ‰), high infant mortality and a high percentage of illiterate people (30 %). Economic hardship (about 80 % of the population lives below the poverty line), unemployment (the official rate is low, but it is estimated that one third of the active work in the informal sector), the spread of organized crime and the repeated violations of human rights lead to intense migratory flows, especially towards the United States.
In the first years of the 21st century, the weakness of the prices of raw materials on international markets and the increase in the price of oil affected the economic results. Exports were affected by the slowdown in the US economy and the increased competitiveness of Asian products. In particular, the American crisis and the introduction of a tax have hit the maquiladoras, assembly companies of intermediate products imported at zero tariffs and re-exported as finished products, which, after the expansion of the 1990s (employed over 80,000 workers in 1998), have entered a recessive phase. The economic structure is backward and the peace agreement of 1996, which ended a civil war that lasted thirty-six years and which included, among other things, the distribution of land, access to social services and credit, remained unfulfilled. The land structure is very unbalanced and characterized by the centralization of a large part of the land in the hands of a small number of families and by the coexistence of the large estates with the microfund. Plantation products (coffee, sugar, bananas) represent about 70 % of the value of exports; the main exchanges take place with the United States, the neighboring Isthmian countries and Japan. One source of currency are emigrant remittances: those from the United States in 2005 reached 2992 million dollars.