General information: Guatemala freed itself from Spanish rule in 1821. During the second half of the 20th century. many military and civilian governments have changed, in addition, a guerrilla war has been going on in the country for 36 years. In 1996, the government signed a peace agreement with the rebels that ended a conflict that had killed more than 100,000 people and displaced an estimated 1 million people. Geography
Location: Central America, Caribbean coast between Honduras and Belize, and Pacific coast between El Salvador and Mexico.
Geographical coordinates: 15° 30′ N. latitude, 90° 15′ W e.
Reference map: Central America and the Caribbean.
Area: total: 108,890 km2; land surface area: 108,430 km2; water surface area: 460 km2
Comparative area: somewhat smaller than Tennessee.
Land borders: total: 1,687 km; with neighboring states: with Belize 266 km, with El Salvador 203 km, with Honduras 256 km, with Mexico 962 km.
Coastline: 400 km.
Maritime claims: continental shelf: to a depth of 200 m or to the depth of field development; exclusive economic zone: 200 nautical miles; territorial waters: 12 nautical miles.
Climate: tropical; hot humid in the plains; cooler on the plateau.
Terrain: mostly mountains with narrow coastal plains and rolling limestone plateau (Petén).
Maximum and minimum heights: lowest point: Pacific Ocean 0 m; highest point: Tajumulco volcano 4,211 m.
Natural resources: oil, nickel, rare woods, fish, natural rubber, hydropower.
Land use: arable land: 12%; cultivated land: 5%; pastures: 24%; forests and plantations: 54%; others: 5% (1993 est.).
Irrigated lands: 1,250 sq. km. (1993 est.).
Natural hazards: numerous volcanoes in the mountains, strong earthquakes occur; The Caribbean coast is prone to hurricanes and tropical storms.
Current environmental issues: deforestation; soil erosion; water pollution; damage caused by Hurricane Mitch.
International environmental treaties: party to: Antarctic Treaty, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Environmental Change, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Pollution, Nuclear Test Ban, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Wetlands; signed but not ratified: Antarctica – protocol for the protection of the environment.
Geography Note: There are no natural harbors on the west coast.
Population: 12,974,361 (July 2001 est.).
Age structure: under 14: 42.11% (men 2,789,189; women 2,674,747); 15 to 64 years old: 54.25% (male 3,518,209; female 3,519,851); over 65: 3.64% (male 220,640; female 251,725) (2001 est.).
Population growth: 2.6% (2001 est.).
Birth rate: 34.61 newborns / 1000 people. (2001 est.).
Mortality: 6.79 deaths / 1000 people. (2001 est.).
Migration: -1.84 people / 1000 people (2001 est.).
Sex ratio: at birth: 1.05 male/female; under 15: 1.04 male/female; from 15 to 64 years old: 1 male/female; over 65: 0.88 male/female; for the general population: 1.01 male/female (2001 est.);
Child mortality: 45.79 deaths/1000 live births (2001 est.).
Life expectancy: for the general population: 66.51 years; men: 63.85 years; women: 69.31 years (2001 est.).
General birth rate: 4.58 children/wives. (2001 est.).
Proportion of adults infected with HIV: 1.38% (1999 est.).
Number of people infected with HIV: 73,000 (1999 est.).
AIDS deaths: 3,600 (1999 est.).
Nationality: noun: Guatemalan; adjective: Guatemalan.
Ethnic groups: mestizos (mixed Indian-Spanish population or assimilated Indians, called Ladino in the local dialect of Spanish) – approximately 56%; Indians or predominantly Indians – approximately 44%.
Believers: Catholics, Protestants, adherents of the beliefs of the indigenous Mayans.
Language(s): Spanish 60%, Amerindian 40% (more than 20 Amerindian languages including Quiche, Sak Chiquel, Quekchi, Mam, Garifuna, Xinsa).
Literacy: definition: persons aged 15 and over who can read and write; for the general population: 63.6%; men: 68.7%; women: 58.5% (2000 est.). State Name:
conventional long form: Republic of Guatemala;
conventional short form: Guatemala; local long form: Republica de Guatemala local short form: Guatemala.
State structure: constitutional democratic republic.
Administrative divisions: 22 departments: Alta Verapaz, Baha Verapaz, Guatemala, Izabal, Quetzaltenango, Quiche, Retaluleu, Zacapa, Zacatepéquez, San Marco, Santa Rosa, Solola, Suchitepequez, Totonicapán, Huehuetenango, Xalapa, Jutjapa, Chiquimula, Chimaltenango, El Peten, El Progreso, Escuintla.
Independence: September 15, 1821 (until 1821 – a colony of Spain).
National holiday: Independence Day, September 15 (1821).
Constitution: adopted May 31, 1985, entered into force January 14, 1986; note: the constitution was suspended on May 25, 1993 by the former president of SERRANO; reinstated on June 5, 1993 after the resignation of the President; constitution amended November 1993; See a2zgov.com to know more about Guatemala government and politics.
Legal system: civil law system; revision of legislative acts in court is possible; does not accept the compulsory jurisdiction of the International Court of Justice.
Suffrage: from 18 years old; universal (active service members do not vote).
head of state: President Alfonso Antonio PORTILLO Cabrera (since January 14, 2000); Vice President Juan Francisco REYES Lopez (since January 14, 2000); note – the president is both head of state and head of government;
head of government: President Alfonso Antonio PORTILLO Cabrera (since 14 January 2000); Vice President Juan Francisco REYES López (since January 14, 2000); note – the president is both head of state and head of government;
Government: a council of ministers appointed by the president; elections: the president is elected by popular vote for a term of 4 years; elections last held 7 November 1999; second round 26 December 1999 (next expected in November 2003); election results: Alfonso Antonio PORTILLO Cabrera elected president; percentage of votes cast: Alfonso Antonio PORTILLO Cabrera (FRG) 68%, Oscar BERGER Perdomo (PAN) 32%.
Legislature: unicameral Congress of the Republic (113 seats; members are elected by popular vote for 4 years); elections: elections last held 7 November 1999 (next to be held in November 2003); election results: distribution of votes between parties: no data; distribution of seats among parties: FRG 63, PAN 37, ANN 9, DCG 2, UD/LOV1, PLP1; note: prior to the November 7, 1999 elections, the number of seats in Congress was increased from 80 to 113.
Judiciary: Supreme Court (13 members serve five years, annually elect a Chief Justice from among its members; the Chief Justice also oversees ordinary judges throughout the country, who are appointed for a five-year term); Constitutional Court (five judges are elected for a five-year term, every one year he holds the post of chairman of the Constitutional Court; one is elected by Congress, one by the Supreme Court, one by the president, one by the Superior Council of the University of San Carlos, one by the bar).
Political parties and leaders: True Integral Development (DIA) (Jorge Luis ORTEGA); Democratic Union (UD) (Jose Luis CHEA Urruela); Green Party (LOV) (Jose ASTURIAS Rudecke); Christian Democratic Party (DCG) (Vinicio CERE-SO Arevalo [Vinicio CEREZO Arevalo]); Guatemalan National Revolutionary Union (URNG) (Pablo MONSANTO, also known as Jorge SOTO [Pablo MONSANTO, Jorge SOTO]); Guatemalan Republican Front (FRG) (Efrain RIOS Montt [Efrain RIOS Montt]); New National Alliance (ANN) (leader – NA), includes URNG; National Progress Party (PAN) (Leonel LOPEZ Rodas), Progressive Liberation Party (PLP) (Acisclo VALLADARES Molina).
Political influence groups and their leaders: Agricultural Owners Group (UNAGRO); Alliance Against Lawlessness (AAI); Peasant Unity Committee (CUC); Coordinating Committee of Agricultural, Commercial, Industrial and Financial Associations (CACIF); Mutual Aid Group (GAM).
Participation in international organizations: BCIE, САСМ, ССС, ECLAC, FAO, G-24, G-77, IADB, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICFTU, ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, Intelsat, Interpol, IOC, IOM, ISO (correspondent), ITU, LAES, LAIA (observer), NAM, OAS, OPANAL, OPCW, PCA, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UNU, UPU, WCL, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WToO, WTrO.
Diplomatic representation in the USA: Head of Mission: Ambassador Ariel RIVERA Irias; office: 2220 R Street NW, Washington, DC 20008; phone:  (202) 745-4952; fax: [C (202) 745-1908; consulates general: Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, New York, San Francisco.
US Mission: Head of Mission: Ambassador Prudence BUSHNELL; embassy: 7-01 Avenida de la Reforma, Zone 10, Guatemala City; mailing address: ARO AA 34024; phone:  (2) 331-1541 to 331-1555; fax:  (2) 334-8477.
Flag Description: three equal vertical stripes of blue (left and right) and white (center) with the coat of arms in the center of the white stripe; the coat of arms features a red and green quetzal bird (the national symbol) and a scroll bearing the inscription LIBERTAD 15 DE SEPTIEMBRE DE 1821 (the date of the declaration of independence from Spain), all superimposed over two crossed guns and two crossed blades.