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Map of Guatemala

DefinitionDefinition Field ListingField Listing Rank OrderRank Order
   Introduction    Guatemala
Background:
Definition Field Listing
The Maya civilization flourished in Guatemala and surrounding regions during the first millennium A.D. After almost three centuries as a Spanish colony, Guatemala won its independence in 1821. During the second half of the 20th century, it experienced a variety of military and civilian governments as well as a 36-year guerrilla war. In 1996, the government signed a peace agreement formally ending the conflict, which had led to the death of more than 100,000 people and had created some 1 million refugees.

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   Geography    Guatemala
Location:
Definition Field Listing
Central America, bordering the North Pacific Ocean, between El Salvador and Mexico, and bordering the Gulf of Honduras (Caribbean Sea) between Honduras and Belize
Geographic coordinates:
Definition Field Listing
15 30 N, 90 15 W
Map references:
Definition Field Listing
Central America and the Caribbean
Area:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
total: 108,890 sq km
land: 108,430 sq km
water: 460 sq km
Area - comparative:
Definition Field Listing
slightly smaller than Tennessee
Land boundaries:
Definition Field Listing
total: 1,687 km
border countries: Belize 266 km, El Salvador 203 km, Honduras 256 km, Mexico 962 km
Coastline:
Definition Field Listing
400 km
Maritime claims:
Definition Field Listing
territorial sea: 12 nm
exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
continental shelf: 200-m depth or to the depth of exploitation
Climate:
Definition Field Listing
tropical; hot, humid in lowlands; cooler in highlands
Terrain:
Definition Field Listing
mostly mountains with narrow coastal plains and rolling limestone plateau (Peten)
Elevation extremes:
Definition Field Listing
lowest point: Pacific Ocean 0 m
highest point: Volcan Tajumulco 4,211 m
Natural resources:
Definition Field Listing
petroleum, nickel, rare woods, fish, chicle, hydropower
Land use:
Definition Field Listing
arable land: 12.54%
permanent crops: 5.03%
other: 82.43% (2001)
Irrigated land:
Definition Field Listing
1,250 sq km (1998 est.)
Natural hazards:
Definition Field Listing
numerous volcanoes in mountains, with occasional violent earthquakes; Caribbean coast extremely susceptible to hurricanes and other tropical storms
Environment - current issues:
Definition Field Listing
deforestation in the Peten rainforest; soil erosion; water pollution
Environment - international agreements:
Definition Field Listing
party to: Antarctic Treaty, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Environmental Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Wetlands
signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements
Geography - note:
Definition Field Listing
no natural harbors on west coast

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   People    Guatemala
Population:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
14,280,596 (July 2004 est.)
Age structure:
Definition Field Listing
0-14 years: 42.6% (male 3,118,396; female 2,970,729)
15-64 years: 54% (male 3,898,939; female 3,817,435)
65 years and over: 3.3% (male 221,154; female 253,943) (2004 est.)
Median age:
Definition Field Listing
total: 18.4 years
male: 18.1 years
female: 18.6 years (2004 est.)
Population growth rate:
Definition Field Listing
2.61% (2004 est.)
Birth rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
34.58 births/1,000 population (2004 est.)
Death rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
6.79 deaths/1,000 population (2004 est.)
Net migration rate:
Definition Field Listing
-1.67 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2004 est.)
Sex ratio:
Definition Field Listing
at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.05 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 1.02 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.87 male(s)/female
total population: 1.03 male(s)/female (2004 est.)
Infant mortality rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
total: 36.91 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 37.71 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 36.07 deaths/1,000 live births (2004 est.)
Life expectancy at birth:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
total population: 65.19 years
male: 64.3 years
female: 66.13 years (2004 est.)
Total fertility rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
4.6 children born/woman (2004 est.)
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
1.1% (2003 est.)
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
78,000 (2003 est.)
HIV/AIDS - deaths:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
5,800 (2003 est.)
Nationality:
Definition Field Listing
noun: Guatemalan(s)
adjective: Guatemalan
Ethnic groups:
Definition Field Listing
Mestizo (mixed Amerindian-Spanish or assimilated Amerindian - in local Spanish called Ladino), approximately 55%, Amerindian or predominantly Amerindian, approximately 43%, whites and others 2%
Religions:
Definition Field Listing
Roman Catholic, Protestant, indigenous Mayan beliefs
Languages:
Definition Field Listing
Spanish 60%, Amerindian languages 40% (23 officially recognized Amerindian languages, including Quiche, Cakchiquel, Kekchi, Mam, Garifuna, and Xinca)
Literacy:
Definition Field Listing
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 70.6%
male: 78%
female: 63.3% (2003 est.)

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   Government    Guatemala
Country name:
Definition Field Listing
conventional long form: Republic of Guatemala
conventional short form: Guatemala
local long form: Republica de Guatemala
local short form: Guatemala
Government type:
Definition Field Listing
constitutional democratic republic
Capital:
Definition Field Listing
Guatemala
Administrative divisions:
Definition Field Listing
22 departments (departamentos, singular - departamento); Alta Verapaz, Baja Verapaz, Chimaltenango, Chiquimula, El Progreso, Escuintla, Guatemala, Huehuetenango, Izabal, Jalapa, Jutiapa, Peten, Quetzaltenango, Quiche, Retalhuleu, Sacatepequez, San Marcos, Santa Rosa, Solola, Suchitepequez, Totonicapan, Zacapa
Independence:
Definition Field Listing
15 September 1821 (from Spain)
National holiday:
Definition Field Listing
Independence Day, 15 September (1821)
Constitution:
Definition Field Listing
31 May 1985, effective 14 January 1986; note - suspended 25 May 1993 by former President SERRANO; reinstated 5 June 1993 following ouster of president; amended November 1993
Legal system:
Definition Field Listing
civil law system; judicial review of legislative acts; has not accepted compulsory ICJ jurisdiction
Suffrage:
Definition Field Listing
18 years of age; universal (active duty members of the armed forces may not vote and are restricted to their barracks on election day)
Executive branch:
Definition Field Listing
chief of state: President Oscar Jose Rafael BERGER Perdomo (since 14 January 2004); Vice President Eduardo STEIN Barillas (since 14 January 2004); note - the president is both the chief of state and head of government
head of government: President Oscar Jose Rafael BERGER Perdomo (since 14 January 2004); Vice President Eduardo STEIN Barillas (since 14 January 2004); note - the president is both the chief of state and head of government
cabinet: Council of Ministers appointed by the president
elections: president elected by popular vote for a four-year term; election last held 9 November 2003; runoff held 28 December 2003 (next to be held NA November 2007)
election results: Oscar BERGER Perdomo elected president; percent of vote - Oscar BERGER Perdomo (GANA) 54.1%, Alvaro COLOM (UNE) 45.9%
Legislative branch:
Definition Field Listing
unicameral Congress of the Republic or Congreso de la Republica (158 seats; members are elected by popular vote to serve four-year terms)
elections: last held 9 November 2003 (next to be held NA November 2007)
election results: percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - GANA 49, FRG 41, UNE 33, PAN 17, other 18
note: for the 9 November 2003 election, the number of congressional seats increased from 113 to 158
Judicial branch:
Definition Field Listing
Constitutional Court or Corte de Constitutcionalidad is Guatemala's highest court (five judges are elected for concurrent five-year terms by Congress, each serving one year as president of the Constitutional Court; one is elected by Congress, one elected by the Supreme Court of Justice, one appointed by the President, one elected by Superior Counsel of Universidad San Carlos de Guatemala, and one by Colegio de Abogados); Supreme Court of Justice or Corte Suprema de Justicia (thirteen members serve concurrent five-year terms and elect a president of the Court each year from among their number; the president of the Supreme Court of Justice also supervises trial judges around the country, who are named to five-year terms)
Political parties and leaders:
Definition Field Listing
Authentic Integral Development or DIA [Eduardo SUGER]; Democratic Union or UD [Rodolfo PAIZ Andrade]; Grand National Alliance or GANA [Oscar BERGER Perdomo]; Green Party or LOV [Rodolfo ROSALES Garcis-Salaz]; Guatemalan Christian Democracy or DCG [Vinicio CEREZO Arevalo]; Guatemalan National Revolutionary Unity or URNG [Alba ESTELA Maldonado, secretary general]; Guatemalan Republican Front or FRG [Efrain RIOS Montt]; Movement for Guatemalan Unity or MGU [Jacobo ARBENZ Villanueva]; Movement for Principals and Values or MPV [Francisco BIANCHI]; National Advancement Party or PAN [Leonel LOPEZ Rodas, secretary general]; National Unity for Hope or UNE [Alvarado COLOM Caballeros]; New Nation Alliance or ANN, formed by an alliance of DIA, URNG, and several splinter groups most of whom subsequently defected [led by three co-equal partners - Nineth Varenca MONTENEGRO Cottom, Rodolfo BAUER Paiz, and Jorge Antonio BALSELLS TUT]; Patriot Party or PP [retired General Otto PEREZ Molina]; Progressive Liberator Party or PLP [Acisclo VALLADARES Molina]; Reform Movement or MR [Alfredo SKINNER-KLEE, secretary general]; Unionista Party [leader NA]
Political pressure groups and leaders:
Definition Field Listing
Agrarian Owners Group or UNAGRO; Alliance Against Impunity or AAI; Committee for Campesino Unity or CUC; Coordinating Committee of Agricultural, Commercial, Industrial, and Financial Associations or CACIF; Mutual Support Group or GAM
International organization participation:
Definition Field Listing
BCIE, CACM, FAO, G-24, G-77, IADB, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICFTU, ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, ISO (correspondent), ITU, LAES, LAIA (observer), NAM, OAS, OPANAL, OPCW, PCA, RG, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UPU, WCL, WCO, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WToO, WTrO
Diplomatic representation in the US:
Definition Field Listing
chief of mission: Ambassador (vacant)
chancery: 2220 R Street NW, Washington, DC 20008
telephone: [1] (202) 745-4952
FAX: [1] (202) 745-1908
consulate(s) general: Chicago, Denver, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, New York, and San Francisco
Diplomatic representation from the US:
Definition Field Listing
chief of mission: Ambassador (vacant)
embassy: 7-01 Avenida Reforma, Zone 10, Guatemala City
mailing address: APO AA 34024
telephone: [502] 331-1541/55
FAX: [502] 334-8477
Flag description:
Definition Field Listing
three equal vertical bands of light blue (hoist side), white, and light blue with the coat of arms centered in the white band; the coat of arms includes a green and red quetzal (the national bird) and a scroll bearing the inscription LIBERTAD 15 DE SEPTIEMBRE DE 1821 (the original date of independence from Spain) all superimposed on a pair of crossed rifles and a pair of crossed swords and framed by a wreath

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   Economy    Guatemala
Economy - overview:
Definition Field Listing
Guatemala is the largest and most populous of the Central American countries with a GDP per capita roughly one-half that of Brazil, Argentina, and Chile. The agricultural sector accounts for about one-fourth of GDP, two-thirds of exports, and half of the labor force. Coffee, sugar, and bananas are the main products. The 1996 signing of peace accords, which ended 36 years of civil war, removed a major obstacle to foreign investment, but widespread political violence and corruption scandals continue to dampen investor confidence. The distribution of income remains highly unequal, with perhaps 75% of the population below the poverty line. Ongoing challenges include increasing government revenues, negotiating further assistance from international donors, upgrading both government and private financial operations, curtailing drug trafficking, and narrowing the trade deficit.
GDP:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
purchasing power parity - $56.5 billion (2003 est.)
GDP - real growth rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
2.1% (2003 est.)
GDP - per capita:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
purchasing power parity - $4,100 (2003 est.)
GDP - composition by sector:
Definition Field Listing
agriculture: 22.5%
industry: 18.9%
services: 58.5% (2003 est.)
Investment (gross fixed):
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
15.2% of GDP (2003)
Population below poverty line:
Definition Field Listing
75% (2002 est.)
Household income or consumption by percentage share:
Definition Field Listing
lowest 10%: 1.6%
highest 10%: 46% (1998)
Distribution of family income - Gini index:
Definition Field Listing
55.8 (1998)
Inflation rate (consumer prices):
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
5.5% (2003 est.)
Labor force:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
3.84 million (2003 est.)
Labor force - by occupation:
Definition Field Listing
agriculture 50%, industry 15%, services 35% (1999 est.)
Unemployment rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
7.5% (2003 est.)
Budget:
Definition Field Listing
revenues: $2.741 billion
expenditures: $3.316 billion, including capital expenditures of $750 million (2003 est.)
Public debt:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
30.8% of GDP (2003)
Agriculture - products:
Definition Field Listing
sugarcane, corn, bananas, coffee, beans, cardamom; cattle, sheep, pigs, chickens
Industries:
Definition Field Listing
sugar, textiles and clothing, furniture, chemicals, petroleum, metals, rubber, tourism
Industrial production growth rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
4.1% (1999)
Electricity - production:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
6.237 billion kWh (2001)
Electricity - consumption:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
5.559 billion kWh (2001)
Electricity - exports:
Definition Field Listing
336 million kWh (2001)
Electricity - imports:
Definition Field Listing
95 million kWh (2001)
Oil - production:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
21,080 bbl/day (2001 est.)
Oil - consumption:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
61,000 bbl/day (2001 est.)
Oil - exports:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
NA (2001)
Oil - imports:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
NA (2001)
Oil - proved reserves:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
263 million bbl (1 January 2002)
Natural gas - proved reserves:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
1.543 billion cu m (1 January 2002)
Current account balance:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
$-1.106 billion (2003)
Exports:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
$2.763 billion f.o.b. (2003 est.)
Exports - commodities:
Definition Field Listing
coffee, sugar, bananas, fruits and vegetables, cardamom, meat, apparel, petroleum, electricity
Exports - partners:
Definition Field Listing
US 55.5%, El Salvador 10.5%, Nicaragua 3.5% (2003 est.)
Imports:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
$5.749 billion f.o.b. (2003 est.)
Imports - commodities:
Definition Field Listing
fuels, machinery and transport equipment, construction materials, grain, fertilizers, electricity
Imports - partners:
Definition Field Listing
US 33.3%, South Korea 8.9%, Mexico 8.7%, El Salvador 6.2%, China 4.5% (2003 est.)
Reserves of foreign exchange & gold:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
$2.843 billion (2003)
Debt - external:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
$4.957 billion (2003 est.)
Economic aid - recipient:
Definition Field Listing
$250 million (2000 est.)
Currency:
Definition Field Listing
quetzal (GTQ), US dollar (USD), others allowed
Currency code:
Definition Field Listing
GTQ; USD
Exchange rates:
Definition Field Listing
quetzales per US dollar - 7.9409 (2003), 7.8216 (2002), 7.8586 (2001), 7.7632 (2000), 7.3856 (1999)
Fiscal year:
Definition Field Listing
calendar year

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   Communications    Guatemala
Telephones - main lines in use:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
846,000 (2002)
Telephones - mobile cellular:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
1,577,100 (2002)
Telephone system:
Definition Field Listing
general assessment: fairly modern network centered in the city of Guatemala
domestic: NA
international: country code - 502; connected to Central American Microwave System; satellite earth station - 1 Intelsat (Atlantic Ocean)
Radio broadcast stations:
Definition Field Listing
AM 130, FM 487, shortwave 15 (2000)
Television broadcast stations:
Definition Field Listing
26 (plus 27 repeaters) (1997)
Internet country code:
Definition Field Listing
.gt
Internet hosts:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
20,360 (2003)
Internet users:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
400,000 (2002)

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   Transportation    Guatemala
Railways:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
total: 886 km
narrow gauge: 886 km 0.914-m gauge (2003)
Highways:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
total: 14,118 km
paved: 4,871 km (including 74 km of expressways)
unpaved: 9,247 km (1999)
Waterways:
Definition Field Listing
990 km
note: 260 km navigable year round; additional 730 km navigable during high-water season (2004)
Pipelines:
Definition Field Listing
oil 480 km (2003)
Ports and harbors:
Definition Field Listing
Champerico, Puerto Barrios, Puerto Quetzal, San Jose, Santo Tomas de Castilla
Merchant marine:
Definition Field Listing
none
Airports:
Definition Field Listing
452 (2003 est.)
Airports - with paved runways:
Definition Field Listing
total: 11
2,438 to 3,047 m: 3
1,524 to 2,437 m: 2
914 to 1,523 m: 4
under 914 m: 2 (2003 est.)
Airports - with unpaved runways:
Definition Field Listing
total: 441
2,438 to 3,047 m: 1
1,524 to 2,437 m: 8
914 to 1,523 m: 109
under 914 m: 323 (2003 est.)

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   Military    Guatemala
Military branches:
Definition Field Listing
Army, Navy (includes Marines), Air Force
Military manpower - military age:
Definition Field Listing
18 years of age (2004 est.)
Military manpower - availability:
Definition Field Listing
males age 15-49: 3,421,682 (2004 est.)
Military manpower - fit for military service:
Definition Field Listing
males age 15-49: 2,233,562 (2004 est.)
Military manpower - reaching military age annually:
Definition Field Listing
males: 156,865 (2004 est.)
Military expenditures - dollar figure:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
$202.6 million (2003)
Military expenditures - percent of GDP:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
0.8% (2003)

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   Transnational Issues    Guatemala
Disputes - international:
Definition Field Listing
Guatemalan squatters continue to settle in Belize border region; OAS brokered Differendum in 2002 creating small adjustment to land boundary, large Guatemalan maritime corridor in Caribbean, joint ecological park for disputed Sapodilla Cays, and substantial US-UK financial package, but agreement was not brought to popular referendum leaving Guatemala to continue to claim the southern half of Belize intact; numbers of Guatemalans enter Mexico seeking work or transit to the US
Illicit drugs:
Definition Field Listing
major transit country for cocaine and heroin; minor producer of illicit opium poppy and cannabis for mostly domestic consumption; proximity to Mexico makes Guatemala a major staging area for drugs (particularly for cocaine); money laundering is a serious problem; corruption is a major problem; remains on Financial Action Task Force Non-Cooperative Countries and Territories List for continued failure to address deficiencies in money-laundering control regime

Large portions of this information is from the US government open source publication "The World Factbook", other content copyright © Stratus-Pikpuk, Inc. You may use this information without permission for educational or other non-profit purposes if you refer to us as the source, contact us if you want to use this commercially.


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