US embassy cable - 03GUATEMALA275

GUATEMALAN COSPONSORSHIP OF CUBAN HUMAN RIGHTS RESOLUTION

Identifier: 03GUATEMALA275
Wikileaks: View 03GUATEMALA275 at Wikileaks.org
Origin: Embassy Guatemala
Created: 2003-01-31 20:23:00
Classification: CONFIDENTIAL
Tags: CU PHUM PREL GT UNCHR
Redacted: This cable was not redacted by Wikileaks.
This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.


 
C O N F I D E N T I A L GUATEMALA 000275 
 
SIPDIS 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 01/23/2013 
TAGS: CU, PHUM, PREL, GT, UNCHR 
SUBJECT: GUATEMALAN COSPONSORSHIP OF CUBAN HUMAN RIGHTS 
RESOLUTION 
 
REF: A. STATE 20816 
 
     B. PARA 4 
 
Classified By: Ambassador John R. Hamilton for reason 1.5 (b) 
 
1.  (C)  I have misgivings about our seeking Guatemalan 
co-sponsorship of the UNHRC resolution on Cuba (seeking a yes 
vote would be different).  There is the question, first, 
whether Guatemalan support would be a genuine asset to the 
effort in Geneva.  As the Department is aware, violence and 
threats of violence against the courageous Guatemalan human 
rights community have increased dramatically since the 2002 
UNHRC session.  We have led international community efforts 
to turn this situation around, so far with only limited 
success.  Although we do not know for sure that state 
security elements are involved, we are disappointed that the 
government has done so little publicly and privately to make 
its opposition to such threats clear.  With its own 
credibility on human rights so grievously impaired, 
Guatemalan co-sponsorship at Geneva may actually detract from 
the legitimacy of our efforts, in particular among the Latins 
and Europeans.  The Cubans would exploit this vulnerability 
to the hilt. 
 
2.     A second consideration is that we are gaining credit 
with democratic forces ) and 
the Guatemalan public at large * for the forthright stand we 
are taking here on issues of democratic governance.  These 
includes, in addition to the threats against the human rights 
community: the political influence of organized crime (the 
so-called &clandestine groups8) and narcotics traffickers; 
corruption in a wide variety of manifestations; broader rule 
of law issues; support for free, fair and constitutional 
elections; and full implementation of the 1996 Peace Accords. 
 Impending decertification is an important part of this mix. 
But fear among democratic forces that our needs on 
multilateral issues will ultimately trump their concerns runs 
deep. It would be difficult indeed to convince Guatemalan 
democrats we had not traded their concerns for GOG support on 
Cuba, especially if we were re-certifying Guatemala on drugs 
(no matter how justified on the merits) in the same time 
frame. 
 
3.    That said, if Department determines that the need for 
Guatemalan support overrides these considerations, we will 
give it our best shot.  My senior staff believes replacement 
of FM Orellana with Edgar Gutierrez makes sponsorship, even a 
favorable vote, a much, much tougher sell than last year.  I 
think a yes vote (conceivably even sponsorship) could be 
possible if we pull out all the stops of high-level 
intervention.  Portillo will seek a quid pro quid, possibly 
re-certification.   He should get only the modicum of respect 
he would deserve for doing the right thing on an important 
human rights issue. 
 
// 
Hamilton 

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