US embassy cable - 03GUATEMALA1337

GUATEMALA ON INTER-AMERICAN CONVENTION AGAINST TERRORISM

Identifier: 03GUATEMALA1337
Wikileaks: View 03GUATEMALA1337 at Wikileaks.org
Origin: Embassy Guatemala
Created: 2003-05-23 15:48:00
Classification: UNCLASSIFIED
Tags: PTER KTIA AORC GT OAS
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.


 
UNCLAS GUATEMALA 001337 
 
SIPDIS 
 
DEPARTMENT FOR WHA/USOAS, L/WHA, WHA/CAR 
 
E.O. 12958: N/A 
TAGS: PTER, KTIA, AORC, GT, OAS 
SUBJECT: GUATEMALA ON INTER-AMERICAN CONVENTION AGAINST 
TERRORISM 
 
REF: STATE 118495 
 
1. Information provided below is keyed to reftel questions: 
 
A. The OAS Terrorism Convention is not currently on the 
legislative agenda.  Congress is in recess until August. 
General elections will be held in November.  The Foreign 
Ministry continues to consult internally and with various 
line Ministries about the Convention. 
 
B. According to Sylvia Corado, Director for Multilateral 
Affairs, the Foreign Ministry anticipates no obstacles to 
eventual ratification.  Corado acknowledged that the process 
has been slow but said that the political will Guatemala 
showed when it signed the Convention is still in place. 
 
C. Until the Convention goes to Congress, the key leader in 
the ratification process will be the Foreign Minister. 
Corado believes it is unlikely the Convention will be 
forwarded to the current Congress.  The leadership of the 
next Congress will be determined in the upcoming elections. 
 
D. Currently, the FRG party holds a slight but disciplined 
majority in Congress.  The party is led by retired General 
Efrain Rios Montt. 
 
E. According to Corado, Guatemala can ratify the Convention 
without making any legislative or regulatory changes. 
However, once ratified, some changes will be required. 
Corado said this was part of the reason consultations were 
taking so long.  Although she could not recall details, 
Corado said she had attended discussions related to changes 
in asylum and extradition laws, and assured us that the 
Government of Guatemala was preparing to move quickly once 
the Convention is ratified.  Asked about constitutional 
provisions related to extradition (Article 27), Corado could 
only say the matter was under review and was not considered 
an obstacle. 
 
F. Many of the Convention's obligations are already covered 
by current legislation.  Technically, once the Convention is 
ratified it will have the force of law.  Corado called this a 
"gray area" and said that the Foreign Ministry would propose 
the necessary legislative changes to Congress once the 
Convention was ratified. 
 
G. In Guatemala, the text of a convention is approved by the 
Congress and ratified by the President.  Ratification is not 
automatic following approval of the text by Congress. 
HAMILTON 

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