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Research Report

The Netherlands and Guatemala: Dutch policies and Interventions in the Guatemalan Conflict and Peace

Suzanne Verstegen
Copyright Date: Dec. 1, 2000
Published by: Clingendael Institute
Pages: 143
OPEN ACCESS
https://www.jstor.org/stable/resrep05428
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Table of Contents

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  1. (pp. 15-20)

    This study is one of six case studies¹ in the framework of the ‘Conflict Policy Research Project’ (CPRP), carried out by the Netherlands Institute of International Relations ‘Clingendael’ at the request of the Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The overall aim of the CPRP is to identify and elaborate options for policies and instruments on the basis of which the Ministry could improve on the signalling of and intervention in (potential or actual) violent conflicts in Third World countries. Similarly, it should identify ways and means by which the Ministry could enhance its activities to ameliorate post-conflict situations, and hence...

  2. (pp. 21-42)

    The Guatemalan conflict, history and society have been studied and described in many instances, and hence are well documented. These publications predominantly focus on a specific problem or element such as the colonial past, military project, the democratization process, or the ethnic communities. Each captures a piece of reality. In this study, the outline necessarily has to be limited, and will focus on factors and dynamics that have been identified as conflict-relevant. Whereas the assessment of international and Dutch interventions focuses on the time period after 1986, i.e. the period of peace negotiations and the return to civil government (see...

  3. (pp. 43-64)

    Whereas the Peace Accord between the insurgent movement and the Guatemalan government of 29 December 1996 placed Guatemala on the international agenda, the international powers had remained partisan or indifferent for much of the 36-year conflict. US dominance in the region was, at the economic as well as the political and military level, omnipresent. A first break in this tradition came with a regional effort to de-escalate the conflict and to stop the potential geographical spreading of war. The process leading to the signing of the Guatemalan Peace Accord in 1996 was thus part of a larger undertaking to reverse...

  4. (pp. 65-82)

    In the absence of a long-term historical relationship between the Netherlands and Guatemala, interest in the Central American region increased with the establishment of the Central American Common Market in the 1960s. While economic opportunities were opening in the region, Guatemala was considered the most viable market. Until the 1980s, then, the activities of the Dutch embassy in Guatemala City focused on the economic and commercial sector as a result of the relatively intensive economic relations and the presence of some important Dutch companies.126 When conflict further escalated in the late 1970s, this however changed. Economic interest faded. A new...

  5. (pp. 83-88)

    This study has focused on the period 1986-1998 as the ‘end phase’ of the Guatemalan civil war. This enabled a study on the conflict-related nature of Dutch interventions not only in the narrow sense of conflict prevention, but rather in finding a negotiated solution to armed confrontation and the potential of democracy-building in this regard. It has furthermore offered the possibility to assess the options for international mediation in situations of conflict. Whereas strong economic and political interests in the Central American region were absent from Dutch policy motivations, the Guatemalan case has, moreover, been interesting in that it offered...