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Archivo de la Misión de Verificación de las Naciones Unidas en Guatemala (MINUGUA)

Title: Archivo de la Misión de Verificación de las Naciones Unidas en Guatemala
UUID: df7a3ff6-a722-4c28-a61a-87070954f9bf
The Misión de Verificación de las Naciones Unidas en Guatemala (MINUGUA) was established as a result of the Global Agreement on Human Rights, signed by the Government of Guatemala and the Unidad Revolucionaria Nacional Guatemalteca (URNG), on March 29, 1994 in Mexico City. However, on a more general level, MINUGUA had the mandate of verifying compliance with all signed agreements.

The official work of the Mission began on November 21, 1994 at MINUGUA’s headquarters, located in Guatemala City, and during the following months regional offices were opened in Quiché, Huehuetenango, Petén, San Marcos and Escuintla. Throughout 1995 and 1996, the director of the Mission delivered several reports in which he expressed dissatisfaction with the lack of action by public institutions, such as the Policía Nacional and the Ministerio Público, in the fulfillment of their tasks. Within this context, the population's access to justice and the security of the lives of different social leaders were restricted.

With the signing of the Paz Firme y Duradera, on December 29, 1996, the Mission began a new phase of work since the armed conflict was formally over, and the stage of core compliance with the substantive agreements began. For this reason, tasks aligned with the verification of compliance with the demobilization and reintegration of the combatant and uprooted population increased. Furthermore, the need to support public institutions and the population was greater. Between February and May 1997, MINUGUA military observers supervised the disarmament process of the guerrilla forces.

Throughout its mandate, MINUGUA fulfilled its verification mission through monitoring and working together with Civil Society and Government organizations. Through its reports, MINUGUA disseminated the progress and limitations regarding compliance with the Peace Agreements. Its role as a broadcaster and observer of the 1999 and 2003 elections was broad and deep. MINUGUA also represented an important part of the international community in the follow-up to sensitive cases, such as the murder of Bishop Juan José Gerardi Conedera and the Consulta Popular of 1999.

The restructuring of the schedule for compliance with the Peace Agreements for the years 2000-2004 forced the renewal of MINUGUA's mandate. In parallel, the Mission's field and management staff developed the transition process ahead of their departure, so that public and civil society organizations could fill their functions. For this reason, MINUGUA coordinated closely with the Procuraduría de Derechos Humanos (PDH), so that they could assume the mandate of verifying respect for human rights after 2004. Finally, MINUGUA closed on November 16, 2004.

MINUGUA produced an extensive documentary and photographic archive, as well as a collection of posters and bibliography analyzing the situation of compliance with human rights in Guatemala. All this material was in the care of María Antonieta Barrios, who carried out the selection process of the institutions that would be in charge of safeguarding the archive at the end of the MINUGUA mandate. In 2004, the spokesperson of MINUGUA, Seda Pumpyanskaya, visited the CIRMA facilities and together with the directors of MINUGUA decided that it would be the ideal institution for the safekeeping of photographic archives. Subsequently, an agreement was signed between the head of MINUGUA and CIRMA for the transfer of the archive in order that it would be preserved, organized and disseminated. Following the signing of the agreement, the archive was transferred to CIRMA and has since been kept in the repository of the Fototeca Guatemala.

The images cover key points of the implementation of the Guatemalan Peace Accords, from 1996 to 2004. Due to the verification task entrusted to MINUGUA, the photographs show its officials in dissemination workshops, observing demonstrations by social organizations, the process of modernization and democratization of state institutions, exhumations, and the work of the Comisión de Esclarecimiento Histórico (CEH). Therefore, the archive constitutes an important source to visualize the Guatemalan peace process, both in its hopeful beginnings and in its completion with the passing of its mandate to the Procuraduría de los Derechos Humanos.

The complete collection can be seen at

Reference code: GT-CIRMA-FG-103.
Partner Repository
Centro de Investigaciones Regionales de Mesoamérica
Date Range
1488 objects

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