Negotiating rights: The Guatemala peace process
Publication date: 
Accord issue: 

Although Guatemala’s civil war was not fought over ethnic claims for self-determination, the peace process holds the prospect of incorporating historically neglected indigenous demands into a democratic national agenda. Rachel Sieder describes how indigenous Mayan civil society groups secured protection for their social cultural and political rights, navigating successfully between government and opposition groups, and winning recognition as ‘peoples’ rather than ‘groups’ in the negotiations. She assesses the opportunities and weaknesses of the accords, noting a lack of implementation in a centralised governance system, and highlights the need for international support.