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Identifier
Created
Classification
Origin
03GUATEMALA1125
2003-04-30 20:07:00
UNCLASSIFIED
Embassy Guatemala
Cable title:  

VICTIMS' ASSISTANCE CENTER: GUATEMALA'S HRDF GRANT

Tags:  PHUM PREL PGOV EAID KDEM KSEP GT 
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						UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 GUATEMALA 001125 

SIPDIS

DEPT FOR DANIKA WALTERS AND ROB JACKSON DRL/PHD

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PHUM PREL PGOV EAID KDEM KSEP GT
SUBJECT: VICTIMS' ASSISTANCE CENTER: GUATEMALA'S HRDF GRANT
SUBMISSION

REF: A. SECSTATE 79965


B. GUATEMALA 548



1. (U) Embassy Guatemala appreciates the opportunity to
propose an HRDF grant to help implement our human rights
strategy.(Ref A) We believe that the Human Rights Victims'
Assistance Center project outlined below offers an excellent
opportunity to increase the Human Rights Ombudsman's Office
capacity to help human rights defenders and victims recover
from threats and attacks they have suffered. End Summary.

Background


--------------------------




2. (U) Guatemala is a fledgling democracy that emerged from a
36-year civil war in 1996, that left approximately 200,000
people dead or disappeared. The internal conflict left a
legacy of disrespect for human rights and a lack of
confidence in the state's capacity to promote and protect
human rights. The 1985 Constitution established the Human
Right's Ombudsman's office to operate as an independent
entity responsible for verification and protection of human
rights work.



3. (U) One of the USG's main objectives in Guatemala is
supporting the work of human rights organizations and
strengthening the domestic institutions that deal with the
same issues. While some progress has been made during the
post-war era, violence continues to threaten the lives of
many Guatemalans, especially human rights workers. This
project will help to better protect and counsel those who
have been harassed, as well as develop a domestic capacity to
respond to human rights emergencies.

Objective


--------------------------




4. (U) The objective of the $50,000 HRDF grant would be to
provide funding for a new Victim's Assistance Center
established by the Human Rights Ombudsman's Office to provide
counseling and refuge for victims of recent and past human
rights abuses. USAID supports the work of the Human Rights
Ombudsman's office and its links to civil society through
their human rights programs, but does not fund this
particular project. The project does not duplicate existing
efforts; rather, it expands upon our current efforts to
strengthen the Human Rights Ombudsman's Office and to support
a more congenial environment for the defense of human rights.

Method


--------------------------




5. (U) The Human Rights Ombudsman's Office has established a
Victim's Center but lacks sufficient resources to carry out
its work effectively. With our support, the Center (located
in the war-torn department of Chimaltenango) would provide
mental and physical health services, shelter, and legal
counseling to victims of human rights crimes.

Results


--------------------------




6. (U) The goal of the Victim's Center project would be to
firmly establish the center, with operations support to be
assumed by the Ombudsman's Office in the future. The
Ombudsman's Office has already obtained the building and the
basic infrastructure for the Center. Our financial support
would allow the Ombudsman's Office to hire professionals,
purchase administrative and medical supplies for the center,
and begin assisting victims. Based on the 100-plus cases the
Ombudsman's Office has addressed over the past year, they
anticipate providing inpatient services to approximately ten
people per month.

Implementing Organization


--------------------------




7. (U) The Human Right's Ombudsman's Office will implement
the project. The Ombudsman's Office is an independent,
autonomous government entity charged with human rights
verification and protection. It receives a limited budget
annually from Congress.

Budget


--------------------------




8. (U) We are asking for up to $50,000 for the project to be
spent on the following items over an eight-month period:

Staff Salaries:
Paramedics (2) : $7,100
Center Coordinator (1) : $6,000
Psychologist (1) : $12,150
Psychologist's Assistant (1) : $6,075
Security (2) : $5,060
Cook (1) : $1,520
Maintenance (2) : $2,530

Administrative Supplies: $5,060
Medicine : $4,505
HAMILTON