Guatemala Public Announcement
Issued by US Department of State
Jul 08, 2002
This Public Announcement is being issued to alert American citizens to the
possibility of civil disturbances and blockades in the Peten region if
negotiations scheduled to begin July 5 between the Guatemalan government and
former civil defense patrol members are not successful. This Announcement
expires on October 1, 2002.
In mid-June, former members of the Guatemalan civil defense patrol blocked a
number of roads in the Petén, including all the roads to the airport in
Flores and Tikal Park. The Flores airport was closed by the blockades.
Many people in Tikal Park and the Flores area were prevented from moving
freely in and out of the area. Some tourists were stopped and forcibly
detained by the protesters at the blockade near the entrance to Tikal
National Park. There were no reports of any injuries, but no tourists were
allowed to leave the blockaded areas for about 36 hours.
The protesters released all of the tourists and agreed to negotiations with
the Guatemalan government. The protesters and the government are scheduled
to begin negotiations July 5, 2002. Depending on the outcome of those
negotiations, protests and blockades may resume in the Petén or elsewhere in
Although the U.S. Embassy is not prohibiting employees from traveling to the
Petén at this time, at least one planned tourist trip of U.S. government
employees has been cancelled due to security concerns. Until further
notice, American Citizens visiting or residing in Guatemala should monitor
local media reports to see if there is protest activity that justifies
suspension of travel, especially in the affected area of the Petén
Department, to include Flores, Tikal Park, La Libertad, and all roads
leading into that area.
For further information on travel to Guatemala, please consult the
Department of State's latest Consular Information Sheet, available on the
Bureau of Consular Affairs home page at Http://travel.state.gov. The U.S.
Embassy is located in Guatemala at 7-01 avenida de la Reforma, Zone 10;
telephone (011-502-331-1541; website at