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Introduction: The Mayan civilization flourished in Guatemala and surrounding regions during the first millennium A.D. After almost three centuries as a Spanish colony, Guatemala won its independence in 1821. During the second half of the 20th century, it experienced a variety of military and civilian governments, as well as a 36-year guerrilla war. In 1996, the government signed a peace agreement formally ending the conflict, which had left more than 100,000 people dead and had created, by some estimates, some 1 million...

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History: The Mayan civilization flourished throughout much of Guatemala and the surrounding region long before the Spanish arrived, but it was already in decline when the Mayans were defeated by Pedro de Alvarado in 1523-24. The first colonial capital, Ciudad Vieja, was ruined by floods and an earthquake in 1542. Survivors founded Antigua, the second capital, in 1543. Antigua was destroyed by two ...

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International Relations: Relations with Neighbours


When Guatemala became independent in 1821, it claimed it had inherited the previous Spanish claim to the southern part of Belize. In September 1981, Belize gained its independence from the UK, but this was not recognised by Guatemala. From 1975 successive UN resolutions endorsed Belize's right to self-determination, independence and territorial integrity. Relations improved and Guatemala recognised Belize as a sovereign and independent state in September 1991, while continuing to maintain its territorial claim on Belize.

Since 2000, Belize ...

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(Q) Guatemala Quetzal (GTQ)
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