Police Reform and the Peace Process in Guatemala: The Fifth Promotion of the National Civilian Police


Glebbeek, Marie-Louise. 2001. “Police Reform and the Peace Process in Guatemala: The Fifth Promotion of the National Civilian Police.” Bulletin of Latin American Research 20 (4): 431-53.

Author: Marie-Louise Glebbeek


After 36 years of mostly authoritarian rule and often bitter civil conflict in Guatemala, the December 1996 Peace Accords prepared the ground for a new phase of reconstruction, democratisation and social and institutional reform. Prior to the Peace Accords, policing in Guatemala had been often violent, repressive and subordinated to the counterinsurgency logic of the military. Security sector reform intentions included the abolition of existing police forces and the creation of a new National Civil Police (PNC). The PNC was meant to give substance to a new way of policing in tune with the building of democratic governance and effective law enforcement. This paper examines the general background of the reforms, discusses the limitations of the results so far, and takes a particular and critical look at one of the key components of the police reform: the recruitment and training of PNC aspirants, using the case of the 1999 Fifth Promotion that entered the Academy of the PNC.

Keywords: police, security sector reform, peace and reconstruction, Guatemala

Topics: Democracy / Democratization, Gender, Gendered Power Relations, Governance, Post-Conflict Governance, Peace Processes, Post-Conflict, Post-Conflict Reconstruction, Security, Security Sector Reform Regions: Americas, Central America Countries: Guatemala

Year: 2001

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