State of Siege Decree Affects Tourism

The Guatemalan government's decision to extend until November the State of Siege in six departments and add municipalities of Sololá, generates concern among tourism businessmen.

Wednesday, October 2, 2019

On September 4, the State of Siege was decreed in 22 municipalities in the departments of Izabal, Alta Verapaz, Baja Verapaz, Zacapa, El Progreso, and Petén, following the death of three members of the Army at the hands of alleged drug traffickers in the village of Semuy II, in El Estor, Izabal.

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After the deadline was met, the government decided to extend until November 3 the State of Siege for the 22 municipalities of these departments, arguing that "the circumstances that originated the issuance of Governmental Decree 1-2019 issued on September 4 persist."

Another publication of the Diario de Centroamérica on October 2, states that Governmental Decree 3-2019 declares State of Siege for the municipalities of Santa Catarina Ixtahuacán and Nahualá, in the department of Sololá. In this case, the measure was decreed because multiple deaths have been reported as a result of a historical confrontation between the communities.

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Luis Rey, president of the Guatemalan Chamber of Tourism (Camtur), told that "... it should not affect that tourist area because the municipalities mentioned are located after Panajachel's entry by land. However, he makes several observations in this regard because he believes it could generate a little fear for people to travel."

Rey added that "... Any decision as a state of siege affects the mobility of people, regardless of time restrictions, but people in Guatemala take it as a travel restriction."

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