Whether the Universidad de San Carlos (USAC) assists peasant organizations or cooperatives and if so, whether there have been reports of mistreatment by the security forces (1995 to present) [GTM31624.E]

In a 11 May 1999 telephone interview with the Research Directorate, the director of the Institute of Inter-Ethnic Studies (Instituto de Estudios Inter-Étnicos) at the Universidad de San Carlos in Guatemala City stated that by law, the university is not permitted to directly assist peasant organizations or any other popular organization. The director added that the mandate of the university is to provide higher education and to propose policies to reform education laws. The institute may indirectly assist peasant organizations by investigating possible sources of funding for buying books or for providing educational training in peasant communities. For example, the institute may act as an intermediary between an international organization, such as the European Community, and a peasant group in Guatemala in order to secure funding for specific projects.

Additional and/or corroborating information could not be found among the sources consulted by the Research Directorate.

This Response was prepared after researching publicly accessible information currently available to the Research Directorate within time constraints. This Response is not, and does not purport to be, conclusive as to the merit of any particular claim to refugee status or asylum. Please find below the list of additional sources consulted in researching this Information Request.


Instituto de Estudios Inter-Étnicos, Universidad de San Carlos (USAC), Guatemala City. 11 May 1999. Telephone interview with the director.

Additional Sources Consulted

Central America NewsPak [Austin]. 1997-1999.

Cerigua Weekly Briefs [Guatemala City]. 1996-1999.

Guatemala Human Rights Update [Washington]. 1995-1999.

La Prensa [San Pedro Sula]. 1996-1999.

Latinamerica Press [Lima]. 1995-1999.

USAC Website. http://ns.usac.edu.gt.

Electronic Sources: IRB Databases, REFWORLD, LEXIS/NEXIS, Internet and WNC.