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Guatemala's government has committed to enacting an access to information law, reports the Inter American Press Association (IAPA).

At an IAPA meeting in Guatemala City last week, Representative Eduardo Meyer confirmed that the National Congress wanted to pass a number of bills on access to public records that are currently under debate. "It is of vital importance for the country that this law be enacted and we are committed to that," he said.

The Centre of Informative Reports on Guatemala (CERIGUA), an IFEX member, welcomed Meyer's promise, considering that CERIGUA and other organisations have been campaigning extensively for approval for an access to information law.

"The right to information, in our silenced country, has been repeatedly violated," said Ileana Alamilla of CERIGUA. "A legal vacuum has prevented us from achieving transparency and has made accessing information difficult. Citizens will benefit from the government fulfilling this promise."

Also at IAPA's legislative forum, Guatemalan President Alvaro Colom signed the 1994 Chapultepec Declaration, a document promoting press freedom in the Americas that outlines that no law or government act may limit freedom of expression. Colom is the third Guatemalan president to sign the declaration.

Colom said, "All we leaders should have this Declaration hanging in our offices," adding that his government "has an organisation of information underway so as to make military archives and public finance records available."

Visit these links:
- CERIGUA (email): informacion(@)cerigua(.)org
(8 April 2008)

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