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Visit of Head of Central America Department Gogbashian to Guatemala

The Head of the Caribbean, Central America and Mexico Department (CCMD) at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, Alan Gogbashian, visited Guatemala.

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Alan Gogbashian in Guatemala
Ivan Velasquez, Sarah Dickson, Alan Gogbashian

He met with senior Guatemalan officials to discuss areas of mutual interest in the UK-Guatemala relationship, including the British Government’s support for CICIG.

Mr. Gogbashian met with Olga Maria Aguja, Director of Multilateral Affairs at the Foreign Ministry; Congressman David Alfredo Alcazar, President of the Foreign Affairs Committee; and Eunice Mendizabal, Vice Minister for Counter Narcotics at the Ministry of the Interior. He also met with Ambassador Dickson and embassy staff to discuss the embassy’s work in Guatemala and our plans for the future.

Mr. Gogbashian also had appointments with members of the civil society and think tanks to address issues on human rights, politics, and the economy. Amongst these, he was interested to learn about the current situation of women’s rights, the UK-Guatemala economic relationship and individual liberties, including freedom of speech. He also announced that the UK will be supporting a project to strengthen arguments and actions against the enforcement of death penalty in Guatemala.

A highlight of his visit was the meeting with the head of CICIG, Ivan Velasquez. The UK believes CICIG has played a critical role in helping promote stronger institutions, to ensure sound transfer of capacities to the Guatemalan authorities, and continues providing assistance in tackling organized crime and parallel groups. Mr. Gogbashian expressed his support for the work of the Commission and respect for the decision the Guatemalan authorities might take regarding its continuity.

Mr. Gogbashian’s visit to Guatemala follows previous senior visits, all aimed at strengthening the UK–Guatemala relationship. Amongst these we had the visits of Minister Hugo Swire in June 2014, and a delegation of British Parliamentarians in November last year.

Published 10 April 2015