Guatemala

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The Republic of Guatemala is a nation of Central America. Guatemala was freed of Spanish colonial rule in 1821. During the second half of the 20th century, the nation experienced a variety of military and civilian governments as well as a 36-year guerrilla war. In 1996, the government signed a peace agreement formally ending the conflict, which had led to the death of more than 100,000 people and had created some 1 million refugees.

The agricultural sector accounts for one-fourth of [[Gross Domestic Product}GDP]], two-thirds of exports, and half of the labor force. Coffee, sugar, and bananas are the main products. Manufacturing and construction account for one-fifth of GDP. Since assuming office in January 1996, former President ARZU worked to implement a program of economic liberalization and political modernization. The signing of the peace accords in December 1996, which ended 36 years of civil war, removed a major obstacle to foreign investment. In 1998, Hurricane Mitch caused relatively little damage to Guatemala compared to its neighbors. Remaining challenges include beefing up government revenues, negotiating further assistance from international donors, and increasing the efficiency and openness of both government and private financial operations. Growth should remain at the same level in 2000 provided world agricultural prices do not plunge.

The capital is Guatemala City.

From the CIA World Factbook 2000 and the U.S. Department of State website. Not Wikified.