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Jun 22, 1999

Commission of Inquiry to investigate Guatemalan’s death

Following the controversy surrounding the shooting death of a Guatemalan by a B.D.F. soldier at Arenal earlier this month, Cabinet will appoint a Commission of Inquiry to investigate. The commission, which will consist of three members, will be appointed shortly. The Guatemalan government has requested a full report on the incident in which an evangelical minister was shot to death in front of his ten year old son. The B.D.F. soldier claims that the victim Mateo Ramirez was threatening him with a machete. Witnesses in Arenal, however, have reported that Ramirez was fleeing from the soldier and was unarmed. The composition of the Public Utilities Commission has also been outlined in the Public Utilities Commission Bill which was reviewed at today’s Cabinet meeting. The autonomous commission will be composed of seven members representing water, telephone and electricity providers, the Trade Union Congress, the Trade and Investment Promotion Service and Civil Society. The Public Utilities Commission will regulate licenses, rates and services. The high cost of primary school education was also a topic of discussion in Cabinet following a meeting of Ministry of Education officials and primary school general managers. It was agreed that no child will be sent home or denied an education at any government grant aided school because he or she cannot pay fees. And finally, Strukture Architecture and Hunt Consulting presented a proposal for the upgrading of the border facilities at Santa Elena, Corozal. The design features separate areas for cargo, customs and immigration as well as commercial areas for banking, money-changing and customs brokerage. The Free Zone will also be incorporated into the overall concept.

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