Related Rule
Guatemala
Practice Relating to Rule 98. Enforced Disappearance
In 2006, in its initial report to the Committee on the Rights of the Child under the Optional Protocol on the Involvement of Children in Armed Conflict, Guatemala stated:
151. Decree No. 33-96 introduced an additional article, 201 ter, [to the Criminal Code] which established enforced disappearance as an offence.
The offence of enforced disappearance is committed by any person who, on the orders or with the authorization or support of the State authorities, deprives a person or persons of their liberty for political reasons, concealing their whereabouts or refusing to reveal their fate or acknowledge their detention, or by a public official or employee, whether a member of the State security forces or not, who orders, authorizes, supports or acquiesces in any such acts.
152. The offence of enforced disappearance shall consist of the deprivation of the liberty of one or more persons, even in the absence of political grounds, by elements of the State security forces in their official capacity, if they act arbitrarily or with an abuse or excess of force. The offence of enforced disappearance is also committed by members of organized groups or gangs having terrorist, insurgent or subversive purposes or any other criminal purpose who, as members of or participants in such groups or gangs, engage in abduction or kidnapping.
153. The offence shall be deemed to persist until such time as the victim is released.
154. A person who is guilty of enforced disappearance shall be sentenced to 25 to 40 years’ imprisonment and the maximum term of imprisonment shall be replaced by the death penalty in cases where, for the purpose of or in the process of the enforced disappearance, the victim suffers serious, very serious or fatal injuries or permanent psychological damage. 
Guatemala, Initial report to the Committee on the Rights of the Child under the Optional Protocol on the Involvement of Children in Armed Conflict, 17 July 2006, UN Doc. CRC/C/OPAC/GTM/1, submitted 17 May 2006, §§ 151–154.
In 2006, in its initial report to the Committee on the Rights of the Child under the Optional Protocol on the Involvement of Children in Armed Conflict, Guatemala stated:
Peace and Concord Commission. In accordance with the Agreement on the Establishment of the Commission to Clarify Past Human Rights Violations and Acts of Violence that have Caused the Guatemalan Population to Suffer (the Commission for Historical Clarification), signed on 23 June 1994, and pursuant to Government Order No. 263-2001, the Peace and Concord Commission was established to promote and enhance peace and concord and to coordinate reconciliation efforts. Its mandate includes encouraging and assisting efforts to determine where and under what circumstances persons detained during the internal armed conflict disappeared or died. 
Guatemala, Initial report to the Committee on the Rights of the Child under the Optional Protocol on the Involvement of Children in Armed Conflict, 17 July 2006, UN Doc. CRC/C/OPAC/GTM/1, submitted 17 May 2006, § 180.
Guatemala also stated:
188. The objectives of the [National] [C]ommission [on the Tracing of Children who Disappeared during the Internal Armed Conflict] are to discover and reveal the truth in cases of disappeared children in Guatemala; to promote and support efforts in the areas of documentation, searches and family reunification; and to promote and support action to achieve justice and compensation.
189. Progress made since the establishment of the Commission includes: (a) 1,280 cases documented; (b) 324 cases resolved; (c) 131 family reunifications; (d) 108 exhumations; (e) 85 pending cases of family reunification; (f) 1,000 cases of psychological and social counselling; (g) 600 cases of ongoing psychological and social counselling; and (h) 16 family committees organized to search for disappeared children.
190. Qualitative progress includes: (a) family members are now confident to speak out on the issue; (b) there is solidarity among families at the national level, and cooperation at the international level; (c) the issue of disappeared children and their rights is receiving attention; (d) multiculturalism is respected; (e) there is coordination between and within institutions with regard to the National Compensation Programme and the National Compensation Commission; and (f) new technologies are being used in investigations.
191. Among the obstacles faced by the Commission is the lack of scientific tools, finance and access to information.
192. In late 2005, the Office of the President of the Republic, through the Presidential Human Rights Commission, launched a proposal to establish a national mechanism to search for persons who disappeared during the armed conflict. The proposal has been discussed by working groups comprising representatives of government offices and bodies, the Office of the Human Rights Procurator and civil society organizations. The proposal that has emerged from this process of discussion, dialogue and consensus-building is currently with the Office of the President, awaiting final approval. 
Guatemala, Initial report to the Committee on the Rights of the Child under the Optional Protocol on the Involvement of Children in Armed Conflict, 17 July 2006, UN Doc. CRC/C/OPAC/GTM/1, submitted 17 May 2006, §§ 188–192.