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CONFLICT MANAGEMENT

This is the analysis and solution of the case-study which is available on the internet.

Danish Sultan mrk56@live.c om +92 312 51100 56

CASE STUDY: GUATEMALA
DETAILED DIAGNOSIS

SYNOPSIS • The Guatemalan armed conflict was essentially a political and military conflict between the state and an insurgent movement (the Guatemalan National Revolutionary Unity or URAIG). • Guatemalan conflict was intrinsically of ideological and political nature, with roots in the violent US intervention in Guatemala (1954) aimed to overthrown the democratic and legally elected government of President Jacobo Arbenz Guzmán. • It was perceived by Washington at that time as a “communist” government mainly because of the agrarian reform (that affected US owned plantations and corporations). HISTORICAL ROOTS OF THE ARMED CONFLICT IN GUATEMALA • In 1821 the independence from Spain allowed the establishment of the Central American Federal Republic until 1838, when the federation was dissolved and the five Unitarian states of the republics of Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua and Costa Rica came to life. • There was a constant intervention of foreign powers such as the United States and Great Britain. • The primarily interest of both powers in the region, at that time, was the construction of an inter-oceanic canal using the San Juan River and the Great Lake of Nicaragua as an inter oceanic water way. • William Walker, an American soldier led a military expedition to Nicaragua and took possession of the country, where he stayed several years until his defeat (and subsequent death by shooting) by a Central

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CONFLICT MANAGEMENT

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American army under the command of the Guatemalan Marshall Zavala. The war of Augusto Cesar Sandino against the U.S. intervention and occupation of Nicaragua in the 20's and the US intervention in Guatemala in the 50's are two historical examples of the “big stick” policy that Washington applied to Central America. US did this because of the economic interest of US corporations with investments in agriculture (banana plantations), communications (railroads, telegraphs) and electricity, and partly because of geopolitical reasons. The Guatemalan Civil War (1960-96) involved the government, rightwing paramilitary organizations, and left-wing insurgents. A variety of factors contributed: social and economic injustice and racism against the indigenous population, the 1954 coup which reversed reforms, weak civilian control of the military, Marxist ideology advocating violent revolution instead of democratic participation and reform, the United States support of the government, and Cuban support of the insurgents. The Guatemalan war started in 1960 and continued for decades. A large number of causalities happened during the war The CEH (Commission for Historical Clarification) estimates that the number of persons killed or disappeared as a result of the fratricidal confrontation reached a total of more than 200,000.

The Stage of Pre-negotiations and the Role of the Internal Mediator: 1990-1994 • At the national level the democratization process started in 1986 and the peace processes opened by Esquipulas in both Nicaragua and El Salvador continued to exert pressure on the Guatemalan government in order to open bilateral talks with the rebels. • Then preliminary negotiation talks were held. These preliminary negotiation talks were held with representatives of different sectors of the civil society: leaders of the legal political parties, entrepreneurs and businessmen, religious priests and church members, trade union and popular organization leaders, scholars and professors from the academic community. GROUP OF FRIENDLY NATIONS AND THE CIVIL SOCIETY ASSEMBLY • The Guatemalan peace process was innovative also in the new types of third party intervention that it produced. The idea of the Group of Friendly Nations was probably the result of the different kind of participation that they have had in the recent past concerning the peace process.

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CONFLICT MANAGEMENT

Like United States, for instance, changed its role after the fall of the Berlin wall and the end of the cold war.

PEACE AGREEMENTS • Another interesting feature of the Guatemalan peace process is that the parties agreed to negotiate on a very complex list of agenda items, and that most of them were “substantive matters,” that is to say, both parties agreed to negotiate those issues concerning the causes of the conflict. • Several agreements took place in the 90’s POSSIBLE OPTIONS FOR RESOLVING THE CONFLICTS Three options are presented. Option # 1 As the formation of cannel is one of the major issues that gave rise to the conflict the parties must know the fact that this cannel would provided benefit to all the states of the region and instead of violence they could have settled for convention for building the cannel with mutual corporation of all the states of the region and party involved. The merits and demerits of adopting this procedure would be:

Option # 2 The cannel raised the conflict and was built in South America by the USA due to geographical reasons, but USA could have utilized any other location for the construction of the cannel which could have been nearer than Guatemala. Option # 3 The dialogue and negotiations held in 1990’s could have stated earlier to reduce the conflict and tension in the region and then the tension would have not reached the boiling point and this option could have saved a lot of lives. ANALYSIS Five Styles of Conflict Management

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#2

#1

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CONFLICT MANAGEMENT

Relationshi ps Diagram showing three options presented in terms of the conflict management styles. 1.As the first option presented to solve the conflict is regarding the equal rights and focuses on mutual cooperation for the problem solving by all the parties that is why it is placed in the ‘Collaborate’.

2.The second option talks about USA should build cannel in their own region instead of raising this conflict, as this option gives issue the priority that is why it lies in ‘Competitor’. 3.Third option states that after the birth of the issue the parties could have negotiated earlier so that is why it is located in ‘Compromise’. Methodologies for Managing Conflicts Negotiation and Third party assistance would be finest methods as in this case, Third party decision-making can also be applied but as presented by the options it would create more complexities so Negotiations would have been the best method. Tools for Resolving Conflict Looking in the perspective of “Tools for Resolving Conflict” I would say that Use of Power and Enforcement of Rights cannot be implemented in this case as it would create a win/loss situation and this would create more conflict rather than resolving it. Third tool which is Satisfaction of Interests would be best to follow in this case as: • Each party seeks to achieve their individual interest while assisting the other party in achieving their interests. • Interests are mutual of both parties involved. • All the parties will get benefits from the cannel. • Interests of the parties need to be satisfied. SUGGESTION RECOMMENDED FOR RESOLUTION OF CONFLICT Looking from the perspective of the analysis option # 1 would have been best as it would have involved mutual understanding and the war would have been avoided.

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mrk56 is used by Danish in the documents written originally by him.

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