In the pre-Columbian era, Indian tribes lived in Guatemala, who created the Maya civilization, which fell into decline by the 11th century. In the 16th century The Indians were subjugated by the Spanish conquerors. In 1560, the captaincy general of Guatemala was created, which included Spanish possessions in Central America. In 1776 its capital, the city of Guatemala, was founded. On September 15, 1821, the Declaration of Independence of Guatemala from Spain was adopted. In January 1822 Guatemala joined the Mexican Empire; from March 1823 it was part of the federation of the United Provinces of Central America. After its collapse in April 1839, Guatemala was declared an independent republic. From the 1840s to the 1940s dictatorial regimes of conservatives and liberals alternated in power. Under the rule of General J.R. Barrios (1873-85), highways and railways were built, the church is separated from the state, compulsory secular education is introduced. From the beginning 20th century the penetration of American capital intensified, the United Fruit Company and its branches became the owners of railways, large plantations and ports. The reign of General H. Ubiko (1931-43) was marked by cruel repressions. In October 1944, the dictatorship fell as a result of a popular uprising that became the prologue to the Guatemalan revolution (1944–54). H. Arevalo (1945–51), the leader of the People’s Liberation Front Party, came to power. In March 1945 a democratic constitution was adopted. Left forces insisted on carrying out radical reforms. The activation of the Communist Party (in 1952 it was renamed the Guatemalan Party of Labor – PPT) and the creation of a people’s militia led to an aggravation of socio-political conflicts.
According to localcollegeexplorer, the government of H. Árbenz (1951–54) took the course of carrying out an agrarian reform, limiting the activities of foreign capital, and developing ties with the socialist countries. In the conditions of the Cold War, this course caused an aggravation of relations with the United States. In June 1954, with the support of the CIA, a group of conservative officers led by C. Armas invaded Guatemala from the territory of Honduras, overthrew the Arbenz government and unleashed mass repressions. The 1945 constitution and agrarian reform law were repealed, left-wing parties and trade unions were banned, and lands confiscated during the agrarian reform were returned to local landowners and American companies. After the suppression of the revolution, K. Armas took over as president and created the right-wing party National Liberation Movement (NLM). Democratization attempts at the turn of the 1950s-60s. were thwarted by coup d’état. After the suppression of the anti-dictatorial uprising of 1960, rebel organizations arose and a protracted intrastate conflict began. In 1981, 3 rebel organizations and part of the GPT formed the Guatemalan National Revolutionary Unity (GNRE), which continued the armed struggle against the government. The inability of the army to suppress the rebels, the contradictions in the officer corps and the falsification of the voting results were the reasons for the coup d’état of the beginning. 1980s The rule of military-authoritarian regimes was marked by acts of genocide and violations of human rights, especially during the tenure of General Ephraim Rios Montt (1981-1982). In April 1984, the reformist wing of the army secured elections to the Constitutional Assembly. In May 1985, the Constitution was adopted, and in con. 1985 free elections were held with the participation of opposition candidates. In January 1986, the leader of the Guatemalan Christian Democracy (GCD) party, V. Cerezo (1986–91), who won the elections, became the legitimate president and head of the civil government. The transition to democracy took place in conditions of armed conflict and the preservation of the autonomy of the military command, which opposed negotiations with the partisans. The reign of President J. Serrano (1991-93), founder of the Solidarity Action Movement (MAM), was interrupted as a result of the dissolution of Parliament and the Supreme Court and the subsequent military counter-coup. The way out of the constitutional crisis was found with the assistance of the OAS. After R. Leon de Carpio (1993–96) was elected interim president by Congress, a constitutional reform was carried out. The negotiations he started with the GNRE were completed by President A. Arsu Iri-goyen (1996-2000), leader of the National Vanguard Party (PNA). In December 1996, the Peace Accords were signed, providing for the implementation of reforms aimed at respecting human rights, strengthening the judiciary, creating the foundations of the rule of law, democratization and demilitarization of Guatemala. The UN mission is monitoring the implementation of these agreements. The rule of A. Portillo, a protege of the Guatemalan Republican Front (GRF) party (2000–04), was marked by an increase in corruption, violence, impunity, and the transformation of Guatemala into one of the centers for the transfer of drugs to the United States. The 2003 general election put an end to the political career of Ríos Montt, the founder of the GRF, who ran for president. In the first round (November 9, 2003), he was beaten by candidates from the Grand National Union (GNU) coalition and the National Unity of Hope (NED) bloc.