Guatemala, which suffers one of the highest murder rates in Central America, has given Arnold & Porter a $575K four-month pact to promote tourism and investment by pursuing its legal, media and public policy objectives in Washington.
According to the pact that runs through Dec. 31, the agreement is “justified by the need to attract foreign investment and tourism though improvement in Washington D.C., and in the various strata of the United States, of the way the Guatemalan investment climate is perceived. “
The “relevance of tourism lies in its attraction, that apart from generating foreign currency it also creates a virtuous circle where more tourism and more investment result from an improved image.”
The U.S. Marines returned to Guatemala in August, patrolling its west coast in the fight against drug traffickers. America’s military intervened to put down a peasant uprising in Guatemala fifty years ago, and withdrew in 1978. More than 200,000 people were killed during that span.
The United Nations, on Sept. 11, decided to extend the life of its International Commission Against Impunity in Guatemala, which probes official corruption, for another three years until 2015.
Nearly 2,000 policemen and government employees have been either fired or jailed since the U.N. panel set up shop.
A&P’s contract is with the Government of Guatemala and the Guatemalan Institute of Tourism, which promotes the land as the “heart of the Mayan world.”