UATEMALA; INSURGENTS SEEK LEGITIMACY THROUGH DIALOGUE
The insurgents continue to *itn ior an eventual revolutionary government in Guatemala, but having lost "legitimacy" with the return to democratic rule in Guatemala they are now interestedialogue with the Cerezo government. President Cerezo would doubtless like to be remembered as the president who enoedyear-old civil war. He is not naive about guerrilla intentions,remains in any case under serious constraints. The armed forces want to continue combating the insurgencyombination of ruralthe civilians have not been adept atmilitary operations.
ar. The insurgency (comprised of four guerrilla groups,n all) continuedow level last year. Combat casualties on both sides, oown3he army has reestablished control over considerable territory just south of Lake Atitlan, but the insurgents continue to control remote areas adjacent to Mexico. The guerrillas remain under pressure and have reverted to theft and assassinations. Insurgent activity has picked up this year, and plans are reportedly under way to establish an "urban front" in Guatemala city.
conditions. The government, prodded by the military, continues to maintain that there can be no dialogue until the guerrillas lay down their weapons. Cerein being seen as aappears interested in meeting with the insurgent leaaership. He is not under any illusions, however, that they are seriously interested in giving up the armed struggle and realizes that he must tread carefully in order not to incur the wrath ot the military.
Likely scenario. Since the insurgents will almost certainly not lay down theirerious dialogue between the Guatemalan government and the URING is unlikely in the near future. And although the URNG may get propaganda mileage from its strategy, it is doubtful that it will be able toedge between Cerezo and the military on the dialogue Issue. Cerezo probably concedes the military's point that the government needs to placf* greater attention on rural socio-economic development if the progress in the war against the insurgents is to be maintained.