Date: 2007-03-02
Source: ADA


The Manual of Good Practices for National and International Adoptions is nothing else that a desperate attempt by the current government to try to please UNICEF, in order to get the coveted reward offered by that modern Herod, in exchange for eliminating adoptions.

By endorsing the ill conceived Manual, the Vice President Eduardo Stein is violating the Constitution, abusing his power and usurping the legislative powers of Congress because the manual is a new adoption law that creates requirements not contained in any other law. But the VP is determined to get his way. After the presentation of the Manual, he told the press that adoption is a huge business, where bellies are rented and children are sold in playpens, like pets in a pet shop. Many things come to mind, but why bother in commenting those remarks that only disclose who he really is.

Some of the dispositions of the Manual are based on existing laws, but its interpretation is far form being correct, and anyway, it is up to the judges to interpret the law and apply it to each case. It is not part of the job description of the Vice President to do it, and by doing so, he is taking on the role of the Judicial Power. There is nothing in the Constitution or in any other law that says that if Congress does not legislate the law that the Executive wants to have passed, the president or the vice president can legislate on those matters. That means that he is also usurping the power or Congress to pass laws.

The speech of Gert Rosenthal, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs showed that he confuses a ruling of the Constitutional Court with an opinion of that court. Last December, the Executive asked the Constitutional Court to give an opinion regarding who should withdraw reservations made to an international treaty, as if they didn’t know that it is the President who has to do it, but they wanted the Court to state it, which it did. Contrary to what Rosenthal said at the presentation, that opinion has no effect on the validity of the sentence of August 13tt, 2003 that ruled unconstitutional the accession of Guatemala to the Hague Convention. Even if Berger and Stein withdraw the reservations made to the Vienna Convention that Stein himself made in 1997, Congress still has to approve the accession, with an unconstitutional decree.

The Manual of Good Practices is a seven page document, without signatures, seals, stamps or any of the bells and whistles that decorate our laws. The reason is simple. Since it is totally ILLEGAL, nobody wanted to take responsibility for it. If it were a normal and legal executive order, Berger would have signed it along with his chief of staff. We will have to wait until they try to enforce it, to exercise every legal action against those who do it. We are very confident that the PGN lawyers will not jeopardize their freedom and risk disbarment by obeying an illegal order of suspension of adoption processes. But if they do, we will take legal action right away.

The Manual states that before issuing the passport of the adopted children, the Secretary of Social Welfare of the Presidency must give its approval. For now, we will give them the benefit of the doubt that they don' know that the Constitutional Court ruled unconstitutional the regulations of the passport law that established a different procedure for adopted children than for birth children. For now. But if they try to stop a child from getting a passport to join his forever family, we will be there and they will loose.

It is shameful enough that the government of Guatemala has to rely on the illegal work of illegal migrants to keep afloat the economy of the country, as to try to make it difficult for the adopted children to go to another country where they will get the care, the love and the education that they will never get in Guatemala.

It is a good thing that they revealed their little Manual, because now we know what their intentions are. Changes were made to the Protocol that they tried to present on mid February, but their intentions to suspend adoptions remain unchanged. They have no legal way to enforce that suspension, because the legal system remains the same and that is all that counts. And the children are waiting for their loving families and that is all that matters.

Susana Luarca.


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