Page:Statesman's Year-Book 1899 American Edition.djvu/1060

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704

GUATEMALA.

(Reptjblica de Guatemala.) Constitution and Government.

The Republic of Guatemala, established ou March 21, 1847, after having formed part for twenty- six years of the Confederation of Central America, is governed under a Constitution proclaimed December 1879, and modified October 1885, November 1887, and October 1889. By its terms the legislative power is vested in a National Assembly, consisting of representatives (one for every 20, 000 inhabitants) chosen by universal suffrage for four years. The executive is vested in a President, elected for six years, and not eligible for the following period.

President of the Republic. — Don INIanuel Estrada Cabrera for the term 1899-1905 ; proclaimed by the National Assembl}^, September 25, 1898.

The administration is carrietl on, under the President, by the heads of six departments — of Foreign Afiairs, Government and Justice, Hacienda and Public Credit, Public Instruction, Fomento, War.

Area and Population.

The area of Guatemala is estimated at 63,400 English square miles. In 1897 the population was 1,535,632. About 60 per cent, are pure Indians, most of the remainder being half-caste, there being very few descendants of Europeans. The foreign population numbered 11,331 in 1893. Guatemala is administratively divided into 22 departments.

The marriages in 1896 were 5,504 ; births (1897), 71,353 ; and deaths, 43,892. Owing to an imperfect system of registration, the number of deaths given is considerably below the actual number. About one-fourth the births among the whites and one-half among the Indians were illegitimate. In

1894, 8,475 persons entered the Rapublic by sea and 16,987 by the land frontiers ; 7,832 departed by sea and 13,346 by the land frontiers.

Capital of the Republic and seat of the government is Chiatemala la Nueva, with 72,102 inhabitants (1893), five-sixths of them of European origin. Other towns are Quezaltenango, 22,265, Coban, 24,475, Totonicapani, 25,196, and San Pedro, 11,189.

Religion.

Roman Catholicism is the prevailing religion ; but all other creeds have complete liberty of worship. The State does not recognise any creed.

Instruction.

Education is free and compulsory. In 1895 there were 1,266 government primary schools, of which 458 were for girls and 143 mixed. The number of children enrolled was 75,020, of whom 64,015 (39,411 males, 24,604 females) attended school. Theie were also 49 private primary and secondary schools ; 6 institutes and normal schools ; 4 establishments for professional and 9 for special instruction. The Goverjiment spent on education, exclusive of the polytechnic school, which is dependent on the ministry for war lor

1895, 95,062 dollars. The national library contains 19,400 volumes. There are 37 periodicals published (1896) within the Republic : 7 daily, 1 three times and 3 twice a week, 14 weekly, and 12 monthly.

Crime.

Justice is administered in a su})rcnie court, 6 appeal courts, and 26 courts of first instance. In all the municipalities there are Justices of Peace.

In 1897, 927 persons were sentenced for serious crimes, and 24.560, in misdemeanours.