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Recommendations about the curfew in Guatemala due to COVID-19


Regarding the implementation of a CURFEW, established through Government Decree Number 6-2020, effective as of March 22, 2020, at 4:00 p.m., we wish to make the following recommendations:

1. It is essential to plan cargo transportation schedules so that the following is met:

a. The transport will be according to previous measures taken for excepted activities. For that purpose, the carrier must be duly identified with a note or identification of the company, indicating the exception that shows it.

b. The transportation of authorized activities, but not an exception, must carry the authorization with the employee's identification or return.

c. In all cases, traffic should be planned to conclude before the curfew start time.

d. For activities exempt according to the March 16 release, transportation within the restricted hours of four in the afternoon to four in the morning is permitted. It is not said how, so preferably it should not be done, but in any case, if it is food transport, there must be a manifesto that means it is food. Personnel must be identified in the manner indicated above. If there is an authorization (although it is not legally necessary), a copy must be carried, as well as identification of the entity that orders the transport and in that case the information that identifies the transport service provider if it is another entity. The activities exempt from the restriction are those considered essential, e.g., the agricultural, pharmaceutical and food industries, essential services such as telephony, water, electricity, restaurants, banks, fuels and health, among others.

2. If people have an emergency leaving during the Curfew, they should seek prior authorization from the authority, preferably. If there is no authorization, the justification must be substantiated or assisted by a professional (medical or legal).

3. The people to whom the Curfew time starts at the street may be subject to the measure of arrest and presence before the Justice of the Peace. Calmly, if this happens, we should always carry our Identification Document DPI, explain the delay and ask the authority to accompany us to the closest relative's home. Please take note that the authority has the right to conduct us before a judge.

4. We do not foresee that the authority wishes to apply more drastic measures, although, in the published rules, the Government announced provisions of the Penal Code that could be violated. However, we do not believe that the authority wishes to apply the figure of Article 28 or criminalize conduct.

5. The fine procedure before the Justice of the Peace is a fault procedure regulated in the Code of Criminal Procedure. The Justice of the Peace should be asked to have a trusted lawyer present and to allow his trusted lawyer to be present and request that, due to the emergency situation, a hearing be appointed at a time when it is not in force. The state of emergency to guarantee the right of defense and to order the authority to accompany us home.

6. The criminal public defense may be present. There is no obligation to accept it. At all times, you have the right to communicate with your trusted lawyer, and you should feel at ease when you can call us if necessary. Also, the right of defense (that you decide) and the freedom of declaration before a competent Judge must prevail.

It is possible that the content of this document, which is merely preventive, may change in the course of the next few hours. For more information and advice on interpretation, scope and guidance on these measures, do not hesitate to contact us.