In the past two years, the debt of all municipalities has continued to grow unrestrained, and it has reached Q1 thousand 432 million (US $...). This debt wascontracted with banks in the system and the Municipal Development Institute. One of the problems is that municipalities borrow money to maintain operations that oftendo not respond to the needs of their constituents. Above this, municipalities do not have the ability to pay back the contracted debt, because there is nowillingness from the mayors to tax locally, they depend completely on the constitutional contribution. For all these reasons, there must be a reform in the Municipal Code.• The municipality of Cantel (one of IRI´s current partners), is trying to promote their development through the exploitation of their tourist resources.There was an article in the local newspaper promoting the Chicovix spa; a place that offers thermal baths, ecological hiking trails and Mayan altars. There is amunicipal tree nursery that produces approximately 25 thousand trees of various species.
• Exports of textiles fell by approximately 22% on august. The problemis that most of the municipalities that IRI is working on depend on textiles.
• Ten ministers have been replaced in less than two years during Colom´spresidency. According to the local media, this shows lack of planning and coordination in the UNE party. The Health Minister, Celso Cerezo was dismissed from hischarge due to the current famine crisis. Last week, due to the resignation of Ana Ordoñez de Molina as de Minister of Education, Argueta Hernandez is the new minister.