Center for Economic and Social Studies (Guatemala)

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Guatemala's Center for Economic and Social Studies (Centro de Estudios Económico-Sociales, CEES) was founded on November 18, 1959 to advance the study and diffusion of ideas of liberty. Since then, the center's goals have been to safeguard and foster the fundamental rights of individuals. CEES is a private, non-political, nonsectarian, and non-profit-making entity whose goal is to achieve a regime that respects individual freedom to produce, consume, exchange and serve without coercion or privileges.


Its philosophy is to aim for a freer world in which personal responsibility and respect for individual rights prevail based on the following principles:

  1. That the fundamental rights of any individual are: life, freedom, justice, and private property.
  2. That the fundamental base for harmony in human relationships is found not only in strict fulfillment of the law but in moral Christian principles.
  3. That economic freedom is an indispensable requirement for total exercise of other liberties.
  4. That the most efficient way to raise a country’s standard of living is to encourage and maintain a system of Free Enterprise.
  5. That the greatest stimulus for collective abundance is to guarantee individuals the maximum tangible return for their efforts.
  6. That individuals will improve their condition only in the measure that their work benefits or serves others, and in direct relation to their productivity.
  7. That permanent abundance is the result of the sum of continuous individual effort.
  8. That only in a free economy do consumers fully enjoy their sovereignty because by exercising free will in choosing the products most suitable for them, they determine which investments and job opportunities should prevail.
  9. That the function of a government should be solely to exert the authority conferred by law to guarantee individual rights, and that a government should not become involved in activities that correspond to private initiative.

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