Written by SIF Program Officer Michele Frix
From 2001 to 2011, there have been nearly 6,000 reported cases of femicide* in Guatemala. Meaning on average, one woman was murdered each day, every day, for the past ten years.
Guatemalan Attorney General Claudia Paz y Paz addresses crowd present in the central plaza of Coban, Altaverapaz. For more pictures, please visit: http://ow.ly/dlLg2
On August 10, 2012, I was witness to an incredibly historic moment for Guatemala, and most importantly for the 14.3 million women living in Guatemala facing the unfortunate reality of pervasive gender-based violence. As a guest of the Guatemalan Attorney General’s Office (Ministerio Publico), I was honored to accompany Dr. Alejandro Rodriguez, Secretary of Criminal Policy (Secretario de Política Criminal) to the inauguration of the Public Prosecutor’s Office for Women (Fiscalia de la Mujer, Modelo de Atencion Integral) and the Criminal Court for Crimes of Femicide and other Forms of Violence against Women (Tribunal de Sentencia Penal de Delitos de Femicidio y otras formas de Violencia contra las Mujeres) in Coban, Guatemala in the department of Alta Verapaz.
Dr. Rodriguez and I departed Guatemala City early that morning, and while en route to Coban, we discussed the importance of specialized government agencies for women and children in Guatemala, particularly those experiencing violence. Dr. Rodriguez expressed the importance of the Attorney General’s approach to addressing both the gap in state services and extraordinarily high rates of violence against women (VAW) by providing integral attention and services for women victims, in the areas of the country with the highest rates of violence. Read the rest of this entry »