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Help End Violence Against Women
More than 3,800 women and girls have been murdered in Guatemala since the year 2000. What local activists
are calling "femicide" is spreading in Guatemala
and throughout Latin America.
Since the 1990s, CGRS has worked to defend asylum for Rodi Alvarado and other
women asylum seekres fleeing domestic violence and other fundamental
human rights violations in their home countries. Rodi's case sheds light on the shocking
treatment that women receive in the Guatemalan judicial system and
the root causes of violence against women in that country. See here for more information about Rodi's case.
In Guatemala, women like Rodi Alvarado are being raped, mutilated
and murdered every day.
Guatemala's femicides are notable for their brutality as well as the
impunity that exists for the perpetrators. Countrywide, a mere 1-2% of crimes against life are effectively prosecuted, meaning that someone who commits murder in Guatemala has a 98-99% chance of escaping prosecution and punishment.
In 2005, CGRS launched the U.S.-Guatemala Partnership to End Violence Against Women which seeks to: 1) to shift the dialogue away from “fear of floodgates” to the constructive response of addressing root causes for refugee flows; and 2) to educate, organize and mobilize activists to pressure the U.S. and Guatemalan governments to adopt concrete policy measures to address those conditions which allow violence with impunity to continue.
CGRS continues to educate the public and policymakers about Guatemala’s femicides in order to encourage concrete action that will bring an end to impunity for violence committed against women and girls.In May 2006, 117 members of the U.S. House of Representatives sent a letter to the State Department demanding that the U.S. target some of its existing aid money to Guatemala to require improved justice for Guatemalan women and human rights defenders. The State Department responded in June 2006 in a letter stating that it shared the concerns of the Congressmembers, and detailed its plans to work with the Guatemalan government in addressing this issue.
On May 1, 2007, the U.S. House of Representatives approved House Resolution 100 (H. Res. 100), which was authored by Rep. Hilda Solis (D-CA). H. Res. 100 condemns the murders of more than 2,000 Guatemalan women and girls since 2001, and calls on the Government of Guatemala to bring an end to these crimes.
On March 11, 2008, in commemoration of International Women’s Day, the U.S. Senate unanimously passed Senate Resolution 178 (S. Res. 178). Like the House Resolution, S. Res. 178 – sponsored by Senator Jeff Bingaman (D-NM) – encourages the US to work with Guatemala to bring an end to the femicides
In January 2007, CGRS conducted a week-long fact-finding trip to Guatemala, where staff met with a wide range of groups and individuals working on issues related to women’s human rights, violence against women, and the femicides. Interviews were conducted with representatives from non-governmental organizations, academic and research institutions, government offices, and grassroots groups. The purpose of this trip was to strengthen CGRS’s partnerships with Guatemalan groups working on the issue of violence against women and the femicides, and to strengthen ongoing efforts to help eradicate this tragic phenomenon.
Learn more about the Femicides in Guatemala
CGRS Reports, Resource Materials and Media Coverage: