Case #35

Country of Origin: 
Guatemala
Type of persecution: 
Domestic violence (including child, partner, in-law violence)
Gender of applicant: 
Female

Case Summary

The applicant was married in 8/89, at the age of 21. Her husband, an agricultural worker, refused to let her leave the house, even to see her parents. He believed that women's role in society was to be subordinate to and dependent upon men. He was angered by her desire to work outside the home. Eight months into their marriage, she was pregnant with their first child. In 4/90, the husband returned home intoxicated and beat her after accusing her of being unfaithful, breaking her nose and giving her two black eyes. Her husband did not allow her to leave the house for medical treatment, and he threatened to kill or "disappear" her. After two days, her husband went to work and she pressed abuse charges against him with the mayor and a judge. The husband was ordered to appear; she went to live with her parents. The husband did not obey the summons and was not pursued by the police. She rarely left her parents house due to fear of her husband. The husband refused to have himself listed as the father on his two children's birth certificates. She moved to Guatemala City to support herself working as a machine operator. Her husband, by then in the army, tracked her down. The couple briefly reconciled. Within two months, she was again pregnant and her husband was again threatening to kill her. She fled to her parents' home, but he followed her there and was seen around the house. The husband also threatened to kill her brother. A judge told her that there was nothing to be done because the police had not served him, and closed the case. The husband, no longer in the military, had relations with other women during this time. One woman who was beaten by him reported the incident to the police, but he was let go when he showed his military card. In 6/95, she fled Guatemala for the U.S., leaving her children in her parents' care.

Date Submitted

Wednesday, June 9, 1999 - 00:00