GUATEMALA: Solidarity and campaigns news
GSN 'Women and Violence' Speaker Tour
Women throughout the Americas are calling for an end to violence against women in the region, even as levels of violence continue to rise. In Guatemala alone, more than 3,000 women have been murdered since 2000. Family members, witnesses and leaders of women’s rights organizations continue to work under threat to halt the violence and seek justice for the victims.
In spite of the staggering numbers, the Guatemalan government has done next to nothing to stem the violence. The low priority the government gives the issue of femicide is reflected in the scant resources it allocates to investigations and the almost complete absence of prosecution. There have been rulings in only 20 femicide cases since 2000. The state has also failed in its efforts to prevent these murders, and few cases of domestic violence or sexual assault are taken seriously.
While the government attributes the murders to gang violence, the Organization of American States has noted that their aim may be to terrorise Guatemala's women, reversing the gains they have made in the last 10 years and forcing them out of the public sphere and back into their homes.
In the face of violence and discrimination, women have formed survivors’ associations, mental health groups, and regional coalitions. Others have worked tirelessly to improve access to land, comprehensive health care, and education, particularly for women living in rural indigenous communities. Some have spoken out against discriminatory laws and a justice system plagued by impunity.
The Guatemala Solidarity Network is preparing for a speaker tour in November 2008. The goal is to raise awareness of endemic violence and gender violence in Guatemala – covering themes such as domestic violence, gang violence and impunity.
If you are interested in getting involved in meetings with GSN regional and other solidarity groups throughout the UK, please get in touch. Maybe you'd like to help with talks at your local university or human rights group. The tour coincides with the November 25 International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women.
For more information contact GSN: email@example.com