WOLA: Advocacy for Human Rights in the Americas
16 Mar 2007 | Publication | News

Hidden in Plain Sight: Violence against Women in Mexico and Guatemala

Download the report

This publication addresses the problem of violence against women in Mexico and Guatemala by carefully analyzes the roots and effects of the violence and offering concrete proposals for positive change.

The report looks at the role the Mexican and Guatemalan public security and judicial institutions have played with respect to violence against women. A criminal justice approach alone will not eradicate the problem, but the criminal justice sector has an obligation to ensure respect for women’s rights and protection under the law.

The gap between the law and its implementation is disturbingly wide, creating numerous barriers to justice for women victims of violence. Authorities fail to adequately and promptly investigate cases and punish and prosecute those responsible.  They tend to blame the victims and fail to see gender-based violence as a serious crime. In some cases, anachronistic laws remain on the books. The issue’s low priority is reflected in the lack of resources, equipment, and training within police and judicial institutions.