Violence Against Women
Since 2001, it is estimated that more than 2,500 women and girls have been brutally murdered in Guatemala. While officials statistics are not fully reliable, police data shows a continuous increase in the murders of women from 313 in 2002 to 351 in 2003, 531 in 2004, 580 in 2005, and close to 600 in 2006. Most of the victims were young and poor, and in many cases, the victims were raped, strangled, decapitated or otherwise mutilated. Progress in the investigation of the murders of women has been fraught with numerous shortcomings, including a lack of technical capacity to preserve crime scenes, interrogate witnesses, and collect and preserve evidence, as well as a lack of political will to resolve the murders.
Drawing on the our experience in Ciudad Juárez, WOLA works in conjunction with local organizations in promoting initiatives that will lead to greater effectiveness, accountability and transparency in Guatemala’s law enforcement and judicial institutions. WOLA also supports the victims’ families in their struggle for truth and justice, and engages U.S. policy-makers in efforts to prevent and punish the murders of women in Guatemala.