My favorite book is My Sister’s Keeper, which is better than the movie, but I also like the movie.
One of my favorite movies at the moment is Couples Retreat.
I like the TV shows Tough Love, Gossip Girl and One Tree Hill.
My favorite food is seafood.
The Women of Guatemala
The homicide rate in Guatemala is one of the highest in Latin America.
15 to 26 year old women are being targeted and most murders occur in or by Guatemala City ( one of the most popular places the indigenous move to).
They are victims of rape, sexual harassment, family violence against women, commercial trafficking , sexual exploitation and murder.
Reports have found that at least 36% of women living with a male partner are experiencing domestic violence of some form.
The Women of Guatemala
Guatemalan women and girls live in a society that allows violence against women because of their sex.
Their culture views women as being inferior to men, which is shown by laws and discrimination at home and work.
A mother of a woman who was killed said, “People say, ‘it’s only a woman who died,’ as if they were flies.”
Murderers Go Free
The office of the prosecutor of crimes against life said, “of the 2,400 cases it was handling, it was only investigating 40.”
There are limited resources because of limited funding. There isn’t any crime or victim profiling and no fingerprint or DNA database.
665 women were killed in 2005 and none of the murderers were caught.
Witnesses do not tell anyone about what they see and investigations are few and far between.
Blaming the Victim
Cases of violence toward women are not usually recorded.
In the cases of female deaths for 2004, the police said 175 deaths were from gunshots, 175 were from knife wounds and 323 were from “other causes.”
The “other causes” group hides the amount of sexual violence occurring.
President Oscar Berger said that in the majority of cases, women belonged to gangs. Women are being blamed even after they are killed. Some people also blame the victim by saying they were involved in the sex trade.
Help for Guatemalan Women
A lot of Guatemalan women have given up relying on the police for protection and have sought refuge in other countries.
"Although we are somewhat pessimistic about the situation because of the general deterioration of the social fabric, there have been some advances, given that there are more organizations and greater support for women to come forward and report these crimes," said Ovalle.
Alba Estela Maldonado is leading a commission in Europe to bring attention to the issues women in Guatemala are facing.
Hope for the Future? The Asylum Claims of Women Fleeing Sexual Violence in Guatemala . By Allison W. Reimann.