Sin Mujeres (Without Women)

In 2008, Guatemalan congress passed a Law Against Femicide and Other Forms of Violence Against Women, codifying a definition of violence against women that has been long sought after by women's rights activists, indigenous rights representatives and human rights defenders.

Ironically, the rate of femicide in Guatemala, a country with 14 million people, has statistically risen since the 2008 law was passed.

The National Institute of Forensic Sciences (INACIF) reported 708 women suffered violent deaths in Guatemala in 2012. During the first half of this 2013 there were 403 deaths, 66 more than in the same period of 2012. These numbers ranked Guatemala third for femicides worldwide, according to a report pubished by the Small Arms Survey in 2012; however, the Central American Integration System (SICA) and the Council of Ministers for Women in Central America (COMMCA) rank Guatemala as the country with the highest number of killings of women in the region.

It is unclear why, exactly, femicide continues to grow, although some have attributed it to cultural gender roles among other political and social issues in Guatemala. Fredy Poz, Maria Antonietta Chialcon, Manuela Beatriz, and others from Chocolá, Guatemala and surrounding indigenous villages share their stories, concerns and hopes for the future of their beautiful country—a country in the grips of the highest rate of femicide in the world.

  • March, 2015
  • Lauren Grose
    Lauren Grose