PBI-Guatemala accompanies International Women’s Day march

Published by Brent Patterson on

Share This Page

On March 9, the Peace Brigades International-Guatemala Project posted, “We share photos of yesterday’s march for International Women’s Day in which women and girls were commemorated, victims of multiple violence, and the 56 girls, victims of the burning of the Virgen de la Asunción State Home.”

Femicide in Guatemala

The Guardian has reported, “Guatemala has the third highest rate of femicide in the world. Between 2014 and 2016, there were 2,264 violent deaths of women in Guatemala, of which 611 were formally reported as femicide. During the same period, 59 perpetrators were imprisoned.”

Horizons adds, “For Indigenous women in Guatemala, discrimination is double-faceted: they are marginalized not only due to their gender, but also for being Indigenous.” That article also notes that during the 36-year civil war in Guatemala, “More than 100,000 Indigenous women were victims of mass rape and forced into sexual slavery for the military.”

Hogar Seguro fire

Forty-one girls, who were 14 to 17 years of age, died in a fire at the Hogar Seguro Virgen de la Asuncion shelter south-east of Guatemala City on March 8, 2017.

The Guardian has reported, “It has emerged that 56 girls had been locked inside a room measuring 6.8 metres by 7 metres as punishment for organising a protest the day before against cramped conditions and abuse by staff. More than 700 children lived at the home, which had capacity for 400-500.”

Al Jazeera adds, “Some of the victims [of the fire] had run away from home, fleeing abuse and sexual assault by relatives. But many faced more of the same inside the shelter. …For years, girls reported being raped and forced into prostitution inside the state-run facility, but their protests were ignored.”


The Intercept highlights, “In 2014, a landmark decision by the Board of Immigration Appeals, which has jurisdiction over all U.S. immigration courts, established that ‘married women in Guatemala who are unable to leave their relationship’ qualified as a particular social group that could be singled out for persecution.”

“The board underlined that the Guatemalan state was incapable of providing protection and could even be complicit in the violence against them. That decision, building off others that recognized violence against women as grounds for asylum, set a far-reaching precedent that has been especially important for women from Central America.”

In June 2018, The New York Times reported, “Attorney General Jeff Sessions [has] made it all but impossible for asylum seekers to gain entry into the United States by citing fears of domestic abuse or gang violence…”

In December 2018, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) noted, “A federal court has struck down Trump administration policies that sought to gut asylum protections for immigrants fleeing domestic violence and gang brutality.”

But by December 2019, CNN reported, “The Justice Department defended a Trump administration decision that overturned asylum protections for victims of domestic violence and gang violence before an appeals court panel.”

Human rights groups are currently seeking in court to uphold the asylum protections.

More PBI-Guatemala photos from the International Women’s Day march:

Share This Page
Categories: News Updates


Leave a Reply

Avatar placeholder

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *