A Long-Awaited Revolution: Combating Sexual Violence in Latin America from Brown Political Review, 03/21/2016

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

img-icon-news“In a historic ruling this past February, Guatemalan courts convicted a former paramilitary and a retired army officer of committing rape and murder and holding sexual slaves during the country’s 1960–1996 civil war. Amongst other charges, the two former military personnel were found guilty of holding indigenous Mayan women as domestic and sexual slaves in a military base at Sepur Zarco. The case marks the first successful prosecution of sexual violence during the conflict. The victims have waited over three decades for the court’s decision, wherein the defendants were sentenced to a total of 360 years in prison (largely a symbolic gesture, since prisoners in Guatemala may serve 50 years at most)…”

“Guatemala is plagued with disturbingly high rates of sexual violence: approximately 10,000 women report being raped every year, although many more of these crimes go unreported. However, it now seems that Guatemala, a country with an exhaustive history of violence against women and of perpetually diminishing rights for women in general, is attempting to reform the responses of its courts and set a precedent for future rulings.”

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