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Feminicide in Guatemala: A Link With The Past

A Council on Hemispheric Affairs Press Release

Feminicide in Guatemala: A Link Between Past and Present

The current feminicide crusade in Guatemala takes root in the unjust bloodbath of a culture that views women as objects in which to install fear, terror and extreme submission. Guatemala’s recent history involves a good deal of indigenous blood; frustration and bitterness over these past injustices lives on in succeeding generations. Armed groups, especially those in rival gangs, release their anger through the one aspect that unequivocally connects the generations and is far from being a stranger to this county: violence. The mode of retaliation towards the injustices that have characterized Guatemalan society has led to a steady deadly dosage of violent actions against women.

The feminine subordination witnessed in Guatemala's contemporary Mayan population, began in 1524 with the arrival of the conquistador, Pedro de Alvarado. The Spanish subjugated the great Mayan empire to the ir rule “with the sword and the cross.” In effect, throughout the Mayan Late Post-Classic period, the indigenous population declined from 800,000 to 100,000, mainly due to the diseases brought by the Conquistadores and the continued exploitation of the local population. The stable, traditional rule of the Maya became replaced by the hierarchically structured social classes of the Spanish, completing a hierarchical pyramid where the native Maya composed the bottom base and the Spanish-born elite claimed the apogee.


This analysis was prepared by COHA Research Associate Suzana Shepard-Durini

Recent COHA Citations
A Sampling of Recent Media Appearances from August 12, 2008 to August 20, 2008:
August 12, 2008: COHA Research Associate Lydia Pardini interviewed on 89.3 WPFW regarding Plan Ecuador.
August 17, 2008: COHA Research A ssociate Chris Sweeney interviewed on 101.5FM Radio Adelaide in Australia regarding the presidency of Evo Morales in Bolivia.
August 20, 2008: COHA Director, Larry Birns, interviewed on KKZZ in Ventura, California regarding recent developments in Paraguay.
A Sampling of Citations from the Period of August 15, 2008 to August 20, 2008:
United Press Internatial: Analysis: Venezuela Offers Oil to Paraguay
Caribbean Net News: USVI reparations movement leader on hunger strike
The Jamaican Observer: International bodies question government's performance
Friday, August 22, 2008 | Press release 08.86

ends

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