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Wrong Hilda Morales?

Hilda Morales

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Background Information

Employment History

Activist

Network


Executive Director

CICAM


President

Guatemala


Web References(12 Total References)


ipsnews.net

"Unfortunately, in Guatemala, killing a woman is like killing a fly; no importance is assigned to it," complained local activist Hilda Morales, who argued that "the perpetrators are encouraged to continue beating, abusing and killing because they know that nothing will happen, that they won't be punished."
Morales, an activist with the Network of Non-Violence Against Women, which forms part of the umbrella group, complained that in Guatemala, "domestic violence and sexual harassment, the forerunners of the current wave of murders of women, are not even classified as crimes." She pointed out that until last year, a law was on the books that allowed a rapist to escape charges if he married his victim, even if she was only 12 years old. For Morales, a recipient of Amnesty Internationals Ambassador of Conscience award in 2004, "a lack of confidence in the system, compounded by the economic, social and emotional dependence in which these women live and are raised, makes it very difficult for the majority of them to report the violence." Morales said that although violence against women is nothing new in Guatemala, the methods used in recent years hark back to the violence seen during the 1960-1996 civil war, when "soldiers were allowed and encouraged to commit atrocities, not only sexual crimes, but also the mutilation of female bodies." A 1996 peace deal ended the 36-year armed conflict between government forces and the National Guatemalan Revolutionary Unity (URNG) which left a death toll of 200,000 victims, mainly rural indigenous villagers. A United Nations-sponsored truth commission held the army responsible for over 90 percent of the killings. "During those years, women were seen as war booty that soldiers could make use of as they pleased," said Morales, who lamented that these crimes went unpunished. A law aimed at preventing, punishing and eliminating domestic violence was passed in 1997 in Guatemala, but according to Morales it lacks teeth, and its main objective is to provide security and safety measures like restraining orders and alimony for women who file complaints, which she said is insufficient. Morales said there are "many shortcomings" in the investigation of rape and murders of women because "there is no chain of custody of evidence, safeguarding of the crime scene, or adequate gathering of primary information that could link the assailant with the victim."


www.justicewomen.com [cached]

"Unfortunately, in Guatemala, killing a woman is like killing a fly; no importance is assigned to it," complained local activist Hilda Morales, who argued that "the perpetrators are encouraged to continue beating, abusing and killing because they know that nothing will happen, that they won't be punished."
Morales, an activist with the Network of Non-Violence Against Women, which forms part of the umbrella group, complained that in Guatemala, "domestic violence and sexual harassment, the forerunners of the current wave of murders of women, are not even classified as crimes." She pointed out that until last year, a law was on the books that allowed a rapist to escape charges if he married his victim, even if she was only 12 years old."


www.justicewomen.com [cached]

Hilda Morales, executive director of CICAM, a women's support group, told Cerigua that women's rights violations in Guatemala are becoming more and more serious, and that a special U.N. representative visit is urgently needed to hear the charges and recommend action for eradicating the abuses.Morales pointed out that in the past year there have been increased incidences of violence against women, including kidnappings, rape, death threats and politically-motivated murders, such as those of university professor Mayra Gutierrez and American nun Barbara Ford.Morales called on the President of Guatemala to request an immediate visit by a special U.N. representative.She urged local human rights and related organizations to demand that the government comply with national and international agreements regarding women's rights.


www.denjustpeace.org [cached]

In Guatemala, we are going to demand justice for the deaths [of women] in the face of the State's indifference," said Hilda Morales, of the Network to End Violence Against Women.


www.feministpeacenetwork.org

"Unfortunately, in Guatemala, killing a woman is like killing a fly; no importance is assigned to it," complained local activist Hilda Morales, who argued that "the perpetrators are encouraged to continue beating, abusing and killing because they know that nothing will happen, that they won't be punished."A report by the Coordinadora 25 de Noviembre, an umbrella group made up of nearly 30 local women's organisations, said that in the last seven years, only two percent of crimes against women have been solved.In 2006, judges handed down a total of 12 sentences, one for 60 years and the rest for 50 years.And of the few cases that are actually brought to justice, some take up to three years to make it to court.""Although this impoverished Central American country has laws aimed at protecting women from violence and has signed international conventions on the issue, there is a "continuing lack of will to recognise and respect human rights, which translates into silence in the face of a scourge that should be classified as a crime against humanity," says the study by the Coordinadora 25 de Noviembre.Morales, an activist with the Network of Non-Violence Against Women, which forms part of the umbrella group, complained that in Guatemala, "domestic violence and sexual harassment, the forerunners of the current wave of murders of women, are not even classified as crimes."She pointed out that until last year, a law was on the books that allowed a rapist to escape charges if he married his victim, even if she was only 12 years old."


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