US House of Representatives Urges Guatemala to Address Murders of Women
May 1, 2007
Today, the US House of Representatives approved House Resolution 100 (H. Res. 100), which addresses the more than 3,000 unsolved murders of women and girls in Guatemala since 2000. The Resolution was introduced by Congresswoman Hilda L. Solis (D-CA) and cosponsored by 100 Congressional Representatives.
“I am very pleased that the House of Representatives approved this important Resolution. Families of victims continue to seek the truth about the murders of their wives, mothers and daughters and they deserve honest answers. Instead, Guatemalan authorities have investigated almost none of the murders and ignore or even intimidate those who try to seek justice,” Congresswoman Solis commented.
The Resolution condemns the murders, expresses condolences to the families of victims, and recognizes the courageous struggle of victims’ families to seek justice. In addition, it encourages the Guatemalan Government to provide the police and prosecutors adequate resources to promptly investigate the killings and prosecute those responsible. To date, less than ten percent of the cases have been investigated, and fewer than twenty cases have been prosecuted.
Moreover, the Resolution specifically urges the US Ambassador to Guatemala to meet with the families of victims and it recommends that the Secretary of State develop a comprehensive plan to address and combat the growing problem of gender-based violence in Latin America.
“H.Res. 100 represents the kind of international pressure needed to end the Guatemalan Government’s tolerance for the killings of women. Hopefully this Resolution will incite Guatemalan authorities to do a better job in investigating the crimes and bringing those responsible to justice,” said Marty Jordan, co-director of the Guatemala Human Rights Commission/USA (GHRC).
In an effort to increase international pressure, Senator Jeff Bingaman (D-NM) introduced a similar resolution (S. Res. 178) today in the Senate, which was endorsed by GHRC and other prominent human rights organizations.
GHRC, in conjunction with other human rights groups, led the grassroots campaign to mobilize Americans to urge their lawmakers to cosponsor H.Res. 100. Since 2004, GHRC has educated concerned activists about the increasing violence against women in Guatemala and provided them appropriate avenues to apply international pressure on the Guatemalan Government to do more to stem the gender-based violence. For the last twenty-five years, GHRC has advocated for and supported survivors of past and current abuses, while also working toward positive, systemic change in Guatemala.
See List of 100 Cosponsors
See Text of House Resolution 100