Tuesday, February 3, 2009

First Femicide Trial in Guatemala

Guatemala, Feb 2 (Prensa Latina) Calixto Simon Cun, accused of physical aggression against his wife, will be the first Guatemalan citizen to be tried according to the Law against Femicide and Other Forms of Violence against Women, it was reported here.

The trial will begin on Tuesday at the Seventh Criminal Court in Guatemala City, and the defendant might be sentenced to 12 years in prison, according to Women Attorney's Office chief Yolanda Sandoval.

On June 2, 2008, Simon Cun was arrested on the street as he was beating his wife, 34-year-old Vilma Angelica de la Cruz

As a result of the beating, his wife suffers from a knee injury and back problems.

Women's leader Andrea Barrios said the trial lays the foundation in the fight against escalating violence against women.

Last year alone, 722 women were murdered and, according to the investigations, many of the murders were preceded by physical violence at home.

Fundacion Sobrevivientes (Foundation Survivors) Director Norma Cruz told Prensa Latina that about ten cases might be tried this year, a small amount compared to the number of women who have been killed as a result of gender violence.

In April 2008, the Guatemalan Parliament approved the law, which establishes 25-50-year prison terms for femicide charges and 5-12 years in jail for sexual, physical or psychological violence.

However, the first trial under that law will take place ten months after approval of the legislation.

Guatemala has one of the world's highest rates of violence against women, reporting 4,000 such crimes since 2000.

.....this is a glorious day for the women of Guatemala who thought they never had a voice or a chance to finally step up to their coward spouses and the law.


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