Guatemala: Update to GTM28722.FE of 3 February 1998 on domestic violence in Guatemala
|Publisher||Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada|
|Author||Research Directorate, Immigration and Refugee Board, Canada|
|Publication Date||1 August 1998|
|Citation / Document Symbol||GTM29940.E|
|Cite as||Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada, Guatemala: Update to GTM28722.FE of 3 February 1998 on domestic violence in Guatemala, 1 August 1998, GTM29940.E, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/3ae6acbe1c.html [accessed 25 May 2013]|
|Disclaimer||This is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.|
The following information was provided by the General Coordinator of the Guatemalan Women's Group (Grupo Guatemalteco de Mujeres, GGM) during a 20 August 1998 telephone interview with the Research Directorate.
There are many obstacles to implementing the law addressing family violence (Ley para Prevenir, Sacncionar y Erradicar la Violencia Intrafamiliar), in effect since December 1996, including the lack of mechanisms in place to enforce the law and the lack of legal training for judicial officials to help them understand the law and its implications. As a result of these obstacles, few people in the judicial system know the law at all. Furthermore, the issue of violence against women is not included in the legal curriculum at institutions of higher learning and the police still generally perceive the problem of spousal abuse to be a domestic and private matter to be dealt with by the family.
Currently, the Guatemalan President is studying a bill that would regulate the application of the law. The regulation would include a national commission that would oversee the implementation of the law. The GGM plan to lobby the President at the end of September to accelerate the acceptance of the bill.
Although the law sensitized judicial officials and the general population about the importance of the domestic violence issue, it remains law on paper only. GGM plans to prepare a manual on domestic violence for police officers.
Currently, there are only two shelters for victims of spousal abuse in Guatemala: one in Guatemala City and the other in Quetzaltenango called Nuevos Horizontes (New Horizons). Both shelters can accommodate 10 women and their children.
Please consult GTM28722.FE of 3 February 1998 for additional information on the types of services offered by the GGM and domestic violence in Guatemala. A list of organizations and networks in Guatemala who support victims of domestic abuse is attached for additional information.
This Response was prepared after researching publicly accessible information currently available to the Research Directorate within time constraints. This Response is not, and does not purport to be, conclusive as to the merit of any particular claim to refugee status or asylum. Please find below the list of sources consulted in researching this Information Request.
Grupo Guatemlateco de Mujeres (GGM), Guatemala City. 20 August 1998. Telephone interview with the General Coordinator.
Instituciones Que Trabajan en Apoyo a la Mujer Maltrada. 1997. List provided to the Research Directorate by the GGM in March 1997.
Additional Sources Consulted
Latinamerica Press [Lima]. 1997-1998.
Latin America Regional Reports: Caribbean&Central America Report [London]. 1997-1998.
The Women's Watch [Minneapolis]. 1997-1998.
WIN News [Lexington, Mass.]. 1997-1998.
Electronic sources: IRB Databases, LEXIS/NEXIS, Internet, REFWORLD (UNHCR database), World News Connection (WNC).