Take Action: Attack on Guatemalan Women’s Sector
CoDevelopment Canada is alarmed by a break-in that took place early on March 8 at the Women’s Sector’s offices in Guatemala City. Sensitive information, such as accounting documents and files on women’s organizations in Guatemala, were stolen. As well, the assailants took the Sector’s eight computers and other equipment, while other materials were destroyed. Paradoxically the organization’s cash box remained untouched.
The Women’s Sector is a broad alliance of 33 Guatemalan women’s organizations. It has worked for women’s rights in Guatemala since 1994, when the Sector was created to provide a voice for women in the Peace Talks aimed at ending Guatemala’s armed conflict. Since then the Sector has suffered 4 break-ins. This year, the Sector was the lead organization of the coalition organizing International Women’s Day in Guatemala, including activities to denounce violence against women and girls. Unfortunately, the materials they had prepared for IWD were also destroyed during the break-in.
CoDevelopment Canada is concerned for the safety of the staff and members of the Women’s Sector. The attack is a severe blow to Guatemalan women’s organizations and their work. It is important to highlight that this attack on the Guatemalan feminist movement occurs in the context of new legislative initiatives restrict the work of civil society organizations and to defend and promote human rights; as well as an initiative in the Guatemalan Congress to grant amnesty to those convicted of committing crimes against humanity during the armed conflict, including genocide, enforced disappearances, torture and sexual violence.
CoDev encourages our members and supporters to sign and send the letter below that calls on Canada’s Ambassador in Guatemala to condemn the break-in at the Women’s Sector, as well as other acts of intimidation against Women’s organizations in Guatemala.