At Least 708 Women Killed in 2009 in Guatemala

GUATEMALA CITY – Some 708 women were killed in Guatemala in 2009, based on Interior Ministry figures released on Saturday.

According to official figures, murders of women last year were less than in 2008, when 773 women died violent deaths in this Central American country.

Most crimes against women have gone unpunished despite the existence, since April 2008, of a specific law against femicide.

According to activist Norma Cruz, who heads the Survivors Foundation that provides help for abused women, in Guatemala no plans exist to guarantee women’s safety.

In a statement to reporters, Cruz said that more security agents are needed in areas considered extremely dangerous for women.

The activist regretted that even though police and prosecutors nab the aggressors, the courts tend to free them with such substitute measures as letting them out on bail.

Guatemala is second in the world in murders of women after Russia, which posts more than 10,000 crimes against women, according to the Human Rights Prosecutor’s Office.

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