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Sepur Zarco case: The Guatemalan women who rose for justice in a war-torn nation

Friday, October 19, 2018

During the 36-year-long Guatemalan civil war, indigenous women were systematically raped and enslaved by the military in a small community near the Sepur Zarco outpost. What happened to them then was not unique, but what happened next, changed history. From 2011 – 2016, 15 women survivors fought for justice at the highest court of Guatemala. The groundbreaking case resulted in the conviction of two former military officers of crimes against humanity and granted 18 reparation measures to the women survivors and their community. The abuelas of Sepur Zarco, as the women are respectfully referred to, are now waiting to experience justice. Justice, for them, includes education for the children of their community, access to land, a health care clinic and such measures that will end the abject poverty their community has endured across generations. Justice must be lived.

Time to change expectations: zero retribution to zero tolerance

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

In an op-ed, UN Women Executive Director Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka says "the drugging, abduction and violent gang rape of a 16-year-old girl in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil calls us all to turn the tide of sexual violence against women and girls in Brazil and in every country in the world. This is Brazil’s moment to shake that confidence to its core and reassert the rule of law and its respect for human rights. This is the time for zero tolerance for violence against women and girls."

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