The author writes about femicide in Guatemala, beginning with a general overview of what the phenomenon is and who plays a role and ending with a personal account from a victim’s mother. Godoy-Paiz defines femicide as the killing of women by men because of their gender, and it is characterized by mutilations of parts of a woman’s body that represent her femininity. Violence against certain groups has been normalized within Guatemalan society, and femicide is a consequence of this tolerance to brutality. The author ends the article with the story of Doña Celeste. Doña Celeste’s 19-year old daughter was a victim of femicide, and the author explains the impacts the murder had on the family. Godoy-Paiz concludes that researchers must not only look at statistics but also listen to women’s voices to understand the effects femicide has on Guatemala’s social relations.
The author spent a year in Guatemala City, immersed herself in the culture, and gained the trust of the people there. Her ability to hear stories from the victims’ families offers her unparalleled knowledge and a different perspective on the effects of femicide that she would not be able to convey through statistics and facts alone. This piece is part of a larger doctoral research project in which the author studies the effects of violence on women in Guatemala.
The article is important because it provides readers with a general knowledge of femicide, the background of violence in Guatemala, as well as a first-hand narrative. It speaks to the human rights violations that occur in Guatemala because of a flawed political system. The research presented in this paper exemplifies discrimination and violence in Latin America.
I chose a picture of women protesting against femicide and the violence that occurs against women to show that femicide is a growing phenomenon, and humanitarians are stepping up to combat it. This picture was taken in El Salvador, so it proves that femicide is not only an issue in Guatemala; it is a human rights violation that occurs across Latin America.