San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

Female Homicides Still on Rise in Guatemala

GUATEMALA CITY (EFE) – Atotal of 153 women have been slain inGuatemala during the first three monthsof 2005, the National Civil Police (PNC)announced Saturday, presaging an evenbigger jump in the female murder ratethan the previous year.A total of 307 female homicideswere reported in Guatemala in 2001, 317in 2002, 383 in 2003, and 527 lastyear.The most recent slaying took place inSanta Cruz del Quiche, in westernGuatemala, where an unidentified womanwas killed by a shot to the head.The victim, who was 18 years old,was found on the banks of a river. Shehad been beaten in the face before beingshot, police said.Guatemalan women’s organizationsare demanding action from authorities,including better security and preventionefforts.Seventy-three percent of crimes committedin Guatemala are never investigatedby authorities, according to a recentstudy by a non-governmental organizationcalled Women’s Sector.

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