Costa Rica Coffee Guide

Guatemalan women take up arms amid climate of insecurity

February 5, 2010

The climate of insecurity in Guatemala is forcing women to arm themselves to protect themselves and their families, the Central American nation’s state newspaper, Diario de Centroamerica, reported Monday.

The official newspaper said an increasing number of women of different professions are acquiring weapons and registering them with Guatemala’s Arms and Munitions Control Office.

Some 9,200 weapons have been registered at that agency in the name of women, representing 4 percent of the total weapons registered.

DIGECAM Assistant Director Guillermo Mejía said it is uncommon for women to visit the weapons regulatory agency. However, they are increasingly showing more interest in carrying a firearm for self-defense.

What is motivating women to arm themselves, the official told the Diario, is the need to feel more secure and protected, because many of the women own businesses and have been the victims of crime.

Many of the female gun owners have received training on how to fire their weapons and others have been shown how to do so by their husbands or sons, Mejía said.

 
Activist Rosario Escobedo, of the women’s organization Sector de Mujeres, said she feels that violence will not be done away with by arming oneself and it is the duty of the authorities to provide security for the public.

But women have been strongly affected in recent years by the climate of insecurity.

Between 2003 and 2008, the murders of women increased in Guatemala by 179 percent, according to a report prepared by the national Ombudsman’s Office.

During 2009, 720 women were murdered in Guatemala and another 899 were injured in acts of violence, according to the same report.

Meanwhile, last month 40 women were killed in violent acts.

Guatemalan authorities blame gangs and other organized-crime elements for much of the violence in this Central American country of roughly 13 million people, which recorded 6,475 homicides last year, an average of 18 murders per day.

By comparison, 7,724 people were slain last year in neighboring Mexico, a nation of more than 100 million where rival drug cartels are waging war with each other and the security forces.

All but 4 percent of Guatemalan murders go unpunished, according to the U.N.-sponsored International Commission Against Impunity in Guatemala.

You may be interested

Costa Rica closes embassy in Venezuela as cost-cutting measure
Costa Rica
1620 views
Costa Rica
1620 views

Costa Rica closes embassy in Venezuela as cost-cutting measure

AFP - October 1, 2020

Costa Rica on Wednesday announced the closure of the country's embassy and consulate general in Caracas, effective Thursday, as part…

Ports and highways blocked in rejection of Costa Rica’s IMF proposal
Costa Rica
21729 views
Costa Rica
21729 views

Ports and highways blocked in rejection of Costa Rica’s IMF proposal

The Tico Times - October 1, 2020

Protesters blocked roads and ports in different parts of Costa Rica on Wednesday in a protest against planned negotiations with…

Costa Rica coronavirus updates for Wednesday, September 30
Costa Rica
5593 views
Costa Rica
5593 views

Costa Rica coronavirus updates for Wednesday, September 30

Alejandro Zúñiga - September 30, 2020

Costa Rica announced 24 new coronavirus-related deaths over the last day for a total of 904, according to official data…