Guatemala, like other Central American countries, is known for its violence and impunity in criminal acts. Last week, the nation was shocked with the murder of two young girls, presumably a six year old and the other one twelve years old. According to Guatemalan officials, the two girls had been asphyxiated and dumped on the street in Guatemala City still wearing their pajamas. Officials are still investigating. Earlier that morning, two adult women were found dead with gunshot wounds. The murder of these two girls has set an outrage in the population that call for tougher policies on violent acts towards women. Last year alone, around 700 women were murdered, up 400 from the previous year. According to Mario Polanco, only 1% of the crimes are investigated and the level of impunity towards crimes against women and children is 100%. In 2008 congress established special tribunals and sentencing guidelines. This has yet to cause a positive effect on these crimes. According to Polanco, all these crimes “stem from organized crime” seek to establish fear within the population. No one has come forward to claim the bodies, in fear of being targeted violently.
Women and children play a minuscule role for Central American governments. Crimes go unsolved for years, the government seems to pay no attention to this. If those who are supposed to protect the population don’t, then there is nothing to be done. Gender plays a big role, women are still not taken equally as men. Even in horrendous acts, they are still a secondary topic to the government. They implement temporary policies to reassure the population that something is being done, when in reality nothing is or will ever be done.