The rate of femicides in Guatemala has decreased by 11.2 percent, the Deputy Minister of Security Kamilo Jose Rivera said Wednesday.
Last year, from January to January 16, there were 285 women murdered. However, state authorities report that there have been 32 fewer cases of femicide this year and this small success has been attributed to the security measures implemented nationwide against gender violence.
However, the perception of security is another matter, Congress of Deputy Carlos Napoleon Rojas, countered. Within the first four months, femicide rates were climbing to a 7.2 percent increase and appeared as if 2018 would be another bloody year in Guatemala’s history.
The drop in violence over the past two months ultimately altered these statistics.
United Nations (UN) Women, Adriana Ordoñez, said during a press conference, "Reducing the gap in this violence is one of the biggest challenges in Guatemala.”
The presence of gang members in the eastern departments of Jalapa and Santa Rosa remains a concern for the public.
"There are assaults on a daily basis, the population is afraid to leave," Rojas said, noting that there is still a lot of progress to be done in these sectors. To combat any threats to peace, a team of 30 patrols will be deployed to the most violent departments, Security Minister Rivera assured.
In 2016 1,161 femicides were reported, compared to the 876 and 867 in 2014 and 2015, official reports show. According to a report released by the National Institute of Forensics last November, an average of 62 women are murdered every month – equal to 15 per week – in Guatemala. At least 590 Guatemalan women were killed in 2017.