Dates: 22-26 February 2016
Location: Guatemala City, Guatemala
On February 1 the landmark Sepur Zarco trial began in Guatemala for crimes committed against the Mayan Q’ecqchi’ people in the northern community of Sepur Zarco during the country’s decades-long civil war (1960-1996). Two military officers were being tried for charges of sexual and domestic slavery and forced disappearances. The trial marked the first time in history that crimes of sexual slavery committed during armed conflict were prosecuted in the same country where they occurred and was the first trial for systematic violations of Indigenous women in Guatemala.
The laureates travelled to Guatemala City to stand in solidarity with the 15 courageous women pursuing justice and reparations.
On February 26th the court convicted the two officers for the sexual and domestic enslavement of 15 women and for the murder of another woman and her two young daughters. They were sentenced to a total of 360 years in prison.
To stand in solidarity with the women survivors calling for justice and to bear witness to an event of global importance for those working to end sexual violence in conflict.
Rigoberta Menchú Tum
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Guatemala sentences two to 360 years in a sex slave case (27 February 2016)