A group of four former members of the Guatemalan Secretariat for Women joined the institution’s defense on Friday against the “threat” to change its status and asked the Constitutional Court, the highest court, to consider its relevance before to resolve an amparo pending.
The four ex-secretaries of Women delivered an “amicus curiae”, a memorial prepared to express their opinions as experts on the matter, in order to nurture the constitutional magistrates, before deciding with all possible arguments.
The former secretaries Lily Caravantes (2000-2004), Ana Leticia Aguilar Thiessen (2016-2018), Yolanda Sian Ramírez (2018-2020) and Gabriela Núñez (2004-2008) assured in the memorial that the State of Guatemala is not empowered to ” make regressive “a right earned, as was the creation of the Presidential Secretariat for Women.
Caravantes explained to Efe that the institution has been an “example in the participation of civil society, social auditing, accountability and monitoring that the actions of the Secretariat were really in line with the promotion and development policy Integral of Guatemalan Women “.
He added that, along with his successors in office, they consider “that the Court must have all the arguments for the threat of rights that exist by eliminating a secretariat and not complying with national and international law, to which the State is committed” .
The former members of the Secretariat thus expressed their reluctance to the decision of the president, Alejandro Giammattei, who intends to transform the entity into a Presidential Commission, which would mean “reducing the status of the institutionality of women.”
The mutation, “even if temporarily, is clearly regressive and is detrimental to more than half of the country’s population,” they alleged.
The memorial delivered to the Constitutional Court is part of a legal request by the Human Rights Ombudsman (PDH) and the Chomijá association, which seek to avoid “the certain and imminent threat that the President (Giammattei) suppresses tacitly or express the SEPREM “.
The entity has been adrift during the six months of Giammattei’s government, according to various sources.
The former officials emphasized that the Presidential Secretariat for Women was created 20 years ago, marking a “milestone in promoting development and managing public policies, as the State recognizes the importance of giving specific treatment to conditions of inequality and to the inequality gaps between men and women in the country. “
According to the last census carried out in 2018, there are 16.3 million inhabitants in Guatemala, of which 51.5 percent are women.
In the Central American country, a marked violence – between sexual abuse, harassment and femicide – against women still prevails. Last year alone, the National Institute of Forensic Sciences performed 695 necropsies of violent deaths on women.
In addition, the humanitarian organization Grupo de Apoyo Mutuo (GAM) underlined in a report released in March that sexual violations increased more than 2,300 cases from 2017 to fec ha, a crime that, according to the entity, “is a form of to kill the victim alive, because the victim can never be the same person. ”
In total, in 2019, 7,854 women were victims of sexual violations and another 8,453 suffered from sexist violence during 2019, according to the GAM.