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Re-defining a Sense of Justice in Guatemala

In the past decade, over 5,000 women have been murdered in Guatemala.

Only 1% of the killers are sentenced.

Guatemala has been compared in size to the state of Tennessee.

For the last three years, I have been working on a documentary about the raising rates of killings of women in Guatemala. I’ve been following Rebeca Eunice Perez, a strong-willed woman who is determined to see that Ricardo, her sister’s killer, receives an appropriate sentence.

Rebeca is a 34 year old single mother, raising 5 of her own children, in addition to the three her sister left behind. When she’s not making tortillas over a wood fire or taking odd jobs to make end’s meet, she’s pounding the pavement to do everything within her very limited power to keep her sister’s case alive. She becomes clerk, investigator, advocate, and in turn, a leader in her community.

What is it that drives her?

It’s her love for her nephew and nieces. It’s her love for her sister. It’s her sense that her sister’s death must not be in vain.

Even more so, it’s her resolve that she will not be a victim. She is a survivor of violence. She will not allow the system to immobilize her. She will not let fear overcome her. She knows that speaking out, she will make too much noise for anyone to retaliate. She’s already caused too many problems; now everyone’s looking in her direction and her enemies no longer have the reign to terrorize her.