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Jane Fonda Visits Guatemala to Put Spotlight on Murders of Women in Guatemala


December 8, 2003
V-Day News alert

V-Day activist and V-Counsel member, Actress Jane Fonda visits Guatemala to put spotlight on murders of women in Guatemala

Jane Fonda, a member of V-Day’s esteemed V-Counsel has just returned from a 24-hour visit to Guatemala where she traveled with independent media journalist, Marielos Monzon. Monzon invited Fonda to visit the country to meet with women’s organizations and human rights activists to help raise the profile of the murders of women in the country after Fonda presented her the " Courage In Media" Award in New York last month.

Monzon, 32, was honored by IWMF for exceptional bravery in reporting the news and having risked her life to report the truth about war, political corruption, human rights abuses and genocide. She reports on the human rights violations that continue seven years after the end of a brutal civil war in which an estimated 200,000 people were disappeared. Beginning in 1998, she has received continuous death threats against her and her two children, yet she continues reporting.

According to the BBC, since 2001, more than 700 women and young girls have been killed in apparently motiveless attacks. So far this year, the official count of women's bodies found is 270. In the past six months there have been five sets of double murders, with the tortured corpses of the young girls found together.

While in Guatemala, Fonda met with 22 women’s organizations and human rights activists including Helen Mack, who continues the work of her murdered sister to uncover the active paramilitary death squads, the gangs (maras), and the ongoing murders of women.

According to the Associated Press, most were victims of gang violence, rapes and other crime. Guatemala has suffered from spiraling crime, especially gang violence, since the end of its 36-year civil war in 1996.

Fonda vowed to return to Guatemala with an army of V-Day activists to raise the international profile on the Guatemala murders in 2005 and building upon V-Day’s 2004 Spotlight on the Missing and Murdered Women in Juarez, Mexico.

The V-Day Guatemala trip is currently being planned. Details will be announced as soons as they are available.

On February 14, 2004, V-Day will mount a March in Juarez, Mexico where V-Day Founder Eve Ensler and activists and women from all over the world will converge on Juarez to demand justice and also to honor and celebrate the women of Juarez and their families.
December 1, 2003
Jane Fonda promises activists will protest Guatemalan deaths
The Associated Press

GUATEMALA CITY -- Jane Fonda promised Monday to bring a small "army" of women activists to Guatemala to denounce the murders of about 700 women in the past three years in this crime-plagued Central American nation.

The 66-year-old actress was visiting Guatemala City on behalf of the nonprofit organization V-Day. The group is led by "Vagina Monologues" playwright Eve Ensler and campaigns around the world to halt violence against women.

Fonda vowed to organize an "army to stand beside Guatemalan women to say to the world what is going on here." Fonda said she would return after the U.S. presidential elections in November 2004 with a group of activists, mainly from the V-Day organization, to pressure the Guatemalan government do something about the killings.

The bodies of about 700 women have been found in Guatemala since 2000. Some 270 bodies have been found so far this year, Fonda said.

Most were victims of gang violence, rapes and other crime. Guatemala has suffered from spiraling crime, especially gang violence, since the end of its 36-year civil war in 1996.

Fonda said domestic violence is also a problem with 20,000 complaints filed annually in Guatemala.

"You have even more women killed than in Ciudad Juarez," Fonda said, referring to the Mexican border city where a series of unsolved murders of women over the past decade has drawn international protests.

At least 263 women have been killed since 1993 in Ciudad Juarez, a city of 1.3 million across the border from El Paso, Texas. Officials say about 100 of those were sexually abused, killed and left in the desert.

Fonda met with Wendy Berger, wife of the presidential candidate Oscar Berger, as well as with rival candidate Alvaro Colom and his wife Sandra Torres. The presidential runoff election is on Dec. 28.

To read the BBC article, “Murderers prey on Guatemalan women”, December 6, 2003, click here: