The inauguration of these new specialized government agencies to serve women in the Alta Verapaz Department, were announced as part of a campaign “Reto: Cobán sin violencia contra las mujeres” (Challenge: Coban without violence against women) led by local officials with support from international partners. In addition to representatives of the Supreme Court and Judicial Department (Organismo Judicial), Leonel Chacón (Mayor of the Coban), Ronald Sierra (Governor of the Alta Verapaz Department), and Dr. Claudia Paz y Paz (Attorney General of Guatemala), also shared their support of this campaign with the attentive audience. As Paz y Paz noted, the department of Alta Verapaz has the third highest incidence of violence against women in the country. Paz y Paz shared the following with the crowd, with the support of a Kachi interpreter:
“This is the first Department –Alta Verapaz—where we have succeeded to coordinate all of the justice institutions to diminish violence against women, which is a serious problem. You have a strong message, and that is no more violence against women. This afternoon we will inaugurate, jointly with the Supreme Court of Justice, a Femicide Tribunal and an agency of the Public Prosecutor’s Office for Crimes against Women. With these agencies we intend to provide access to justice for all women, girls and boys, and ensure that we are establishing mechanisms that can prevent and combat violence against women and sexual violence.”You should check out the Seattle International Foundation if you are not familiar with them. They do terrific work in the region address poverty in its many forms.