This is a fundamental theme in the policy of counterinsurgency, repression, persecution: to analyze differentiated circumstances and patterns of how this counterinsurgent violence found in women’s bodies a useful mechanism for instilling generalized terror as part of its strategy.
Throughout history, wars in diverse territories have used the body of a woman as a weapon and a spoil of war. AndGuatemala was no exception, on the contrary, it was part of the strategies implemented to break the organized resistance, the resistance that at that time was raised by collectives, groups and organizations that existed at that time.
In the trials, we have always demanded rights for the victims in the Military Diary, by whom I mean the people who disagreed with the dictatorial regime, who disagreed with the form of government based on the violence and repression that was alive at that time. This is why we are saying to think differently is not a crime, and if it had been a crime or an illegal act at that time, it was because their views did not position them in the judge’s favor.
Meanwhile, in the case of the women, the circumstances were even more intense because their hardship was two-fold.
The founders of FAMDEGUA a great majority of them are women who were searching for their children, their husbands, their friends, their siblings, their parents. This demonstrates what we call the multiple effects of abuse of forced disappearances that have impacted women: while the victim is affected, so is their family and in this instance particularly the mothers, sisters, wives, female friends, and daughters.
What is more, while these actions directly relapsed on women, there were also distinct patterns in the treatment of women, using their bodies: sexual violence, inhumane, cruel, and degrading acts specifically targeted at women. The use of children as a psychological torture was also a mechanism that was used against women, as was the subjection to domestic servitude; documented in this case and other investigations, is the subjection of captive women into forced domestic slavery, including sexual slavery.
There are really serious cases, if the politic of the State enforced at that time was a politic with which they intended to rule, without a doubt it was a profoundly violent politic that was deliberately misogynist and violently targeting women’s bodies.
The women at that time who dedicated their bodies and lives to the defense of social rights and the defense of ideals of a better country were victims of actions intentionally established to denigrate not only their human dignity, but also their dignity as women, mothers, and all of the societal spheres in which women lived.
The conditions in which women lived at that time continue today, and that is why we talk about the lasting effects of forced disappearance. The women who we represent in the trials and those who we do not, those living victims and survivors, all of us hope for justice and dignity because as women we should all condemn facts such as these. We not only hope for justice but also that these survivors find their relatives. And that is the fight, to know where they are, because this continued waiting generates serious repercussions on the lives of women.