ACOGUATE has published a piece about the femicide of Juana Raymundo Rivera and how justice has been found and applied in Ixil.
For almost three years, the parents of Juana Raymundo Rivera have been seeking justice for the femicide of their daughter. They have been supported by several representatives of Guatemalan civil society, including the Red de Mujeres Ixhiles (Ixil Women’s Network), an organisation accompanied by ACOGUATE since February 2019. In April, the sentence of the 24th September 2020, which had sentenced the person responsible for Juana’s murder to 62 years’ imprisonment, was confirmed. The conviction, and reparation measures, mark a considerable step towards the fulfilment of women’s human rights in Guatemala.
After having disappeared on the 27th July 2018, the following day Juana Raymundo Rivera, a 25-year-old Ixil activist, nurse and community leader, was found dead, with signs of torture, in a stream in the municipality of Santa María Nebaj, in the department of Quiché, where she was originally from. On the 24th September 2020, the accused, Jacinto Brito Raymundo, an evangelical pastor and community leader, was sentenced to 50 years for the femicide and 12 years for the rape of Juana.
The conviction is emblematic for many reasons. Firstly, in the words of Héctor Reyes, the lawyer for the Centre for Legal Action on Human Rights (Centro para la Acción Legal en Derechos Humanos – CALDH) and the representative of Juana’s father, Pedro Raymundo Cobo, this sentence marks a significant step for the local justice system. The case is among the first femicides recognised in the municipality, and, in addition, it resulted in a conviction, one of only a few in the country. Secondly, although there was an appeal by the convicted, the sentence was upheld on appeal, a fact that reaffirms its importance. Finally, the case also has a link to sexual and reproductive rights, something that was significant both in the legal process and in the sentencing and reparation measures.
The full article, with references, is available, in Spanish, here, La justicia en el caso de Juana Raymundo Rivera contribuye al avance de los derechos humanos de niñas y mujeres en el área Ixil.
Errors in translation are mine.