Press Release

Women Transforming the World (MTM) For a Sensible Gender Justice

 We are feminist women and since the creation of our organization we have been offering comprehensive support to girls, adolescents and women survivors of violent acts against women, sexual violence and we offer support in cases of sexual violence that happened during the armed conflict that we experienced in our country.

 Our focus is to search for justice and that the investigations are carried following the due process. .

 Based on our principles several years ago we started the work done with the brave women of Sepur Zarco providing them with legal support and becoming plaintiffs in their case.  The legal team for MTM was in charge of developing all the legal strategy.

 The road that these 15 brave women of Sepur Zarco led us to, was of a lot of learnings and challenges, that after 34 years of being victims of sexual violence, sexual and domestic slavery, they could have access to formal justice.

 The path taken by the brave q’eqchi women demonstrating their perseverance, braveness and courage in pursuing a conviction for the accused, has been and will be at a national and international level worthy of recognition.

The adjudicators determined that Heriberto Valdez Asig is responsible of the crime of forced disappearance of seven men, since he participated in detaining them in a violent way and these persons never reappeared again framing his conduct in the crime of forced disappearance, so the imposed penalty was 30 years imprisonment for each of the forced disappearances bringing it to a total of 210 years of incommutable imprisonment.

The Court found Esteelmer Francisco Reyes Girón responsible as the perpetrator of the crime of murder committed against Dominga Coc and her two daughters the girls Anita and Hermelinda Coc Set, so the imposed penalty was 30 years of imprisonment for each murder bringing it to a total of 90 years of incommutable imprisonment.

Reyes Girón as well as Valdez Asig, were held accountable by the court as authorities of crime against the duties of humanity committed against the life and integrity of the population of Sepur Zarco, specially the eleven q’eqchi women and Dominga Coc and her daughters Anita Set Coc y Hermelinda Coc.  For these crimes each accused was convicted with 30 years of incommutable imprisonment.

For Women Transforming the World (MTM) the condemnatory sentence issued by the High Risk Court A, is a message of hope for the justice authorities in the country as it is the first case that these kinds of crimes are judged in a Guatemalan court and a conviction is obtained and applauded nationally and internationally.

 We will continue to watch so that the transformative reparations for the surviving women be effective, and that the regulatory authorities comply with the 18 remedial measures ordered by the Court of Justice.

 Our objective will always be to work for the consolidation and existence of penal justice that is sensible to gender, defying the judicial system with paradigmatic cases of discrimination and violence against women.

 As part of our bylaws is to offer support during the search of justice for women regardless of age, litigating under the framework of strategic litigation, that will permit not only to view one condemnatory sentence but the transformation of the Guatemalan judicial system.

 We will continue to route our struggles and our demands for a transformative reparation, a corrective one and nondiscriminatory, the transformative reparation in existence under the framework of the strategic litigation whose main objective is to transform the State.

 We continue reaffirming that the State must comply with the remedial measures as a guarantor of rights and protector of life and personal integrity.  MTM reaffirms that the remedial measures of the transformative reparation that include restitution, rehabilitation, compensation, guarantees of non-repetition and satisfaction are key


Guatemala, April 2016