Guatemala ranks among the highest rates of violence and insecurity in the world through a mixture of gang violence, political and paramilitary violence and domestic violence. Women are particularly affected by extreme forms of sexual violence and femicide. From January to November 2011, 3,969 cases of sexual violence were registered in the country. However the number of unreported cases is likely to be much higher as sexual violence cases across the world are normally unregistered by approximately 60%. Despite the pervasiveness of this type of violence in the country, victims receive little support and adequate care.


Urban poverty, inequality and social exclusion are a long-standing syndrome of Latin American urbanization. The continent of largely urban societies is essentially fractured, showing a basic duality of rich and poor, formal and informal, organized and disintegrated, ruled and unruled. In addition, a wider set of problems have been emerging over the past decades such as alarmingly low levels of social trust and the proliferation of violence and fear.


Sexual violence in Guatemala: is part of the ongoing project “Urban Survivors“.

[March 2012]

Urban Survivors, Guatemala City(Photo by Andrea Bruce for MSF)