Guatemalan women protest violence against women through music.

Protests took place in cities across the country.

On October 10, hundreds of women peacefully took to the streets in several Guatemalan cities, equipped with musical instruments, handkerchiefs, posters, and masks to demonstrate their rejection of violence against women.

The demonstrations coincided with the weekend dedicated to International Day of the Girl Child but they were also a response to the recent disappearance and death of student Litzy Cordón Guardado, and the murder of 22-year-old teacher Laura Hernández Guevara, both in the same southeastern department of Zacapa.

Twitter was flooded with messages and songs supporting the protests, along with the hashtags #NiUnaMenos, #JusticiaParaLitzy, and #JusticiaParaLaura.

According to the Women’s Observatory of the Public Prosecutor’s Office, there are approximately 200 complaints of gender violence per day in Guatemala, two of which are for femicide.

From January to September 2020, 350 violent deaths of women were registered according to the National Institute of Forensic Sciences.

The women sang the hymn “Canción sin miedo” (Fearless Song) by the Mexican singer and songwriter Vivir Quintana, whose lyrics describe the feelings of injustice, sadness, and fear felt by women in situations of violence:

Every minute of every week; They steal our friends, they kill our sisters […] We sing without fear, we ask for justice; We shout for every disappeared woman. […] Let it be loud: We want ourselves to be alive! Let the murderer fall hard!

This story written by Melissa Vida and Jossé España Cabrera originally appeared on on October 16, 2020.

Guatemala crime statistics are some of the worst in Central America.