Juana Ramírez Santiago
Network of Ixil Women (ASOREMI)
THE FACTS – At 6 pm on Friday, September 21st, 56 year-old Juana Ramírez Santiago, midwife and member of the Board of Directors of the Network of Ixil Women, was assassinated with a firearm in Xolanay, near Nebaj, Quiché, when she was on her way to her husband’s place of work.
In recent months, Juana Ramírez had received several threats from different agents due to her work in defense of the rights of women; she had denounced these threats at the Public Prosecutor’s Office.
It is important to note that since 2004, defenders of the Network of Ixil Women have been subjected to numerous acts of intimidation, and that this year, the attacks against them have heightened significantly; three defenders were physically attacked on a public thoroughfare.
We of IM-Defensoras repudiate and condemn this latest femicide of an indigenous human rights defender in Guatemala and demand that the State immediately carry out a thourough investigation without bias of any kind and and without renouncing any line of inquiry, especially that which is related to the work of Juana Ramirez in the defense of human rights and to the threats she received for that.
Likewise, we demand guarantees of protection for the defender’s family and for members of the Network of Ixil Women.
And finally, we wish to express our support and sisterhood with the family of Juana Ramírez, who leaves seven sons and daughters orphaned, and with the compañeras of the Network of Ixil Women, whose work, like that of Juana Ramírez, is crucial for winning the rights of the Ixil women of Guatemala.