Las abuelas de Sepur Zarco

On the anniversary of the sentence of the Sepur Zarco case, a mobile health post is opened. Plans are being prepared for the construction of a permanent health center, but there is a lack of legal certainty as to who owns the land of Sepur Zarco and therefore it is necessary to formalize the papers before it is possible to get to work.

Men from several villages have helped to prepare the ground and install water and toilets. At the end of the work, they line up and pray together. The next day the health post will be opened officially.

Demecia Yat listens to the mass being held to honor the women taking part of the legal process.

The day before the inauguration, the women in the case of Sepur Zarco come to see the mobile health post and pose in front of it.

A representative of the Ministry of Health gives a guided tour of the mobile health post to the women the day before the inauguration.

Due to land tenure disputes in the area, many families live in large monoculture farms with limited access to basic services.

The women meet in “Titanic” (a construction that crosses a stream and is shaped like a boat) to review the protocol for the anniversary of the sentence the next day. There will be a march to demand compliance with the reparation measures that were handed down with the sentence. The march will end with the inauguration of the mobile health post and a community meal.

After a heavy rain, people from the communities are preparing to start the march on the anniversary day of the entence of the Sepur Zarco case.

The course of the march was about 5 kilometers.

The women receive the march with candles and white huipiles (blouses) in the place where the military base was formerly located.

Several of the women are elderly and it was decided that they should wait for the march in Sepur Zarco and join in for the last part only, instead of walking from the neigbouring village 5 kilometers away.
Each of the "Abuelas" were called by their name and recognized in front of the village members.

In order to recognize the courage of women in their long journey in Guatemala's legal system, and to ensure that the sentence will not be forgotten, there have been a number of awareness-raising workshops with the youth of the community. On the day of the march, the women are celebrated with a show of juggling and dancing at the point where the military base used to be located.

The women standing in line

The march, led by the women, enters the center of the community of Sepur Zarco.

One of the "Abuelas de Sepur Zarco" holds a candle at the march celebrating the first anniversary of the sentence of the the Sepur Zarco case.

The march reaches the field of the mobile health post.

At every step of the process, the Mayan ceremony has been key to the union between women and to inspire courage to move forward.

Demecia Yat and the other women hold the ribbon that will be cut to inaugurate Sepur Zarco's mobile health post.

A representative of the Ministry of Health inaugurated the mobile health post, along with the women and legal support organizations.

Sexual violence was used as an institutionalized warfare tool during the internal armed conflict in Guatemala. Thousands of women were victims. 89% of them were indigenous, according to the Commission for Historical Clarification (CEH).