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Guatemala’s Top Stories: January 17-23

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Media sources from across the globe have mourned the deaths of six women in Guatemala City this week, including two girls, ages six and twelve. Hundreds of women are murdered each year in Guatemala, however, it has taken a tragedy of this scope for the media to condemn the governments lack of action in passing and enforcing existing laws to protect women. Amnesty International highlights the story of Claudina Velazquez, age 19, who was murdered 10 years ago and whose killers were never found. Her case is just one example of the hundreds of cases every year that go uninvestigated.

In more positive news, the national minimum wage increased by five percent for many workers this month. However, minimum wage still covers less than 50 percent of basic necessities in Guatemala, worsening the circle of poverty and malnutrition for children and families.

While violence is ongoing, President Perez tells the Guardian that Guatemala and its neighbors are the real victims caught in between drug traffickers and the so-called War of Drugs, imploring the US to consider new strategies to combat the cartels.

Al Jazeera has an interesting overview of the progress made on key social and political issues, including drugs, violence, and impunity, in the year since Perez took office.

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