ABSTRACT

On June 3, 2009, 21-year old Mindy Rodas walked with her husband to a river near their home in Santa Rosa, Guatemala. For years he had been physically and emotionally abusive to her and had recently left her for another woman. When she requested that he pay child support for their young son he hit her over the head with a rock, cut off her nose, chin, and lips with a knife and left her in the river for dead. Fortunately, a local farmer found her and got help. While in the hospital, Mindy was threatened by her husband’s lawyer and family to not press charges. Though arrested, he was allowed out on bail and charged only with “bodily harm” rather than the more serious crime of attempted femicide. In the meantime, Mindy was able to travel to Mexico for reconstructive surgery to her face but she missed her son and returned to Guatemala. In December of 2010 she went missing and her body was found in Guatemala City on December 18 with signs of torture and strangulation. She was buried as a Jane Doe in the mass grave called La Verbena where so many disappeared victims of the civil war were buried from the 1970s–1990s. One month later her mother identified her body through pictures from the morgue, but her murder was never solved (Hurtado 2011).