New York Times: Women in Guatemala make up about 15% of murder victims, in a country which has a murder rate of about 49 per 100,000 inhabitants. A federal court is now considering political asylum claims from a Guatemalan woman who claims that being female makes her a target in her country. This ruling could open the door to asylum claims from women from other South American counties, such as Honduras, which also has a high murder rate.
"A United States federal court ruling this week could unleash a wave of political asylum claims from applicants who say being a woman from Central America is reason enough to fear for their lives.
The ruling concerns an application by a Guatemalan woman, but activists say hundreds of thousands of women from throughout the region could use it to argue that the United States should let them immigrate.
In the ruling on Monday, the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit in San Francisco ordered immigration judges to reconsider whether Guatemalan women constituted a “particular social group” that might be persecuted. Courts have granted such status to women who fear genital cutting and to victims of domestic abuse, but two lower courts have said that Guatemalan women constituted too broad a category."