Textures of Terror

Victoria Sanford


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University of California Press
9 May 2023
ISBN: 9780520393455
230 pages

From the publisher

Investigating the unsolved murder of a female law student and the pervasive violence against Guatemalan women that drives migration.

Part memoir and part forensic investigation, Textures of Terror is a gripping first-person story of women, violence, and migration out of Guatemala—and how the United States is implicated. Accompanying Jorge Velásquez in a years-long search for answers after the brutal murder of his daughter Claudina Isabel, Victoria Sanford explores what it means to seek justice in "postconflict" countries where violence never ended.

Through this father's determined struggle and other stories of justice denied, Textures of Terror offers a deeper understanding of US policies in Latin America and their ripple effect on migration. Sanford offers an up-close appraisal of the inner workings of the Guatemalan criminal justice system and how it maintains inequality, patriarchy, and impunity. Presenting the stories of other women who have suffered at the hands of strangers, intimate partners, and the security forces, this work reveals the deeply gendered nature of power and violence in Guatemala.