RODI ALVARADO PEÑA may have been spared the fate of some 4,000 women in Guatemala who have lost their lives over the past decade because of domestic violence.
Ms. Alvarado suffered years of abuse at the hands of her husband, who routinely punched and kicked her, threatened her with his machete, and at least once brutalized her in an attempt to induce a miscarriage. Ms. Alvarado repeatedly called the police, but they declined to assist her, saying it was not their business to intervene in marital disputes. She escaped to another part of Guatemala with her children, but her husband, a member of the military, easily tracked her down and dragged her back. She ultimately fled the country in 1995, arrived in California, where she has relatives, and filed for asylum.
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