It’s the stuff of science fiction: machines that make decisions about who and when to kill. Referred to as “autonomous weapons”, they’re already in use to some degree. But as more sophisticated systems are being developed we wanted to an expert in the field about whether such systems comply with international humanitarian law and what it means for humanity to give machines the power over human life and death.
The CA-9 highway is Guatemala’s inter-oceanic route, connecting Puerto Quetzal, located on the shores of the Pacific Ocean, with Puerto Barrios on the Atlantic. Besides being one of the busiest routes in the country, the northern CA-9 is known to be one of the most dangerous. Unfortunately, 2022 was no exception. According to official data, the northern section of this highway registered the highest number of road accidents, with a total of 355.
Behind each of these numbers are real stories of people whose lives have been changed in an instant by an accident. Omar Ardón Duarte is one of those people. He had a bad accident at the entrance to Santo Tomás de Castilla and spent 22 days in a coma as a result of his injuries. For him, this was the place where his life changed completely, and made him aware of how quickly life can change in an instant: “One minute equals life or death,” he says.