On May 20, the offices of JASS’ key media partner in Mexico, the Women’s Information and Communication Centre (CIMAC), were raided. “We cannot ignore the fact that these attacks against CIMAC are related to the work they do and are intended to intimidate, threaten and curb their efforts to defend and promote women’s human rights defenders in Mexico.” JASS and more than 100 civil society organizations signed a joint declaration condemning the raid and demanding authorities to investigate.
The Mesoamerican Initiative on Women Human Rights Defenders (WHRD) recently released an updated version of Violence against Women Human Rights Defenders in Mesoamerica. Coordinated by JASS’ Marusia Lopez Cruz, the 2011 report includes new cases and fresh analysis from national and regional WHRD processes and networks. The personal testimonials show that not only is the violence worsening, but the families of defenders are also at risk.
The regional Mesoamerican WHRD initiative aims to raise awareness of the violence against WHRDs and to strengthen women’s strategies to protect themselves from violations through immediate response mechanisms and networks for safety and support. The initiative is driven by a partnership between JASS Mesoamerica, the Association for Women’s Rights in Development (AWID), Unidad de Protección a Defensoras y Defensores de Derechos Humanos, Guatemala (UDEFEGUA), La Colectiva Feminista (El Salvador), Consorcio para el Diálogo Parlamentario y la Equidad Oaxaca (México) and the Central American Women’s Fund (FCAM).