Guatemala

This report brings you stories and insights from across the JASS network. Here, you'll read how different women see their world and the innovative ways they are challenging abuses of power and building deeply democratic alternatives.
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We are so excited to announce that the Mesoamerican Women Human Rights Defenders Initiative—a collaborative effort between JASS Mesoamerica and five partners—received the 2014 Letelier-Moffitt Human Rights Award on October 14th in Washington DC!
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With both the World Conference on Indigenous Peoples and the Climate Summit underway at the UN, far more important than official declarations will be who is allowed to speak and to be heard. Whose voice matters in this clash of worldviews.
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This issue of Making Change Happen examines the threats, challenges, strategies and aspirations of indigenous and rural women within the greater JASS community. Why this focus? There is plenty of evidence to indicate that indigenous and rural women are facing increasing difficulties throughout the world.
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U.S. security policy in Mexico and Central America, focused on militarized counter-narcotics efforts known as the war on drugs, has had severely negative effects on the region. This report analyzes the effects in four areas – militarization, drug policy, violence against women and forced migration—and examines the impact of this security policy on three countries: Mexico, Guatemala and Honduras.
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Across Mexico and Central America, indigenous women are leading their communities in efforts to defend their territories and natural resources against unregulated extraction projects and land grabs in the name of “development.” From Panama to El Salvador, women are exposing the injustices of multinational companies and their governments’ lax policies.
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"We are united in our diversity by a common experience of repression,” explained Aura Lolita Chavez Ixcaquic at an unusual gathering between 30 women human rights defenders in Central America and Mexico and 40 donors committed to advancing social justice and human rights.
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The work of women human rights defenders is essential to achieving democracy and peace, especially in violent contexts, and supporting their protection and wellbeing is vital. In Mexico and Central America, women defenders are organizing themselves amidst alarming violence against women and activists.
My mother followed my grandmother’s path, serving the people of her community. She was also a leader, supported low-income women by giving them raw material for their weavings. She was an artisan, trader, healer and huesera. It pained her greatly to recall and reminisce about her childhood, adolescence and adult life because she never had the opportunity to study; she was illiterate, but not afraid to speak in public. She would say: if I had studied, a lot of changes in my village would have occurred; I would have given more opportunity to the most needy.
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Over 145 international, regional and local organizations from 10 countries have signed a letter addressed to the heads of state of 9 countries in the Americas, - who will participate in the Summit of the Central American Integration System (SICA) - highlighting civil society concerns about security policies, human rights, violence against men and women human rights defenders, and other important subjects.
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