Honduras

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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JASS coauthored a report on the current situation of violence against women in Honduras presented to the UN Special Rapporteur on violence against women, Rashida Manjoo during her eight day visit to the country, often dubbed one of the world’s most violent countries.
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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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What's in play in these elections is not just the person and the party that will govern the next four years but the future of one of the most violent and impoverished nations on earth. For women, who often bear the brunt of trying to feed families, defend their homes and lands from forced displacement, and stand up for human rights, the scenarios do not look bright.
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As uncertainty and tension build, JASS Mesoamerica and our growing women defenders’ networks appeal to the international community to join us in speaking out on violence against women defenders and human rights violations in Honduras.
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Mahatma Gandhi used to say, “What is obtained with violence can only be maintained with violence”. It is with violence that the power elite successfully kidnapped democracy in our country. As much as they have wanted to disguise the truth by repeatedly lying in order to convince us that “national reconciliation” is underway, we are aware that this dictatorship that began with a coup d’état continues to destroy our lives and condemn many of us to death.
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National and international human rights organizations have indicated that this year’s elections in Honduras are being held amidst constant human rights violations, acts of violence and impunity, thus casting serious doubt on the process.
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