Mexico

The recent attack on CIMAC's office in Mexico is another example of the reality that women human rights defenders on the frontlines face serious reprisals for their work. In 2009 and 2010, thousands of defenders from across Mesoamerica collaborated to denounce violations and murders.
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Looking back at JASS' Movement Building Initiative in Mesoamerica, Southeast Asia, and Southern Africa
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Marisela Escobedo Ortiz was murdered on December 16, 2010 on the steps of the Chihuahua State Government Palace. She was demanding justice for her own daughter, Rubi Marisol Frayre, murdered in Ciudad Juarez.  Frayre’s killer was released by authorities despite confessing to the crime and leading investigators to her burned remains in a city dump.
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In the face of increased insecurity and violence against defensoras in Mesoamerica, JASS and allies have joined forces on a regional WHRD initiative to strengthen women’s knowledge and strategies against violence, and engage regional and international human rights mechanisms to put pressure on governments to take action.
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If the Mexican government didn't respond to a ruling from the Inter-American Court on Human Rights (IACHR), perhaps they will accede to a media campaign with international pressure behind it. Despite the landmark ruling won by Inés Fernández Ortega and Valentina Rosendo Cantú in October, the Mexican government has yet to initiate prosecution of the perpetrators. The two Me’phaa indigenous women were raped in 2002 and continue to suffer harassment. Read more.
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On June 30, Mexico’s Supreme Court of Justice fully exonerated 12 community land rights activists from San Salvador Atenco, Mexico, each of whom had previously been sentenced to between 31 and 112 years in prison for crimes allegedly committed during clashes with the Mexican government in 2006.
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Women human rights defenders often suffer threats, intimidation and even death for their work. The rising security crisis in Mesoamerica and the deterioration of State institutions have left women human rights defenders in the region unprotected and under threat. JASS and its partners convened a three-day meeting in Oaxaca, Mexico from April 23 – 25, 2010. Nearly 60 women human rights defenders gathered to analyze and develop more effective strategies to respond and protect themselves.
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In May 2006, Mexican police responded with violence to protests in the town of San Salvador Atenco, killing two people, injuring many more, and indiscriminately detaining town residents, as well as other bystanders not involved in the confrontation. Of the hundreds detained, at least 45 were women, many of whom were beaten, raped, and otherwise assaulted by police while in state custody.
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On June 30, Mexico’s Supreme Court of Justice fully exonerated 12 community land rights activists from San Salvador Atenco, Mexico, each of whom had previously been sentenced to between 31 and 112 years in prison for crimes allegedly committed during clashes with the Mexican government in 2006. JASS Mesoamerica Regional Coordinator Marusia López Cruz has worked directly with the families of the incarcerated activists since 2007, connecting their struggle for justice to international advocacy efforts, including coordinating multiple advocacy visits to Mexico by 1997 Nobel Peace Laureate Jody Williams.
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Emblematic of the violence and impunity facing Mesoamerican women, two young women – family members of two women’s human rights defenders – were brutally murdered in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico on November 28th and 29th.
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