Mesoamerica - What's New

Urgent Actions & Appeals

We are deeply saddened and outraged by the assassination of Honduran activist—our sister and friend—Berta Cáceres, Coordinator of COPINH. Read JASS' official statement.
Read the demands compiled and shared by the Cáceres Family and COPINH. There has been "total secrecy that surrounds the investigation of her assassination and the attempts to criminalize members of COPINH and other human rights defenders..."

Regional

Throughout the world, many feminists and other women activists working for social justice or gender equality are reluctant to recognize themselves as human rights defenders either because they believe their work goes beyond the human rights framework; because they feel that by naming themselves as such, their political identity as feminists becomes blurred; because they think that the term is too focussed on the law or too dangerous in their particular contexts; because they fear retaliations
Violence against women activists continues to rise. Unfortunately, despite considerable effort, responses to this violence are coming up short. Given the urgency of the situation, JASS and allies are questioning the underlying assumptions guiding activist safety, and bringing a feminist and movement building perspective to rethinking the approach.
Italia Mendez refuses to be known the rest of her life as “one of the Atenco victims”. So instead she has become an outspoken global crusader against sexual torture by the state.

Blog Entries

The skies wept as together we received the month of September in the town of La Esperanza, Honduras. Hundreds of visitors brought with them hearts that beat to the rhythms of their struggles, their love and the many colors of their dreams; they brought their cameras, drums, pens, and the united cry to demand once and for all: Justice for Berta!
Surrounded by the tropical warmth and lush vegetation of Nicaragua, the breezes from Lake Managua and the gardens of Cantera refresh us. This historic popular education center created by women is our beautiful home during this week of reflection and learning. A gathering marked by laughter and tears and thoughtful discussion, 31 women from throughout the region come together to broaden and deepen their leadership, organizing efforts, and collective action.

Resources

Groundbreaking report by legal experts underscores Lenca testimonies of violence and intimidation.
Read the 6th installment of our Making Change Happen series, Rethinking Protection, Power, and Movements: Lessons from Women Human Rights Defenders in Mesoamerica, which brings a feminist and social movement perspective to the emerging conversations about the shifting dynamics of power and protection.

Women Crossing the Line

Berta Cáceres
In honor of Berta Cáceres, we share an earlier piece that spotlights some aspects of her journey as an indigenous leader in last few years. Thank you Berta for crossing many lines of courage and justice.