JASS Mesoamerica

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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Nine years after the last official visit to Mexico, JASS organized an unofficial visit from the Special Rapporteur which served as a useful benchmark to assess Mexican women’s access to a life free of violence.
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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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JASS is proud to announce that the Mesoamerican Women Human Rights Defenders Initiative has been honored with the 2014 Letelier-Moffitt International Award for Human Rights. This award affirms the importance of women’s perspectives and a movement-building approach to human rights work particularly in violent contexts.
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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.
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Join us on Thursday, March 27th at the JASS Office in Washington, D.C. for an event co-hosted by WOLA on the protection of women human rights defenders in Mexico and Central America. Register now!
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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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Read reflections about the achievements, lessons and experiences of the Mesoamerican Women Human Rights Defenders Initiative and how it has contributed to the protection of women defenders.  “Paving the Road for Freedom and Equality” highlights the efforts and details the IMD's support of women defenders in Mexico and Central America who carry out their justice work in a context of extreme violence, violence against those who dedicate their lives to justice and the defense of universal human rights.  
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February 18, 2014Mexico City, Mexico Open Letter to: Enrique Peña Nieto, Presidente de México Barack Obama, President of the United States
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