JASS Mesoamerica

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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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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The adoption of the first-ever resolution on women human rights defenders by the United Nations General Assembly’s Third Committee is a step forward in protecting those who face risks and attacks for their work to promote human rights, including women’s rights.
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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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The first elections held in Honduras after the coup present opportunities and risks for the country. What do these elections mean for women’s rights? Women defenders differ on what can be expected from the political parties in this process—whether they serve the women’s emancipation struggle or pose an obstacle to it. In some aspects, they see possibilities for advancement and in others, no.  
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These three articles are part of a series written by JASS' Honduras Country Coordinator on the 2013 electoral process in Honduras from the perspective of women human rights defenders in the country.
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