Dec 16, 2011

Women Human Rights Defenders in Mexico Face Threats, Violence

CIP Americas Program: "Mexico is facing a major human rights and humanitarian crisis. Fifty thousand people have been murdered in the war on drugs just since 2007. Thousands more have been displaced, orphaned and forcibly disappeared.

... This crisis has revealed a deeper and more ingrained institutional crisis. While thousands of crimes are committed in the context of the current violence, the justice system fails to prosecute even a tiny fraction of them. Rampant corruption, accepted as a way of life in normal times, now erodes any attempt to bring the situation under control.

Although a peace movement has arisen that seeks to support justice for the victims and advocates policy changes in dialogue with government officials, the number of new cases emerging far surpasses its capacity to address them.

The gendered aspects of the crisis remain invisible. Women are a minority of the victims, but it is usually women who lead efforts to bring about justice in the cases of their loved ones and their communities. These bold human rights defenders have become targets, with little means of protection or support. Gender-based violence has risen precipitously under cover of a society engulfed in violence and lacking basic institutional capacity—or political will– to deal with it." read more

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