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Violence against Women Human Rights Defenders in Mesoamerica

2012 Assessment Report

The Mesoamerican Initiative of Women Human Rights Defenders (IMDefensoras) was launched in 2010 by a group of non-governmental organizations, dedicated to the defense and promotion of womens human rights. These organizations agreed on the necessity of coming together and organizing to create support mechanisms for WHRDs at risk.

In April of 2010, the IM-Defensoras called together 55 organizations and WHRDs from diverse social movements in Mesoamerica to define a networking strategy.

They met in Oaxaca, Mexico, at the First Gathering (Encuentro) of WHRDs to discuss the Mesoamerican context, security problems, and the needs of WHRDs.

H I S T O RY 1

As the process continued, rapid responses to WHRDs at risk were developed and implemented and regional alliances created.

The national networks evolved out of the Gathering in Mexico in order to share information and as an informal way for WHRDs in Mesoamerica to organize amongst themselves.

In the three years since its creation, IM-Defensoras has initiated and supported the creation and strengthening of networks in Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Costa Rica and El Salvador that are participated in by more than 300 WHRDs.

Violence against Women Human Rights Defenders in Mesoamerica

2012 Assessment Report

Honduras, Mexico, Guatemala and el Salvador all have their own National Networks.

The Mesoamerican Registry of Attacks on WHRDs has been in operation since 2011.

H I S T O RY 2

Two assessments have been produced and published to date Violence against WHRDs in Mesoamerica: An assessment in progress (updated 2010-11)
Unlike previous assessments, the 2012 Assessment Report is the first to use data from the Mesoamerican Registry of Aggressions against WHRDs. It includes a systematization of data from the Registry concerning the period of January-December 2012 in El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Mexico.

2012 Asessment Report: Violence against WHRDs in Mesoamerica

There is still the challenge of developing capacity in Nicaragua, Costa Rica and Panama.

Violence against Women Human Rights Defenders in Mesoamerica

2012 Assessment Report

The Mesoamerican Registry of Attacks against WHRDs collects information on attacks against women who defend human rights in the region.

While the registry is an important step forward, its important to acknowledge that under-reporting persists, a challenge with diverse causes and that is more prevalent in cases of violence against WHRDs.

T H E M E S OA M E R I C A N R E G I S T RY O F AT TAC K S O N W H R D s

The data is systematized, quantified and analyzed with gender indicators that permit the in-depth study of the specific challenges faced by WHRDs. This in turn brings to light and quantifies the violence, and allows the causes of this specific violence targeting WHRDs in the region to be examined.
BECOME AWARE OF AN ATTACK REGISTRY FORM

ANALYSIS

SIYSTEMIZATION OF THE INFORMATION

VALIDATION OF THE INFORMATION

Who is a Woman Human Rights Defender?


A woman who, individually or in association with others, acts to promote or protect human rights including womens rights.

Why use a gender approach to analyze the situation of Women Human Rights Defenders?
A gender perspective ensures that no attack is overlooked because it occurs in the context of the defenders private life. This in turn can eliminate aspects of structural discrimination against women, which can hinder or put at risk the defense of human rights, and also hold states accountable for permitting, covering up or ignoring the effects that discrimination and violence against women has on WHRDs.

Why pay special attention to the situation of WHRDs?


The diverse UN protection mechanisms, in particular the Special Rapporteur on HRDs, have reiterated on numerous occasions that WHRDs run a greater risk of suffering particular forms of violence and violations, prejudices and forms of exclusion and rejection than their male colleagues. This appears to be linked to the fact that WHRDs question sociocultural norms, traditions, perceptions and accepted stereotypes of femininity, sexual orientation and the role and situation of women in society. WHRDs work is commonly understood to be at odds with the concept of the traditional family, a belief which can condone and perpetuate forms of violence and oppression against women. In certain contexts, this can provoke hositility or the absence of support from the general population or the authorities.

Violence against Women Human Rights Defenders in Mesoamerica


THE WHRDs MOST AT RISK WORK IN RURAL CONTEXTS

2012 Assessment Report

WHRDs WERE ASSASSINATED FROM 2010 TO 2012 PERPETRATORS 87% STATE ACTORS

38

414
ATTACKS
NO COMPLAINT FILED

MESOAMERICA

REPORTED

217

50

PROVIDED/ 147 NO INFORMATION UNKNOWN

IN 40% OF THE ATTACKS A GENDER COMPONENT WAS IDENTIFIED


TOP 5 RIGHTS BEING DEFENDED BY WHRDs WHO WERE ATTACKED

Municipal authorities (26.8%), state/departmental/ provincial authorities (23.7%), police (14.5%), military officers (14.3%), and national authorities (7%)

Defending land, territory and natural resources Right to a life free of violence (feminicide) Right to information and liberty of expression Right to defend rights Womens right to political and community pariticipation

157 61 47 43 31

37.9% 14.7% 11.4% 10.4% 7.5%

34.6% PRIVATE ACTORS


Companies/businesses (24.2%), private security firms (10.4%)

156% SOMEONE CLOSE TO THE WHRD


Community (7.7%), family members and close friends (4.3%), traditional community authorities (3.6%), members within the WHRDs organization or social movement (1.0%) MXICO 118 attacks, 28.50% (2012) 28 assassinations (2010-2012)
2010- Beatriz Cario (Oaxaca); Josefina Reyes, Marisela Escobedo and Mara Isabel Cordero Martnez (Chihuahua); Mara Elvira Hernndez Galeana (Guerrero) and Selene Hernndez Len (Estado de Mxico). 2011- Mara Magdalena Reyes, Luisa Ornelas and Susana Chvez (Chihuahua); Isabel and Reyna Ayala Nava (Guerrero); Carmela Elisarraraz Mndez (Michoacn); Brbara Lezama (Puebla); Julia Marichal, Ana Mara Marcela Yarce Viveros and Roco Gonzlez (Distrito Federal); Yolanda Ordaz (Veracruz) and Mara Elizabeth Macas Castro (Tamaulipas). 2012- Agnes Torres Hernndez (Puebla); Regina Martnez (Veracruz); Durvin Ramrez Daz (Tabasco); Manuela Martha Sols Contreras (Chihuahua); Juventina Villa Mojica and Fabiola Osorio Bernldez (Guerrero) and Renata Espinoza Reyes.

GUATEMALA 126 attacks, 30.43% (2012) 4 assassinations (2010-2012)


2010- Evelinda Ramrez Reyes. 2011- Margarita Chub Che, Catalina Muc Maas, Emilia; Margarita Quan Staakmann.

HONDURAS 119 attacks, 28.74% (2012) 9 assassinations (2010-2012) EL SALVADOR 51 attacks, 12.32% (2012)
2010- Claudia Brisuela; Teresa Flores;Jessica Glvez; Janeth Lourdes Marroqun;Vanessa Zepeda; and Neraldys Perdomo e Imperia Gamaniel Parson. 2011- Ilse Ivania Velsquez and Reina Meja.

Violence against Women Human Rights Defenders in Mesoamerica


Agnes Torres (Puebla) Regina Martnez (Veracruz) Durvin Ramrez (Tabasco) Manuela Martha Sols (Chihuahua) Juventina Villa (Guerrero) Fabiola Osorio (Guerrero) Renata Espinoza (Edomex)

2012 Assessment Report

WHRDs WERE ASSASSINATED FROM 2010 TO 2012

26

118
ATTACKS IMPUNITY

MEXICO

OF THEM IN 2012

99%

8 OF THE WHRDs HAD ALREADY BEEN GRANTED PROTECTIVE MEASURES AT THE MOMENT THEY WERE ATTACKED
7 MAIN TYPES OF PERPETRATORS 5 MAIN TYPES OF ATTACKS
TOP 5 RIGHTS BEING DEFENDED BY WHRDs WHO WERE ATTACKED

CHIHUAHUA 9 attacks (2012) 3 assassinations (2010) 3 assassinations (2011) 1 assassination (2012)

COHAUILA 5 attacks (2012) TAMAULIPAS 1 assassination (2011) MICHOACAN 1 assassination (2011) EDOMEX 1 assassination (2010) 1 assassination (2012) MXICO DF 13 attacks (2012) 3 assassinations (2011) VERACRUZ 6 attacks (2012) 1 assassination (2011) 1 assassination (2012)

GUERRERO 7 attacks (2012) 1 assassination (2010) 2 assassinations (2011) 2 assassinations (2012) PUEBLA 7 attacks (2012) 1 assassination (2011) 1 assassination (2012)

TABASCO 3 attacks (2012) 1 assassination (2012)

OAXACA 50 attacks (2012) 1 assassination (2010)

CHIAPAS 4 attacks (2012)

Violence against Women Human Rights Defenders in Mesoamerica


RIGHTS BEING DEFENDED BY THE WHRDs WHO WERE ATTACKED

2012 Assessment Report

TOP 7 MAIN TYPES OF ATTACKS

ATTACKS

51

EL SALVADOR

41.5%
OF PERPETRATORS ARE STATE ACTORS EXTREMELY MISOGYNIST CONTEXT
ABORTION IS CRIMINALIZED IN ALL CIRCUMSTANCES RATE OF FEMICIDES: 12/100,000
SAN SALVADOR SANTA ANA

C I M E D N PA UN
ATTACKS BY DEPARTMENT

18
CUSCATLN

LA LIBERTAD

12
SAN VICENTE

Violence against Women Human Rights Defenders in Mesoamerica


RIGHTS DEFENDED BY THE WHRDs WHO WERE ATTACKED

2012 Assessment Report

THE 8 MAIN TYPES OF ATTACK

ATTACKS

119

HONDURAS

OF ATTACKS ARE STATE ACTORS


SINCE THE 2009 COUP DETAT
RATES OF FEMINICIDE ARE UP 246.3%

62.4%

THE HIGHEST HOMICIDE RATE IN THE WORLD: 86/100,000


CORTS 5 ATLNTIDA 4 COLN 53

C I M E D N PA UN
AGRESIONES POR DEPARTTAMENTO

ATTACKS BY DEPARTMENT

VALLE 24

FRANCISCO MORAZN 33

Violence against Women Human Rights Defenders in Mesoamerica


THE 8 MAIN RIGHTS THE WHRDs WHO WERE ATTACKED WERE DEFENDING

2012 Assessment Report

8 MAIN ATTACKS

ATTACKS

126

GUATEMAL A

42.6%
OF THE KNOWN PERPETRATORS WERE STATE ACTORS 8 OF THE WHRDs HAD ALREADY BEEN GRANTED PROTECTIVE MEASURES WHEN THEY WERE ATTACKED
IT IS THE COUNTRY IN THE REGION THAT HAD THE MOST ATTACKS IN 2012
THE ARRIVAL OF THE RETIRED GENERAL OTTO PEREZ MOLINA TO GOVERNMENT HAS LEAD TO A REMILITIRISATION OF THE STATE STRUCTURES
QUICH (14) PETEN (2)
ATTACKS BY AGRESIONES POR DEPARTMENT DEPARTTAMENTO

HUEHUETENANGO (2)

ALTA VERAPAZ (6) IZABAL (1)

QUETZALTENANGO (1)

JALAPA (5) CHIQUIMULA (1) GUATEMALA (55) JUTIAPA (1)

SOLOL (17)

CHIMALTENANGO (2)

SANTA ROSA (16)