The Nobel Women's Initiative and JASS (Just Associates) released findings today from a fact-finding delegation to Mexico, Honduras, and Guatemala that found the violence against women in the three countries has reached "crisis proportions."
The report, "From Survivors to Defenders: Women Confronting Violence in Mexico, Honduras & Guatemala," outlines evidence that gender violence in the region has substantially increased, as funding to military and police has risen.
A women's delegation of human rights activists, journalists, and foreign policy experts, led by Nobel Peace Laureates Jody Williams and Rigoberta Menchu Tum, traveled to the region from January 21-31, 2012. The delegation gathered evidence and heard testimonies from over 200 women survivors of violence, grassroots organizers, journalists, and human rights advocates. The group also held meetings with Honduran President Porfirio Lobo, Mexican President Otto Perez Molina, Mexican Attorney General Marisela Morales, and other high-level officials to discuss the rising levels of violence by state security forces and continuing levels of impunity for crimes of gender violence.
The delegation found:
On average, one woman is murdered every day in Honduras - a country with the highest per capita homicide rate in the world. Femicides rose 257% between 2002 and 2010. During the same period, US military and police aid almost doubled to Honduras, and more recently, US military and police aid tripled.
In Mexico, femicides have gone up 40% since 2006. US military and police aid to Mexico rose by 2400% - from US 20 million dollars in 2000 to US 500 million dollars in 2010. In the border state of Chihuahua (where systematic femicide was detected in Ciudad Juarez as far back as 1993), femicide increased by 1,000% between 2007 and 2010 - the period when Operation Chihuahua, a drug war offensive supported by the US government, was launched.
685 women were assassinated in Guatemala in 2010, compared to 213 in 2000. US military and police aid to Guatemala in 2010 is three times higher than it was in 2000.
The report includes recommendations to the Government's of Mexico, Honduras, and Guatemala aimed at tackling the widespread gender violence perpetrated by the military and police forces, prosecuting and properly investigating gender violence, as well as complying with international protocols and judgements from international human rights tribunals. The report also includes recommendations to the Governments of the United States and Canada with a focus on ensuring corporate social responsibility for companies operating within the region, as well as reviewing the framework for cooperation to ensure human rights is made a priority.
Download the Executive Summary of the delegation's findings. View the full report online.
Join JASS and the Nobel Women's Initiative on Twitter:
Wednesday, June 6 at 12:30pm EST - Hashtag: #defensoras
JASS's Executive Director Lisa VeneKlasen will answer your questions about the key findings of the report - live - and explain how the public can help.