The report Human-rights defenders in Mexico: Diagnostic 2010-2011: regarding the conditions and risks faced in the exercise of their work published by civil organizations concludes that 76% of the women dedicated to the defense of human rights are assaulted for reasons of their gender.
This indicates that three of every four female rights-defenders in Mexico have been victims of gender violence due to their work; of these 40% claim sexual violence to be the principal form of assault, while 12% find death-threats against their families and children to be principal, in accordance with the report presented on 19 January by Luis González Placencia, president of the Commission on Human Rights in Mexico City.
According to the report,l 45% of female defenders who were consulted find the State to be responsible for the attacks and threats, and that while the acts are “perpetrated by particular or unknown persons, they are directed by local, state, or federal authorities.” The remainder of the attacks and threats are attributed to “conservative groups, firms, media, and colleagues from the movement (this least likely).”
According to reported data, the most vulnerable activists are the indigenous, youth, and transsexuals due to their “lack of economic or affective autonomy, familial and/or sexual violence, and the innumerable difficulties involved in reconciling their familial life with their activism for human rights.”
The report stresses that violence against female defenders “seeks to blame and shame the victims, normalize or justify acts of aggression, ignore the words of women who denounce reprisals, isolate women from their nuclear family or community, seek the reproduction and legitimation of gender roles and stereotypes, and question and attack them when they participate in public affairs.”
The diagnostic report was compiled by means of the systematization of the responses of 50 female Mexican right-defenders during the first National Meeting of Human-Rights Defenders in Mexico and the Memories of the National Meetings of female defenders.
During the presentation it was explained that the report seeks to “recognize, visibilize, and generate solidarity and a culture of protection for female rights-defenders.”
For more information (in Spanish):
Víctimas de violencia de género, 75% de las defensoras de derechos humanos (La Jornada, 18 January 2012)
Sufre agresiones por género 76% de activistas proderechos humanos: estudio (Proceso, 18 January 2012)
Entrevista al Presidente de la CDHDF, Luis González Placencia, en la presentación de la investigación Defensoras de derechos humanos en México: Diagnósticos 2010-2011 sobre las condiciones y riesgos que enfrentan en el ejercicio de su trabajo (CDHDF, 19 January 2012)
Más del 70% de agresiones a defensoras de derechos humanos tienen componentes de violencia de género (CENCOS, 19 January 2012)
For more information from SIPAZ (in English):
Chiapas: activities on the International Day against Violence against Women (28 November 2011)
Oaxaca: Harassment and robbery of offices of Consorcio (14 November 2011)
Demand for end to feminicide in Oaxaca (8 September 2011)
Guerrero – briefs – Tierra Caliente is second-highest national location in number of feminicides; SCJN will analyze recommendations of the Inter-American Court in the case of Radilla (14 September 2010)