There are 35 Houses of Indigenous and Afro-Mexican Women (CAMIs) in Mexico. These houses are refuges for women living in violent situations. Their service focuses on sexual and reproductive rights and the prevention of and care for gender violence. They receive their resources through the Indigenous Rights Program part of the National Institute of Indigenous Peoples (INPI).
Despite the fact that the services for violence against women were declared “essential” during the COVID-19 pandemic, those who care for indigenous women were left penniless by the government in full contingency, the media have denounced.
The importance of CAMIs is that they serve populations that many authorities do not reach. There, indigenous women and girls who experience gender violence can find support, guidance and advice in their language. They confirm that they have seen an increase in victims of violence during the confinement of the SARS-CoV-2 virus pandemic.
Since April, the INPI reported the suspension of publication of results and, therefore, payment of money for all grants from the Indigenous Rights Program was suspended. The argument was that there are no conditions for the projects and to protect the beneficiaries, despite the fact that the CAMI are already underway and some have temporary houses that serve as a refuge for women who are victims of family violence.
In January of this year, a call for support was made and although it was promised that information would be given no later than April 30th, as yet no response has been received and it is feared that the resources with which indigenous women throughout the country are helped will be cancelled.
Animal Politico media asked the INPI about this situation, but were told that it is no longer in their hands: it was the Ministry of Finance that had decided to reserve the money that was destined to this program to use for the COVID-19 emergency.
For more information in Spanish:
Hacienda retiene los recursos para atención a violencia contra mujeres indígenas, Animal Politico, 4 de mayo de 2020
Mujeres indígenas víctimas de violencia en desamparo, Reporte Indigo, 4 de mayo de 2020
Casas de la Mujer Indígena: recortes a proyectos que salvan vidas, La Jorndada, 8 de mayo de 2020
For more information from SIPAZ:
National Strike – A Day without Women (March 13, 2020)
National: Historic Women’s Day In Mexico (March 11, 2020)