Dealing with conflict

The recent attack on CIMAC's office in Mexico is another example of the reality that women human rights defenders on the frontlines face serious reprisals for their work. In 2009 and 2010, thousands of defenders from across Mesoamerica collaborated to denounce violations and murders.
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In the face of increased insecurity and violence against defensoras in Mesoamerica, JASS and allies have joined forces on a regional WHRD initiative to strengthen women’s knowledge and strategies against violence, and engage regional and international human rights mechanisms to put pressure on governments to take action.
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If the Mexican government didn't respond to a ruling from the Inter-American Court on Human Rights (IACHR), perhaps they will accede to a media campaign with international pressure behind it. Despite the landmark ruling won by Inés Fernández Ortega and Valentina Rosendo Cantú in October, the Mexican government has yet to initiate prosecution of the perpetrators. The two Me’phaa indigenous women were raped in 2002 and continue to suffer harassment. Read more.
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JASS joined regional and international human rights allies in solidarity with the teachers’ union movements of Honduras whose members were attacked by Honduran military and police forces in Tegucigalpa, August 27 – 8.
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Eva Susanti, an activist trained and supported by JASS Southeast Asia, is being held by police in Indonesia. Susanti’s colleagues at JASS SEA have launched a letter writing campaign, calling on Indonesian authorities to release her. Along with local farmers and their families, Susanti was speaking out against the environmental destruction wrecked by the palm oil industry.
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Police raided the offices of Gays and Lesbians of Zimbabwe on May 21 and arrested two people.
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Women human rights defenders often suffer threats, intimidation and even death for their work. The rising security crisis in Mesoamerica and the deterioration of State institutions have left women human rights defenders in the region unprotected and under threat. JASS and its partners convened a three-day meeting in Oaxaca, Mexico from April 23 – 25, 2010. Nearly 60 women human rights defenders gathered to analyze and develop more effective strategies to respond and protect themselves.
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On June 30, Mexico’s Supreme Court of Justice fully exonerated 12 community land rights activists from San Salvador Atenco, Mexico, each of whom had previously been sentenced to between 31 and 112 years in prison for crimes allegedly committed during clashes with the Mexican government in 2006. JASS Mesoamerica Regional Coordinator Marusia López Cruz has worked directly with the families of the incarcerated activists since 2007, connecting their struggle for justice to international advocacy efforts, including coordinating multiple advocacy visits to Mexico by 1997 Nobel Peace Laureate Jody Williams.
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Pepe Lobo was inaugurated as the new president of Honduras today. After the inauguration, ousted president Mel Zelaya left Honduras with a "salvo conducto" pass from the new government. Although the Resistance opposed it, the new congress voted yesterday to grant amnesty to everyone involved with the military coup that took place on June 28th, 2009.
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We have been receiving message from Daysi, a young woman who is a feminist in Honduras, writing from the frontlines in Honduras. 22 September, 2009 - Tegucigalpa, Honduras
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