Members of Jalisco’s Latin American and Caribbean Committee for the Defense of Women’s Rights (CLADEM) experienced on November 25th and December 9th two highly serious attacks that placed their lives and personal integrity at risk.
On November 25, 2021, as we celebrated the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, one of our compañeras received a death threat from a man on a motorcycle who intercepted her as she was driving along slowly in her car. He pointed a gun at her and said, “You’re messing with the wrong guy,” before speeding away.
Then just days ago, on December 9th, another CLADEM member was assaulted while walking down the street. Several assailants tried to subdue her and force her into a vehicle, but she resisted the attack and was able to escape. She found safety in a nearby store, where she stayed until she received help and protection assistance.
Both of these attacks are extremely serious offences that sound an alert regarding the risks faced by women human rights defenders in Mexico. The attempts on the lives, liberty, and personal security of our sisters are a reflection of the scorn and contempt they face and they also highlight the absence of protection guarantees.
We strenuously call on the responsible authorities in the Mexico and Jalisco State governments to act swiftly and diligently in investigating and sanctioning both the masterminds and direct perpetrators of these attacks, and we further demand the immediate implementation of protective measures for our compañeras at risk.
The rise in attacks on women human rights defenders and journalists in Mexico must be a government priority. Lags in investigations, perpetuation of impunity, and absence of guarantees for engaging in the active pursuit, promotion, and defense of human rights for women and girls should no longer pose a danger for these defenders.
We of IM-Defensoras, the National Network of Women Human Rights Defenders in Mexico, CLADEM of Mexico, and the fifteen countries that make up the CLADEM NETWORK send a warm embrace to our compañeras in CLADEM of Jalisco. For more than a decade, they have carried on human rights defense work in defense in a climate of multiple forms of violence perpetrated by numerous actors. This violence has heightened year after year, together with the excruciating record of sisters murdered, disappeared, threatened, displaced, and harassed, to mention only a few of the attacks endured.
We call on the national and international community and on its collectives and organizations to stand in solidarity with our compañeras and to stay abreast of the situation.
We defenders and activists for the rights of women and girls will not stop until all forms of violence against us cease to exist. Our voices will not be silenced.