Marusia López

IM-Defensoras at Regional Dialogue‬ on "An Interchange of Good Practices: New challenges for the erradication of violence agaist women”

The Regional Dialogue‬ on the "Interchange of Good Practices: New challenges for the erradication of violence agaist women” took place last July 26 and 27 in Pachuca, Hidalgo, in Mexico. The event was co-organized by several different state and federal government entities along with a number of feminist and human rights organizations, and featured the participation of outstanding women human rights defenders associated with IM-Defensoras and several national networks. There was also a specific panel on the issue of women defenders, moderated by our co-coordinator Orfe Castillo.

Without a doubt, the high point of the inauguration ceremony, attended by the Secretary of the Interior, the Secretary of Foreign Relations and the Governor of the state of Hidalgo, was the moving speech by Irenea Buendía, a women’s rights defender from the State of Mexico, who received a standing ovation.

IreneaThe second speech, entitled “Protection of the Human Rights of Women and Children in the Inter-American Human Rights System, was given by Alejandra Nuño, a member of CEDEHM and the National Network of Women Human Rights Defenders in Mexico. Based on her experience in Chihuahua, she explained the challenges still pending regarding an effective implementation of the Inter-American mechanism in Mexico.

Alejandra Nuño

In the afternoon, Marusia López, of JASS, moderated the panel "The Identification of Good Practices for the Erradication of Violence. A Conceptual Approach.” In it, Alda Facio, Marcela Lagarde and Zarizanna Abdul Zaiz shared their experiences and thoroughgoing knowledge of the issue that comes from their strong, unyielding commitment to feminism and the defense of women’s human rights.


On the morning of the second day, Bettina Cruz, a member of the National Network of Women Human Rights Defenders in Mexico, participated in the panel on “The Diverse Experiences of Indigenous Women, Afro-Descendants and Women with Disabilities.” She explained the ways in which megaprojects and extractive industries affect indigenous women, based on her years of experience in defending the territory of the Isthmus of Tehuantepec.

Bettina Cruz

Next on the program were Imelda Marrufo and Lucía Lagunes, members of the National Network of Women Human Rights Defenders in Mexico, who participated in two simultaneous panels: "Measures for Overcoming Obstacles Faced by Women in Gaining Access to Justice,” and "The Necessary Accompaniment of Public Policies: How can we convince the news media to join in the struggle against violence?” Imelda spoke of the difficultlies in gaining access to justice by women in Chihuahua, specifically with regards to cases of forced disappearance and femicide.

Imelda Marrufo

Lucia underscored the need to include a gender perspective in the news media, as the only way to combat gender stereotypes and the misogynous violence inherent in our patriarchal societies.

Lucia Lagunes

The closing session of the event on Wednesday, July 27, featured a panel on "Women Human Rights Defenders and Journalists." Our Co-Coordinator Orfe Castillo had the task of presenting the speakers and moderating their remarks.

Orfe Castillo

Marusia López (JASS and IM-Defensoras) spoke of the context of violent attacks faced by women defenders in the region, based on data from our recent 2012-2014 Assessment Report on Attacks against Women Human Rights Defenders. The next to speak was Sara García, a member of the Salvadoran Network of Women Human Rights Defenders and the Citizen’s Group for the Decriminalization of Abortion. She explained the situation faced ty women defenders in El Salvador, emphasizing the impact that the absolute criminaliztion of abortion has on the work of women human rights defenders.

Sara Garcia

Flor Goche, who recently became Coordinator of the National Network of Women Human Rights Defenders, gave the audience an overview of the delicate situation faced by Mexican women defenders.

Flor Goche

The final presentation was given by Petra Hermillo, a member of the Women Workers’ Rights Defenders Collective of the state of Guerrero.


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