Unraveling the crisis – weaving futures. Impacts of COVID-19 on the lives and struggles of Mesoamerican Women Human Rights Defenders

The facts and reflections presented below are a result of a mapping conducted by IM-Defensoras along with the networks and coordination spaces that make up the Initiative. The survey was conducted between 29 May and 4 July 2020, with the participation of 475 WHRDs located in El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, and Nicaragua. The aim of the research is to understand the impacts of COVID-19, and the responses by governments and other power-holders, on our lives, our political action, and our work in defense of human rights.

We complemented the analysis – particularly regarding pre-existing conditions that WHRDs were facing when the syndemic was triggered – with information from our internal report “Assessment of WHRD’s Practices for Self-Care, Collective Care, and Healing – 2019 Update.”

The mapping filled a gap in accessing detailed information on the impacts on WHRDs in Mesoamerica, regarding our health, economic situation, human rights promotion and defense, access to communication, threats received, and risks faced, among other indicators. The information we gathered has enabled us to strengthen our Feminist Holistic Protection responses at the local, national, and regional level at a time of uncertainty, increased restrictions, and new violations of our rights.

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