The Mesoamerican Initiative of Women Human Rights Defenders (IM-Defensoras) is a convergence that articulates feminist organizations and networks of women defenders from different Mesoamerican social movements.

We emerged in 2010 to address the violence we face in our territories because of our human rights defense and because we are women or persons with gender or sexual identities who challenge norms. This is how we contribute to protecting and strengthening our struggles, our organizations, and the social movements in which we participate.

Almost 3,000 women defenders and 300 organizations

Today, we are almost 3,000 women defenders and 300 organizations in Mesoamerica defending land, territory, and the environment; searching for our disappeared loved ones; demanding truth and justice; working for equality; accompanying migrants; exercising the right to free expression and impart information; defending public health, water, Indigenous Peoples’ rights, labor rights, LGBTTTIQ+ rights, women’s rights... As Mesoamerican women defenders, we strive to sustain these struggles in conditions of security, well-being, leadership, and autonomy by applying Feminist Holistic Protection (FHP) strategies.

We are


Mesoamerican Initiative of Women Human Rights Defenders

We call our political project to take care of ourselves together:

Feminist Holistic Protection (FHP)

How can you have secure communication with IM-Defensoras?

Contact us
women network

How do we do it?

We accompany women defenders, their organizations and communities facing situations of violence: risk analysis, protection plans, psychosocial support, health, healing, respite spaces, among other

We use a feminist lens to document the violence that women defenders experience in each country and regionally through the Mesoamerican Registry of Attacks

We promote self-care, collective care, and healing to recover from violence and to build a joyful activism that is not based on sacrifice; we have two houses – La Serena in Mexico and La Siguata in Honduras

We conduct advocacy and communications for protection: we embody support for women defenders’ struggles, we alert about violence, we demand that States and other spaces of power take responsibility, we activate solidarity

We promote digital care, building infrastructure and capacity for digital security and self-care in response to the growing virtualization of life

We mobilize resources to organize and protect ourselves with autonomy, based on our needs and knowledge

We systematize our experiences and learnings, developing FHP to strengthen our work and create collective knowledge

We weave national networks of protection among and for women defenders in Mesoamerica; these networks are the heart of our work

We refer to this set of actions – and many others that we conduct daily through our defenders’ networks and regional structure – as
This is the soul and purpose of IM-Defensoras.

How do we organize IM-Defensoras?

We are a convergence made up of national networks of women defenders, founding organizations, and a regional team. Each national network is made up of women defenders and organizations from different social movements; some organize themselves through territorial networks and they all have a coordinating operational team that promotes the work on Feminist Holistic Protection (FHP) within the country. We organize ourselves at the regional level through a directors’ team, coordinators and/or teams for each FHP strategy, and working groups or commissions. Our highest decision-making body is the Steering Group, which is made up of representatives from the networks, the founding organizations, and the regional team.