2024: We will continue weaving networks of life in the face of policies of death.

In the first nine months of 2023, between January and September, we made a preliminary record of 4,456 attacks against women defenders, organizations and collective actions in defense of human rights in El Salvador, Honduras, Mexico, and Nicaragua. This figure is in line with the trend from 2022, which left a balance of 4,803 attacks.

With pain and indignation, we reported that at least 6 sister defenders were killed: Marleni del Carmen Reyes, woman defender of the right to a life free from violence in El Salvador; Juana Maria Martinez, woman defender of the Indigenous Pech Peoples and Soraya Alvarez, trans defender of LGBTI rights in Honduras; Teresa Magueyal Ramirez, woman defender of the searchers’ collective “A Promise to Keep”, Ivanna Pantoja, trans defender of LGBTI rights, and Zulema Guadalupe Ramirez, woman defender of workers’ rights and member of the Sex Workers Network in Mexico. Many other compañeras suffered attempted femicides. All of these attacks remain uninvestigated and without justice for the families and organizations of those who lost their lives striving for a better world for all. 

States – through police agents, military officers, and public authorities – continue to be our main assailants. Behind their actions are power-holders that detain and disappear in the name of security, like in El Salvador; that seek to maintain colonial power through a coup d’état, like in Guatemala; that sustain an extractive logic that dispossesses communities from their place of life, like in Honduras; that impose terror in territories controlled by organized crime, like in Mexico; or that self-perpetuates through the totalitarian exercise of power, like in Nicaragua.

They attack us because through the diversity of our struggles and identities, we combat repressive policies imposed by a capitalist, racist and patriarchal system, and we rebel against those who want us to be submissive and silent. Because in the face of this culture of death, we weave networks that sustain life, healing and caring for our bodies and territories, strengthening our struggles and our conviction that another world is possible. 

Faced with the barbarism of war and plunder that kills our sisters in Palestine and the migrants who cross the borders of Europe and the United States, which continues to use our territories to satisfy its luxuries and privileges, we live the reality of solidarity, embodied support, feminist care and justice, and the joy that comes from rebelliousness. 

At IM-Defensoras, we know the year that is beginning will be no different to the one that is ending; we know that it may even be worse... Nevertheless, we know that not only in Mesoamerica but throughout the entire planet, we are a multitude of women human rights defenders who struggle against all of this, who continue to be on the side of life and that day after day we win small and big victories in our neighborhoods and cities, in our communities and territories. 

This is why we will begin 2024 the same way we end 2023, reaffirming our pact to care among ourselves and our vision of Feminist Holistic Protection, as a great collective embrace that covers the compañeras who day after day transform the world.

More statements: