Six months after the murder of Berta Caceres, far from forgetting, people throughout the world demanded justice and vowed to continue her organizing work in defense of land and territory locally, regionally and internationally.
Nadia’s strength, creativity, bravery and determination to create a world of justice is a legacy to learn from. It’s vital to follow Nadia’s lead, to seek justice for her, Yesenia, Mile, Alejandra, Rubén, and the thousands of other victims of human rights violations in Mexico. It is crucial to continue the fight to change our world so this epidemic of violence against women, and women human rights defenders comes to an end. Women of the world have the right to live full lives, and to be their whole selves, in peace.
It’s been two years since Rocío Mesino, environmental and human rights activist, was shot to death in broad daylight in the Mexican state of Guerrero while helping rebuild a community destroyed by a hurricane. It’s been two years of impunity, and a rise in violence against women human rights defenders, defensoras, in Mexico. Rocío is one of many defenders who lost her life for protecting others.
Bishop Jesús Delgado, third in line from the Archbishop of El Salvador and the leader of the effort to canonize the martyr Archbishop Oscar Arnulfo Romero, has been suspended from all his functions in the Catholic Church after confessing to having sexually abused a nine-year-old girl.
The defensoras, or women human rights defenders, embody courage every moment as systematic violence has broadened its target toward them as a way to disempower women activists, weaken movements for social change, and maintain the patriarchal, militarized Mexican State. Women human rights defenders risk their lives every day to create a Mexico where being a woman doesn’t inherently mean a doomed fate.