Some things never change. In Haiti, no matter the century or decade in question, one can be certain that: the state and elite are trouncing the rights and needs of the majority, the population is protesting to demand land and justice, and the international community is taking the wrong side.
The sum of the sovereign debt emissions by all of the world’s treasuries constitutes an enormous financial market concentrated in a few principal currencies and legal jurisdictions.
Honduras has been rated by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) as the country with the highest homicide rate in the world from 2010 until 2012, when the most recent report was issued.1 From 2005 to 2013, the number of violent deaths of women rose by 263.4%. This violence is the result of multiple factors, including high levels of economic inequity and inequality, poverty, corruption, militarization, and an ever increasing presence of organized crime and drug trafficking, all of which has a strong negative impact on the human rights of the population, and on the lives of women in particular.
Yakiri, a victim of sexual assault, discusses discrimination in Mexico’s criminal justice system after being released from prison. She still faces charges even though the killing of her would-be rapist was ruled an act of self-defense.
When violence is attacked with violence, women become both victims and defenders. They are disproportionately and differently affected by violence, violation of human rights and the erosion of community. Yet Mesoamerican and the U.S. governments continue to fund militarist enforcement policies framed as counternarcotics or anti-terrorism that arm and train men to patrol and control the population that put women at great risk.
Twenty years since the alarm was first sounded in Ciudad Juarez, Chihuahua due the large number of women murdered with signs of torture and sexual abuse, the phenomenon has spread to the rest of the country.
Our International Observatory of Women’s Human Rights and Resistance formed with the premise that women’s human rights cannot be supported in a non-democratic society and democracy cannot develop in a climate of human rights violations, such as Honduras’. We found that neither democracy nor human rights fared well in the Honduras elections.
Women’s organizations are raising a red flag on Nicaragua. In a hearing of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights on March 12, they reported rising violence against women, corruption and abuse of power in government when dealing with the crimes, and the increasing vulnerability of girls and young women.
Josefina Reyes began her career as a human rights organizer the way thousands of women across the globe do: defending her family and her community. The middle-aged mother staged a hunger strike to demand the safe return of her son after Mexican soldiers abducted him from their home. She lost another son to drug-war violence that has taken over the Valle de Juarez, where her family lives. Josefina spoke out against the violence and against abuses committed by the army and police. On Jan. 5, 2010, Josefina Reyes was shot to death.
When George W. Bush left the White House, the rest of the world breathed a sigh of relief. The National Security Doctrine of unilateral attacks, the invasion of Iraq under the false pretext of weapons of mass destruction, and the abandonment of multilateral forums had opened up a new phase of U.S. aggression. Despite the focus on the Middle East, the increased threat of U.S. military intervention cast a long shadow over many parts of the world.
Two years later, that sense of relief has given way to deep concern. After hopes of a something closer to FDR’s Good Neighbor Policy of (relative) non-intervention, we find ourselves facing a new wave of militarization in Latin America–supported and promoted by the Obama administration.