Women Lead Latin America’s Growing Anti-Militarization Movements

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.

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The Murdered Women of Juarez

Marisela Escobedo’s life changed forever in August 2008 when her 16-year-old daughter Rubi failed to come home. What was left of Rubi’s body was found months later in a dump — 39 pieces of charred bone.

Rubi became one more macabre statistic in Ciudad Juarez’s nearly two-decade history of femicide. The murder of young women, often raped and tortured, brought international infamy to the city long before it became the epicenter of the Calderon drug war and took on the added title of murder capital of the world.

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War Crimes against Women: A Private Hell

It is easy to think of impunity as a sin of omission. The hand not raised in protest appears genteel alongside the hand stained with the blood of the victim. Yet we learned from the testimonies of women on the frontlines of battle for gender justice that impunity not only perpetuates crimes against women, it teaches generation after generation how to continue the practice. Laura Carlsen writes from the International Gender Justice Dialogue in Mexico.

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Special Updater on Violence Against Women in the Americas: Honduras: Violations of Womens’ Rights, Abortion in Argentina and Mexico, Gender in Workplace

As we take stock of the situation in the Americas several situations jump out. The first is the massive violations of women’s human rights in Honduras under the coup regime. In this Special Issue of the Updater we present the full report presented before the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights.

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