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IM-Defensoras recipient of the 2014 Letelier-Moffitt

Human Rights Award in ashington


IM-Defensoras pioneered the use of a gendered approach in the documentation and reporting of
attac!s against women human rights defenders in Mesoamerica"
#etween 2010 and 2014 it has helped impro$e the safet% and welfare of o$er 100 ad$ocates and their
families and has facilitated the de$elopment of &'0 defenders in Me(ico) Honduras) *uatemala) +l
,al$ador and -icaragua) to adopt practices in safet% and self care"
,ince 1./0 the Letelier-Moffitt award has ser$ed as a %earl% ac!nowledgement of the struggle for
rights in the 1nited ,tates and the Americas"
2e will continue wor!ing for the full protection of women human rights defenders) for the
continuation and ad$ancement of peace) e3ualit% and 4ustice in Me(ico and 5entral America26 IM-
Defensoras ,teering 5ommittee
The Iniciativa Mesoamericana de Defensoras de Derechos Humanos (IM-Defensoras, Mesoamerican Initiative for
Women Human Rights Defenders) will receive the Letelier-Moffitt award in Washington on Tuesda, !cto"er #$,
%&#$' This award, esta"lished in #()* " the Washington-"ased Institute for +olic ,tudies (I+,), will "e delivered
to IM-Defensoras for its wor- over the last four ears in defense of human rights'
The organi.ations leading IM-Defensoras (/D0102/3, 4onsorcio !a5aca, La 4olectiva 1eminista (The 1eminist
4ollective), 143M, 63,,, 3WID and Red de Defensoras de Honduras (Honduras Women Human Rights Defenders
7etwor-)) will "e attending the ceremon' The award will "e received " Marusia Lo8e. 4ru., a Me5ican national
who is regional director of 63,, Mesoamerica and coordinator of the Initiative from its ince8tion to date'
In %&#9 alone, regional wor- coordinated " IM-Defensoras su88orted hundreds of women human rights defenders,
their families and organi.ations which in turn im8roved their safet and well-"eing via emergenc resources,
regional and international urgent action, shelters, self-care strategies, counseling and case follow-u8 and training
s8aces' This su88ort has contri"uted to women human rights defenders: a"ilit to 8ersevere in their wor- for
e;ualit, <ustice and 8eace'
3lso, in Me5ico, Honduras, 0l ,alvador and 2uatemala, IM-Defensoras 8rom8ted the creation of national networ-s
of women human rights defenders wor-ing on varied themes to "e a"le to 8rovide "etter articulated and
com8rehensive su88ort'
IM-Defensora:s wor- includes is the creation of the first regional registration and documentation sstem for attac-s
against women human rights defenders, which identifies t8es of violence faced " women human rights defenders
for their wor- and its relationshi8 to gender discrimination, i'e', their status as women'
The data in the IM-Defensoras registr shows 8atterns of violence against women human rights defenders' =etween
%&#% and %&#9, for e5am8le, #,9>? attac-s on women human rights defenders in Me5ico, Honduras, 2uatemala and
0l ,alvador were recorded and "etween %&#& and 3ugust %&#9, at least $? women human rights defenders were
-illed "ecause of violence in these countries' These assaults were committed 8rimaril " ,tate agents "ut also "
individuals who were close to the victims, their famil mem"ers and even colleagues within their own organi.ations'
IM-Defensoras has documented how, in the Mesoamerican conte5t, gender discrimination contri"utes to and
increases the ris- faced " women human rights defenders' Women who defend and 8romote human rights face a
lac- of social recognition of their wor- as advocates and the "urden of domestic wor- and care@ also their wor- is
often in areas that have high rates of violence against women' However, it is remar-a"le to note women:s increased
determination, des8ite discrimination and violence, to ever da renew their commitment to <oin the fight for human
rights'
1or IM-Defensoras recognition "rings together and strengthens women human rights defenders who face retaliation
and o"stacles for carring out their wor-' It also calls on governments, societies and institutions to ensure conditions
of res8ect, e;ualit and 8rotection for all women so that the can contri"ute to the advancement of human rights'
=ut a"ove all, and "ecause of the im8act of networ-s, it is another reason to move forward and wor- together toward
com8rehensive 8rotection'
A7out IM-Defensoras
1ounded in %&#&, Iniciativa Mesoamericana de Mu<eres Defensoras de Derechos Humanos (The Mesoamerican
Initiative for Women Human Rights Defenders) addresses the s8ecific situation of women human rights defenders in
Me5ico and 4entral 3merica within the historical conte5t of discrimination and gender ine;ualit'
The o"<ective of IM-Defensoras is to generate com8rehensive 8rotection alternatives that esta"lish safet measures
and self-care, to res8ond to the violence faced " women human rights defenders in their wor-, aware of the gender
conditions that affect them and thus contri"ute to sustaina"ilit in the defense and 8romotion of human rights and
strengthening the rule of law and democrac'
4urrentl IM-Defensoras su88orts over 9?& women human rights defenders in five countriesA Me5ico, Honduras,
2uatemala, 0l ,alvador and 7icaragua, committed to designing and 8romoting 8rotective measures and to
documenting and re8orting assaults against them'
IM-Defensoras has 8romoted the creation of national networ-s of women human rights defenders which are
currentl active in $ countriesA Me5ico, 2uatemala, 0l ,alvador and Honduras' Women in these networ-s defend a
"road range of human rights and and contri"ute as individuals , mem"ers of social movements or civil societ
organi.ations whether women-focused or mi5ed
IM-Defensoras is coordinated " a ,teering 4ommittee com8osed ofA 4onsorcio 8ara el Dialogo +arlamentario la
0;uidad-!a5aca, Me5ico (4onsortium for +arliamentar Dialogue and 0;uit-!a5aca), 3WID, /D0102/3
(2uatemala), La 4olectiva 1eminista, 0l ,alvador (The 1eminist 4ollective), the 1ondo 4entroamericano de
Mu<eres (7icaragua, 143M, 4entral 3merican Women:s 1und), Red 7acional de Defensoras de Derecho Humanos,
Honduras (The 7ational 7etwor- of Human Rights Defenders@ and 63,, (6ust 3ssociates), and lin-ed to national
networ-s of women human rights defenders in Me5ico and 4entral 3merica'
A7out the Letelier-Moffitt Award
This international award, created " the Institute for +olic ,tudies, is named after the 4hilean di8lomat !rlando
Letelier and Ronni Bar8en Moffiitt, colleagues at the Institute for +olic ,tudies who were -illed in Washington, D4
on ,e8tem"er %#, #()?, " a "om" 8lanted in Letelier:s car " agents of 4hilean dictator 3ugusto +inochet' The
Institute e58lains that this Caward aims to honor fallen colleagues " cele"rating new heroes and heroines of the
movement for human rights in the /nited ,tates and the 3mericas'C Throughout the ears, the Letelier-Moffitt
3ward has recogni.ed individuals, grassroots organi.ations and human rights grou8s at the forefront of the defense
of human rights in the 3mericas'
8ress 5ontacts
7atalia 0scruceria
Washington, D4
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emailA "en<ico>Dgmail'com
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