Mexican Women Human Rights Defenders Testify Before UN Committee against Discrimination

Posted on | juli 18, 2012 | No Comments

Dear Readers,
The following is a press release on Mexican civil society testimony before the Committee of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW). The testimony presented by Margarita Martinez and human rights organizations reported widespread violations of women’s rights, a lack of compliance with recommendations issued on extremely cases such as the rape of women in police custody in Atenco, and no real follow-up on obtaining justice for crimes against women.
You can hear more about the increase of violence and discrimination in the context of the drug war and Martinez’s case in this NPR interview: (listen, transcript) The BBC published an interesting article on the testimony, comparing it to the Mexican government’s official testimony, which emphasizes legal and institutional reforms and omits information on specific cases or advances. The Americas Program MexicoBlog has translated an article in Spanish by Lydia Cacho, who has personally suffered attacks for her work as a journalists and human rights defender.
Watch this blog and the Americas Program web page for more information. For the full reports from Mexico presented to the Committee, check this link.
July 17, 2012
  • The human rights defender Margarita Martínez reports on the situation of violence against women human rights defenders and journalists in Mexico before the CEDAW Committee. 
  • Martínez has been tortured and repeatedly attacked for her work,  and despite protective measures mandated by the Inter-American Human Rights Commission, continuous threats have forced her family to flee Chiapas.  
  • In Latin America, Mexico has the highest number of attacks against journalists and the second highest number against women human rights defenders.
Between 2005 and 2012, violence against women in Mexico has cost the lives of 13 female journalists. In the past two years alone, 14 women human rights defenders have been killed.
Margarita Martínez, a Mexican human rights defender who has been tortured and attacked for her work, will make a presentation about the situation of violence against women human rights defenders and journalists in Mexico before the Committee of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW).
In 2009, Martínez began to receive threats and attacks against her and her family because of her work promoting the human rights and health of indigenous women in Chiapas. Late that year, her house was raided and family threatened by state police. In February 2010, she was kidnapped and tortured by unknown persons so that she would withdraw criminal charges she filed against public officials of the Government of Chiapas responsible for the attack.
Given the threat to her and her family’s lives, the Inter-American Human Rights Commission granted precautionary measures to guarantee effective protection. The Mexican government has not adequately implemented these measures and Martinez continues to receive threats. To date, the intellectual and material authors of the crime have not been punished and the threats continue.
Martinez is presenting her case and the crisis situation in her country, in representation of human right organizations including the National Network of Women Human Rights Defenders of Mexico, the Mesoamerican Initiative of Women Human Rights Defenders, CIMAC, Consorcio Oaxaca, the Women’s Roundtable of Juárez, Tlachinollan-HR and JASS (Just Associates). She is available for interviews.
CONTACT: Natalia Escrucería: ; +1-925783-4098

AUTHOR: Laura Carlsen
URL: and
E-MAIL: lecarlsen [at]


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