Central America: New Report Finds Violence Against Women Has Reached Crisis Level
Tuesday, June 12, 2012 4:20 PM

In a new report, From Survivors to Defenders: Women Confronting Violence in Mexico, Honduras and Guatemala, Nobel Peace Prize laureates Jody Williams and Rigoberta Menchu find that increasing militarization in Central America has lead to a dramatic rise in violence against women. The product of over 200 interviews carried out during a 10 day fact-finding mission to Honduras, Guatemala and Mexico, the report describes how militarization has increased police repression and the frequency of attacks on women. The authors suggest that the war on drugs has become a “war on women,” destabilizing the region and contributing to increased corruption. Violent attacks, including rape, torture, and murder, are on the rise.
Femicides are a particular cause for concern. The study finds that in the last decade femicides increased by 257% in Honduras, 40% in Mexico and 30% in Guatemala. Perpetrators are rarely brought to justice, exacerbating the problem. Williams and Menchu argue that the governments must do more to combat systemic discrimination against women and ensure the effective implementation of existing national legislation protecting women’s rights.