For Immediate Release

Organization Profile: 

Diana Duarte, Media Coordinator
Phone: +1 212 627 0444

Statement from K'inal Antsetik for International Women's Day

WASHINGTON - To honor the 100th International Women's Day today, we received this message from K'inal Antsetik, MADRE's sister organization in Mexico.

To the women of the world,
To the human rights organizations,
To the national and international press,

Today, March 8th, International Women’s Day, women of the Jolom Mayaetik Cooperative (“Mayan Weavers”), the “Rosa Luxemburgo” Collective and the Civil Association K’inal Antsetik (“Land of Women”) are alarmed by the deteriorating structural conditions of extreme poverty and violence in our country, and are outraged at the climate of impunity where the consequences of this situation are developing: feminicide, militarization, persecution and the harassment of human right defenders. Therefore, we state:

1. Our strongest condemnation against the assassinations of human right defenders:

Marisela Escobedo, assassinated December 15th, 2010 while she held a protest  in front of the Government Palace in Chihuahua demanding the clarification regarding the homicide of her daughter, Rubi.

Susana Chavez, poet and activist for demanding an explanation regarding the femicides en Juarez City, was raped, cruelly mutilated and assassinated on January 5th, 2011 in the same location.

Josefina Reyes, social activist demanding clarification about the forced disappearance of people by the hands of members of the Mexican army in the Juarez Valley, including her son, Miguel. He was assassinated the 3rd of January, 2011 east of Juarez City, only a month and a half before the bodies of his family: Malena Reyes, Elias Reyes and Luisa Ornela’s bodies were found on the 25th of February.

We equally condemn the burning of the homes of Mrs. Malú García and Sara Salazar who passed away on the 16th and 15th of February respectively. The first sister of Lilia Alejandra was raped, tortured and assassinated in Juarez City and was president of the organization Our Daughters Return Home, who during the destruction of her home participated in a hunger strike and protested in front of Chihuahua’s State prosecutor in that city; the second, mother of the Reyes family is doomed to continue her fight in exile against a state incapable of protecting or offering her the truth and justice regarding the assassination of her children.

We condemn these crimes and equally condemn the climate of impunity which surrounds us, which is representative of what is reproduced on a daily basis all over the country in relation to the violence that women suffer. We also condemn the lack of help that all of those women suffer from a society that denounces and combats them, and we aim to illustrate the serious responsibility assumed by the Mexican State in this matter.

2. We salute the struggle waged by Mrs. Sara Salazar, as before, for her daughters, who broke and continue to break the silence that surrounds these crimes perpetuated by paramilitary and military groups in the national context of the so-called “war on organized crime.”

3. We sympathize with the many women all over our country, Human Rights defenders like those mentioned above, who continuously fight against impunity and the most comprehensive and institutional neglect.

4. We call on all women to unite against femicide and forced disappearance, rape, and all violence perpetrated against women.

5. We believe that we can not speak of the existence of democracy in a militarized country where repression is used against all expressions of social activism; where they make up data regarding extreme poverty and its impact on women; where local and federal government refuse to establish a “gender alert” against the wave of femicides that we are suffering, where terror reigns in a war scene which in recent years has killed more than 35,000 people, where the President Felipe Calderon is avle to issue threats with the backing of 8,500 military armories from the United States, who are responsible for material that perpetuates this tragedy.

We believe that there cannot be talk of democracy in a country where the rights of more than half of its inhabitants, us women, are systematically violated as a result of militarization, subjecting us on a daily basis to the violence and harassment which is inherent in this “state of emergency”, depriving us of our daily freedom, affecting our normal course of economic activity and transforming violently the cultural practices in Indigenous communities in which many of us live.

We believe that there cannot be talk of democracy in a country where social policy is subject to fluctuating interests in every election campaign; where the division of social movements and women is promoted; where economic, social and cultural rights are extensively violated; where in addition to the situation of the rural population. There is a lack of political will to resolve land conflicts and, the conflicts that are present in the interest of multinational corporations and repressive strategies are promoted, with clear patriarchal ingredients which attempt to violate the rights of women.

6. We sympathize with the women all around the world who find themselves fighting, integrating various forms of resistance in order to achieve change in your respective countries. In this sense, the women deserve special consideration from those Arab countries of North Africa and the Middle East, like in the cases of Tunisia or Egypt, for driving processes for change on their own. We express our solidarity with the Libyan women, who along with the rest of their population, now live in civil war which is unleashed in this country. We also sympathize with all those women who in previous weeks have formed part of the social protests in Greece.

7. We express our unconditional solidarity for all the thousands and thousands of women who as a part of international migration flows are living in precarious conditions and add their power to the cheap labor which benefits the blocs of rich countries in the world, migrant women who are more highly vulnerable to trafficking, abuse, racism, classism and doubly deprived of their basic labor rights.

We send a hug of solidarity to our sisters in Sahara, Palestine and Colombia, to all those anonymous women in the world who are resisting on a daily basis and develop strategies for survival, to our Indigenous sisters, feminists and lesbians of Latin America and the world who will be holding events and forums, who will take the streets and will break the silence to denounce the violation of our rights as women, marching for a life free of violence, for sexual diversity, for sexual and reproductive rights, against military occupation, against patriarchy, for the rights of Indigenous women and against all forms of violence against women…
Our commitment as women will be to continue forward in our resistance, fueled by creativity, art, our motto, our march, participation in forums…and in an active and ongoing permanent commitment for a dignified life for all women worldwide.

“Those who do not move, do not feel the chain”
                                                       ROSA LUXEMBURGO


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MADRE is an international women’s human rights organization that partners with community-based women’s groups to advance women’s human rights, challenge injustice and create social change in contexts of war, conflict, disaster and their aftermath. MADRE advocates for a world in which all people enjoy individual and collective human rights; natural resources are shared equitably and sustainably; women participate effectively in all aspects of society; and all people have a meaningful say in policies that affect their lives. For more information about MADRE, visit

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