With deep sadness and dismay, the PBI Honduras Project expresses regret at the loss of Gladys Lanza Ochoa, General Coordinator of the Visitacion Padilla Women’s Movement for Peace, “Las Chonas”, (Movimiento de Mujeres Por la Paz Visitación Padilla) and sends condolences to her family and loved ones.
Gladys had an inspiring career as a human rights defender in Honduras. She fought tirelessly for the rights of women (breaking the silence of impunity) and played a key role in the abolition of compulsory military service in the country.
The Department of Petén makes up a third of the Republic of Guatemala. More than 60% of the department are protected areas. Although we do not accompany in this department, every six months PBI Guatemala undertakes a visit as a way of following up on the human rights situation. PBI Guatemala holds meetings with different social actors, to advocate around various problematic issues:
-Protected Areas; evictions, agrarian conflicts illegal detentions, restricted freedom of movement
Since the beginning all I wanted was to stand on my own two feet; I didn’t want to rely on others. But the credit for this really goes to my mum.
Where I grew up in Nepal was extremely remote – two days walk to get to the main road for example. And it was an environment where if you are a girl, studying to age 13 was considered to be enough. If you can read and write, what are you going to do with more education? In a few years you have to have children, right?
PBI helps to protect over 1000 human rights defenders - people working nonviolently to promote and protect the human rights of others. They work on a broad spectrum of social, economic, cultural, civil and political rights. Here some of them speak about their work, their experiences, and the challenges they face.
Rosendo Radilla Pacheco, a respected community leader, disappeared in 1974 after being stopped at an army checkpoint in Mexico’s Guerrero state. In July 2009, his became the first case of forced disappearance to be brought against the Mexican Government: the decision of the Inter-American Court of Human Rights is due in December. His daughter, Tita Radilla, vice-president of the Mexican Association of Relatives of the Detained, Disappeared and Victims of Human Rights Violations (AFADEM), was in London between 29 October and 7 November 2009, to raise awareness and support for the case and for the struggle against impunity in Mexico.
Many of the girls that grow up in Santa María de Xalapán grow up thinking that it’s normal to be taken involuntarily at 12 or 13 years old, to be any man’s woman. And if this man doesn’t like living with you he can discard you like rubbish. In my community on the mountain, many women already have up to four or five children when they’re 18 years old.
PBI calls on the Mexican Government to take the actions required to guarantee the security of Cristina Auerbach and the Pasta de Conchos Family Organization
Mexico City, 31 March 2016.– Due to the recent intimitadion and slander suffered by the Human Rights Defender Cristina Auerbach, PBI calls on the Mexican Government to take the actions required to guarantee her security and the one of the other members of the Pasta de Conchos Family Organization. Likewise, PBI requests Mexican authorities to publicly recognise the legitimate work carried out by the Organisation.
To mark the anniversary of the 9 December 1998 UN Declaration on Human Rights Defenders, PBI is pleased to share an innovative new set of tools for Women Human Rights Defenders (WHRDs). These tools were developed over the course of a three-year EU project which aims to help Mexican WHRDs strengthen their capacities in areas crucial to their work, and later trialled with WHRDs in other countries with a view to adapting them to different political and cultural contexts for use by WHRDs worldwide.
In early December, Honduran journalist Dina Meza visited London as part of a European speaking tour organised by PBI. Dina Meza is a renowned defender of the rights to freedom of expression and information and the founding President of PEN Honduras. Through this platform, she provides legal, educational and informative accompaniment to journalists and media workers at risk. She also carries out investigative works and has reported on human rights violations in cases such as that of the ongoing agrarian conflict in Bajo Aguán. She currently works independently, denouncing repression and corruption through her online newspaper “Pasos de Animal Grande”. Dina Meza has worked tirelessly to denounce the escalating repression of journalists in Honduras and closure of spaces for freedom of expression, as well as the deterioration of human rights in general.