It’s common practice to take stock on this day of where we are and how far we’ve come in the movement for full gender equality and respect for the human rights of women. This year in the Americas, the situation is getting worse rather than better.
When violence is attacked with violence, women become both victims and defenders. They are disproportionately and differently affected by violence, violation of human rights and the erosion of community. Yet Mesoamerican and the U.S. governments continue to fund militarist enforcement policies framed as counternarcotics or anti-terrorism that arm and train men to patrol and control the population that put women at great risk.
As El Salvador heads into the March 9 run-off election to decide who will be the next president, its youth suffer the brunt of problems facing the nation. Lack of job opportunities, a declining economy, and continued gang violence have spurred young people to get more involved this election.
U.S. security policy in Mexico and Central America, focused on militarized counter-narcotics efforts known as the war on drugs, has had severely negative effects on the region. This report analyzes the effects in four areas – militarization, drug policy, violence against women and forced migration—and examines the impact of this security policy on three countries: Mexico, Guatemala and Honduras.