Women’s organizations are raising a red flag on Nicaragua. In a hearing of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights on March 12, they reported rising violence against women, corruption and abuse of power in government when dealing with the crimes, and the increasing vulnerability of girls and young women.
For ten days, men and women walked many kilometers toward the capital of Honduras, making stops along the way, accompanied by people who joined in solidarity. Called “Step by Step for Dignity and National Sovereignty”, the walkers demanded the derogation of the Law of Special Development Regions, freedom for Chavelo Morales, derogation of the Mining Law and cancelation of environmental edicts that privatize water, energy and natural resources. Indigenous, Afro-Honduran, peasant women, and feminists formed the core of the Walk for Dignity.
The real strength of the villages that are fighting against expropriation of their lands for expansion of wind farms in Oaxaca lies in their traditional system of community assemblies. The assembly decided to reject the Mareña Renovables project and a proposed government consultation on it for failing to respect their rights as indigenous peoples.
Undeterred by mounting death threats and intimidation, a group of mothers whose daughters have disappeared from Ciudad Juarez, traveled to Mexico City to mark International Women’s Day with demands for justice for their missing loved ones and to mourn the mounting epidemic of violence toward women in Mexico.
You could almost hear the sigh of relief coming out of Washington at the news of Hugo Chavez’s death on March 5.
President Obama issued a brief statement that failed even to offer condolences, forcing a senior State Department official to patch over the evident callousness and breach of diplomacy by offering his personal condolences the following day.
Last July’s UN meeting to create a global Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) ended in disappointment when the United States pulled back at the last minute, claiming that the treaty needed “more study.” While imperfect, the version of the treaty that was under consideration last summer would have marked a significant step forward in efforts to limit senseless violence on an international scale.
Idle No More (INM), started in late 2012 as an aboriginal movement to block regressive legislation threatening indigenous, territorial and treaty claims in Canada, has quickly become a worldwide vehicle for indigenous peoples’ rights and environmental complaints. By early 2013 It has attracted significant attention from Latin American quarters.