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“We must recognize women’s struggles.”

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It is important to recognize women’s struggles and perspectives as fundamental components…if we fail to include women in the debates and strategies of social movements on immigration, aid and political economy it will be difficult to change the power structures and the domination that destroys the life and dignity of women.

Versión en español abajo

 

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The following excerpts were taken from a conference entitled “A New U.S. Administration, A New Agenda for Latin America: Women’s Rights and Economic Stability” at the Washington Office on Latin America on January 26th, 2009.  Marusia López Cruz is a Mexican feminist and human rights activist who has led and worked with numerous civil society organizations in the region. She was the director of one of Mexico’s leading youth organizations, Elije, and is currently the Regional Coordinator of JASS Mesoamerica, where she oversees the Petatera network and action strategies.

“Millions of women face today the fast decomposition of society, which can be expressed with the feminization of poverty—the forced migration due to hunger or social conflicts, the dismantling of communitarian forms of subsistence and the deepening culture of fear, the violence and the insecurity. On the other hand drug trafficking, a painful reality in our region, the United States and the world, reproduces and worsens the patriarchal violence, using subordination and sexual abuse to women as its expansion and control of network mechanisms, doing it with the absolute complicity of the government.  It is impunity that has allowed the femicide in the region. Only in the first months of 2008, there were 300 cases of women’s murders in Guatemala.”

“Given these challenges that we, women, faced, we have organized ourselves in the region to build a democracy that goes beyond electoral processes, based on human rights, and social diversity…”

“I finish with three very important points; first to reiterate that the interdependence between the United States and Latin America requires shared strategies to resolve those problems that have linked us historically. What gives us more hope is the revitalization of social movements and the citizens’ active denunciation of Human Rights violations committed by the government of the United Sates in its territory, as well as outside of it. It is important to recognize women’s struggles and perspectives as fundamental components…if we fail to include women in the debates and strategies of social movements on immigration, aid and political economy it will be difficult to change the power structures and the domination that destroys the life and dignity of women.”

-translated by Judith Quintal

“Millones de mujeres se enfrentan día a día a la descomposición acelerada del tejido social que se puede expresar entre otras cosas en la feminización de la pobreza, la migración forzada por hambre o por conflictos sociales, el desmantelamiento de redes y formas comunitarias de subsistencia y la profundización de la cultura del miedo, la violencia y la inseguridad. Por otro lado el narcotráfico una realidad lacerante en nuestra región, los Estados Unidos y en el mundo entero reproduce y agudiza la violencia patriarcal al usar la subordinación y el abuso sexual de las mujeres como unos de sus mecanismos de control y expansión de redes y lo hace con la absoluta complicidad de los estados. Es la impunidad la que ha permitido el feminicidio en las regiones, tan solo en el 2008 en los primeros meses del año en Guatemala se registraron 300 casos de mujeres asesinadas brutalmente.”

“Es frente a los retos que las mujeres enfrentamos nos hemos organizado históricamente en la región para la construcción de una democracia sustantiva que valla mucho mas allá de solamente los procesos electorales; que este basada los derechos humanos y la diversidad social…”

“Termino con tres puntos muy importantes, por un lado reiterar la interdependencia entre los Estados Unidos y Mesoamerica requiere de miradas y estrategias compartidas para resolución de problemas que nos han hermanado históricamente. Lo que mas nos esperanza es la revitalización de los movimientos sociales y sus ciudadanos en este país y la denuncia activa de las violaciones de los Derechos Humanos cometidas por el gobierno de Estados Unidos tanto en su territorio como fuera de este. Es necesario reconocer las perspectivas y las luchas de las mujeres como un componente fundamental, si se deja de lado a las mujeres de los debates y estrategia de los movimientos sociales sobre migración, cooperación, política económica difícilmente se modificaran las estructuras de poder y de dominación que destruyen la vida y la dignidad de las mujeres.”