In danger

Women’s rights defenders on high alert after attacks in Mexico

Members of the media and the civil society protest with banners against Veracruz governor Javier Duarte, demanding justice in the murder of photojournalist Ruben Espinosa, human rights activist Nadia Vera (in picture) and three others, in front of the representation of Veracruz State in Mexico City, on August 5, 2015. (ALFREDO ESTRELLA/AFP/Getty Images)

Social activist Nadia Vera was raped, tortured and killed in Mexico City late last month, alongside a male journalist and three other women (whose deaths were largely ignored by the media). She was the 36th women’s rights defender – defined as community leaders, social activists and journalists by The Guardian – to be killed in Mexico since 2010. In the same period, at least 20 female activists and rights defenders were murdered in Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador. Some 414 other attacks were registered in the region during 2012, according to the Mesoamerican Initiative of Women Human Rights Defenders, who found that state forces were behind 90 percent of the attacks. Vera was filmed in 2014 saying that if she or her colleagues were found dead, that governor Javier Duarte of Veracruz would be responsible. “Our security is totally the state’s responsibility,” she said, “because they are the ones who send people to repress us.”

Read the full story at The Guardian.

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