Prevention, Attention and Activism:
Grassroots Feminism in El Salvador
SEPTEMBER 29 | 7PM (El Salvador)
| Join us this week for a conversation with the Morazán Women’s Network, a regionally and internationally recognized organization for its impeccable work to promote equality and eliminate discrimination and violence against women in their region and beyond.|
The work The Network is doing around youth development, drawing on both the ECHO model and popular education, to increase self-esteem and self-worth while preparing these young women to identify, confront and reject gender-based violence.
The work The Network is doing in the area of comprehensive accompaniment of victims and their families, with special attention to trauma-informed care programs and their real-life impacts.
The work The Network is doing in the area of providing legal aid, legal advocacy, and victim’s rights activism as well as the current reality of justice and the hopes for the future.
You can join Thursday’s conversation via Zoom by pre-registering for an access code @ bit.ly/3cZAbQl or watch it live on Facebook.
|Melida Avila – Vice President; Social Work and Healing|
Idalia Claros – Secretary; Advocacy and Victim’s Accompaniment
Martiza Argueta – Treasurer; Sex-Ed and Youth Development
Simultaneous english interpretation will be available via the Zoom meeting.
A recording of the event will be made available.
2020 has been a whirlwind year and we want to share it with you.
Click Here or below to read our latest annual report.
A press conference was held this morning, August 13th, in San Salvador by representatives of Tutela Legal Maria Julia Hernandez to give an update on the case of El Mozote, the massacre that occurred on December 11, 1981 in northern Morazán.
Over 40 witnesses have come forward since the overturn of El Salvador’s Amnesty Law in 2016 to contribute harrowing testimonies of the barbarity executed by Lieutenant Colonel Domingo Monterrosa Barrios (deceased) and the Atlacatl Battalion (disbanded).
According to the findings, Monterrosa had the full cooperation and authorization from the Salvadoran state at the time of the massacre and attempted to cover up and deny the act, which was thwarted due to the forensic anthropological team from Argentina that conducted exhumations. Based on their invaluable work, it has come to light that over 1,000 innocent civilians were indeed tormented and being killed.
“It is no longer possible to deny that a massacre occurred.” stated one of the attorneys from Tutela Legal.
The legal team also expressed the painful truth that til this day, survivors of the massacre have been left blind, sterile, full of shrapnel and continue to suffer from post traumatic stress.
The 18 military commanders that carried out this inhumane act are being tried in a court of law, some posthumously, in a judicial process that has reached “an advanced stage,” and attorneys are confident that justice will “finally be served.”
The mission of Tutela Legal is the “observation, protection, study, promotion, dissemination, information and intervention in the defense of threatened or violated human rights, with special attention to groups in vulnerable situations.”
El Salvador’s recently held mid-term elections on March 4, saw a staggering overturn of political power as right-wing parties overtook the senate and major municipal seats in San Salvador, La Libertad and Santa Ana; and much could be said about the ‘debacle.’ At the same time, human rights defenders and survivors are celebrating the exoneration and release of two Salvadoran women unjustly incarcerated in for miscarriages many years ago.
Last year, El Salvador experienced 3,605 homicides, a 1,675 reduction from 2016. As multitudes rise up in outrage against the country’s oppressive justice system and high rate of gender-based violence, El Salvador continues to be one of the most dangerous countries to be a woman.
2017 National Statistics
More troubling is that the factual number of violent cases against Salvadoran women and girls are most certainly much higher than the statistics represented above because victims do not report becasue of fear of retribution and impunity. It is important to note that the majority of these victims suffer abuse in their own homes at the hand of men most close to them.
2018 Women’s March in San Salvador
Silvia Juárez, program coordinator for the Organization of Salvadoran Women for Peace in El Salvador (ORMUSA) stated that women “are still not equal. The profound root of violence against women is inequality. We are considered human beings of less value.” On the eve of International Women’s day, a vigil was held in San Salvador and on March 8, over 3,000 marchers took to the streets to protest the country’s widespread inequality and violence against women. Their demands were simple: dignity and respect for all women and reforms to the healthcare and judicial systems.
That same day in Morazán, 600 protestors marched through the streets of San Francisco Gotera, confronting important judicial courts and even the town hall, while chanting slogans like “We don’t want flowers, we want justice!”
In 2016, 176 cases of domestic violence and 72 acts of sexual violence were reported in Morazán. According to the Citizen Network of Morazán Women (the Network), though down from the 14 official reports in 2016, five cases of femicide were invisibilizedthis year. The Network consists of 8 municipal associations scattered throughout the department with the mutual objective of promoting and defending the human rights of women. They accomplish their goals through combining unity, education and protest.
Women’s Day in Morazán, 2018
Gender-based violence is so prevalent in Morazán that it has led to the Network and other local organizations to begin to develop a community based approach to facilitate the recovery of victims and their families by educating communities and service providers, offering victims immediate and long-term support, and holding relevant institutions accountable. Fortunately, this interrelationship of Morazán leaders exemplifies a support network of local women who can identify effective solutions to support victims of violence and their families in resource-constrained settings.