Last Monday, 27 February, our colleague Helena Maleno participated in the presentation of the book “El Pacto de Cuidarnos. 2010-2021: Integral Feminist Protection in Mesoamerica from the Mesoamerican Initiative of Women Human Rights Defenders”, published by the IM-Defensoras network.
The event occurred at the Ateneo La Maliciosa in Madrid and was organised by IM-Defensoras, Calala Fondo de Mujeres, Peace Brigades (PBI) and Frontline Defenders (FLD). During the presentation, moderated by María San Martín (Frontline Defenders), Fiona Montagut (Calala Fondo de Mujeres) and Marusia López (IM-Defensoras) spoke first, recalling the process of producing the publication and IM-Defensoras’ track record in protecting women human rights defenders. Next, Katherin Cruz (Red Nacional de Defensoras de Derechos Humanos en Honduras), Brytany Castillo (ASPIDH Arcoiris Trans and Red Salvadoreña de Defensoras) and Dalila Argueta (Red Nacional de Defensoras de Derechos Humanos en Honduras) shared their experiences as defenders of territory and the rights of transgender people in Mesoamerica.
Finally, our colleague Helena Maleno spoke alongside Míriam García (PBI) to discuss the risks of defending rights from the Spanish state. Our colleague explained how the knowledge of Mesoamerican women defenders had been vital in developing collective protection in border contexts. In this sense, Maleno expressed her gratitude for the role that many of those present had played in forming a security and support network that was decisive during the criminalisation she suffered from the Spanish state and Morocco.
The experience of more than ten years and more than two thousand activists coordinated by IM-Defensoras has served to give content to a publication that proposes strategies for self-defence in the face of the impunity of violence protected by the authoritarianism of states. The construction of networks was shown to be the critical element for protecting women defenders of life, territory and human rights. You can read or download El Pacto de Cuidarnos on the IM-Defensoras website in Spanish and English.
In this video, you can see a summary of the presentation.