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Intl. Women Human Rights Defenders Day: A wake-up call for business & govt. to consult & protect women activists

Confronting companies is risky for all human rights defenders, but some defenders are at greater risk than others because of who they are and what they do. As Front Line Defenders put it, "when women take leadership, they challenge gender norms and often contest the patriarchal culture perpetuated by communities, states and corporations. As a result, [women human rights defenders] are subjected to gender-specific and sexual violence and intimidation. Threats against their families and loved ones are intended to force them to abandon their critical work for rights and justice". Gender is a key factor to integrate into companies’ and governments’ consultations with and protection of defenders.

On November 29th, the International Women Human Rights Defenders Day, we share the testimonies of women defenders and some of the key stories from 2016 that illustrate the challenges faced by these defenders as they struggle for corporate accountability.

“Khmer tradition dictates that women should just stay home. Studying in school and joining social actions and political activities are often discouraged. Historically, women have been discriminated against so much that women themselves think that the only thing they should be really good at is cooking rice. My passion is for us as women to get involved in social change and politics, excel in what we do, be confident and brave, and claim our rightful place in society even if it takes being behind bars to prove a point” -one of the 11 land rights activists arrested and subsequently released for leading a protest in defense of land rights in Cambodia

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Author: Desinformémonos

“Sanadora espiritual mapuche de 60 años es enviada a prisión en Chile”

…La Primera Sala de la Corte de Apelaciones de Temuco en Chile, revocó el arresto domiciliario, y envío nuevamente a prisión a Francisca Linconao Huircapan, sanadora espiritual del pueblo mapuche acusada sin pruebas de participar en el incendio que provocó la muerte del empresario Werner Luchsinger y su esposa Vivianne Mackay, la madrugada del 4 de enero de 2013…La sociedad civil de Chile, defensoras y defensores comunitarios afirman que la persecución contra quien es considerada líder espiritual, sanadora y abuela sabia con una jerarquía importante en el pueblo mapuche, se debe a que “ganó al Estado chileno una demanda y el recurso de protección para evitar la tala ilegal de árboles de la zona en la que recolecta las plantas medicinales que utiliza para sus ceremonias espirituales y de sanación. Sentó un precedente como la primera mujer que ganó este tipo de demanda y se convirtió, en un ‘peligroso para los intereses de las forestales de la zona”’…De los hechos ocurridos…también son acusados los comuneros mapuche José Tralcal Coche, Luis Tralcal Quidel, Sergio Catrilaf Marilef, Sabino Catrilaf Marilef, Hernán Catrilaf Llaupe, Juan Tracal Quidel, José Córdova Tránsito, Aurelio Catrilaf Parra y Eliseo Catrilaf Tránsito, a quienes junto con la sanadora tradicional se les dictó prisión preventiva desde el 30 de marzo….

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19 September 2016

Peru: Campesina leader Maxima Acuña allegedly attacked by mining firm's guards; includes company response

Author: TeleSUR

"Peru: Maxima Acuña and Partner Attacked by Mining Firm's Guards", 18 Sep 2016

Peru's internationally-renowned environmentalist Maxima Acuña and her partner were severely hurt Sunday morning in an attack by alleged hitmen hired by the mining company they are fighting against, reported Acuña's daughter. At around 9.30 a.m. local time, “people hired by mining firm Yanacocha illegally broke into the property and started damaging the lot with various tools,” said Ysidora Chaupe, daughter of Acuña and Jaime Chaupe. “When Maxima and Jaime approached them and demanded they stop invading the property, the mining firm's security staff violently attacked Maxima and Jaime, hitting Maxima in the head and body with a weapon, leaving her seriously hurt,” she added...Acuña's husband, who was badly injured, managed to report the attack to the police at around 12 p.m. But the police did a routine check, leaving both campesinos in critical condition and in urgent need of medical attention. Acuña won the prestigious Goldman Environmental Prize for stopping Yanococha, a subsidiary of U.S.-based mining giant Newmont, from constructing an open-pit gold mine...In Peru alone, 61 activists were killed in the past 10 years, according to the human rights organization Global Witness.

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Author: Red-DESC

“La condena colectiva del asesinato de Nilce Magalhães muestra la necesidad de un cambio sistémico”

La Red-DESC está profundamente consternada tras recibir la triste noticia de la violenta muerte de Nilce de Souza Magalhães. El cuerpo de “Nicinha”, tal y como era conocida entre sus amigos y demás líderes comunitarios, fue encontrado el martes, 21 de junio, en el lago que había sido construido por la misma presa hidroeléctrica Jirau, dirigida por el consorcio Energia Sustentável do Brasil (ESBR), contra la que se había enfrentado en defensa de los derechos de su comunidad…La líder del Movimento dos Atingidos por Barragems (MAB) en el estado brasileño de Rondônia desapareció el 7 de enero tras ser vista por última vez en su tienda del campamento donde había vivido durante años, sin acceso a agua potable o electricidad, después de que su familia fuera desplazada por la presa unos años atrás…Nilce era una reconocida líder comunitaria que trabajaba por la defensa de los derechos de las comunidades afectadas por presas hidroeléctricas, prácticas de pesca depredadora y otras amenazas que afrontaban las comunidades en Rondônia, en el corazón de la selva amazónica, cerca de la frontera con Bolivia. 

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7 July 2016

Unknown Assailants Abduct, Murder Activist Lesbia Yaneth Urquia in Honduras

Author: TeleSurTV.net

…Another Indigenous activist has been murdered in Honduras, with local activists reporting Wednesday night that a woman identified as Yaneth Urquia Urquia was found dead near a garbage dump with severe head trauma. Urquia was a member of The Council of Popular and Indigenous Organizations of Honduras, or COPINH, the group founded by Berta Caceres, who was assassinated in March. According to La Voz Lenca, the communications arm of COPINH, Urquia was an active member of the activist group and fought against the building of hydroelectric power plants on Indigenous land. The news comes four months after Berta Caceres, the founder of COPINH, was assassinated in her home…

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28 June 2016

Critical Lebanese TV host Liliane Daoud deported from Egypt on same day as TV station terminates contract

Author: Mada Masr

Update: TV host Liliane Daoud deported to Beirut

Popular Lebanese TV host Liliane Daoud was arrested from her home in Cairo on Monday night, taken to an undisclosed location and then put aboard an EgyptAir flight to Beirut... Eight members of the security forces had stormed her home earlier this evening, the same day she ended her contract with ONtv, and told Daoud she would be deported. There had been uncertainty surrounding the fate of [Daoud’s] show, "The Full Picture," since state­-supporting steel tycoon Ahmed Abu Hashima acquired ONtv... Daoud used the show as a platform for staunch criticism of some of the current government's practices, such as forced disappearances and political detentions. [Her lawyer Ziad] Elelaimy said the authorities have been withholding the renewal of Daoud’s work visa for the last four months. 

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Author: Movimento dos Atingidos por Barragem-MAB (Brazil)

Brazil Nicinha MAB_credit_MAB_http://www.mabnacional.org.br/sites/default/files/foto%20nicinha%2034.jpg

“Corpo de Nicinha é encontrado após cinco meses desaparecido-A militante do MAB em Porto Velho (RO), Nilce de Souza Magalhães, foi assassinada em janeiro deste ano e seu corpo ainda estava desaparecido”, 22 de junho de 2016

...[Em 21 de junho]..., o corpo de Nilce de Souza Magalhães,...Nicinha, foi encontrado...[na]...barragem da Usina Hidrelétrica Jirau, em Porto Velho...A liderança do Movimento dos Atingidos por Barragens...havia sido assassinada no início do ano e seu corpo estava desaparecido desde...7 de janeiro...[e]...estava com as mãos e pés amarrados por...corda e ligado a uma pedra...Edione Pessoa da Silva, preso após confessar o assassinato da militante, fugiu da Penitenciária Estadual “Edvan Mariano Rosendo”...A liderança era conhecida...pela luta em defesa das populações atingidas, denunciando as violações de direitos humanos cometidas pelo consórcio responsável...[por]...Jirau,...Energia Sustentável do Brasil (ESBR). Filha de seringueiros que vieram do Acre para...Porto Velho..., onde vivia há quase cinquenta anos, foi obrigada a se deslocar para “Velha Mutum Paraná” junto a outros pescadores...[, sem]...acesso à água potável ou energia elétrica...As denúncias geraram dois inquéritos civis...pelos Ministérios Públicos Federal e Estadual sobre a não realização do Programa de Apoio à Atividade Pesqueira e...criminal...em função de manipulações de dados em relatórios de monitoramento...[L]ideranças do MAB reafirmaram a necessidade de esclarecimento do caso e punição aos culpados...

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22 June 2016

Brazil: Nicinha’s body, women rights defender from the Movement of People Affected by Dams, was found in the Jirau dam after 5 months missing

Author: Movimento dos Atingidos por Barragem-MAB (Brazil)

“Nicinha's body is found after five months missing-MAB activist in Porto Velho (RO), Nilce de Souza Magalhães, was murdered January this year and her body was missing”, 22 June 2016

The body of Nilce de Souza Magalhães,…Nicinha,…[was]...found on…21…[June]…in the hydro-power dam's lake of Jirau. Nicinha, leadership of MAB in Rondônia was missing since January 7th. Her body was found only 400 metres away from where she used to live…by the workers of the dam, her hands and feet were tied by a rope and tied to a rock…[S]he lived with her husband Nei, at an encampment with other fisher families, affected by the the hydro-power plant Jirau…Edione Pessoa da Silva, who was i[n]…prison after confessing to murder Nicinha, escaped from the State Penitentiary "Edvan Mariano Rosendo"…Nicinha was known…for the struggle in defense of the affected populations, denouncing human rights violations committed by the consortium responsible for the Jirau power plant, called Energia Sustentável do Brasil…Nicinha was daughter of rubber extractors who came from Acre to Abuna…in Rondonia, where she lived almost fifty years and was evicted…with other fishers due to the construction of the dam. The encampment where they had lived had no access to clean water or electricity. Nilce made several complaints over the years…including…[on]…the…impacts of predatory fishing activity on the Madeira River. The complaints generated two civil investigations…by the Federal Public Ministry and State on the non implementation of the Programme of Support to Fishing activity and another of criminal criminal character…

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Author: CERIGUA

…La Unión Sindical de Trabajadores de Guatemala (Unsitragua Histórica) condenó el asesinato de la dirigente sindical Brenda Marleni Estrada Tambito, hecho que fue perpetrado este domingo 19 de junio en la zona 1 de la ciudad capital, en horas de la tarde…Un comunicado de Unsitragua Histórica señala que este…crimen ocurrió…luego de que ella llevará a su familiar y también líder sindical, Jorge Estrada y Estrada, a una terminal de buses, pues se dirigía a Puerto Barrios Izabal, a asesorar la negociación de pactos colectivos a fincas bananeras…Estrada Tambito se desempeñaba desde hace varios años como parte del equipo de asesores de Unsitragua Histórica; ocupaba la sub coordinación de la Comisión de Asesoría Jurídica de esa organización sindical…

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Author: Front Line Defenders

“Historias del caso: Ana Miriam Romero”, 10 de Mayo de 2016

El 9 de mayo de 2016, la Sra Ana Mirian Romero y sus hijos recibieron amenazas de muerte y fueron intimidados por cuatro hombres, en su domicilio, en el municipio de Santa Elena, departamento de La Paz…Ana Mirian Romero es una destacada defensora de derechos humanos en Honduras. La defensora es integrante del Movimiento Indígena Lenca de La Paz Honduras - MILPAH y del Consejo Indígena de San Isidro Labrador. La defensora ha luchado por el reconocimiento de los derechos territoriales de las comunidades indígenas desde 2010, cuando el MILPAH y el Consejo Indígena de San Isidro Labrador presentaron una demanda de adjudicación para el reconocimiento de sus tierras ancestrales en el municipio…La defensora ya había sido anteriormente objeto de actos de intimidación y ataques…

ana_mirian_romero_Credit_FrontLineDefenders

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Author: Frente de Mujeres Defensoras de la Pachamama

“Reporte sobre la investigación defensorial por la agresión a Defensoras de la Pachamama en protesta contra el proyecto minero Río Blanco: se espera resolución”

Protesta Azuay

El Frente de Mujeres Defensoras de la Pachamama se encuentra a la espera de la resolución de la investigación defensorial…abierta desde el 10 de noviembre de 2015 por la Defensoría del Pueblo… luego de que se aceptara a trámite la denuncia interpuesta por 8 mujeres de esta organización, debido a que fueron agredidas y detenidas en forma arbitraria, por la policía y agentes de seguridad, para impedir que protesten contra el megaproyecto minero Río Blanco [parte de IamGold]. Este hecho se suscitó el 20 de octubre de 2015 en el Parque Central de Molleturo, durante la visita del Presidente Rafael Correa para inaugurar una obra de Ecuador Estratégico..Es necesario que la resolución que adopte la Defensoría del Pueblo en este caso, siente un precedente a favor de las y los defensores de derechos y de la vigencia de la Democracia en el país, caso contrario continuará reinando la prepotencia y el abuso de poder, evidenciándose nuevamente que las y los defensores de los Derechos Humanos se encuentran en total indefensión en Ecuador

 

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