Human Rights and Civil Society

1997 Nobel Peace Prize Winner Visits Mexico

01/23/12 – Jody Williams, the 1997 Nobel Peace Prize winner and president of the International Nobel Women’s Initiative Organization, visited Mexico this week to discuss and determine the state of high profile issues plaguing the country. During her visit, Williams met with Federal Attorney General (Procuraduría General de la República, PGR) Marisela Morales Ibáñez on January 23. At the meeting in Guerrero, Morales Ibáñez reiterated that the Attorney General aims to create strategic partnerships with organizations that advocate for the support and protection of human rights in an effort to combat impunity. While Morales Ibáñez did push for support from Williams and her organization of human rights activists to help with measures to limit the traffic of illicit arms to Mexico, much of the conversation focused on women’s rights, femicide, and the protection of human rights.

Williams noted that the fight against the impunity of femicide in the country is not a matter that can be solved in one day while remarking, “only civil society and those in government who think like us can allow changes to be made.” Similarly, the head of the National Commission to Prevent Violence against Women (Comisión Nacional para Prevenir la Violencia contra las Mujeres, Conavim), Dilcya García, announced that work on the development of a protocol to protect those who support and defend women and their human rights would begin the next week. It was also agreed upon that the Attorney General would work to promote a dialogue between a network of women rights organizations and government agencies to draft a report on the death of three females, two of which were minors, in Ciudad Juárez in 2001. In regards to the case, which became known as the Cotton Field (Campo Algodonero) case because of where the bodies were found, García noted that a ruling by the Inter-American Court for Human Rights condemned the Mexican government for not preventing the  murders and for failing to investigate and ensure the rights of “life, personal integrity and freedom.” The government did, however, offer compensation to the families of the victims.

Williams’ visit is part of a tour and investigation of the murders of women in Mexico, Guatemala, and Honduras, which began last week and will conclude on January 31. The visit is a necessary one given the high numbers of women targeted killed in these three countries. As EFE reports, “During 2010, 3,100 women were murdered in Mexico, while 1,500 women were killed in Honduras between 2008 and 2011. And in Guatemala, more than 5,000 women have been violently murdered in the last ten years.”


Alcántara Enviada, Liliana. “La impunidad es cada vez mayor, alerta Nobel.” El Universal. January 24, 2012.

“La PGR pide apoyo a Nobel de paz para limitar tráfico de armas.” Informador. January 24, 2012.

“México se compromete a proteger a las defensoras de los derechos de la mujer.” EFE. January 24, 2012.

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