GUATEMALA: Take Action: Protect Guatemalan Human Rights Defender Norma Cruz

Wednesday, February 1, 2012
Nobel Women's Initiative
Central America
PeaceWomen Consolidated Themes: 
Peace Processes

Guatemalan human rights defender Norma Cruz – leader of the women's rights organization ‘Survivors' Foundation' (Fundación Sobrevivientes) – has received repeated death threats because of her work supporting victims of violence against women and calling for those responsible to be prosecuted.

In September 2011, one person was convicted of making death threats against Norma in 2009. However, investigations into the threats she received in 2010 have not advanced.

Five days ago, thousands of people around the world joined a new Amnesty International Faxjam Action for Freedom of Expression- calling on members and social media supporters around the world to send a fax to the Attorney General of Guatemala on behalf of human rights defender Norma Cruz.

The authorities took notice. Norma reported to Amnesty International that within a day of the action, the Presidential Commission on Human Rights phoned her to check on her security situation because they had heard about the Amnesty International campaign. Norma is hopeful the campaign will play a role in guaranteeing that the Guatemalan authorities continue to provide security to her, her family, and other staff at the Fundación Sobrevivientes. In her thank you message to the campaign she says:

“I hope that with this action, my own safety can be guaranteed, but also the protection of all girls that have been victims of violence. In difficult times for the Fundación Sobrevivientes, this campaign encourages us, strengthens us and reminds us that we are not alone.” (Read the rest of Norma's thank you message here)

Norma still needs your help to step up the pressure on the Guatemalan authorities to ensure the threats against her are investigated, and that she can carry on with her work to support women and girls that have suffered violence and the families of those who have been brutally murdered.