-Women throughout Central America and Mexico are pushing back against infringements on their rights. In Nicaragua, women are fighting back fighting to protect the rights of rape victims, combating social attitudes towards the crime of rape, and even preparing to go before the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights in order to bring attention to the ongoing sexual violence in a country that recently downgraded rape to a “crime of passion.” Likewise, women in Mexico are mobilizing against the increasing threats and incidents of domestic and sexual violence against women. And in Guatemala, women are also mobilizing to challenge the government’s and society’s failure to punish those who commit acts of violence against women.
-Guatemalan authorities have captured former president Óscar Mejía, who, as president of the country from1983-1986, ruled over a period that saw ongoing human rights abuses and state-sponsored murders of civilians in the country’s civil war. However, it appears Mejia may be too ill to stand trial.
-Speaking of human rights, Uruguay’s Senate voted 16-15 to revoke the country’s 1986 amnesty law that pardoned torturers and human rights abusers from the country’s military dictatorship of 1975-1983. The law now goes to Uruguay’s Chamber of Deputies, and should it pass, Uruguay can finally begin the pursuit of justice for some of the regime’s surviving human rights violators.
-The UN General Assembly has once again voted – by a margin of 186-1, with 3 abstentions – for the U.S. to lift its embargo on Cuba. Or, as Boz succinctly put it, “Breaking: Ineffective UN General Assembly will vote again for ineffective condemnation of ineffective US embargo on Cuba, changing nothing.”
Finally, a number of stories from Brazil:
-In a different type of human rights, Brazil’s top appeals court has upheld the legality of gay marriage in the world’s 5th-largest country.
-Brazilian indigenous groups have released seven hostages that they took in their protests against a dam in the state of Mato Grosso, which would flood their homeland.
-Given its economic stability and growth, it is of no surprise that Brazil has become a major player in providing aid to countries throughout the world.
-Finally, FIFA has agreed to respect Brazilian laws that provide half-price tickets for those over 65 in ticket-sales for the World Cup in 2014. However, FIFA also seems to be digging in on respecting Brazilian laws that also provide half-price tickets to public events for students. As FIFA Secretary General said, “But at the same time we want to be certain that we don’t have lots of different communities having access to half-price tickets, whether they are blood donors, students, ex-players and so on.” Stay classy, FIFA leadership.