Standing Against Violence

Standing Against Violence


Unitarian Universalist Fellowship
“Standing Against Violence”
By Veronica Sánchez Cruz
Sun, Mar 15, 10:30am
Posada de la Aldea
Ancha de San Antonio 15

By Joseph Plummer

Veronica Cruz, the internationally recognized heroine of justice for Mexican women, will discuss violence against women in Mexico at Sunday’s Unitarian Universalist Fellowship (UUF) service. Her persistent voice has increased law enforcement’s recognition of the extent of gender violence and murder of women by domestic partners, so-called femicide, enabled by cultural impunity for crimes against women in Mexico.

As part of Women’s History Month, programs organized by Ser Mujer, Cruz will share her experience as a campaigner for legislative and judicial protection for Mexican women. While in high school she offered door-to-door lessons in literacy and she began to hear about the dangers facing Mexican women in León, Guanajuato, where she was born. Physical attacks there have been recorded against 59 percent of females 15-years-old and older, well above the World Health Organization’s estimate of 35 percent worldwide. In 2019 alone, these horrifying events included the murders of 303 women, at least 25 by domestic partners.

To combat this grim reality for so many women, in 2001, Cruz and others founded Las Libres, which advocates for the legal rights of women to make reproductive and sexual choices for their own bodies. An active promoter of free and safe abortions for victims of rape and incest, Cruz developed a training program for volunteers to provide counseling and accompany women seeking abortions. In 2006, she was the first Mexican human rights activist to be awarded the Defender of Human Rights Award from Human Rights Watch. In 2010, More magazine named her “the most dangerous woman in the world” for her advocacy of women’s rights.

From a house in Guanajuato, purchased by supporters in Portland, Oregon, who fund ongoing operations, Las Libres’ work has obtained guilty verdicts, prison sentences, and compensation for victims’ families for every woman murdered in the city of Guanajuato since 2014. This year, Las Libres succeeded in obtaining an official declaration of a Gender Alert, designating areas of Guanajuato where women face high levels of violence. The designation obligates law enforcement to conduct in-depth investigations of violence and implement protective measures.

Maritere Dobarganes will provide simultaneous translation of Cruz’s presentation. For more information about Ser Mujer, visit sermujersma.com.

Welcoming people of all ages, races, religions, sexual orientation, and gender identity, the UU Fellowship meets every Sunday at 10:30am at Posada de la Aldea, Ancha de San Antonio 15. For information about our Children’s Sunday Program, contact us at chris.chase1955@gmail.com. Visitors are invited to attend the service and join UUF for refreshments afterward. The fellowship is wheelchair accessible. For additional information, visit our web site at uufsma.org.