Faxes Jammed! And our call for Freedom of Expression heard
By Jeremy Bloom Campaigner, Central America Team,
Five days ago we started an exciting new faxjam action – calling on our 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.
Last night we spoke to Norma Cruz, the leader of the women’s rights organization Fundación Sobrevivientes, who has received repeated death threats because of her work supporting victims of violence against women and calling for those responsible to be prosecuted.
And the news is good, it seems the authorities are really taking notice.
Norma told us that on Tuesday (the day after we started jamming faxes), the Presidential Commission on Human Rights phoned her to check on her security situation. They said that they were checking because they had heard about the Amnesty International campaign – the campaign that you have all been a part of.
Norma also feels 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.
She wanted us to share her response and message of thanks with all of you:
"I want to give my thanks to each and every member of Amnesty International, on my behalf, on behalf of my team, and on behalf of every woman who has survived violence, on behalf of all the families that have lost a daughter, a wife, a sister. 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.
To support our struggle is to support the struggle of many women in Guatemala and across the world[j1] "
So far we haven’t had any news from the Attorney General's office in terms of investigations into the threats Norma has received, but we know that our calls for Norma to be able to carry out her work free from intimidation, threats and attacks have been heard by the Guatemalan authorities.
We will continue calling on the authorities to ensure that threats against Norma 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, so that Norma can always make her call for justice heard.
You can still take action for Norma and the Fundación Sobrevivientes here - even though the faxes are now jammed, we will still send all of your messages to the Attorney General by post.
Thanks and be sure to join us for the next faxjam for freedom of expression.