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FM AMEMBASSY MEXICO
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INFO ALL US CONSULATES IN MEXICO COLLECTIVE
UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 17 MEXICO 000640
PASS TO S/GWI
E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PREL, PHUM, KWMN, MX
SUBJECT: S/GWI Project Proposal
1. (SBU) Summary: In response to the Secretary's Office of Global
Women's Issues Small Grants initiative, Embassy Mexico City submits
the following four applications. They are in order of Post's
preference. First, find Semillas' proposal to advocate for
legislation that better protects victims of gender violence in
Guanajuato and Chiapas. Second, find the Consortium for
Parliamentary Dialogue and Equality's proposal to increase the
political participation of women. Third, find the Women's Center
for Humans Rights proposal to increase access to justice for women
in Chihuahua. Finally, find I(dh)eas' project to promote awareness
on a recent Inter-American Court decision. All of these proposals
advance MSP goals including the promotion of greater respect for
human rights and comprehensive justice reform. With their focus on
the challenges that face women in Mexico, particularly in
connection to the justice system, all of these projects would
contribute to these goals. Post's POL and AID offices will manage
Proposal 1: Semillas- Reduction of Gender Violence in Mexico
2. (SBU) Post Summary: Semillas will work to support the
implementation of needed laws to reduce violence against women in
the states of Guanajuato and Chiapas by working with local NGO
partners and other experts to develop strategic plans, organize
trainings on advocacy for local NGO partners, and carry out public
Post Comment: Semilla is a highly respected and well known national
organization. Its project is specifically focused at the state
level where they can make a great impact.
PROBLEM TO BE ADDRESSED
3. (U) A Special Commission established in 2006 by the Mexican
Parliament to investigate the phenomena of femicides concluded that
the government, at every level, has the obligation to guarantee the
right of women to a life free of violence, and ensure timely and
expeditious access to justice in the case of abuses. The government
has since advanced in certain areas at the legislative level
actions such as the approval of the General Law on the Access of
Women to a Life without Violence in 2007, and the inclusion of the
crime of femicide in the Federal Penal Code. The General Law
establishes the coordination between the national government and
the 32 states in order to prevent, punish, and eradicate violence
against women as well as the ways to guarantee women's access to a
life without violence, ensuring their development as well as their
welfare with equality and non-discrimination. It further includes
the necessary local laws and budgetary and administrative
provisions. Even so, violence against women is persistent in
Mexico. Every six hours a girl or woman is murdered in Mexico. From
1999 to 2005, there were 1,288 murders in the state of Mexico,
1,494 in Veracruz, 1,242 in Chiapas, 863 in Guerrero, and 743 in
the Federal District (i.e. Mexico City). While the victims come
from different socio-economic strata, the majority are poor or
marginalized with low levels of formal education.
4. (U) A more integrated approach to reducing gender violence is
needed in which all the branches and levels of government are
involved within the framework of a national policy. Approving laws
is not enough. It is only through harmonization of local and
federal laws that the state can address the basic concepts and
fundamentals guaranteeing the minimum required for female victims
of violence to obtain access to justice. In this process, civil
society organizations have the potential to play a fundamental role
by improving training, raising awareness, and advocating for
5. (U) Guanajuato remains the only state in Mexico that does not
have a law guaranteeing attention to women who have been victims of
violence. In fact, it revoked the national domestic violence law
and approved a General Violence State Law that symbolizes a step
back for women. The level of impunity in Guanajuato is very high,
regardless of the tireless efforts and work undertaken by civil
society organizations. Even with advances in attention to victims,
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there is still a tendency to deny victims access to justice and
despite a strong movement of feminist and women's organizations,
there is strong resistance on the part of the state government to
accept and address these problems.
6. (U) Chiapas adopted the General Law on the Access of Women to a
Life without Violence in August 2007. More than two years later,
there are still no regulations nor operating protocols for this
law. The abrogation of the law and adoption of a new one in March
2009 did not grant governmental bodies, like the Women's Institute
of Chiapas, the power to monitor, prevent, provide attention, and
eradicate gender violence and femicide.
7. (U) Semillas???? program of Reconciliation of the Law and Access
Justice seeks to contribute to diminishing gender violence in the
states of Chiapas and Guanajuato through the promotion of
initiatives addressing access to justice in three lines of action:
1) implementing a process of reconciliation that effectively
harmonizes state laws, norms, codes, and regulations with the
General Law; 2) raising the level of awareness of and training to
authorities and public officials in charge of providing women in
violent situations with proper attention, and 3) promoting a
general understanding of the contents of the General Law and
applicable state laws to the public.
8. (U) Semillas has supported nine organizations with small grants
to do this work, two of which are from Guanajuato (Las Libres and
Vitoria Diez Human Rights) and one from Chiapas (Grupo de Mujeres
de San Crist????bal de las Casas, or COLEM ). The present grant would
give Semillas the opportunity to support these organizations to
make a bigger impact in states that badly need reform.
PROJECT DESCRIPTION: ACTIVITIES, DESIRED OUTCOMES, AND PERFORMANCE
9. (U) This 18-month project is part of Semillas' Fund for Gender
Violence which aims to support seven to eight organizations,
working in different states, to more strategically and effectively
reduce gender violence in Mexico, specifically in Guanajuato and
Chiapas, through the promotion of initiatives directed at the
harmonization and implementation of the General Law on the Access
of Women to a Life without Violence. Below is a description of the
project objectives and their associated activities, outcomes, and
10. (U) A. Develop three strategies to strengthen the work of three
organizations from Guanajuato and Chiapas.
-Two local meetings, one per state. The aim of these meetings is to
create a space where organizations can analyze and debate the
context around the implementation of the General Law with experts
in the field and will help organizations develop their own local
-Provision of grants to local organizations working on the issue of
gender violence in Guanajuato and Chiapas. Funding is a vital
component in enabling groups to undertake this work. It is
envisaged that three groups will be supported, each with a grant of
US$22,500, given in three payments of US$7,500 each.
11. (U) Desired outcomes
- Each organization will have its own medium-term strategies (3
- Three organizations will receive grants.
-The organizations will develop a context analysis regarding the
obstacles in implementing the General Law, in order to then develop
strategies of action.
-The organizations will set their own yearly performance measures
of their strategies, with visible results for the first year.
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-Specialists in the harmonization and implementation of the General
Law will be linked with the organizations, assisting them in
debating and analyzing the context and developing each
12. (U) Performance Measures
-Two context analyses, one per state.
-Three strategies, one per organization.
-Three grants awarded to three organizations.
-Yearly performance measures per organization.
-Two specialists linked with the three organizations.
13. (U) B. Strengthen the sub-grantee organizations' capabilities
in advocating before governmental authorities of the aforesaid
states (at all three branches of the government- executive,
legislative and judicial- and local congresses, programs, and
14. (U) Activities
-Specific capacity-building support for local organizations to
enable them to work more effectively with the public sector.
Support will be provided to strengthen local organizations'
abilities in specific areas that are fundamental to the success of
the project, such as: advocacy and negotiation; strengthening of
networks and joint actions; management of legal processes with
authorities; and awareness raising and communications. Training
will be provided via: (a) workshops on specific themes; (b) sharing
of experiences and learning between organizations; and (c)
individual technical assistance from national and international
experts (for selected organizations). The organizations will define
their necessities and priorities.
-Accompaniment, monitoring, linking, and learning. Through a
process of accompaniment and monitoring, Semillas will work to
detect new needs and seek points of synergy between the
organizations participating in the project. This will contribute to
the transparent management of the project, promote learning, and
facilitate reporting to donors and other stakeholders.
15. (U) Desired outcomes
-Women fellows from the sub-grantees organizations will develop
their leadership skills and increase their knowledge and capacity,
including negotiation, advocacy, and networking skills.
-Local groups will improve their technical and strategic capacity,
including their capacity to dialogue and negotiate with a wide
range of stakeholders, including local and state government and
16. (U) Performance Measures
-One member of each organization members of each organization
trained in relevant legal issues.
-Three technical assistance workshops, one per organization.
-At least one workshop on a relevant issue during the meeting to
17. (U) C. Raise public awareness regarding the organizations'
proposals to implement the General Law in order to increase
pressure on the public sector.
18. (U) Activities
-Local events to promote public awareness including fairs, or
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-Presence in the mass media (print, radio, and local television).
-Creation of visibility materials such as flyers, manuals,
-Creation of a video by Semillas covering the process of the
19. (U) Desired outcomes
-There will be an increase in public awareness of harmonization and
-These organizations will have a greater presence in the mass media
(print, radio, and local television).
-Actors form different sectors will be involved in the process.
-Creation of visibility materials.
-Creation of a video covering the process of the project.
20. (U) Performance Measures
-400 people will get to know the discussion of the results of and
obstacles in the process.
-At least three mentions in the mass media (print, radio, and local
-Three local actors from different sectors will be involved in the
-Three visibility materials, such as flyers, manuals, postcards,
-One video covering the process of the project.
BUDGET (In Separate Email)
21. (U) Sociedad Mexicana Pro Derechos de la Mujer (Semillas) is
the only Mexican fund for women. Semillas' mission is to empower
marginal and marginalized women and girls through resource
mobilization and supporting women's organizations whose
self-initiated projects are focused on women's and girls' human
rights. It carries out its mission through grantmaking that is
directed to women's NGOs and grassroots groups, and fundraising
that is directed not only at international grantmaking foundations,
but also at Mexican donors, both individuals and corporations,
whose contributions are an investment in social change benefiting
women and girls. These activities contribute to a consciousness
about social change, and recognize both donors and grantees as
investors in the movement.
22. (U) Semillas was founded in 1990, originally conceived simply
as a bridge to channel funds from international sources to women's
organizations and grassroots groups in Mexico that were struggling
to emerge. As the years progressed, it became increasingly
apparent that these groups sought much more from Semillas than
simply financing. Led by the principle of listening to the ideas
and needs of the grantees and beneficiaries, Semillas gradually
developed into an institution that could address the needs of the
women's movement in Mexico.
23. (U) Today, Semillas is comprised of a Board of Directors and a
professional staff led by an Executive Director. Semillas operates
primarily through its Grantmaking and Fundraising Departments. The
first has as its primary function the strengthening of women's
organizations through the provision of small grants and technical
assistance - which includes activities such as mentoring,
institutional support, training on results measurement, peer
alliance building, development of networks, etc. The Fundraising
Department aims to raise financial and in-kind resources at the
international and national level.
MEXICO 00000640 005 OF 017
24. (U) Semillas focuses on three main themes with their respective
-Women and Work: Economic Autonomy and Sustainable Development;
Labor Rights; Right to Land; and Community Development with a
-Sexual and Reproductive Rights: Maternal Mortality; Sexual
Education for Young People; Right to Decide; and Sexual Diversity.
-Gender Violence: Prevention and Attention to Gender Violence; and
Reconciliation of the Law and Access to Justice.
25. (U) Semillas has been working for the eradication of gender
violence in Mexico for over 10 years. Its focus has been on
promoting and defending women's human rights, in particular the
right to a life free of violence and access to expeditious and
adequate justice. During this time, Semillas has supported
different women's organizations throughout the country in
violence-prevention projects and the provision of legal advice to
female victims, at the domestic level as well as more generally,
including in workplaces and public spaces.
Semillas in numbers:
Leadership grants awarded
Adult and young women who have directly
benefited from grants
Adult and young women and girls who have indirectly benefited from
Total amount in grant dollars awarded by Semillas
26. (U) Semillas has received funding from: ADO Foundation,
American Express Foundation, Avon Foundation, Ford Foundation,
General Service Foundation, Global Fund for Women, HIVOS, W. K.
Kellogg Foundation, Levi Strauss Foundation, MacArthur Foundation,
Mama Cash, Dutch Minister for Development Cooperation (MDG3 Fund),
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Natura, Oak Foundation, Open Society Institute, Park Perales, IFA
(Pharmaceutical Research), Sigrid Rausing Trust, and UNIFEM, among
Proposal 2: Consortium for Parliamentary Dialogue and Equality-
Increasing Women's Political Representation in Mexico
27. (SBU) Post Summary: The Consortium for Parliamentary Dialogue
and Equality proposes increasing women's political participation by
creating strategies to close legal loopholes, providing trainings
to build consensus and advocacy capabilities, and improving
relationships between activists and politicians through workshops
Post Comment: The Consortium has a strong relationship with our
local NDI partner and their project addresses a timely need. Its
proposal seeks to build stronger relationships between civil
society and government, something Mexico needs to progress in on a
priority basis in order to meet a wide array of challenges. The
proposal is focused, includes training and promotional material,
and would contribute greatly to an overall debate on female
participation in politics.
28. (U) The latest elections in 2009 in Mexico showed that the
political participation of women is significantly lower than the
figure mandated by national law. In 2002, the Federal Electoral
Code (COFIPE) was reformed with the purpose of establishing
mandatory gender quotas. The law, which took effect just prior to
the 2003 elections, stipulated that party candidate lists must not
be created with more than 70% of candidates of the same gender. As
a result, the presence of women in the legislative branch increased
from 16 to 28 percent, a highly important achievement. This reform
was further modified in 2008, as a result of lengthy debate on
election reforms in Congress, increasing the gender quota by
stipulating that neither gender could be represented by more than
60%. However, the initial percentage of women in the current
legislature (2009-2012) in the Chamber of Representatives was
27.6%, which later decreased to 25%, after the resignation of 11
29. (U) Despite the fact that there has been an increase in the
percentage of female representatives, this percentage remains
significantly lower than the legally stipulated number. Legal flaws
in both reforms allow political parties to legally manipulate their
female representative quotas. Furthermore, political parties have
systematically employed fraudulent practices to thwart the
enforcement of this law. The most illustrative case is the recent
resignation of eleven elected female deputies who ceded their
legislative seats to official male substitutes. This plan was
designed before the elections and was finally fulfilled on February
2, 2010, when the male substitutes took office in the Federal
Chamber of Representatives. These actions were publicly denounced
by Consorcio, many other civic organizations, and women from the
political parties themselves.
30. (U) Based on such examples, Consorcio submits the following
proposal which has the aim of promoting a process to identify the
legal loopholes and promote reforms to close them. Consorcio would
also encourage the political parties to make a renewed commitment
to the incorporation of female candidates, the adoption of
practices to guarantee female political participation, and increase
in resources and training for women party members and activists.
31. (U) Late last year, President Felipe Caderon proposed a new
political reform package that does not address women's political
participation. Therefore, Consorcio feels strongly it must join
this national debate and provide expertise.
MEXICO 00000640 007 OF 017
Summary of the Proposed Program
32. (U) Consorcio para el Di????logo Parlamentario y la Equidad A.C.
(Consortium for Parliamentary Dialogue and Equality) to promote
legal reforms acknowledging and guaranteeing the political rights
of women by means of building legal frameworks that promote the
arrival and permanence of women in elected positions. In order to
promote and strengthen dialogue and debate on the political
participation of women, this project would include the
participation of civil society organizations, Congresswomen, and
political party members.
33. (U) As part of this project, Consorcio would strengthen
relationships and monitoring capabilities and evaluate political
parties and electoral institutions on behalf of women's civil
organizations. Consorcio would monitor activities in the National
Congress with regard to women's political participation and
generate clear and comprehensive information on advocacy strategies
to deepen the political participation of women.
34. (U) Project Objectives
-Promote an inclusive dialogue about the political rights of women
by convening a group of women and men with expertise in the area of
women's political participation.
-Strengthen alliances amongst civil society organizations and
representatives from the various political parties in order to
foster the promotion and defense of the political rights of women.
-Provide timely information to civil organizations about
legislative debates and actions involving female political
participation to strengthen legislative advocacy efforts to promote
the political rights of women.
35. (U) Project Activities
A. Diagnosis of the electoral laws.
This project will focus on creating a diagnosis of electoral laws
in order to create proposals to rectify the flaws and gaps that
limit women's political participation. In order to achieve this:
-Consorcio will collect and systematize the contents of both
electoral reforms on gender quotas and identify the extent to which
they have, or have not, reached their proposed goals. Consorcio
will also include the interpretations of the judicial branch with
regards to gender quotas.
-Consorcio will create an electoral law analysis group that will
meet at least once each quarter and which will maintain a line of
permanent communication and debate using remote communication
-Consorcio will hold two sessions with international experts to
develop reforms proposals. In addition, Consorcio will cultivate
relationships with allied parliament members who have the legal
capacity to present these proposals in Congress.
36. (U) B. Building alliances with political parties and civil
Consorcio will hold a debate forum on recent political reforms in
Sonora, which became the first state in the country to include
gender parity in its laws. Civil and academic organizations will
participate in this forum, as well as representatives of state and
federal government agencies.
37. (U) Consorcio will organize at least two debate panels, as well
as a series of bilateral discussion and analysis meetings, with
women from political parties. It will maintain a permanent presence
in the National Congress. Additionally, Consorcio will hold monthly
meetings with civil organizations invited to participate in this
38. (U) Training
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In order to effectively lobby female and male legislators,
Consorcio will simultaneously work to strengthen the advocacy
capabilities of women's organizations, focusing on local
organizations in three states (Sonora, Jalisco and Yucatan).
Consorcio will hold at least one session with organizations of each
of those states. Consorcio will also carry out similar trainings
aimed at women leaders of the main political parties, PAN, PRI, and
39. (U) Legislative monitoring and promotion
Consorcio will monitor the ordinary and extraordinary sessions of
the Congress, identifying subjects and actions linked to the
political rights of women. Based on this analysis, Consorcio will
distribute information on strategic advocacy in Congress to at
least eight women's organizations from three states and Mexico
City. Consorcio will include a specific section in its website with
relevant information about the national political reform and the
political representation of women.
40. (U) Consorcio will edit and promote a publication that will
focus on the progress and the challenges women face in gaining
political representation in Mexico. This publication will be
distributed amongst all members of the legislative branch and civil
41. (U) Finally, Consorcio will organize a public presentation of
the proposal created by the group to promote its subjects and
42. (U) Objective 1
Promote an inclusive dialogue about the political rights of women
by convening a group of women and men with expertise in the area of
women's political participation.
Result 1.1 A legislative reform proposal to strengthen the
political participation of women agreed upon by civil society
organizations and representatives of political parties.
44. (U) Objective 2
Strengthen alliances amongst civil society organizations and
representatives from the various political parties in order to
foster the promotion and defense of the political rights of women.
Result 2.1 Civil society organizations will have relevant and
specific information about the current status of the political
rights of women.
Result 2.2 Civil society organizations will be better prepared to
defend and promote the political rights of women.
Result 2.3 Women who are members of political parties will
strengthen their links with civil society and vice versa so as to
mutually defend of the political participation of women.
45. (U) Objective 3
Provide timely information to civil organizations about legislative
debates and actions involving female political participation to
strengthen legislative advocacy efforts to promote the political
rights of women.
Result 3.1 Electronic bulletins to promote information on the
Result 3.2 A specific section with quality information in the
Result 3.3 The editing and distribution of a specific publication
on the subject.
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Result 3.4 A public presentation of the reform proposal produced by
the plural group of civil organizations and women and men from
various political parties.
46. (U) Founded in 1988, Consorcio para el Di????logo Parlamentario y
la Equidad is a feminist, non sectarian, non profit, non political
organization seeking to contribute to the full citizenship of
women, gender equality and the creation of a democratic and just
society and rule of law.
47. (U) Since that date, Consorcio has carried out political
advocacy campaigns to include a gender equality and non
discrimination perspective within the Mexican legal framework and
promote fiscal accountability in the parliament environment.
Consorcio's activities are always aimed at promoting the
coordination and creation of national, regional and international
alliances mainly related with the political, social, sexual and
reproductive rights of women.
48. (U) Consorcio has permanently monitored and assessed the
participation of women in the legislative environment. In
2000-2009, Consorcio promoted the presence of nearly 20 women's
organizations to produce bill drafts of bills which promote the
affirmative in terms of number of representatives.
BUDGET (In Separate Email)
Proposal 3: Women's Center for Humans Rights- Access to Justice for
Women in Chihuahua
49. (SBU) Post Summary: As part of its Access to Justice for Women
in the New Accusatory System, the Women's Center for Human Rights
will: study and document cases of violence against women, develop
promotional educational material on women's rights, provide free
legal representation for female victims of violence, organize
trainings on women's rights, and advocate for legislative changes
to benefit women.
Post Comment: CEDEHM's would advance Mission goals and would
undoubtedly make a substantial contribution to improving the plight
of many women at the local level.
PROBLEM TO BE ADDRESSED
50. (U) In Chihuahua, Mexico, high rates of violence against women
have been recorded. Such violence includes sexual harassment by
federal agents, rape, domestic violence, and murder. The violence
associated with criminal groups and the military occupation of the
state since 2007 to combat these criminal groups, has had terrible
consequences for women. Impunity for cases of violence against
women is common when perpetrated by the victims' partners, criminal
groups, or police officers and soldiers. A large number of cases
remain unpunished, thereby permitting such acts to continue.
51. (U) Chihuahua City and Ciudad Juarez, both in the state of
Chihuahua, are internationally infamous for the phenomenon of
women's murders that remain unsolved. Approximately 35% of the
10,000 violent deaths that occurred in Mexico in 2008 and 2009
occurred in the border state of Chihuahua.. In both years, the
Mexican government tried to control the wave of violence by sending
police and military forces to the state. Currently, more than
10,000 soldiers and federal police patrol the state. Today, it is
ever more risky to live in Chihuahua due to the high rates of
murders and violence, but especially so for women and girls.
According to the Chihuahua State Attorney's Office, "One hundred
eighty-four women were murdered in 2009, a record, [and] three
times higher than the most critical years of femicide (murders of
women) in Juarez."
52. (U) The State Human Rights Commission of Chihuahua (Commission)
received three complaints of human rights violations against the
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army in 2007. A year later, the Commission received 162 complaints.
In the first 10 months of 2009, the Commission received 149
complaints; some of these were allegations of torture, forced
disappearances, and extrajudicial executions. Most of these
complaints were filed by women.
SUMMARY OF THE PROPOSED PROGRAM
53. (U) The objective of this project is to promote: awareness of
the rights of female victims of violence; laws to protect women;
more effective responses on the part of the authorities to the
needs of victims; and better access to justice within the new
judicial system Chihuahua adopted in 2007.
54. (U) Chihuahua was the first state to introduce the new criminal
justice system prior to the 2008 constitutional reform. This new
system is based on respect for human rights, presumption of
innocence, and oral and public trials. CEDEEHM is convinced that
laws are an important tool to protect women's human rights and
promote legal equality. This is an opportunity for CEDEHM to
abolish discriminatory provisions and advocate for the amendment of
those laws which are seemingly neutral but in fact prejudice
vulnerable groups such as women. CEDEHM monitors the functioning of
the new system and believes that additional changes we should be
made. These legal reforms will benefit not only the women of
Chihuahua, but also women in other states, since the legislation of
this state is likely to be replicated in the others, as Chihuahua
is viewed as a pioneer of the new system.
55. (U) Also, Chihuahua reported a record number of femicides in
2009. Women have become more vulnerable since the onset of the
armed conflict between the security forces, military, and criminal
groups. It is of critical importance, now more than ever, that
women who are victims of violence have access to justice, obtain a
satisfactory solution, and as a result, further violence against
them is prevented. Many women report domestic violence against them
but obtain no response from authorities. Therefore, one of the
activities of this project is to provide training, counsel, and
free legal representation for female victims of violence. This will
improve access to justice in individual cases for which legal
representation is provided and permit CEDEHM to document legal and
institutional barriers faced by women.
56. (U) Another problem is the "low use of the system of justice by
women victims of violence." The Inter-American Commission on Human
Rights (IACHR) recognized "the mistreatment that both the victims
and their families can receive while trying to access justice, as
well as their mistrust of the courts." Therefore, one of the
activities of this project is to develop educational materials for
and provide training to women so that they can know their rights
and ways to exercise them, as well as the legal options available
to them for filing complaints and accessing justice. CEDEHM will
also conduct a targeted qualitative study with female victims of
violence, utilizing interviews and focus groups, in order to learn
from violence survivors what they view as being the incentives and
barriers for women to denounce and pursue a prosecution. CEDEHM
will disseminate the results of these findings to the authorities,
international agencies, and the women themselves in order to
diminish these obstacles.
57. (U) Finally, while CEDEHM recognizes that legislation is
extremely important for ensuring the respect for women's human
rights, we also know it is not enough. The Inter-American Court of
Human Rights and has repeatedly stated that the investigation of
human rights violations, including cases of violence against women,
must be conducted by competent and impartial authorities.
Therefore, we will train two groups of state officers in order to
raise awareness about the services and help that should be
available to women who are victims of violence. The first group
trained will be police officers, as they are the ones who often
respond to calls for help from victims of violence. The second
group trained will be prosecutors and members of the justice
system, as they often receive complaints of violence against women
and investigate these cases.
57. (U) The general objective of the present project is to improve
the access to justice for female victims of violence. Our project
will be focused on five specific objectives: (1) Document and
disseminate the barriers that female victims of violence face in
their access to justice; (2)develop and disseminate information and
materials to ensure that women know their rights, including how to
exercise them and what agencies and services are available to them;
(3) provide free legal representation for women victims of violence
and document the legal and institutional barriers they face; (4)
undertake advocacy in the Chihuahua Congress, pressing for
legislative changes that will benefit women; and (5) train staff
who care for female victims of violence in the provision of better
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PROJECT ACTIVITIES, DESIRED OUTCOMES, AND PERFORMANCES MEASURES
58. (U) CEDEHM will document and disseminate the barriers that
female victims of violence face in their access to justice.
CEDEHM will conduct a qualitative study with women and girls who
have been victims of domestic and sexual violence, using two
techniques: in-depth interviews and focus groups. This study will
obtain the testimonies of least 50 women and girls who are
survivors of family violence or sexual abuse. (Since it is a
qualitative study, it does not require a statistically significant
sample.) The aim of the study is to determine what motivates some
women who are victims of violence to go to the authorities to lodge
a complaint, while others have felt scared or intimidated to report
or file complains. The study will also provide important
information about the obstacles that women face after they report
the facts, and why they decide to continue or not with a legal
process. The study will also reveal the extent of women's
satisfaction or dissatisfaction with the results provided by the
new criminal justice system.
59. (U) CEDEHM will publish two reports based on the research
results. The first report will discuss the obstacles that women
face in accessing justice in Chihuahua, based on the testimony of
women themselves. The second report, will make recommendations for
governmental institutions to improve their provision of services to
victims by addressing their needs and reducing the barriers faced
by women. It will present the findings and recommendations of this
two-part report in two universities, at a press conference, and at
a public forum for state and local authorities to which the
following agencies that serve victims of violence will be invited:
the state Attorney General, Municipal Police, local Members of
Congress, and the Chihuahua Institute for Women. In addition,
CEDEHM will write and publish report based on the research results,
including success stories of women survivors of violence. The
stories will be selected and printed to be used as material for
female victims of violence so that they can be inspired by stories
of other female victims' healing. The report will also be uploaded
onto the CEDEHM website.
60. (U) CEDEHM will organize and carry out an international seminar
on "Gender, Justice, and Human Rights" to exchange experiences
about access to justice between local, national, and international
organizations and experts. The event will be held in Chihuahua City
and those invited will include authorities in all three branches of
government, educational institutions, organizations, members of the
press, and community leaders.
61. (U) Finally, CEDEHM will request a thematic hearing before the
IACHR in Washington to explain the dire situation of violence
against women in Chihuahua State and the obstacles they face in
62. (U) The goal of this project is to reduce barriers that women
face in accessing justice. The unit of measure is the adoption of
any institutional changes, based on the recommendations of the
qualitative study and legal documentation of cases to the
authorities. The adoption of institutional change should be aimed
at reducing institutional obstacles that are identified in the
study, so that women can lodge complaints and have greater access
to the justice system. In addition, our unit of measure will be the
granting of a hearing by the IACHR regarding violence and women and
access to justice in Chihuahua, and a public statement from the
Commission on these facts.
63. (U) CEDEHM will develop and disseminate information and
materials to ensure that women know their rights.
CEDEHM will develop a five-minute video to explain what domestic
violence is, how it occurs, what risks exist, who can help in a
situation of violence, which rights women have, what legal
alternatives they have, and how women can heal. The video will be
uploaded onto our webpage and YouTube, and will be prepared by
lawyers, psychologists, and a communication expert. The target
audience is women who are victims of violence. The video will be
used in the weekly workshops CEDEHM provides to teach victims of
violence their rights and how to exercise them.
64. (U) CEDEHM will additionally develop a brochure with key
information written in basic, easy-to-understand language,
discussing what domestic violence is, how it occurs, what risks
exist, who can help in a situation of violence, women's rights,
legal alternatives that exist, and how women can heal. It will also
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include a directory of institutions that provide emergency care for
women who are victims of violence in Chihuahua City. A minimum of
one thousand copies will be printed in Spanish for women who seek
help from CEDEHM.
65. (U) Furthermore, CEDEHM will develop an animated five-minute
video and brochure with information on measures to take after being
raped, as well as the medical and legal alternatives that exist for
reporting such abuse and having access to safe and legal abortions.
The video will be uploaded onto YouTube and the CEDEHM website. The
video information and text will be drafted by lawyers,
psychologists, and a doctor who is an expert on sexual violence.
The target population for both the video and brochure will be women
who have been victims of sexual violence as well as those who want
to know what they can do if they should become victims of such
crimes in the future.
66. (U) CEDEHM will also participate in at least 20 television
programs on the rights of women at the municipal level. We will
produce 15 radio spots on the rights of women, domestic violence,
and women's legal alternatives and services available that will be
broadcasted on local radio.
67. (U) CEDEHM will .provide free legal representation for female
victims of violence and document the legal and institutional
barriers they face.
CEDEHM will provide a legal refresher workshop to 10 women
volunteers who will accompany female victims of violence to
government agencies and the courts and help victims do the
necessary paperwork and file protection and restraining orders.
CEDEHM's legal team will provide advice, case monitoring, and free
legal representation. CEDEHM will document the incentives and legal
barriers -- through legal representation and litigation -- that
female victims of violence face in bringing a complaint and seeing
the trial through to its end. Staff will analyze court records and
sentences of paradigmatic cases of violence against women and
develop a report summarizing this information for submission to
state authorities for use in the promotion of legislative changes.
68. (U) The desired outcome is to enable more women to know their
rights and exercise them. The unit of measure used to determine the
success of this goal will be a survey with women who will have
received CEDEHM material (videos and brochures) that asks how
useful the information was and how many times consumers used it.
CEDEHM will also count phone calls received based on TV and radio
spots. CEDEHM will gather statistics on the number of women who
decide to file complaints through the justice system after
receiving the materials or having been accompanied by our
69. (U) CEDEHM will undertake advocacy in the Chihuahua Congress,
pressing for legislative changes that will benefit women.
First, CEDEHM will identify and analyze discriminatory laws in the
Penal Code, Family Code, Code of Criminal Procedure, and Code of
Civil Procedure. CEDEHM will identify the discriminatory provisions
therein or in laws that disproportionately and negatively impact
women's access to justice. At the same time, CEDEHM will develop
and analyze the level of compliance with local laws and
international recommendations. Based on these studies, CEDEHM will
prepare draft legislation to submit to the Chihuahua Congress,
Chihuahua Attorney General's office, and the Secretary of the New
Criminal Justice System.
BUDGET (In Separate Email)
70. (U) CEDEHM is a non-profit, non-governmental organization that
was founded in 2005 to provide care and alternatives to female
victims of violence. Our areas of expertise include free legal
representation in cases of violence against women, empowerment of
victims of violence and other organizations, and advocacy. CEDEHM
is currently the only organization that litigates in the new
criminal justice system, because our lawyers were trained, together
with judges and magistrates, in the operation of the new system.
71. (U) While CEDEHM is based in Chihuahua City, Chihuahua, its
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members train medical personnel across the state on the issue of
violence against women and provide legal representation in cases
across the state with special emphasis on Cuauht????moc and Ciudad
Ju????rez. CEDEHM receives grants primarily from: Primate's World
Relief and Development, Fondo Mundial para los Derechos Humanos,
Angelica Foundation, and Ford Foundation. CEDEHM has a staff of 52
people, 11 full-time salaried employees, 10 part time salaried
employees, and 31 unpaid volunteers. The fulltime staff includes
four lawyers, two psychologists, and two international relations
professionals. Among CEDEHM's achievements, the legal team brought
the cases of Paloma Escobar and Silvia Arce, cases related to the
violations of women's human rights, to the IACHR. In addition,
CEDEHM has participated in thematic hearings before the IACHR,
including the hearing on women's access to justice in the new
criminal justice system in November 2009.
72. (U) CEDEHM has an on-going dialogue with state and municipal
authorities. CEDEHM is able to mobilize hundreds of women to demand
justice in public places when necessary. Internationally, CEDEHM is
allied with Washington-based civil society organizations to send
information to the US Congress. On 27 January 2010, a memorandum
entitled Women: Victims of Military Occupation and Violence in
Chihuahua was sent by CEDEHM and the Washington Office on Latin
America (WOLA) to Members of the US Congress.
Proposal 4: I(dh)eas- Using The Inter-American Court of Human
Rights Sentence in the "Cotton Field" Case as an Instrument to
Empower Women in Their Struggle against Gender Violence
73. (SBU) Post Summary: I(dh)eas will host trainings and workshops
on a recent Inter-American Court decision to inspire women, promote
creative legal approaches to ending violence against women, and
ensure the Court's decision is implemented satisfactorily.
Post Comment: I(dh)eas proposal is focused, well planned, and well
defined. However, its impact is not focused on the local level and
while this project would contribute to the larger effort to prevent
violence against women, it most likely would not have significant
DESCRIPTION OF THE PROBLEM
74. (U) Gender violence in Mexico has reached an alarming level,
particularly in the border areas and big cities. Violence takes on
several guises, as reflected in the 2003 National Survey on
Violence against Women, which concluded that 69% of the women
surveyed have suffered some type of violence, be it on the part of
their current or previous partners (43%) or by someone in the area
or community where they reside (39.7%). Currently, there are
advances in public policies and national and international
legislation aimed at stopping the spiral of violence, suicide, and
physical and psychological damage suffered by a great number of
women and girls. However, governmental measures adopted are not
sufficient to guarantee women's and girls' access to a life free of
violence; it is thus necessary to promote farther-reaching social
programs arising from within grassroots civil society that respond
to the national and international commitments endorsed by Mexico.
75. (U) One of the most serious aspects of this societal problem is
impunity, or the lack of efficient action taken by authorities to
stem the tide and ultimately abolish violence against women and
girls. According to a study by the Citizens' Institute for
Insecurity Studies (ICESI), among all crimes committed in Mexico in
2004, alleged perpetrators received prison sentences in only 75
cases out of 1,000; and less than two-thirds of the accused - 49
out of 1,000 - received condemnatory sentences.
76. (U) Violence has increased in specific areas such as the
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infamous case of Ciudad Ju????rez, in the state of Chihuahua, which
considered by some civil society organizations to be the most
violent city in the world. More than 600 women have been brutally
murdered there since 1993, targeted just for being women, without
any governmental response in the form of investigations, attempts
to determine the responsible parties, adequate sanctions, or
integral compensation given to the victims or their survivors.
There are cultural and social patterns impeding a series of human
rights violations against women from being considered crimes by
those responsible for applying justice (judges, officials in charge
of receiving complaints, police, government officials, etc.).
Therefore, the great majority of cases of violence against women
and girls, do not result in favorable sentences for the victims and
their families, due mainly to a negligent attitude by the public
servants and the denial of due process to the victims and their
77. (U) Impunity in cases of gender violence has pushed civil
society organizations to request the intervention of international
human rights mechanisms when solutions cannot be found in our own
judicial system. As a significant example, in December 2009, the
Inter-American Court of Human Rights (CoIDH) issued a sentence
against the Mexican state regarding violence against women, in what
has become known as the "Cotton Field" Case. The case deals with
three young women who were brutally murdered in Chihuahua. The
CoIDH sentenced the Mexican government to compensate the victims,
or their surviving kin, for damages caused by the government by not
assuming its responsibility to guarantee women a life free of
violence, and by not providing prompt and expeditious attention to
the case of forced disappearances of the young women involved.
78. (U) This case has been the product of a tenacious 20-year
struggle at different levels of the Mexican justice system by both
the families of the victims and civil society organizations to
eradicate gender violence, culminating in taking the case to the
CoIDH. This sentence must be seen as a success story involving
citizen participation in an international tribunal in their
struggle for justice, truth, and freedom for women. Due to the
relevance and impact of this sentence, not only in Chihuahua but
also at the national level, it is of utmost importance to ensure
that women, and the larger public,- including authorities and those
who must deal with victims and their families - know about the
sentence and the responsibility it entails for the Mexican
government. It needs to be assimilated and used as an instrument
to support greater empowerment of women in their struggle for a
life without violence, as well as a tool to demand that the Mexican
government comply with its international commitments. This case is
considered emblematic and exemplary, and has the potential to
empower women in leadership and to encourage them to face the
authorities and press them for justice in current and future cases
and hold them to their legal responsibilities.
79. (U) The emblematic sentence itself, as well as its implications
at the local level, is practically unknown by the great majority of
Mexican women as well as authorities directly involved in this
issue (not to mention the general public). Therefore, this project
is geared towards communicating its importance, relevance, and
applicability at several levels such that wider sectors of the
population recognize its judicial value and the moral strength it
entails as well as its potential for beginning to resolve what has
been an intractable societal issue. This sentence would provide
women with the legal support they need to demand greater changes in
public policy from their governments, and to see those changes
translated into prevention and education programs to stop the
gender violence spiral.
SUMMARY OF PROPOSED PROGRAM
80. (U) The 15-month project will run from June 2010 to December
2011. The overall objectives of our project are as follows: a)
Women will know about the contents and relevance of the "Cotton
Field" sentence, as well as its implications for them in filing
cases and being able to press for public policies and governmental
programs that favor a life free of violence as well as prompt and
expeditious access to justice; b) governmental officials and public
servants will be linked to law and justice enforcement at the
national and state levels in order to understand the meaning and
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scope of the sentence, and to consider modifying and improving
their methods and criteria for complying with Mexico's obligations
under international treaties to which it is a signatory; and c) we
will widely disseminate information on the sentence itself and its
implications to opinion leaders and members of all branches of the
media as the basis for grounded judicial action and reform.
81. (U) This project holds the distinct promise of being a catalyst
for future actions in two respects: firstly, women, authorities,
and the general public will know more about the issue of violence
against women; this knowledge can in turn lead to national and
international litigation. Secondly, it allows for follow-up and for
supporting women's initiatives which, through the program, may
transform into advocacy for pressing for women's rights at
different levels of government.
82. (U) In order to accomplish these objectives, we will undertake
two lines of action: (1) Host a forum and five training workshops
in which we will provide training, analysis, and discussion of the
"Cotton Field" sentence as well as possible actions to be
undertaken utilizing it as a legal tool. The forum and workshops
will be directed at women leaders from civil society organizations,
public servants, and members of the media. (2) We will launch a
campaign targeting wide sectors of the population (such as
students, housewives, academics, and workers, among many others) to
disseminate the information about the significance of the sentence,
its follow-up, and the positive actions that can be undertaken by
society and government in order to provide a life free of violence
DESCRIPTION OF THE PROJECT: SPECIFIC ACTIVITIES, DESIRED OUTCOMES,
AND PERFORMANCE MEASURES
83. (U) a) A citizen's forum on the implications of the sentence by
the CoIDH. Due to the lack of information in the media about the
"Cotton Field" sentence and its legal implications for public
policy, we will host a public citizens' forum which will include
women leaders, women's organizations, academics, public leaders,
NGO representatives, and public servants working in the field of
women's human rights. Members of i(dh)eas, its partner organization
the Economic Research and Teaching Center, A.C. (CIDE), and five
experts on gender issues will discuss and analyze the relevance of
the "Cotton Field" sentence and its possible implications for
women's organizations struggling for a society characterized by a
life without violence. The forum will take place at CIDE's offices
in November 2010.
84. (U) Expected results and performance indicators: Fifty women,
members of the media, and socio-political leaders will participate
by discussing the transcendence of this sentence and the
government's (lack of) compliance with it. The information produced
will be compiled into a formal document and disseminated through
the media (two radio programs and three national newspapers) and on
the i(dh)eas and CIDE websites. The forum will initiate public
discussion of the sentence and will provide conclusions that will
be used as inputs for the later workshops.
85. (U) b) Five training workshops. The workshops will have three
aspects: (1) we will explain and discuss the key international
treaties that deal with a life free of violence and the issue of
impunity in an integral and complementary fashion; (2) we will
explain and discuss the process that led to the CoIDH sentence and
the Mexican government's obligations dictated therein; and (3) we
will design possible legal and advocacy strategies to be carried
out to press for a life free of violence. These two-day workshops
(two five-hour days) will permit the time to deeply analyze this
paradigmatic case and the issue of violence against women, and will
lead to conclusions from the various participating different
groups. We will host three workshops in Mexico City at the CIDE
facilities: one for women's civil society organizations, one for
government officials, and the third for members of the media. Two
additional workshops will be hosted in the border states of Chiapas
and Chihuahua, as they are the states with the greatest index of
women's rights violations. All five workshops will promote
partnerships with The Women's Institute at the state level, and
with the authorities involved in the issue of violence against
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86. (U) Expected results and performance indicators: Attendance by
women who are members of diverse women's rights organizations,
governmental officials in charge of programs linked to the
attention and prevention of violence against women, and opinion
leaders, in order to sensitize them on the importance of the
"Cotton Field" sentence and promote their analysis on potential
changes in public policy for women enabling them to enjoy a life
free of violence. In attendance will be 100 women leaders of civil
society organizations involved in social processes favoring women;
80 government employees (including personnel from the Women's
Institute at the state level, judges, police, and representatives
of the Attorney General's Office at the state and federal levels);
and 20 members of the media (print, TV, radio, and opinion
leaders). We will produce a document containing a record of the
expert presentations, discussions of the participants, and
legislative proposals made during the workshops. Different
materials will be produced for the workshops such as PowerPoint
presentations, a dossier with a synthesis of the international
treaties and the "Cotton Field" sentence, relevant statistics, and
some proposals originated in the citizens' forum. The results of
the workshop will be published on the i(dh)eas and CIDE websites.
We seek as an ultimate qualitative performance measure for the
"Cotton Field" sentence to be understood as an instrument for
women's empowerment and a tool to be used for the improvement of
public policies that can produce a life free of violence for women
87. (U) c) Dissemination Campaign. This campaign will be geared to
exposing the weaknesses of the Mexican government which were
detailed in the CoIDH sentence, describing actions that have been
taken, and the need for more integrated governmental programs and
sustained citizen advocacy, as well as the Mexican government's
compliance with its obligations under the "Cotton Field" sentence
and the international treaties to which it is a signatory. The
actions carried out by civil society to advocate for proposals
before governmental agencies, as well as formal complaints on
arbitrary actions or non-fulfillment of Mexico's obligations, will
also be disseminated. Our campaign will contain three key elements.
88. (U) 1. Media presence. Strategies will be designed to develop
relationships with targeted members of the media, in order to
sensitize them on the issue of violence against women in general
and the "Cotton Field" sentence in particular, with the goal of
being interviewed on the radio and having articles written about
the issues. We will particularly seek out community radio stations
due to their ability to reach far-flung communities that might
otherwise not have access to any other source of media. We will
also hold press conferences on a regular basis. Expected results
and performance indicators: Our media work will keep the discussion
of these issues and their implications front-and-center in order to
sway public opinion and encourage more citizen participation.
Additionally, the media attention will permit the development of
follow-up advocacy and other work resulting from the actions
promoted by the Mexican state as well as women's own proposals and
demands. Our media work will yield six reports in the print press;
three radio interviews; four long-term relationships established
with community radio stations; and three press conferences, one
each in Mexico City, Chihuahua, and Chiapas.
89. (U) 2. Design, development, and maintenance of a webpage.
Information will be sent and updated on an ongoing basis; it will
be an interactive site and have a permanent email campaign
targeting and including a wide list of contacts. Expected results
and performance measures: The interactive website will become a
clearinghouse of information and discussion forum for participating
actors and the society at large. The website will be updated on a
regular basis to reflect the ongoing discussion process that is a
key aspect of our project herein proposed. The website will be
linked to the i(dh)eas and CIDE websites. We will send at least
1,000 emails with relevant information about any positive actions
taken by governmental authorities in favor of women`s rights, any
steps backward the government takes, as well as women`s actions to
demand and promote new public policies that strengthen the respect
for women's rights. These emails will be sent to various women's
and human rights organizations and opinion leaders, encouraging
them to participate in our advocacy campaign and forward these
messages on to their friends, networks, and other women's groups.
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90. (U) 3. Design and develop dissemination and public education
materials. Two informational brochures will be distributed to civil
society organizations and public servants. One of them will focus
on the importance of the international treaties in the field of
violence against women and women's rights to which Mexico is a
signatory, Mexico's obligations thereto, and the treaties'
complementary characteristics. The second brochure will summarize
the "Cotton Field" sentence and its implications, point out the
importance of this instrument for use in litigation at the national
and international levels, and promote positive actions in favor of
women. Expected results and performance indicators: We will
summarize in simple, clear language the main international treaties
related to women's human rights and their inter-relationship, as
well as their ability to be used, along with the "Cotton Field"
sentence, as key instruments for undertaking effective and decisive
litigation by participating actors. We will publish 1,000 copies
each of two different brochures and will seek financial backing
from public institutions to enable us to publish additional copies
of these brochures and thereby ensure even greater public
dissemination of the information.
BUDGET (In Separate Email)
91. (U) I(dh)eas, Litigio Estrat????gico en Derechos Humanos, A.C.
(i(dh)eas - Strategic Human Rights Litigation, A.C.) is a civil
association founded in 2009 by individuals with extensive
experience in the human rights and litigation fields. Our central
focus is developing strategic litigation on human rights at the
national and international levels, particularly in the
Inter-American System (i.e. the Inter-American Commission on Human
Rights and CoIDH) to promote and protect human rights. In addition
to strategic litigation, i(dh)eas develops related actions such as
research, monitoring, and analysis of potential cases, provides
advice and training for vulnerable sectors (particularly women),
and undertakes public outreach and media dissemination of its work
and the issues involved.
92. (U) As a component of our communication and sensitizing
strategy on human rights issues, i(dh)eas promotes and supports the
creation of targeted documentaries and videos discussing social
problems and human rights violations that are geared towards having
a strong societal impact. In order to accomplish our objectives,
i(dh)eas establishes alliances with both victims of human rights
violations as well as national and international human rights
organizations, judicial bodies, businesses, and private
foundations. Our core working themes are: justice and a democratic
state based on the rule of law; women's rights; rights of migrants
and asylum; and social equity, nondiscrimination, and social rights
all of them with a gender perspective. I(dh)eas presently has two
projects funded by the Ford Foundation, including the co-production
of a documentary film on Central American women who migrate to the
US via Mexico, and a film about sexual and reproductive rights,
legal interruption of pregnancy, and access to justice.
93. (U) I(dh)eas has a professional technical team of nine people
with extensive experience in the field of human rights at both the
national and international levels. This project will be spearheaded
by three individuals. Fabi????n S????nchez is an international human
rights lawyer and the Executive Director of i(dh)eas. He was
formerly director of the Mexican Commission for the Defense and
Promotion of Human Rights. Mariclaire Acosta Urquidi is a human
rights activist. She has work in many national and international
human rights organizations and was formerly president of the
Mexican Commission for the Defense and Promotion of Human Rights
and Sub-Secretary of State for Human Rights in President Fox's
administration. She currently works as a Professor/Associate
Researcher at CIDE. Luz Rosales Esteva is a social worker, former
director of the Citizen Movement for Democracy in Mexico (MCD), and
former director of the Womens???? Institute in Mexico City. She has
worked extensively with civil society organizations and government
institutions for social justice and currently woks as Coordinator
for the Community Program "Discurso Eficaz" [Effective Discourse]
at the Universidad Aut????noma de la Ciudad de M????xico (Autonomous
National University of Mexico).