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Justice for Women Lecture - Reader's Guide: 2019

Maria Luisa Aguilar Rodriguez, MEXICO

The Human Rights Crisis in Mexico: Origins, Impacts, Opportunities.

The 2019 Justice For Women Lecture will be presented by Ms. Aguilar Rodriguez, International Advocacy Officer at the Miguel Agustín Pro Juárez Human Rights Center (Centro Prodh), on March 27, 2019. She will discuss The Human Rights Crisis in Mexico: Origins, Impacts, Opportunities.

Ms. Aguilar Rodriguez is a Mexican human rights advocate. She has spent the last eight years working to promote accountability for human rights violations at two of Mexico’s foremost human rights organizations. She joined the Miguel Agustín Pro Juárez Human Rights Center (Centro Prodh) after working at a grassroots organization in the State of Guerrero in Southern Mexico, a state notorious for its violence and human rights abuses. At Centro Prodh, she focuses on access to justice and reparations for victims of human rights violations. She advocates for new judicial mechanisms aimed at combating impunity and works on cases related to women’s and indigenous rights, torture (especially sexual torture against women), and enforced disappearances.

Ms. Aguilar Rodriguez holds a B.A. in International Affairs from the Monterrey Institute of Technology and Higher Education and an M.A. in Human Rights in Theory and Practice from the University of Essex, UK.

Background materials

Reading time estimates: readometer

  1. David Agren, "Mexican activist shot dead before vote on power project he opposed." (The Guardian 2/20/2019) Link 3 min read
  2. Azam Ahmed, "In Mexico, Not Dead. Not Alive. Just Gone." (New York Times 11/27/2017) Link 27 min read
  3. Camilo Carranza, "Rare Public Apology Shines Light on Government Impunity in Mexico." (Insight Crime 3/12/2019) Link 2 min read
  4. Center Prodh: The Miguel Agustín Pro Juárez Human Rights Center, Reports in English Link (read time varies)
  5. Fabiana Del Popolo, Dirk Jaspers, and N. U. Cepal, "Guaranteeing indigenous people's rights in Latin America. Progress in the past decade and remaining challenges. Summary." (2014). Link 1 hr 36 min read
  6. "Disappearances in Mexico: A Report From the Legal Team for the 43 Students Abducted in Iguala" (Open Society Foundations 12/15/2014) Story & Audio Link 70 min listen
  7. Amy Goodman and Maria Luisa Aguilar Rodriguez, “I’ve Had Enough”: Mexican Protesters Decry Years of Impunity After Apparent Massacre of 43 Students" (Democracy Now 11/10/2014) Story & Video Link 25 min watch 
  8. Miguel Ángel León Carmona (author) and Michael Lettieri (translator), University of San Diego "The Death Camp that the Government of Veracruz Covered Up " 4/27/2017 Link 14 min read
  9. "Mexican troops waging war on drug gangs not punished for rights abuses – report" (The Guardian/A.P. 11/7/2017) Link 4 min read
  10. "Missing persons total has risen to 37,435, up 40% in 4 years." (Mexico News Daily, June 4, 2018) Link 3 min read
  11. Gladys McCormick, "The Act of Disappearing in Mexico." (The Wilson Center's Mexico Institute 3/5/2018) Link 5 min read
  12. Rebecca Plevin and Omar Ornelas, "Join, Leave or Die: The Options Indigenous Mexicans Face When Cartels Invade Their Lands."  (Desert Sun with the Pulitzer Center 2/28/2019) Link 20 min read
  13. "Searching for Mexico’s disappeared – a photo essay." (The Guardian 3/7/2018) Link 8 min read
  14. U.S. Department of State, "2018 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices: Mexico." (3/13/2019) Link 64 min read
  15. "‘War on Drugs’ a Recipe for Rights Abuses in Mexico" (Open Democracy)  Link 10 min read
  16. Washington Office on Latin America (WOLA) , "Human Rights in Mexico: Recent Abuses Highlight Persistent Challenges." Panel discussion with experts from Mexico discussing grave human rights violations by Mexico's Army and police units involved in the disappearance and killing of civilians, as well as their implications for U.S. engagement with the Mexican government on human rights concerns (10/31/2014).  Video Link (53 min) · Website
  17. Daniel Wilkinson, "Mexico: Lessons from a Human Rights Catastrophe" (Human Rights Watch 2018-2019). Series of five articles. Link about 10 min read (53 min read total).


A. S. Dawson, First World dreams: Mexico since 1989. (2006). HN113.5 .D39 2006 Find in a library

Jon Sack, La Lucha: The Story of Lucha Castro and Human Rights in Mexico (2015). Non-fiction graphic novel  LC: PN6737.S235; JC599.M42; Dewey: 323/.092 Find in a library Paperback & free ebook ($6.78 at publisher).

W. P. Simmons and C. McClurg Mueller, Binational human rights: the U.S.-Mexico experience (2014). Find in a library

N. A Uildriks, Mexico's unrule of law: implementing human rights in police and judicial reform under democratization (2010)  HV8161.A2 U45 2010 Find in a library

The Justice For Women Lecture (JFW) Series brings a distinguished speaker to Maine annually to present a public lecture and to contribute to a global conversation about justice for women and girls in the developing world. The Lecture Series was established in 2011 with the generous support and leadership of Catherine Lee of Lee International.