HELP PROTECT LYDIA CACHO RIBEIRO, she’s protecting women and child victims of sex slavery

A leading defender of the rights of women and children in Mexico, journalist Lydia Cacho Ribeiro (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lydia_Cacho)

Lydia Cacho Ribeiro

Lydia Cacho Ribeiro

risks her life to shelter women from abuse and challenge powerful government and business leaders who profit from child prostitution and pornography. In recognition of her human rights work, Amnesty International USA (AIUSA) announced on March 8 of this year, International Women’s Day, that Cacho will receive the 2007 Ginetta Sagan Award.
An investigative journalist and a specialist on gender-based violence, Cacho founded and directs the Refuge Center for Abused Women of Cancun and is also the president of the Center for Women’s Assistance. These centers do not turn away any woman or child seeking protection. Many of these women and girls are fleeing from violent criminals. Consequently Cacho faces threats and danger on a daily basis.
In 1999, Cacho was raped at a bus station in an attempt to intimidate her and stop her work. This incident only emboldened her further to protect and advance the rights of women and children in a country where impunity for crimes is widespread and commonly accepted as part of daily life.
Cacho’s 2004 book, Los Demonios del Eden: el poder detras de la pornografia infantile (The Demons of Eden: the power behind child pornography) prompted repeated threats against her life and judicial harassment to silence her effort to give voice to the victims. On December 16, 2005, Cacho was arrested and denied access to her lawyer and medicine. She spent the night in prison and was then released on bail of $9,900.
In response to the intimidation tactics, Cacho filed a counter-suit for corruption and for violation of her human rights. She became the first woman in Mexico to file a federal suit against a governor, district attorney and a judge for corruption and attempted rape in prison.
Cacho’s life is repeatedly threatened and she has to travel with armed guards. Despite these dangers, she continues to champion the advancement of human rights for all children and women through her writing and advocacy work.
Cacho said, “To expose the criminals who destroy the lives of women and children is not enough; it is imperative to challenge the powers that be in order to stop impunity and corruption in Mexico. We do not ask for revenge, but rather for accountability for the criminals and the politicians that manipulate the justice system for money, thus sacrificing human rights and human lives. Ginetta Sagan’s spirit is walking on my side with this award, and her presence strengthens me to stay near the victims and to keep telling them, ‘your life matters to us; recovering your safety and your happiness matters to us.”

If you wish to add your voice to all those who want to help protect this very special person then you can sign the International Women’s Media Foundation petition here – http://www.iwmf.org/article.aspx?id=941&c=pastletter

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