Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Increasing violence against women in El Salvador

A radio report on the Free Speech Radio News links an increase in violence against women in El Salvador to the current economic crisis. You can listen to the report at this link. The Salvadoran government has been criticized in the past for making little effort to investigate and prosecute the perpetrators of violence against women in the country.

12 comments:

Gatofilo said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Gatofilo said...

Tim, a very interesting and timely topic for discussion:

Although El Salvador has a long and sordid history of violence perpetuated against women, the country is also bound by international commitments it has ratified over the years that include the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, the Convention on the Elimination of all forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW), the Inter-American Convention on Human Rights and the Inter-American Convention to Prevent, Eradicate and Eliminate Violence Against Women, known as the Belem do Para convention.

In all instances, the Salvadoran government joined an international consensus that improving respect for human rights, especially women’s rights, is a fundamental part of a functioning democracy in which the rule of law prevails.

The current ongoing and insidious crime wave victimizing Salvadoran society has clearly overwhelmed the government’s ability to maintain and guarantee an orderly and safe environment for its people, and the numerous and outrageous cases of killings of women, including instances of brutal sexual violence before death, are not being thoroughly investigated.

El Salvador is failing in its duty to exercise due diligence by preventing, investigating, prosecuting and punishing sexual and gender-based violence. The state has also not fulfilled its duty to protect the rights of the victims by providing them, or their relatives, with an appropriate and effective compensation.

Salvadoran society should not be forced by governmental inaction to accept criminal violence against women as something natural. Authorities need to immediately break the silence that has so far characterized these cases and instances of violence against women.

The public needs to be kept updated and informed regarding the steps being taken to investigate the cases of killings of women, and efforts should be made to give comfort and support to the victims’ relatives.

The government of El Salvador needs to comply with its international commitments on violence against women, and also it needs to break its ermatism and clarify its policy on violence against women, while taking active and effective steps toward improving respect for women’s rights. There is no excuse for inaction.

It is essential that Salvadoran society take immediate remedial steps on violence against women and implement educational reform to include women’s issues and women’s rights.

All women deserve our love and respect; let’s not forget that each is someone’s daughter, sister, mother, grandmother, or wife.

Lawrence M. Ladutke said...

"the country is also bound by international commitments it has ratified over the years that include the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, the Convention on the Elimination of all forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW)"

This is one of the rare ocassions that I will comment on this blog in my official capacity as a Legislative Coordinator for Amnesty International. CEDAW has been undermined by the fact that the United States remains one of the few countries that has not ratified it. On behalf of Amnesty, I urge all U.S. citizens who read this blog to contact their Senators and urge them to support ratification of CEDAW!

Gatofilo said...

Lawrence M. Ladutke,

Your comments and suggestions are well taken, but I'm sure you realize that the present discussion refers specifically to the unacceptable "Increased violence against women in El Salvador."

Although woman's rights need to be defended and supported in every country, in this instance we are dealing with a situation of violence and abuse that is unimaginable by U.S. moral and legal standards.

First permit us remove the log from the Salvadoran eye and then we can deal with the speck in yours.

Gatofilo said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Gatofilo said...

Dr. Lawrence M. Ladutke, FYI:

House has voted to establish an Office for Global Women’s Issues.

Apparently the U.S. House of Representatives recently approved legislation that would implement an important component of the International Violence Against Women Act (IVAWA) by creating a new permanent position on women’s issues in the State Department.

The next step would be to have this legislation passed in the Senate. I understand that there will then be a conference committee to reconcile the House and Senate versions, followed by another round of voting in each chamber.

I fully concur with you in the urgency to continue pushing for passage of IVAWA in both chambers.

Best wishes.

Lawrence M. Ladutke said...

"Although woman's rights need to be defended and supported in every country, in this instance we are dealing with a situation of violence and abuse that is unimaginable by U.S. moral and legal standards."

This is true, BUT, countries such as El Salvador can say, "why should we care about CEDAW if the U.S. refused to ratify it?" Also, the U.S. moral authority to criticize violence against women in other nations is undermined by our lack of ratification. Think of the "war on terror." "Well, the U.S. government tortures. Why shouldn't we?"

Gatofilo said...

Lawrence M. Ladutke, good to hear from you again.

It is obvious that regarding women’s rights, you and I agree to agree. BUT, then you seem to insinuate that the U.S. is somehow a world standard and role model for all countries to emulate.

We are now in the 21st century and no one believes in the Tooth Fairy any longer. Although the U.S. is undoubtedly an envied and powerful nation, it is simply that, a nation. We are a nation that like any others is guided by our own national best interests.

Sadly, and due to multiple and inexcusable foreign policy blunders, the U.S. has lost much of its mystic and any moral high ground it may have enjoyed in the past.

If other countries were to follow our directives, they would do as we say, not as we do.

In my opinion, the U.S. is now what the Roman Empire was then. And as the sole surviving super power, the U.S. can relax and remove its "holier than thou" mask because there is no longer a need to impress anyone. We are top dog, the alpha male.

The Cold War is over and now we will be facing a multitude of small and economically insignificant insurgencies that will require limited police actions such as we've seen in Iraq and Afghanistan. Latin America with its Hugo Chavez ALBA Alliance will most probably be our next theater of action.

Preemptively we are already creating in Colombia the "Israel" of our South American hemisphere. If Chavez and his ALBA acolytes don’t wake up soon to the new reality, we will pluck that bird one feather at a time. The first to go was Manuel Zelaya, and now the Valenzuela appointment is on hold. It’s clear that Obama has had his reins pulled in.

I guess we sort of miss the old USSR, because our military/industrial/financial complex flourishes when we face off with a powerful "evil empire." It’s the perfect excuse for pouring our national treasure into military hardware that becomes obsolete the moment it is developed. A nice big juicy war is definitely a win-win situation for our economy.

I love the United States of America, but as a realist I accept it with its imperfections, and I accept my afforded rights, privileges, and responsibilities.

Best wishes.

Griselda said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
john said...

"Police actions" that include extrajudicial assasinations, mass killings, and disappearances. Such is the moral compass of the above poster that human rights rhetoric is a fig leaf to cover the unjust pursuit of the interests of the powerful. That ethics and political philosophy has been denounced since Plato and before.

Too bad you've adopted the mantle of cheerleader for this descredited view on this blog.

Gatofilo said...

Friend John Said:

"Too bad you've adopted the mantle of cheerleader for this descredited view on this blog."

That you would refer to the freedom and the democratic aspirations of all civilized countries and people as "discredited" is close to blasphemous! Or is it the expression of jealousy and envy of the socially resentful losers.

This magnificent country of ours called "The United States of America" and it’s experiment in liberty and self rule, is leagues above and beyond the rest of the world who one by one copy our example and slowly pull themselves out of the mud of despair and stagnation with the altruistic banner of self rule and freedom.

Looking with envy at the "beacon on a hill" many other countries try and emulate our proven road to progress and greatness. How many national constitutions are dedicated to the wellbeing of the people, as in “We the People?”

Friend John, It has been shown, time and again, that we represent the most marvelous experiment in mankind’s history, and more importantly is works for the grand majority.

You can see this phenomenon at our borders; some countries build walls to keep people in, while others build walls to keep people out. The dream of our neighbors is to come to "El Norte."

As you can see, John, all major economies follow our leadership and all people from around the world (as you personally witness) flock to our borders in pursuit of the American Dream.

You definitely should be ashamed of yourself, John, for your silly ungratefulness; learn to take responsibility for yourself, study, it is the key, and rejoice in your good fortune to live in the greatest country in the world.

John, if you are unhappy, you must realize that no one detains you, and there are alternatives only an inner tube spashing ride away.

"Discredited" you say, what you are in ungrateful or you are missing the most basic of human traits, "gratitude."

Best Wishes.

Gatofilo said...

John stated:

"Police actions" that include extrajudicial assasinations, mass killings, and disappearances."

Sounds like something John got out of a San Salvador newspaper articles relating to the mayham of the so-called "Fiestas de Agostt."

But ytou're right, John, the impunity of the crime wave in your ocuntry is barbarous and overwhelming.

And the authorities, "Bien Gracias"

Best Wisehes.