Friday, January 22, 2010

Death Threats: PLEASE HELP!

Dear friends,

The following is from a dear friend, Lucia Munoz from MIA (MiAmericas), who has organized a short email campaign to help draw attention to the recent death threats against a mutual friend and human rights activist Norma Cruz. I know of Norma Cruz from my trip to Guatemala and my effort to expose the illegal adoption trade from Guatemala. Her voice and work in bringing justice and exposure to gender issues in Guatemala cannot be measured. Please take a moment of your day to help. Thank you!

1. copy and paste the letter below (in bold) to the below UN associated emails, and cc'd to
2. send to your friends and colleagues this entire email so they can do the same

Thank you!


MIA, Mujeres Iniciando en las Americas, GPDN, Guatemala Peace and Development Network and Three Days for Three Daughters issue this action alert and ask everyone and anyone to please join us.

U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon chose to kick off the United Nations campaign against gender violence  in Guatemala late in 2009.  It's a great choice to try to highlight gender violence in Guatemala, because we have so far to go in this area.

Here's the link to the UN campaign

As we all know our sisters and brothers in Haiti are going through the most unimaginable times.  Unfortunately this is the only way that developing countries show up in the main stream media.  During bad times developing countries  are perceived as hooligans with pictures that show us with guns, but the media fails to tell the whole story, on what gets us there and talk about things out of context.  Main stream media tells us that U.S. sending $$$ but fails to tell us how much is loans not grants.  It's no secret that loans will never allow Haiti to ever be self sufficient country.

I have contacted the UN  offices here in New York about the article in Diario Centro America about the death threats against Norma Cruz.  I don't know how many of you know Norma and her work, she's the founder and executive director of Fundacion Sobrevivientes, which gives social, legal,
and health services and shelter if needed to the victims of gender violence, she was given the Women of Courage award by Michele Obama and Hillary Clinton last year , and she's also a long time friend of mine.  Anyway, just 4 days ago I read that my friend and hero Norma Cruz is getting death
threats (again!) and we talked, and she's usually very casual about things like that, but now she really sounded scared.  So I asked the UN people what we could  do to help our sisters in Guatemala and they told me that they are now swamped with Haiti, and that they did not want to seem mean, but
Guatemala has to wait.

The article about Norma was put together by the Guatemala office of the United Nations, and you can find the article in attachment.

And  worse  a  congresswoman Evelina Ramírez  was killed last Wednesday (the day after Haiti earthquake) leaving a meeting and since then we have not heard about her case again. This is the norm in Guatemala my country of impunity. My fear is that again Guatemala will fall in the cracks like it
has for so many years, and the importance of this terrible story will be lost.

It's  especially important that this case of the murder  of the congresswoman be publicized and our friend Norma Cruz death threats not be forgotten, so I ask please send a letter to help bring this to the right people's attention to get these issues up before the UN so that our serious
issues in our little country are not forgotten.

Please cc me on your email and I will hand deliver them when I am in Guatemala next month. 
I promise to follow up next month in person, but we need your help via email 1st.  Emails are at the very bottom of the sample letter:


Dear U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon:

As a citizen of the world I am really upset by the news of death threats against Norma Cruz, founder of Fundacion Sobrevivientes in Guatemala.

On January 14, 2010 I read in the Guatemala newspaper Diario Centro America an article from the Guatemala UN office denouncing these serious threats.

Also last week I read of the tragic death of Guatemala congresswoman Evelina Ramírez Reyes. 
We helped Congresswoman Hilda Solis pass a Resolution a couple years ago demanding that cases like this are not forgotten as is the norm in Guatemala.

You chose to kick off the United Nations campaign against gender violence in Guatemala late in 2009. 
It's a great choice to try to highlight gender violence in Guatemala, because we have so far to go in this area.

What else can we do to raise awareness and get action on these serious issues in Guatemala?



Email addresses to send your sample letter:


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