In April 1998, Sam Dillon, at the time a correspondent for the New York Times, wrote about a series of murders perpetrated against women in the Mexican border city of Ciudad Juárez. Dillon noted how, as early as 1993, Oscar Máynez, a government criminologist, had pointed out that almost all the victims were slender young women with a cinnamon complexion and long hair. Máynez had suggested a serial killer was at work, but the authorities did not want to know.
In 1988, five women journalists wanted to go beyond simply producing feminist monthly supplements. They were determined to put the realities of women’s lives onto the front page, and get gender relations taken into account everywhere in the male-dominated country of Mexico.
Human rights violations against women differ from those against men. Realizing that means we can offer more sophisticated responses to the different requirements for protection that women and men citizens will have. The institutionalization of gender mainstreaming in Mexico City’s Federal District Human Rights Commission, the CDHDF, is thus a very important project.
Under the government of Dr. Hector Silva, the mayor of San Salvador, in 1999 the city council resolved a roadmap for achieving sexual equality. Although a series of measures was adopted and women were appointed to leading political roles, progress was painfully slow.
“Brazil is a racial democracy! We don’t discriminate against anyone,” say some; “That’s a myth!” reply others, pointing to statistics that show all too clearly the correlation between ethnicity and hierarchy. According to opinion poll evidence, Brazil is a racist country whose citizens all consider themselves to be nonracist.