Saturday, October 11, 2008

Violence Against Women in Mexico and Central America

An important conference:

Breaking the Silence: Violence against Women in Mexico and Central America

Violence against women has reached epidemic proportions in many countries in Latin America.  Gender-motivated killings of women -- referred to as "femicides" have become common not only in the highly publicized case of Ciudad Juarez, Mexico, but in Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras.  Equally alarming is the virtually total impunity enjoyed by those that beat, maim and kill women.  Notwithstanding this bleak reality, courageous women in many of the most violent countries have organized to develop strategies and actions to bring an end to the violence and impunity. 

Join us for a discussion on the issue of violence -- and courage in the face of violence. 

Date: Tuesday, October 21, 2008 Time: Reception: 5:00 -5:30 PM  Program: 5:30 -7:00 PM


U.C. Hastings College of the Law, Alumni Reception Center
200 McAllister Street, 2nd Floor
San Francisco, CA 94102

Please RSVP by visiting the Center for Gender & Refugee Studies’ homepage at:

Guest Speakers

Claudia Paz  - Director of the Guatemalan Institute for Comparative Studies in Criminal Science (ICCPG).  The ICCPG is committed to the effective protection of human rights through strengthening the rule of law. The ICCPG conducts investigations and publishes reports on pressing issues of criminal justice; one of its most recent publications is "Por Ser Mujer," an extensive study on the femicides in Guatemala.

Jayne Fleming - Pro Bono Counsel of Reed Smith LLP and leader of the firm's human rights team. Ms. Fleming has handled seventeen pro bono asylum matters herself and supervised over two dozen more. She has developed expertise in the area of gender-based persecution. She has represented torture survivors from Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Sudan, Democratic Republic of Congo, Rwanda, Russia, Kazakhstan, Eritrea, Syria, and Sri Lanka. This year, Ms. Fleming is launching a program on behalf of Central American children fleeing violence. Ms. Fleming frequently lectures and writes on human rights topics. She supervises partnerships between Reed Smith and the asylum clinics at Penn Law School and Boalt Hall School of Law.

Karen Musalo - Director of the Center for Gender & Refugee Studies at U.C. Hastings. Karen Musalo has been a pioneer in the area of "gender asylum," litigating landmark cases which establish refugee protection for women fleeing gender-related human rights violations such as female genital cutting. Prof. Musalo is attorney of record for the Guatemalan asylum seeker, Rodi Alvarado, whose case may well determine whether women who are victims of family violence qualify for protection under the U.S. Refugee Act. Prof. Musalo has led efforts to make connections between human rights violations in the home country, and the need for asylum protection, and her interest in this area has led to an initiative addressing the femicides in Latin America.

*Reed Smith LLP is a State Bar of California approved MCLE provider. Attendance at this program will earn 1.5 substantive credits.


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