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Violence against women soars in Mexico

MEXICO CITY, June 8 (UPI) -- The Nobel Women's Initiative found violence against women has reached crisis proportions in Mexico, Honduras and Guatemala.

During a 10-day fact-finding mission in January, a women's delegation of human rights activists, journalists and foreign policy experts investigated the impact of the war on drugs and increased mining operations on the lives of women in the three countries, the Nobel Women's Initiative reported Tuesday.

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The team, headed by Nobel Peace Prize winners Jody Williams and Rigoberta Menchu Tum, heard testimony from more than 200 female survivors of violence, grassroots organizers, journalists and human rights advocates who have been affected by violence toward women. The team documented numerous accounts of homicides, disappearances, rapes and attacks on women human rights advocates in all three countries.

The report, "From Survivors to Defenders: Women Confronting Violence in Mexico, Honduras & Guatemala," said 95 percent of crimes against women in those countries go unpunished and most are not even investigated by authorities.

"Since the [2009 government] coup we've gone back some 40 years in the rights women had gained," said Martha Velazquez, member of the Movimiento de Mujeres in Honduras.

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