Feminicide in the Americas


Violence against women has increased throughout Mexico and in other Latin American countries such as Argentina, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Chile and Peru. Law enforcement officials have often failed or refused to undertake investigations and prosecutions, creating a climate of impunity for perpetrators and denying victims/survivors of violence and their families access to truth and justice.

Terrorizing Women is an impassioned yet rigorously analytical response to the escalation of violence against women in Latin America during the past two decades. It is part of a feminist effort to categorize violence rooted in gender power structures as a violation of human rights. The analytical framework of “feminicide” is crucial to that effort, as Fregoso and Bejarano explain in their introduction. They define feminicide as gender-based violence that implicates both the state (directly or indirectly) and individual perpetrators. Feminicide is structural violence rooted in social, political, economic and cultural inequalities, and should be considered a “crime against humanity.”

Documental, Carmen Guarini

La diversidad de lecturas que registra el documental colectivo permite “refrescar” el interés: cada cual en lo suyo, los diferentes segmentos van conformando un mosaico tan cargado de significados como las baldosas de memoria que retrata Guarini.

Por Oscar Ranzani, 2011
D-HUMANOS
Dirección: Mariana Arruti, Ulises Rosell, Carmen Guarini, Lucía Rey y Rodrigo Paz, Miguel Pereira, Pablo Nisenson, Javier De Silvio, Andrés Habegger y Andrea Schellemberg.
Productor ejecutivo: Pablo Nisenson.
Música: Leandro Drago.

Angela y María son dos adolescentes que tienen realidades muy distintas: la primera vive en un barrio carenciado, la segunda es de la zona norte. Ambas están frente a cámara y sus situaciones son confrontadas de una manera impactante, casi demoledora, que busca mostrar cómo influye el factor social en el crecimiento del cuerpo humano y, sobre todo, en la posibilidad de futuro. Los aspectos que se analizan van desde el coeficiente intelectual, genealogía, salud, medio ambiente, familia y educación, entre otros. Esto refleja Informe sobre la inequidad, primero de los ocho cortos que conforman el largo documental D-Humanos, en el cual Nisenson, mentor del proyecto, trabajó junto a otros nueve cineastas. Informe… es el más potente no sólo por la crudeza que adquiere el relato, sino también por el impacto visual de las dos chicas frente a frente y sometidas a diferentes tipos de test.


El de Nisenson puede catalogarse como un corto de denuncia. En el mismo grupo se ubica La tumba, dirigido por Lucía Rey y Rodrigo Paz, que siguen la labor del Comité contra la Tortura de la Comisión Provincial por la Memoria. Nunca mejor elegido el título porque se habla –y con argumentos– de las cárceles bonaerenses como “depósitos” de seres humanos y, al juzgar por la realidad que muestra, no es difícil entender que entre eso y la muerte no debe haber mucha diferencia. La tumba combina la denuncia de los propios detenidos que sufren torturas o malos tratos con un enfoque periodístico, que los cineastas profundizan cuando entrevistan al coordinador del Comité. Dentro del grupo de cortos de denuncia también se inscribe Sangre en el plomo, del jujeño Miguel Pereira. El director de La deuda interna viajó hasta Abra Pampa, epicentro de la Puna jujeña, para contar la historia de los pobladores de ese sitio que sufren todo tipo de trastornos y enfermedades desde que una empresa fundidora se instaló hace mucho tiempo. Haciendo caso omiso de las normas básicas del cuidado del medio ambiente, el “trabajo” de esta fábrica derivó en que el 81 por ciento de los niños de Abra Pampa tengan plomo en la sangre. Si bien Sangre… tiene también un fin periodístico, el relato de los habitantes le otorga un tono intimista a la estructura narrativa, dentro del grave cuadro de situación que presenta.


Para leer el resto del artículo ir a la siguiente página:
http://www.pagina12.com.ar/diario/suplementos/espectaculos/5-22979-2011-09-22.html

Clea Koff and The Missing Persons Identification Resource Center

MPID’S MISSION

When someone goes missing during an armed conflict, the Geneva Conventions affirm “the right of families to know the fate of their relatives.” (Article 32, Protocol I)

When someone goes missing for any reason in the United States, the Missing Persons Identification Resource Center affirms “the right of families to know the fate of their relatives,” and will help.

HISTORY OF MPID

MPID was founded by Clea Koff, forensic anthropologist and author of The Bone Woman. Her work as a forensic expert for the United Nations International Criminal Tribunals for Rwanda and the former Yugoslavia sensitized her to the distress suffered by families of missing persons and to the relief that came even when the missing were found dead. Koff believes that a “disappearance is a disappearance, whether it occurs in peace- or wartime.”

MPID is Koff’s attempt to address the anguish of families of those who have gone missing in the United States and the police investigating their cases by linking them with coroners’ offices that hold unidentified bodies. Koff recognizes unidentified persons, both living and dead, as missing persons who have been found but have remained unidentified.

ABC World News Tonight Weekend featured Koff and MPID in July 2005.

The Department of Justice Office of Community Oriented Policing Services invited Koff to deliver a presentation on MPID’s methodology at the COPS national conference in July 2006.

MPID forged its partnership with the Netherlands-based WCC, Inc. in 2008.

Koff was the Keynote Speaker for the Department of Justice National Institute of Justice (NIJ) national conference in June 2009.


For more information about MPID visit their page:

Proposal for Learning Cluster, Argentina (2012)

La denuncia y el periodismo

La diversidad de lecturas que registra el documental colectivo permite “refrescar” el interés: cada cual en lo suyo, los diferentes segmentos van conformando un mosaico tan cargado de significados como las baldosas de memoria que retrata Guarini.
Por Oscar Ranzani, Página 12

Argentina, 2011


Dirección: Mariana Arruti, Ulises Rosell, Carmen Guarini, Lucía Rey y Rodrigo Paz, Miguel Pereira, Pablo Nisenson, Javier De Silvio, Andrés Habegger y Andrea Schellemberg.

Productor ejecutivo: Pablo Nisenson. 
Música: Leandro Drago.

Angela y María son dos adolescentes que tienen realidades muy distintas: la primera vive en un barrio carenciado, la segunda es de la zona norte. Ambas están frente a cámara y sus situaciones son confrontadas de una manera impactante, casi demoledora, que busca mostrar cómo influye el factor social en el crecimiento del cuerpo humano y, sobre todo, en la posibilidad de futuro. Los aspectos que se analizan van desde el coeficiente intelectual, genealogía, salud, medio ambiente, familia y educación, entre otros. Esto refleja Informe sobre la inequidad, primero de los ocho cortos que conforman el largo documental D-Humanos, en el cual Nisenson, mentor del proyecto, trabajó junto a otros nueve cineastas. Informe… es el más potente no sólo por la crudeza que adquiere el relato, sino también por el impacto visual de las dos chicas frente a frente y sometidas a diferentes tipos de test.

El de Nisenson puede catalogarse como un corto de denuncia. En el mismo grupo se ubica La tumba, dirigido por Lucía Rey y Rodrigo Paz, que siguen la labor del Comité contra la Tortura de la Comisión Provincial por la Memoria. Nunca mejor elegido el título porque se habla –y con argumentos– de las cárceles bonaerenses como “depósitos” de seres humanos y, al juzgar por la realidad que muestra, no es difícil entender que entre eso y la muerte no debe haber mucha diferencia. La tumba combina la denuncia de los propios detenidos que sufren torturas o malos tratos con un enfoque periodístico, que los cineastas profundizan cuando entrevistan al coordinador del Comité. Dentro del grupo de cortos de denuncia también se inscribe Sangre en el plomo, del jujeño Miguel Pereira. El director de La deuda interna viajó hasta Abra Pampa, epicentro de la Puna jujeña, para contar la historia de los pobladores de ese sitio que sufren todo tipo de trastornos y enfermedades desde que una empresa fundidora se instaló hace mucho tiempo. Haciendo caso omiso de las normas básicas del cuidado del medio ambiente, el “trabajo” de esta fábrica derivó en que el 81 por ciento de los niños de Abra Pampa tengan plomo en la sangre. Si bien Sangre… tiene también un fin periodístico, el relato de los habitantes le otorga un tono intimista a la estructura narrativa, dentro del grave cuadro de situación que presenta.

Para leer el resto del artículo ir a la siguiente página:

Latinos Remaking America, ed. Suarez-Orozco and Paez


By Maiko Miura, Heather Hallahan and Maria Valdovinos

Latinos Remaking America, edited by Marcelo M.Suarez-Orozco and Mariela M. Paez provides an overview of the cultural and familiar role of immigrants in the United States.


Chapter 8 by Wayne Cornelius, titled “Ambivalent Reception,” presents some surveys about public opinion regarding immigrants. For example, two surveys asked whether immigrants are taking Americans jobs and whether they are a benefit or a burden. The results demonstrate that the general public is aware that immigrants are necessary to society, yet it is obvious that racism contributed to how various ethnic groups were more accepting or less accepting of immigrants.
Chapter 12, “Families on the Frontier” by Pierrette Hondagneu-Sotelo discusses the toll that these issues have taken regarding family structure.

“The inequality of nations is a key factor in the globalization of contemporary paid domestic work. This has led to three outcomes (1) Around the globe, paid domestic work is increasingly reformed by women who leave their own nations, their communities, and often their families of origin to do the work. (2) The occupation draws not only women from the poor socioeconomic classes, but also women who hail from nations to colonialism has made much poorer than those countries where they go to do domestic work. This explains why it is not unusual to find college educated young women from the middle class working in other countries as private domestic workers. (3) Largely because of the long, uninterrupted schedules of service required, domestic workers are not allowed to migrate as members of families” (264).

Moreover, the hostile attitudes and discrimination that immigrant women encounter while working in the U.S. cause many women to believe that their children are better off raised in their country of origin while they provide money from afar as on- call domestic workers.
75% of domestic workers have their own children.
35% of these women have their children with them in the U.S.
40% of these women have at least one child in their country of origin.

In short, immigrants serve as both a labor benefit and a scapegoat. Regardless of the benefits that immigrants bring with them, they are disrespected and viewed as a burden.

Latino Cultural Citizenship

Latino Cultural Citizenship by William V. Flores and Rina Benmayor

by María Valdovinos

Chapter 2 of Latino Cultural Citizenship, titled The World We Enter When Claiming Rights, discusses how Latinos view their rights. There are two conflicting ideas; that of culture as it relates to the legal system and culture as it relates to a sense of community. To be a part of American society, it seems that one must give up their culture to assimilate, resulting in a confused identity of neither being full American or fully part of their original culture (Mexican in this case). Moreover, assimilation disbands communities, and the Mexican culture feels very strongly about a community. Their strength to stand up for their rights lies in community.

“The American legal system requires one to give up a full personhood to gain another-hence, to make a choice between national citizenship is critical to our sense of participation. Anglo society says that assimilation is a requirement of full participation” (48).

“Full citizenship lacks culture, and those most culturally endowed lack full citizenship” (43).

In order to fully participate and be an “American” in the American society, one is almost forced to move from cultural citizenship to legal citizenship and form new identity, otherwise he/she would be regarded as an “alien,” “Mexican,” or “immigrant.” Lations’claim to the conflicts of cultural citizenship and legal citizenship is that, firstly, the legal system assumes that in spite of profound cultural differences, American society can be identified as an homogenous entity and that, secondly, a recognition of culture rights is absent from the American constitutional system. Thus many Latinos are in this dilemma as to remain “Mexican” or to assimilate to “American” and have been fighting for gaining culture rights.

William V. Flores, the author of the second essay, uses himself as an example of not knowing where one is from. His parents were born in the U.S. therefore; he is third generation Mexican-American. “But in my elementary school teachers often referred to the white kids as the ‘Americans’ versus the ‘Mexican’ or ‘Chinese.’ The point was lost on me. I was ‘Mexican’ even though I was born in the U.S., had never been part of Mexico other than Baja, and spoke very little Spanish” (256). What happens, then, when we are not “fully accepted or welcomed in either world” (257)? “Nepantla” is a Nahuatl term that describes one’s identity being in between “American” and “Mexican.” The author says, “We are both and we are neither” (257).

He also talks about how they should have equal rights since they pay for taxes just like other Americans. For example, they wanted the state to provide bilingual education for their children because language is an important aspect of their culture and is their identity.

“…but rather whether all parents, citizens or not, should have the right to have a determination in the government bodies of their local schools. Moreover, undocumented workers pay taxes without representation. ..Should they as parents not then have the right to vote? In fighting to extend voting rights, Latinos extended both parents’ rights and the rights of the undocumented” (260).

The challenge of Global Empowerment: Education for a Sustainable Future, Annotated Bibliography

Hiroko Yoshimura, Akiko Toya, and Masanobu Okada

The challenge of Global Empowerment: Education for a Sustainable Future-Ikeda

The Challenge of Global Empowerment: Education for a Sustainable Future was given by Daisaku, Ikeda at the world summit on Sustainable Development in 2002. The first and the second chapter in this article mainly talks about the role of education for people to recognize the importance of sustainable development. In this article, Ikeda defines sustainability as “The concept of sustainability encompasses not only environment but also poverty, population, health, food security, democracy, human rights and peace” (p.39). In order to achieve sustainable development, Ikeda strongly appeals ‘active response’ toward environmental issues. This active response could be “Refusal to be passive observer or victim of circumstances-not only at the governmental level but also at the grassroots level of civil society” (p.36). Through examination of the concept of sustainability and need for the issues, Ikeda concludes that education could be the vital method to achieve a sustainable human society and international cooperation toward the dissemination of environmental information.
At practical level, sustainable development should be promoted with the following three goals in mind: to learn and deepen awareness of environmental issues and realities, to reflect on our modes of living, to renew these toward sustainability, and to empower people to take concrete action to resolve the challenges that we face. First, to learn is essential to deepen understanding and awareness. Everything starts from grasping basic facts, as well as understanding the causes and social structures in which the problem occurs. At the same time, it is also important that grassroots movements develop opportunities that encourage a deeper understanding of the global environmental crisis. Second, to reflect on our modes of living is crucial in order to clarify the ethical values we share and improve it. The Declaration proclaimed at Thessaloniki Conference states; “Sustainability is a moral and ethical imperative in which cultural diversity and traditional knowledge need to be respected.” Based on a sense of responsibility toward the future, we need to transform market into friendly competition that makes people realize that they are responsible for community and future generations. In conclusion, cyclical movement – viewing the world from the perspective of the local community, looking at the community through the lens of the world – is vital if we are to develop an ethical understanding, to grasp the concrete realities of community, and to sharpen the awareness of global environment.
Ikeda, then, goes on to talk about the third goal, which is “to empower people to take concrete action to resolve the challenges we face” (p. 1). In other words, to take concrete action, people need to be “empowered with courage and hope,” otherwise, we will not be able to practice sustainable development. He further talks about three modes of living, dependent, independent, and contributive. Passive, according to him, is not good as it lacks sense of self and one would like at the mercy of changing circumstances. On the other hand, independent mode of living might sound good, but one would lack the awareness of the realities and needs of others. Contributive way of living, he states, is based on the awareness of the interdependent nature of our lives. Such a mode of living would appreciate unity and connectedness of life and would practice sustainable development.

The Triple Bottom, Annotated Bibliography

Hiroko Yoshimura, Akiko Toya, and Masanobu Okada

The Triple Bottom Line by Andrew W. Savitz with Karl Weber

Chapter 9 (Masa): Andrew and Karl, the authors of the book, The Triple Bottom Line, state that sustainability in business entails both strengths and weaknesses. Strengths are something to build on – “skill sets, cultural advantages, and stakeholder connections that people can make their operation more profitable” (pg 145). Weaknesses are dangers that people must identify and remedy – “missing skills, resource depletions, and stakeholder relationship whose implications needed to be addressed before they cause real damage” (145). If people want to fix these weaknesses and develop strengths of sustainability, they should seek the sweet spot. Sweet spot is “the potential overlap between the key strategic drivers and the environmental, social, and economic needs of society” (151). Authors suggest that people should think about business’s sweet spot in terms of minimization and optimization. Minimization is aimed at reducing ecological damage, employee accidents, and decreasing harm to the community. On the other hand, optimization is aimed at producing positive benefits in the three areas of environmental, social, and economic impact. The first step is minimization and then, optimization. In short, minimization and new mind-set are leading naturally toward optimization, both I terms of promising new products and in more efficient processes. In conclusion, authors point out that in order to accomplish the ideal concept of sustainability, each company must realize that “well-being of the community is part of the company’s responsibility” (150).

Chapter 10 (Hiroko): Andrew W. Savits further goes on to talk about how a company starts its own sustainable business. The most important thing that the author says in the beginning is to create goals. First, one needs to start from smaller goals. Only after achieving those goals, the company will be acknowledged and should move on to creating bigger goals. Moreover, these goals should focus around on consumers’ needs and working with suppliers. Examples of these are Volvo introducing airbags for the customers’ safety and Nike requesting Delta to become more fuel efficient in exchange for exclusively using its airline. As these examples suggest, the author states that the company needs to consider how sustainability could be built into its existing business goals.

To create such a successful sustainability, the author states that there is a need for “virtual sustainability department” where employees from various departments can share their ideas, insights, and tools related to sustainability. The company also should seek outside source such as NGOs, business partners, and suppliers.

The author further talks about using the indicators to measure the progress is also a key in succeeding the sustainable business. An example of this can be an energy company holding safety lessons before doing dangerous jobs and looking at the relations of the number of lessons and the number of accidents.

By following the method described above, the author states that even starting from just one individual or a department would lead to a bigger and successful sustainability programs. “…many of the most successful corporate programs began by leveraging the efforts of one department or individual within the company. But most companies eventually look to expand those efforts because of the enormous power of those ideas at the strategic level. (p. 170)”

Epilogue (Akiko): Mainly, it talks about the future of sustainability. Now, in mass-consumption society, companies produce product, material things as much as they can. Also, consumers buy product and easily throw it away and buy new one. Our society is throwaway society. So, in this reading, author suggests new ideas, which help moving from a throwaway society to a recycling-style economy.The first idea is the concept of minimization which called lean thinking. Lean thinking came from realization that consumers don’t want the physical materials used in manufacturing, shipping, and using many products. The second idea is that transforming the goods they sell into services. For example, if this idea is applied to business model, the power tool company should sell holes rather than selling electronic drills. As a result, company can provide the same value at less cost; also it could be benefit to environment. It sounds vague but it basically says that people should minimize selling material things in order to avoid wasting. Through introducing these ideas, this reading emphasizes that companies can seek sustainability which without diminishing financial profit. This situation could be win-win society our group explained yesterday.

Música Norteña, Annotated Bibliography

By Eric Cheung, Norito Hagino, Julie Matsumoto

Music Norteña, Ragland

Norteña music has been a popular form of music for Mexican Americans since the early 1900’s. Usually including an accordion and bajo sexto guitar, Nortena can be easily recognized. Popular films of heroism which included Nortena music became as memorable as John Wayne cowboy films at the time. In addition to the invention of cassette tapes, the music form being memorable and easily accessible was quickly popularized. Nortena however represented far more than just a form of good music and Spanish John Wayne for Mexican Americans.
“The popularization and perpetuation of nortena music, along with a clearly defined notion of a global Mexican nation, have helped the Mexican immigrant to rise above class based discrimination, oppression, and displacement imposed by a North American government that continues to criminalize its border zone and blame immigration problems on the migrating Mexican (Ragland 26)”.

Similar to jazz and hip hop, Music Norteña has been a symbol of resistance to oppression and heroism for Mexican migrants. With content familiar to blues, Nortena was often about oppression, social issues, history and hardships of worker life for Mexican immigrants in America. Originating and branching from corrido music, a song and poetry form of Mexico, Norteña was a new form of corrido music for Mexican migrants. With the music, Mexican Americans were reminded of their Mexican heritage while creating a new identity in America as well.

Merging Borders: The Remapping of America, Annotated Bibliography

Ty Iwamoto, Martha Valles and Keiko Yoshioka

Latin American studies scholars Edna Acosta-Belén and Carlos E. Santiago argue an unavoidable interconnection between North America and Latin America, basing their ideas on 19th century Cuban writer José Marti’s vision of Nuestra America (Our America). Other intellectuals of Jose Marti’s time envisioned Latin America in an “emulation” of “civilized” European and Anglo-Saxon cultures (30), however José Martí’s vision constituted a multicultural society that promoted racial tolerance and harmony and eliminated Anglo-American ethnocentrism. Martí’s vision was not a “struggle of races,” but rather the “affirmation of rights” (30). In arguing the United States’ unavoidable history and cultural ties with Latin America, the authors discuss the Mexican-American War during which the U.S. seized half the territory of what was Mexico. They quote Chicano filmmaker Luis Valdez, “We did not come to the United States at all. The United States came to us” (32). The authors argue that the U.S. does not recognize Latinos in history like the Latinos recognize the U.S. Marti’s vision of Nuestra America is more pertinent today when technological advancements allow for unlimited networking and communication. A ten-year project called Recovering the U.S. Hispanic Literary Heritage Project strive to compile and annotate literary and historical writings by Latinos that reveal experiences of “border cultures” by Latin American immigrants. These writings play an important role in discovering and publishing “a chronicle of the past and in providing glimpses into the everyday life of the diverse Latin communities at different historical periods” (34).

That is why I will always remain on the margins, a stranger among the stones,
Even beneath the sum of summer’s day, just as I will remain forever a foreigner, even when I return to the city of my childhood, I carry this marginality, immune to all turning back, too habanera to be a newyorquina, too newyorquina to be
– Even to become again –
Anything else
(Lourdes Casal, “For Ana Veldford.” P.40)