Human rights activist Norma Andrade shot in Juarez

In Mexico’s Ciudad Juarez, a group of gunmen shot and wounded women’s rights activist, Norma Andrade.

Andrade is one of the longtime leaders of the organization May Our Daughters Return Home. She was shot several times (some reports say she was shot 5 times) on Friday by a group of armed men as she was leaving work. She is reportedly in serious but stable condition at a hospital. Norma Andrade is the mother of Lilia Alejandra Garcia Andrade, who was murdered in February 2001.

She also is the mother of the director of the May Our Daughters Return Home group, Malu Garcia, who was forced to flee to Mexico City due to threats (suspected to be from drug traffickers). The Attorney General’s Office in Chihuahua state, where Juarez is located, is attributing the attack to attempted car theft.

Some background:

In Cuidad Juarez, Mexico, over 400 women have been murdered in the last ten years. Half of the bodies found had been sexually assaulted, tortured and burned prior to their assassination. More than 350 women are still missing.

The state of Chihuahua has accounted for about 30 percent of the nearly 50,000 murders committed in Mexico since late 2006, when President Felipe Calderon militarized the struggle against Mexico’s drug cartels.

The UN has condemned the shooting:

“Ms. Norma Andrade began work as an advocate for women’s human rights, in particular, demanding justice for victims of femicide in the State of Chihuahua ,” the U.N. release said Monday.

Andrade had been living outside of Juarez for security reasons, according to the release.

“Since July of this year President Calderon issued an Agreement establishing the foundations for the mechanism of protecting defenders of human rights … Any delay continues to increase daily risks faced by victims and human rights defenders of human rights,” U.N. spokesman Javier Hernandez Valencia said in the release.

The Chihuahua state inspector for the Human Rights Commission, Gustavo de la Rosa Hickerson, told CNN that Andrade had become a target and was “in serious risk” after she began to investigate women being trafficked in Juarez.

The organization Front Line Defenders has a letter you can send to President Calederon.

Join the Conversation