Reduction of Gender and Institutional Violence against Mesoamerican Migrant Women

Six out of ten Central American women on their way through Mexico are victims of sexual violence, according to reports from Amnesty International. Migrants, particularly women and girls, suffer from multiple forms of violence during their journeys northward. The perpetrators of violence against them range from criminals to government authorities to their intimate partners. However, there is still no strong evidence base on this phenomenon. Migrant women not only lack systems to report violence against them, they are also being threatened and intimidated. This project seeks to understand what forms of violence against migrant women are being perpetrated by whom, where, how, and when, and to identify effective policies and practices to counteract and prevent these incidents. It will examine the conditions that result in the displacement of women, children, and adolescents in Guatemala and the south of Mexico, particularly those due to territorial control and institutional violence under the guise of immigration control. It will also look at what risks women face and how they are protected from violence. Researchers based in local human rights organizations will work closely with affected women and the organizations that serve them in the implementation of this project. The research will reflect the experiences of Mesoamerican migrant and refugee women and will provide the basis for public policy recommendations to protect their rights and safety. This project will also strengthen the research skills and victim support services of the participating organizations and institutions in Guatemala and Mexico. These include the Associación Equipo de Estudios Comunitarios y Acción Psicosocial (Association of Community Studies and Psychosocial Action Team) in Guatemala, Centro de Derechos Humanos Fray Matías de Córdova A.C (Fray Matias Centre for Human Rights of Cordova) in Mexico, and the Voces Mesoamericanas, Acción con Pueblos Migrantes, Asociación Civil (Mesoamerican Voices, Action with Migrant People, Civil Association) in Mexico.

Project ID


Project status



24 months

IDRC Officer

Alejandra Vargas Garcia

Total funding

CA$ 397,100


Guatemala, Mexico


Governance and Justice

Project Leader

Eugenia Judith Erazo Caravantes


Asociación Equipo de Estudios Comunitarios y Acción Psicosocial

Institution Country


Institution Website

Project Leader

Diego Lorente Pérez


Centro de Derechos Humanos Fray Matías de Córdova A.C.

Institution Country


Institution Website