The Ginetta Sagan Fund. Profile Lydia Cacho

AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL USA. Ms. Lydia Cacho Ribeiro is one of Mexico’s leading defenders of children’s and women’s rights. An investigative journalist and a specialist on gender-based violence, Ms. Cacho founded and directs the Centro Integral de Atención a las Mujeres (CIAM) in Cancún, a crisis center and shelter for victims of sex crimes, gender-based violence, and trafficking. CIAM provides free services to anyone seeking assistance and protection. Many of these women and girls who seek shelter are often fleeing from violent criminals. Consequently, protecting them endangers Ms. Cacho’s own life on a daily basis. Throughout the course of her advocacy work, Ms. Cacho has received numerous death threats, and in 1999, was raped in an attempt to intimidate her. This particular incident emboldened her even further to protect and advance the rights of women and children in a country where impunity is widespread and commonly accepted as a part of daily life.
The U.S. Department of State cites Mexico as a source, transit, and destination country for trafficked persons for sexual exploitation and labor. A considerable number of these victims are children. Many of them, exploited by organized crimes, are forced to perform sexual and pornographic acts. The Mexican government’s estimate of child victims is as high as 20,000. Tourist destinations such as Cancún become popular destinations for child sex tourism. To expose these crimes against children, Ms. Cacho published a book in 2004 entitled Los Demonios del Eden: El poder detrás de la pornografía infantil (The Demons of Eden: The power behind child pornography). Her work has resulted in repeated threats against her life and judicial harassment to silence her effort to give voice to the victims. On December 16, 2005, Ms. Cacho was arrested and denied access to her lawyer and medicine. She spent the night in prison and was then released on bail of US $9900. In response to these intimidating tactics, Ms. Cacho filed a successful counter-suit for corruption and for violation of her human rights. In this regard, Ms. Cacho is the first woman in Mexico who has ever filed a federal suit against a Governor, a District Attorney, and a judge for corruption and attempted rape in prison. Furthermore, in May 2007, she will be the first woman in Mexican history to take a woman’s rights case to the Mexican Supreme Court.
Ms. Cacho believes in a holistic approach to addressing the violations against society’s most vulnerable population. In addition to advocacy work and direct service for victims, she also believes that educational endeavors are important for healing and building a more peaceful society. In this regard, Ms. Cacho also initiated an innovative educational project to help children deal with the emotional and psychological impacts of abuse. The Center for Women’s Assistance, in cooperation with the Ministry of Education and Culture, the Oasis Foundation, and others established Escuelas para la Paz (Schools for Peace), which is a series of schools throughout Mexico dedicated to promoting non-violent conflict resolution methodologies to help stop the cycle of violence in society.
Ms. Cacho has put her life on the line on behalf of children and women in Mexico. As a consequence of her unwavering defense of human rights and journalistic freedom, her own life is repeatedly threatened. Despite these dangers, she continues to champion the advancement of human rights for all children and women because she believes that every single person deserves to live a life of dignity.

16 comentarios en “The Ginetta Sagan Fund. Profile Lydia Cacho

  1. Querida Lydia:
    Al leer tu correo,me ha conmovido hasta las lagrimas.
    Doy gracias a Dios por tu vida y la de tu familia. Es una tremenda bendicion tener mujeres mexicanas valientes como tu.
    Hace algunos anos yo sali “huyendo” de Mexico, como tu mencionas. Pero hace algunos meses he estado muy inquieta en regresarme a mi pais y “luchar” desde las trincheras (no solo ser una espectadora, viviendo a gusto en una ciudad como Vancouver, Canada). Aunque mi perfil es totalmente diferente (quiero unirme a un proyecto para abrir una escuela para ninos sordos en san Bartolo, B.C.S.). A partir de ahora cuentas con mis oraciones, para que Dios te cuide y proteja en todos tus caminos. Dios te bendiga y acompane.

  2. Estimada Lydia,
    No tengo el gusto de conocerla personalmente pero, no me resisto a decirle lo que significa para mí la existencia de personas como usted. Su honestidad, entrega y sacrificio por esta causa me reconcilia con el ser humano. Hay dias que me acuesto con ira y dolor por las cosas que suceden en este mundo. Hago lo que buenamente está en mis manos para mejorar la vida de los que tengo a mi alrededor pero, no siempre basta con eso.
    Mi enhorabuena por su labor. He visto que ha venido a España (soy española)no sé si podré ir a verla. De todas maneras cuente conmigo para lo que necesite en su labor de difusión y lucha contra la violencia de cualquier tipo.

  3. Hi Lydia,
    I saw you speak at the Vancouver Public Library and I thought you were absolutely amazing. Your stories were very touching and very inspiring. I was wondering where we can purchase a copy of your book and if the book is also translated into English. Also, I would love to get in touch with you to see how we, here in Vancouver, BC can connect with your organization and or help out in any way. We are interested in putting together a campaign at school to raise awareness around human trafficking and sex tourism. Keep up the good work and please stay in touch, you are amazing!


  5. Dear Lydia,
    I would like you to know that your blessing grow in heaven each day you are here on earth. Keep on battling the demons, God is on your side. MORE POWER TO YOU.
    With love and respect from America,
    Lisa Pritchett Cerda,
    Native American

  6. I saw you last year on some forgetable show, but you impressed me. I have kept you name in my wallet every since with the hopes of one day letting you know you are awesome. If one tenth of the population put in as much effort the world would be blessed. I hope GoD is keeping you well. You are loved and prayed for. May God be with you!!!!

  7. Estimada Lydia: Usted no se imagina como una persona como usted nos hace sentir a los mexicanos que residimos en el extranjero, estamos horgullosisimos de que existan personas que luchen por los derechos de otros seres humanos, y arriesguen sus propias vidas para que otros vivan mas tranquilos y sus derechos humanos sean respetados, saludos desde Dallas Texas, la admiro y la respeto, QUE DIOS BENDIGA SU VIDA Y SU DESTINO

  8. Lydia, hoy me llego un correo con los links de los 8 clips en youtube.
    La noticia de las mentiraas que quedaron al descubierto ya las habia escuchado, ahora que los vi en resumen. Tengo algunas ideas principalmente para difundir TU excelente trabajo.
    1. Ponerle subtitulos a esos 8 clips con el titulo en ingles.
    2. Hacer la traduccion de esta pagina tambien en ingles.
    y Tercera, puedes vender la historia y hacerla pelicula!! Yo creo que 80% de los mexicanos queremos ver que se haga “justicia” al menos en la pantalla grande.
    Imaginate que la niña que acepto el dinero de Kamel regrese de LA como toda una profesionista y le quite el negocio de los jeans, o algo asi!!! O que el gober precioso lo cachen poorr fin. Puede haber muchas ideas para que financies tu muy buena causa y muevas un poco el polvo en el Mexico que se nos esta iendo a la coladera!

  9. We have learned that a pedophile trafficking ring was in existence and probably still is in the Jefferson County Colorado Govt.
    Please go to our website and also google Judi Chases Amber Alert. We would like to share our information with the hopes of stopping this disgusting plague on our society and protect the children. Maybe the notoriety of the Columbine tragedy will help in the struggle. Let’s work together.

  10. Lydia,
    i have a very dark view of humanity, based on… well, living and observing in this cold world. I just learned about you glansing through a newspaper.
    Just wanted to know you made my life a bit brighter. Knowing that people such as You exist gives me hope. Just a little bit. But a little hope is incredibly better than no hope at all.
    You know, in my country (Sweden) we now have neo-nazis patrolling outside schools to protect the children from pedophiles and they a publish names of sex-offenders on websites. Not that they care the slightest bit about the children, they just want to have a group to hate and beatup/kill, like the jews. Makes me wanna cry.

  11. Dear Lydia,
    Is it possible to reach you by writing here? I’ll give it a try. I just read an article about you in a Swedish newspaper. I started crying when I read it. Words fail me. I have problems believing in God but when I hear you saying that some of this awful men who have been raping little children are still free and powerful I hope that there is justice beyond here and now. I hope that they will suffer. I hope that they’re suffering now, I think and I hope that the hate they must feel for themselves are burningthem every second and I hope that the little children who were exposed to them will somehow end up healed in eternal love and peace and calm and that God’s sweetest angles will play their favourite songs to them and serve them ice-cream and and you, you bravae, wonderful woman, deserve the same healing, love, peace and calm. What you’ve done for humanity is too fantastic for words. Thank you! Thank you!

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