Norma Cruz has received numerous death threats for her work documenting cases of violence against women in Guatemala and helping women fight for justice. She leads a women’s rights organization, Survivors’ Foundation (Fundación Sobrevivientes), based in Guatemala City, the capital of Guatemala. Some of her relatives have also suffered threats and attacks and nobody has been brought to justice for these.
Since May 2009, Norma Cruz has received dozens of threats relating to the Survivors’ Foundation’s provision of legal assistance to a girl who was raped. The threats warn of fatal consequences if Norma Cruz does not stop working on the case. Threats have been sent by text message and by phone, both to her mobile phone and to the office of the Survivors’ Foundation.
On 30 August 2010, Norma Cruz received a death threat on her mobile phone. A man left a voicemail message saying that the head of her daughter would be delivered to her. The threats also targeted the Survivors’ Foundation. The man said: “At midnight the Foundation will be blown to pieces” (a medianoche la Fundación volará en mil pedazos).
One man has been charged with making two of the death threats sent in 2009. He has since been released on bail. However, the Public Prosecutor’s Office has not reported any progress in the investigation into the remaining death threats against Norma Cruz, her relatives and members of the Survivors’ Foundation. Although the Guatemalan authorities have provided Norma Cruz, her family and her office with police protection, the threats continue and nobody has yet been brought to justice.
Sign the petition to Guatemala's Attorney General, asking her:
- to carry out a swift, full and impartial investigation into the death threats against human rights defender Norma Cruz, and ensure that those responsible are brought to justice.
- to adopt a Protocol of Investigation to ensure that attacks on human rights defenders are investigated promptly and effectively, in consultation with human rights defenders in Guatemala.