I was born in Guatemala during the Internal Armed Conflict (Civil War), which ravaged the country for almost 40 years. As a survivor of this war, I witnessed the havoc from childhood, especially male violence, and for this reason I’m a feminist.
I am also a refugee. I live in Spain where I direct AMG (la Asociación de Mujeres de Guatemala AMG – Guatemalan Women’s Association) I teach postgraduates in universities, including Castilla La Mancha, Carlos III and Complutense de Madrid, about human rights, genocide, and access to justice.
I’ve assisted and assessed the development of laws against femicide/feminicide internationally, for both countries and international Latin American organisations. I’ve also been involved in processes for access to justice for female survivors of armed conflict, in transitional justice processes.
Above all, I’m an activist and defender of women’s human rights.
Expert in Human Rights, Gender, and Gender Based Violence. Born in El Quiché, Guatemala, a zone where hostile actions against the population reached genocidal levels during the Internal Armed Conflict (1960-1996). She is a survivor of that war.
Mercedes supervises postgraduates in the Castilla La Mancha University, Complutense University and the Carlos III University, Madrid. She’s also an invited professor in other universities in Latin America and Europe.
She has collaborated with many media outlets and specialist publications in Latin America and Spain. She has authored numerous reports, including: Report on the Situation of Palestinian Prisoners in Israeli Jails, which was later used as evidence in the Russell Tribunal; she co-authored a report on Violence Against Immigrant Women, created for the Government Delegation on Gender Violence in Spain; she authored a report on Femicide and Armed Groups: Gangs and Violent Femicide in Violence and Femicide in Central America. She directed the Commission which drafted the Report-Open Letter authored by ? the UN General Secretary, Ban Ki-Moon, in relation to femicides in the ‘Northern Triangle’ of Central America, made up of Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala, amongst others. In the process, she has been part of growing expertise on internationally credible standards in cases of crimes against humanity.
In 2012, Mercedes took part in the symposium that gave rise to The UN Declaration of Academic Counsel on Femicide. And between 2017 and 2018, she was part of a group of experts which advised the OEA (Organisation of American States) for the creation of the Interamerican Law Model to Prevent, Sanction and Eradicate Violent Deaths of Women and Girls (Femicide).
Since 2011 she has directed the annual course on femicide, aimed at specialists, in the culture centre of the social and cultural centre the Casa Encendida de Madrid, part of “a social responsibility entity set up by the Spanish bank, Caja Madrid.”
She’s participated in investigative commissions working on violent femicide and other forms of gender violence in countries in Asia, Africa, America and Europe, and has tutored judges and prosecutors in various Latin American countries in subjects relating to femicide and sexual violence in conflict zones.