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Mexico slashes funding for women's shelters

Introduction by David Zude of the Banderas Bay Women's Shelter:

The following article is over 4 months old, however; the article is very accurate. The president backed off on the idea of cutting funding to shelters due to a lot of pressure of a number of politicians, the National Network of Shelters and the organizations that operate shelters. Funding continued this year, but next year is up in the air. Only 45 of the 70 shelters have received funding. As a result 2 shelters have closed and many more have had to severely cut their services.


David Agren in Mexico City

Tue 5 Mar 2019

Human rights activists in Mexico have condemned a government plan to slash funding for women’s shelters – and instead give the money directly to victims of domestic violence.

Details of the government’s scheme are still being defined, though it said in a statement that “support for this purpose” would remain unchanged.

But advocates for victims of domestic violence warned that cutting funding to shelters risks unravelling two decades of work by civil society organisations, while exposing women and children to increased danger. They also questioned how the government will give money to women in imminent peril who need to flee dangerous situations with their children.

“They’re throwing 20 years of civil advances in multidisciplinary attention to victims of extreme violence in the garbage. The direct payments to women will help for three days, then the feminicides will fall on [the interior ministry],” tweeted Lydia Cacho, a journalist and activist, who has worked with women fleeing domestic violence and girls rescued from the sex trade in Cancún.

“[The president] doesn’t realise (or doesn’t care) that women are often put in danger when they receive cash in hand,” tweetedRegina Tames, the director of Gire, a reproductive rights organisation. “We know of many cases where their violent partners, neighbours and even their parents beat them to take the money from government programmes.”

President Andrés Manuel López Obrador, commonly called Amlo, took office on 1 December, promising to cut excessive government spending and reinvest the savings into social programs.

Amlo has proposed stripping government support from projects operated by civil society organisations which he has openly scorned as “conservative” and mismanaged – without offering evidence.

“They go about creating a constellation of organisations,” he said Friday. “It’s another government. They manage billions of pesos and in the majority of the cases there are irregularities.”

López Obrador has previously announced plans to cut funding for daycare centres and instead provide cash to parents to spend on childcare as they wish.

The finance minister, Carlos Urzúa, said parents could pay a relative to look after their children and opined “perhaps it can be given to a grandma, who is going to better care for children than daycares. It’s giving flexibility to parents so they aren’t tied down to daycares in particular.”

The Mexican news site Animal Político described the initiatives on shelters and daycare centres as “machista austerity”.

About The Banderas Bay Women's Shelter

The Banderas Bay Women's Shelter is working with Vida Reavivida/Compassion for the Family Inc. and Mexican Social Services to provide an immediate, temporary and safe living environment for women and children who are the victims of domestic violence; to prepare them to be financially independent through jobs, education, English second language education, non interest small business loans; and to assist them in living a life free of violence through professional counselling .

Vida Reavivida A.C. is a not for profit charitable organization that is registered with the state Jalisco. For more information about Vida Reavivida A.C. and the Banderas Bay Women's Shelter, please visit, find them on Facebook, or contact David Zude at


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