In Mexico, maternal mortality is an issue of discrimination. It disproportionately affects the most vulnerable women – those who live in extreme poverty and remote communities, those without access to public health care, and girls and adolescents (between 10 and 14 years of age).
Mexico did not meet its Millennium Development Goal of reducing maternal mortality by 75%. While maternal deaths were reduced by 45%, this is insufficient, given that all are preventable.
Maternal mortality is the ultimate expression of obstetric violence. GIRE works tirelessly to achieve measures of non-repetition that generate structural change in the healthcare system. We also provide legal counsel for families of women who have died from maternal causes and accompany them in their search for justice.
Link to the report “The Missing Piece: Reproductive Justice”
Maternal death is a reflection of the multiple human rights violations that women face in accessing obstetric care services. Despite the progress made to prevent maternal death, the maternal mortality rate in Mexico continues to be higher than the 1990 Millennium Development Goals of achieving a 75% reduction by 2015. Thus, the deficiencies in the health system continue to contribute to the death of women and girls from obstetric causes. As in the case of Susana, these deaths reflect the multiple discriminations faced by girls and adolescents, women living in precarious economic situations, and indigenous women in Mexico.
For the first time in Mexico, the relatives of victims of maternal death and the women who suffered obstetric violence came together to tell their stories. On May 9, 2016, 27 cases from all over the country, from Chiapas and Yucatan to Sinaloa and Zacatecas, were heard by an international jury of experts in health and human rights. The women and their families wrote a report with recommendations to the State on how to prevent these human rights violations.
The Symbolic Court was an initiative of GIRE joined by 27 organizations. It was sponsored by the W. K. Kellogg Foundation, UN Women Mexico and the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights.
Check the website to listen to the testimonies and read the report:
Campaigns and Communications
¿Chiapasiónate? Justice for Susana
Romeo was waiting outside the Women’s Hospital in San Cristobal de las Casas, Chiapas for the birth of his daughter. Two days later, the body of Susana, his wife, and an unwashed baby were handed to him. The medical personnel did not explain anything. They failed to tell Romeo that they had not provided the timely care that Susana required, that they left her naked on a stretcher exposed to the view of staff and patients, and that her gallbladder was removed without her consent.
As part of the reparations for the human rights violations against Susana’s family, the Chiapas government publicly apologized, on November 19, 2014, for its responsibility in her unfortunate death. There are still many pending issues related to the measures of non-repetition that the State must implement so that what happened to Susana is not repeated, which includes necessary improvements to the Women’s Hospital of San Cristóbal de las Casas.
Check the website “Chiapasiónate” to learn more about Susana and Romeo’s case http://chiapasionate.gire.org.mx/en/
Maria Ligia: Yucatan Let Her Die
Maria Ligia, a 41-year-old indigenous Mayan woman who was pregnant with twins, suffered multiple human rights violations, which led to her death on January 27, 2014. Her death was the result of a series of omissions and deficiencies in the health system, combined with the discrimination suffered by indigenous women: 65% of maternal deaths occur within federal or state clinics and hospitals.
See the website “Yucatan Has a Problem” to learn more about Maria Ligia’s story http://marialigia.gire.org.mx/en/