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NOV 2011

Rigoberta Mench
Community Intervention Network for the Prevention of Gender Violence in Foreign Women

Who we are.
The Project RIGOBERTA MENCH is an initiative that comes into existence to sensitize, to inform and to advice about gender violence in all social environments close to foreign women. It is about a public and free service directed to all institutions as public as private, working in the network of immigration. The project relies on the financing of the Viceconsejera of Social Politics and Immigration and is managed by the Association for Integrated Development of Women MERCEDES MACHADO. Its basic principles are promotion of all necessary actions for overcoming the gender inequalities and empowering of women in the Tenerife Island, in coordination with the other Associations. The reality of the immigrant women in the actual context of our space is marked by the triple discrimination they support being immigrant, worker and woman. "The woman with an imagination is able to project not only the life of the family or the society, but also the future of the millennium" (Rigoberta Mench, Nobel Peace Prize).

This bulletin tries to be a digital tool for the information, news, actualities and activities of interest.

Our services
Advice and information for the Public and Private Entities participating with the collective of immigrants on the subject of Equality and Gender Violence. Periodic technical meetings with professionals and responsibles of the Public and Private Entities related to Equality, Immigration and Gender Violence. Information, Advice and Specialized Intervention for foreign women who are victims of gender violence on the juridical and psychological subjects. Chats and workshops on legislation, rights and appeals about Equality and Gender Violence, immigrants and womens associative movements. Guided workshops for improving the self-esteem of the immigrant women. Work sessions for improving in a positive way the intercultural coexistence directed to foreign women. Workshops, chats, exhibitions and thematic activities about Gender Violence, gender and migration, womens rights in the education environment. Loan and equipment of the thematic exhibitions about Gender Violence, Women and

Contacta con nosotras.

922 310 324 y 685 880 294

Foreign Womens vulnerability to the gender violence

Foreign woman who is victim of gender violence meets a series of factors related to cultural, structural and work problems, that generate a situation of great fragility, usually derived from their precarious and irregular situation, which not only moves them away from the accusation of violence, but also from the institutions of guardianship and protection. So, statistics say that until November 3rd, 2011, there have been 53 mortal victims of Gender violence, from which 18 were foreign nationalities. But we have to add, that from those 53 women only 14 had formalized the corresponding complaint. By the other hand, from January 1st to August 31st of this year, 587 temporary residence and work permits have been granted to the foreign women, who are victims of gender violence.

Amendment to the Article 31 bis, of Organic Law 4 dated January 11 th , 2000, on the rights and freedoms of foreigners in Spain and their social integration.
The new measures aim to improve the possibilities of foreign women, who are victims of gender violence, to exercise their constitutional right to effective judicial protection; these measures are summarized in the following points:

When the woman denunciate the assailant, it is possible to apply for a residence and work permit on the grounds of exceptional circumstances for herself and for her children older then 16 years. Also the mistreated woman can apply for a residence permit for incapable or minor children. It provides the automatic granting of a temporary residence and work permit to the mistreated woman and her children, which temporarily resolved her situation until the court decision related with the denunciation of gender violence. As well, the administrative file for application of a penalty on the basis of the breach of article 53.1.a) will not be initiate, and the administrative file for application of a penalty will be suspended, because of prior to denunciation. Finally, not only the criminal proceedings concluding with a sentence is a favorable sentence for the victim, but also the cases when the conclusion of the criminal proceedings infers the situation of gender violence, the cause files owing to missing of the defendant or provisional suspension because of the expulsion of the denunciation.

Gua de los Derechos de las Mujeres Extranjeras Victimas de Violencia de Gnero

(Organic Law 10 dated July 27 th , 2011, Amendments to the Articles 31 bis and 59 bis, of Organic Law 4 dated January 11 th , 2000, on the rights and freedoms of foreigners in Spain and their social integration. BOE July 28th, 2011).

IGOBERTA MENCH TUM, an indigenous Guatemalan, of the MayaK'iche' ethnic group, was born on 9th January in 1959, in Laj Chimel, municipality San Miguel of Uspatan. For her efforts on behalf of indigenous peoples worldwide, she was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1992 and she was the youngest person ever to receive this honor. Her parents were very respected in their neighborhood. Her father, Vicente Mench Perez was the community leader and fought for the indigenous rights in the country. Her mother, Juana Tum K otoja was midwife and healer. Since her childhood, she learned to respect and love the nature, the sacred places and the collective life of the indigenous communities. At a young age, she knew the injustices, the discrimination, the racism and the exploitation of thousands poor aborigines in Guatemala. The misery forced her to look for support in the capital of the country, to help her parents and brothers. But it was in the indigenous communities, where she learned to defend herself and to be organized.

In the struggle for the land, on 9th September 1979, she lost her first brother Patrocinio, who was captured and then tortured by the armed forces. Although, nobody knows the place of his mortal remains. Four months later, on 31st January 1980, died her father with the other 36 persons during the Burning of the Spanish Embassy. Rigobertas mother was kidnapped on 19th April 1980, even though there are different versions about her assassinate, nobody knows the place of her mortal remains, too. Her brother Victor was killed by the armed forces on 8th March 1983. In 1981, Rigoberta Mench escaped to Mexico, where she continued her tireless work reporting on genocide against the Mayan people of Guatemala. Also she began a struggle in the international community in favor of recognition the indigenous rights around the world.

She was recognized for her diligent efforts for justice acting through her Foundation. Her task is to achieve justice for the victims of genocide in Guatemala and also to defend the victims of discrimination and racism.

The Ulysses Syndrome

Due to inequalities of the world in which we live, many people look for the better future, try to cross the borders and come to other countries. Joseba Achotegui, psychiatrist, titular professor of the University of Barcelona, director of SAPPIR (Psychopathological and psychosocial Support Service for Immigrants and refugees in the Hospital of Sant Pere Claver in Barcelona) identified a syndrome with chronic and multiple stress, an illness of illegal immigrants called The Ulysses syndrome.

The Ulysses syndrome is a problem of XXI century, characterized by:

Firstly, loneliness and enforced separation from ones loved ones, especially in the case when an immigrant leaves behind his or her spouse or young children.

the sense of despair and failure that is felt when the immigrant can not make progress in the market and can not obtain a job.
Thirdly, in addition to these difficulties, the immigrant has to fight merely to survive: to feed himself, to find a roof to sleep under. Fourthly, the fear. For example, the affections caused by the physical dangers of sailing on the boat. Later, these immigrants are afraid of water.


During the 15th World Congress of Psychiatry, which was held from 18th to 22nd September 2011 in Buenos Aires, Achotegui exposed that among 15% and 20% of the persons who visit the centers of mental health in Spain, are not ill, but they suffer from the Ulysses syndrome, that must not be confused with depression or any form of mental illness. The worse conditions of work, the new laws complicating the regrouping of family and the impediments hindering the illegal immigrants to have a normal life, make the Ulysses syndrome very actual. The keys of the intervention must be centered in the search of the proportional form of emotional, psycho-educational supports and juridical consultancy. The most important is do not treat these persons as being depressive or ill.

First meeting Rigoberta Mench

In the framework of the Project Rigoberta Mench we have to create a Network of Insular Coordination between the all public and private entities, working with foreign women who are victims of gender violence. The aim of the said Network of Coordination is the improvement of the existing protocols on the subject of gender violence towards foreign women. For this purpose we have planned the Meeting on 13th December in the Multifunctional Center TRANVIA. The aims of the meeting are follows: to share opinions, to detect needs with the aforementioned collective and to found bases in order to create the said protocol. For more information: 685 880 294

Flowers From Another World


Director: Icar Bollan Screenplay: Icar Bollan y Julio Llamazares Photo: Teo Delgado Music: Pascal Gaigne Produced by: Santiago Garca de Leniz, Enrique Gonzlez Macho (La Iguana - Alta Films S.A.); Spain, 1999. Starring: Jos Sancho (Carmelo), Lisette Meja (Patricia), Luis Tosar (Damin), Marilin Torres (Milady), Chete Lera (Alfonso), Elena Irureta (Marirrosi), Amparo Valle (madre), Rubn (scar) Running time: 105 min

Synopsis: This film was inspired by the famous Plan caravan. After broadcasting by TV William A. Wellmans film Westward the women the villages lonely male inhabitants decided to organize a big bachelors party to which all the single women of the neighborhood are invited. Patricia, a woman from Dominican Republic, needs a home and an economic security that her illegal status in Madrid does not provide her. Milady, twenty, born in Havana and dying to travel all around the world. Marirrosi from Bilbao, has a job, a home and the most complete solitude just like Alfonso, Damian and Carmelo, men from Santa Eulalia, a village lacking both marrying women and future. A bachelors party forces the encounter between them and the beginning of this bittersweet story of male/female relationships and traditional stereotypes.

It doesnt matter where I am from. It matters who I am