On Providing Legal, Moral, and Psychological Support to Survivors
In This Video
Empowering Women Survivors in Honduras: Marta Velásquez's Story
Marta is the founder and leader of Mujeres de la Colonia López Arellano y Aledaños (MOMUCLAA), a grassroots organization in the city of Choloma, Honduras, since 1992. Choloma ia known as the deadliest place for women in Honduras, and the city (particularly the neighborhood of López Arellano) is controlled by gangs and is a hub for international drug trade. The high instance of femicide and domestic violence is attributed to the culture of machismo and impunity, and has caused women to migrate north to the United States, including through the 2018 caravans that originated just one city over in San Pedro Sula.
Since age 23, Velásquez has promoted women’s rights by organizing women to stand up to machismo and teaching them about women’s rights and equality, self-esteem, sex education, and what the cycle of domestic violence looks like. She is currently 70-years old and the mother of nine children. Today, through MOMUCLAA she works to provide legal, moral, and psychological support to survivors of violence. Her organization also works to mediate conflicts between neighbors, collaborate with the health center, and help fund child care centers and night school. There is a book written on her life called “Marta, la de la López. Así aprendí, así desaprendí.” (“Marta, la de la López. That’s how I learned, so I unlearned”)
Neil Brandvold, who conducted this oral history, subsequently profiled Marta’s organization for VICE.