Douwe den Held
Human Rights Defender, Oaxaca Consortium
Yésica Sánchez Maya is a woman human rights defender and member of the executive team at Consorcio para el Diálogo Parlamentario y la Equidad Oaxaca, a feminist organisation with 15 years of experience working in Oaxaca, Mexico, promoting the recognition, respect and exercise of women’s human rights as well as gender equality.
In 2020, in the context of International Human Rights Day, it was announced that the “Movement for Our Disappeared” was awarded the Franco-German Gilberto Bosques Human Rights Award, and Yésica – as a defender – received an honorable mention “for her tireless efforts for women’s rights” .
She is a specialist in strategic litigation for the defense of indigenous people, victims of abuses of authority, criminalization of social protest, arbitrary detention, torture and women survivors of gender-based violence. Yésica is also an expert in the comprehensive protection of human rights defenders and in international advocacy. She played a mediating role in the Oaxaca 2006 social conflict.
In 2008, she became a partner and member of the Management Team of the Civil Association, Consortium for Parliamentary Dialogue and Oaxaca Equity. As such, she is responsible for the Social Movement Construction Program. Between 2003-2008, Yésica was the President of the ‘Liga Mexicana de Derechos Humanos Limeddh-‘ Oaxaca. She worked on defending political prisoners, cases of torture, arbitrary detention, harassment, enforced disappearance, violence against women and due process violations.
Prior to this, she was a Legal Advisor to the Mexican League for the Defense of Rights in Oaxaca and a member of the Popular Legal Counsel, where legal advice was given to prisoners who were indigenous people.
She is a recipient of the “Leaders of Human Rights Faces for Equality 2019” award, from the Government of Canada. The European External Action Service Campaign of the European Union also distinguished her work during the Commemoration of the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights-Oct in 2018 (see video here).
Director, Inquisitio Consulting Ltd.
Senior Legal Officer, Siracusa International Institute for Criminal Justice and Human Rights
Executive Director Police Services, Interpol
Assistant Professor of Latin American History, Loyola University Chicago
Country Director, Rapha International Haiti
Head of Asia Policy, United Kingdom Intellectual Property Office
IRPI – Investigative Reporting Project Italy
Professor of Practice, National Defense University, William J Perry Center for Hemispheric Defense Studies
Associate Professor, National Defense University
Senior Fellow, Foreign Policy, Brookings Institution
Coordinator for Central America, Global Initiative Against Transnational Organized Crime