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Mexican Human Rights Fight Illustrated in New Graphic Novel Series

UNITED NATIONS, Apr 9 2015 (IPS) - A Dublin-based human rights group has launched a series of graphic novels highlighting the stories of activist groups and rights struggles around the world.

Front Line Defenders, the International Foundation for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders, this month launched the first instalment in the series, “La Lucha: The Story of Lucha Castro and Human Rights Defenders in Mexico.”

The comic book-style work focuses on the stories of women human rights defenders in northern Mexico, in the cities of Chihuahua and Juarez – “consistently two of the most dangerous cities in the world for more than a decade,” Front Line Defenders said in a statement announcing the graphic novel.

“La Lucha recounts the stories of Lucha Castro, some of her colleagues at her organisation – Centro de Derechos Humanos de las Mujeres – in Chihuahua, and of other WHRDs who sacrificed their lives in the defense of women’s and human rights in their communities,” the statement continued.

La Lucha is the first in a series Front Line Defenders said was “unprecedented” in the human rights field. The novel is published in English and will soon be available in Spanish, as well as in a “dynamic digital format” with multimedia elements.

“This book gives evidence of the risks and adversities human rights defenders across the world have to face to make the rights of their communities a reality”, said Adam Shapiro, Head of Campaigns at Front Line Defenders and co-author of the book.

“The bravery, persistence and hope women rights defenders featured in the book exhibit in their day to day lives make up these stories of real life heroes.”

Lucha Castro is the main character in the novel. She said it was important to shed lights on injustices and to spread information about how they can be avoided into the future.

“In my journey as a defender, I have learned to listen to the stories of women who suffer violations of their human rights, with compassion and a reverence that compels me to respect their lives,” she said.

“I am convinced that it is through acts of love and justice that we can proclaim the scandal of all the unjust acts imposed on women, represented by all forms of violence, many of them hidden. By empowering women we can encourage them to rebuild their lives.”

La Lucha is available at bookstores and also online.

Follow Josh Butler on Twitter: @JoshButler

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