Using WhatsApp groups and other virtual networks, independent sex workers in Mexico organised a workshop with two main goals: to build community and to learn things that mainstream gynaecology often hides.
Regional updates: Latin America
A little more than a year ago, Romina Rosales, a Latin migrant 43-year-old sex worker, started “Queens of the Underworld”, a non-profit organisation based in L.A., California. According to their website, the organisation “provides community for women-identifying and femme sex workers that serves as a resource for learning coping-skills and self-care”.
The 23rd-25th November was the 14th meeting of Encuentro Feminista de Latino América y el Caribe (Feminist Meeting from Latin America and the Caribbean, known as ‘EFLAC’), which took place in Montevideo, Uruguay. Many groups of women from all over the region attended, including more than 30 sex workers from different countries like Chile, Argentina, Bolivia, Panamá, México, Honduras, and Nicaragua. The meeting’s motto was “Diverse but not Dispersed”.
A new sex worker-led organisation is taking its first steps in Mexico. In only four months they have held several important activities, including joining RedTraSex as members.
Three months ago, attorney and Columbian legislator Clara Leticia Rojas González (known as Clara Rojas), began campaigning for new legislation which would fine people who pay for sex with up to $23,000,000 Colombian pesos (around $7,500 US dollars). This proposal has been strongly condemned by Colombian sex workers, activists and academics.
In June 2017, Nicaragua became the third country in Central America to have a sex workers’ union recognised by the Ministry of Labour, after Colombia and Guatemala. In Nicaragua, the sex workers’ union is attached to the Confederation of Self-Employed Workers.
Many Latin American sex workers groups came to Cancún, Mexico to join the Organization of American States (OAS) 47th General Assembly from 19 - 21 of June. The Theme of the General Assembly was “Strengthening Dialogue and Concertation for Prosperity.” At the event there were speeches and several panels demanding the acceptance of sex work as work, removal of the laws that criminalise sex work and endangering the life, health, and safety of sex workers, and insistance on the importance of taking measures to ensure that the human rights, safety and dignity of sex workers are respected, protected, and guaranteed.
NSWP’s Regional Correspndent in Latin America Ana Karen Lopez Quintana met with Aruba Williams Ortiz Nájera tells, a transgender woman, sex worker activist, and defender of human rights, gender equality, and sexual diversity. Aruba is the president of Tamaulipas Diversity Vihda Trans AC, member of the women's Committee of the National Center for Prevention and Control of HIV/AIDS (CENSIDA) and representative of the Plataforma Latinoamericana de Personas que Ejercen el Trabajo Sexual Chapter Mexico (PLAPERTS).
Thousands of women, including sex workers protested violence (physical, sexual, and psychological) that women face in Peru on the 13 of August. There was a national march in 24 difference cities across the country. Sex worker-led organisations such as "Mujeres del Sur" of Arequipa, " Movimiento de trabajadoras sexuales de Peru", "Miluska Vida y Dignidad", "Angel Azul" and "Cambio y Accion", and “PLAPERTS” participated in the march. They chanted in one voice, “Ni una mujer menos víctima de violencia” “Ni una trabajadora sexual menos.”