Summer-Long Program Community Placements
Although placement opportunities in the summer-long program vary each year, the following law offices and organizations are representative of previous student placements:
Centro de Derechos Humanos Fray Bartolome de Las Casas is central to the ongoing success of the other Chiapas human rights centers. Due to its large size and history of involvement, it is widely recognized as the leading legal human rights office in Chiapas. A large staff of lawyers and legal workers investigate human rights violations and take appropriate measures using both national and international legal remedies.
Centro de Derechos de la Mujer de Chiapas focuses on the legal, social and economic obstacles faced by women throughout the region of Chiapas. The center is divided into a number of departments: social services, community outreach and education, counseling services, advocacy and legal services. The legal services department assists women with a broad range of issues such as domestic violence, divorce, custody, property rights, inheritance and employment discrimination.
Miguel Austin Pro Juarez (PRODH), located in Palenque, is a nongovernmental organization that seeks to promote a culture of respect for human rights and to defend persons or groups whose human rights have been violated. Based in Mexico City, and with legal offices in the Mexican states of Chiapas, Guerrero and Oaxaca, PRODH works with local, national and international organizations to consolidate human rights protection in Mexico. PRODH focuses on 7 areas: research and analysis, legal defense, education and training, investigation and documentation of abuse, international advocacy, communication, and defense of persons with HIV/AIDS.
Centro de Derechos Humanos Fray Pedro Lorenzo de La Nada, located in Ocosingo, identified as a major conflict zone due to its close proximity to the Lacandon Jungle (a Zapatista stronghold), advocates primarily for the Tzeltal indigenous community. The center provides legal services and acts as an educational center, providing training sessions and workshops in various disciplines within the human rights field. The center is responsible for maintaining documentation of human rights violations for over 40 communities in the Lacandon Jungle.
Centro de Derechos Humanos Fray Matias de Cordova is located in Tapachula, a community in the southernmost part of Chiapas on the border with Guatemala. The center focuses primarily on providing immigration services to displaced persons from Guatemala who have settled in Chiapas. It also handles disputes that arise between migrant workers and farm owners, and center attorneys visit prisons to provide legal assistance.
La RED de Defensores Communitarios por los Derechos Humanos is comprised of young defensores from 4 regions in Chiapas. RED provides legal services to indigenous communities in Chiapas. The organization also trains members of high-risk indigenous communities to legally defend themselves in the event of military or paramilitary action, allowing them to identify relevant legal human rights violations and respond appropriately.
Ixim Antsetic - Casa de Apoyo a la Mujer, located in Palenque, works exclusively with women, most of whom are indigenous. The range of work areas includes domestic abuse, related family matters, employment discrimination, criminal and other disciplines, as well as basic education on the human rights of women.
Comission Estatal de Derechos Humanos (CEDH) is the governmental human rights organization, engaged in the documentation of human rights complaints. Located in both the state capital of Tuxtla Gutierrez and in San Cristobal, CEDH recently expanded its jurisdictional limits to include cases in litigation and the taking of advocacy stances.