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Mexican Activist Awarded International Human Rights Award

Geneva, October 8 (EFE-RHC) -- Mexican activist Alejandra Ancheita was honored in Geneva Tuesday with the Martin Ennals human rights prize, which recognizes individuals whose work demonstrates "deep commitment" and places them at "great personal risk."

The recipient of this year's award is the founder and director of ProDESC, a Mexican non-governmental organization that works to defend and promote economic, social and cultural rights.

Its specific actions include providing protection to migrants and supporting the rights of indigenous communities whose traditional lands are being developed by transnational mining and energy companies.

The Website of the Martin Ennals Award for Human Rights Defenders describes Ancheita as a "Mexican lawyer and activist who leads the fight for the rights of migrants, workers, and indigenous communities of her native country to dramatically raise their standard of living."

In remarks to reporters, Ancheita said she hopes the recognition will raise public awareness about rising violence against indigenous communities and their advocates, adding that the problem has worsened over the past two years.

One of the reasons Ancheita was chosen among numerous other rights defenders is that she and her organization have been threatened with violence and have been the target of defamatory attacks.

The annual award carries a cash prize of $32,000 which is partially financed by Geneva's city government.

Edited by Ivan Martínez
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