Our Founders

"Defenders are the most powerful factor in making human rights a reality" - Navanethem Pillay

Luz Estela Castro Rodríguez

Luz Estela ”Lucha” Castro is a teacher, theologist, and lawyer. She is a human rights defender who for more than twenty years has provided legal representation to victims of human rights violations: femicide, trafficking, torture, disappearances, sexual and family violence. Since then, she has defended women’s rights and actively promotes the leadership of other women. Passionate about justice, Lucha has provided free legal representation to hundreds of victims of human rights violations, setting precedents in her favor in court. She coordinated work to incorporate women’s rights and the perspective of gender into the criminal prosecution system in Chihuahua, in line with international standards. She has been a citizen counsellor, providing technical assistance to government entities. She was a driver of the first Justice Center for Women in the country, installed in Chihuahua. Her work focuses on strategic litigation, psychosocial support, and empowerment of victims, to strengthen their capacities in the exercise of their rights in court. She is a pioneer in judicial activism in the country and is convinced that laws are for use and enforcement. In 2005, she co-founded the Center for Women’s Human Rights. In early 2000, she founded, together with mothers of missing and murdered women of Juarez City and Chihuahua, the organization Justicia para Nuestras Hijas (Justice for Our Daughters). In 1994, she pioneered political civil resistance in Chihuahua, in the defense of families, and, in particular, women, whose wealth was at risk due to the economic crisis in Mexico. She is an expert in women’s public policy, access to justice, and the right to housing. On these topics, she has been invited to participate as a lecturer at universities such as Harvard, Yale, Duke, and Stanford, in the United States and in about 20 other countries.


2003: “Distinction of the Woman of the Year of the Juarez City”.

2005 – 2017: From 2005 to November 2017, she served as general coordinator of the CEDEHM, an organization of which she is currently an assembly member of its main governing body. From 2016, she worked as Counsellor of the Judiciary of the State of Chihuahua, a position she held until September 2019.

2010: Annual International Award of “Human Rights Defenders 2010” by the international organization Front Line Defenders.

2011: Winner of the International Human Rights Award of Pro Derechos Humanos de España (The Association for Human Rights of Spain).

2012: Recognized as one of the 100 women leaders de Mexico, by one of the most influential newspapers of the country.

2014: Performer in the play “Heridas de Muerte” (“Death Wounds”), presented at the Palacio de Bellas Artes (Palace of Fine Arts), invited by the Supreme Court of Justice of the Nation, the Council of the Federal Judiciary, and the Electoral Court of the Judiciary of the Federation.

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Mexico is a country that suffers from a lack of social justice and in which there is still a long way to go to guarantee human rights for all people. Our work is medullary in the demand for truth, justice, and reparation. Continuing this cause is work that cannot cease and doing so requires solidarity and support. If you want to contribute to our cause, you can make your donation through PayPal.

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Contact us

During the COVID-19 pandemic, we advise you remotely on cell phones: (614) 132.91.04 & (614) 255.03.05, Monday through Friday from 8:00 am to 2:00 pm. (CUU).

    Av. Juárez 4107-B Col. Centro, Chihuahua, Chih., México, C.P. 31000

    Teléfono: (614) 415 41 52