Alejandra Constanza Ancheita Pagaza – Biography

Alejandra Constanza Ancheita Pagaza – Biography

Alejandra Ancheita

Alejandra Ancheita is a feminist lawyer and human rights defender in Mexico. She is the founder and Executive Director of the Mexican NGO Proyecto de Derechos Económicos, Sociales y Culturales A.C. (ProDESC).


Academic formation


Alejandra Ancheita has a law degree from the Universidad Autónoma Metropolitana (UAM). In 2009, she completed a master’s degree (MD) in International Law and Global Justice at Fordham University School of Law in New York and she was awarded with a fellowship from the Leitner Center for Law and Justice.


Since 2005, she has been a member of the Human Rights Advocates Program (HRAP) at the School of Public and International Affairs at Columbia University, New York. 


In 2010 Alejandra was a Visiting Research Fellow at the Louis Stein Center for Law and Ethics, where she developed the research “Towards Genuine Transnational Collaboration: Building Transnational Justice for Migrant Workers.” She also served as a visiting professor at the same Center, working on issues related to binational relations between Mexican and U.S. organizations dedicated to the defense of migrant workers’ rights.


She also collaborated as a consultant and researcher for the Institute for Migration Studies and Dissemination (INEDIM). She led a study on the dynamics of temporary migrant labor in North and Central America from the perspective of international labor rights standards. 


Ancheita was a professor until 2018 in the Master’s Program in Human Rights Education at the Inter-American Institute of Human Rights and the Regional Cooperation Center for Adult Education in Latin America and the Caribbean.




Ancheita has led the defense of land rights, territory and natural resources, as well as labor rights. Her activism has been in favor of indigenous, agrarian and migrant communities in Mexico, from a feminist perspective.


In her early work as an activist, she worked in the Latin American and Caribbean Network of young people for sexual and reproductive rights and in the association K’inal Ansetik, A.C., where she coordinated activities and workshops with young people on issues such as sexual and reproductive rights and gender issues. 

She was an assistant lawyer at the Center for Justice and International Law (CEJIL) in Washington, DC. She also worked as Legal Counsel in the Cuauhtémoc Mayor’s Office in Mexico City.


Alejandra worked as a lawyer and advisor at the AFL-CIO Solidarity Center and the Center for Reflection and Labor Action (CEREAL). Her work focused on the defense of labor human rights and access to justice in the case of economic, social and cultural rights. 


She also collaborated as a litigation lawyer at the Human Rights Center “Miguel Agustín Pro Juárez”, where she was in charge of advising, monitoring and building cases of human rights violations at the domestic level and before the Inter-American Human Rights System.


In 2005, she founded ProDESC, a civil society organization focused on three areas: the defense of land, territory and natural resources; the defense of the right to defend human rights; and the defense of labor rights. As Executive Director, Ancheita has implemented innovative accountability mechanisms for several transnational corporations. This has led companies that have not respected the rights of communities and workers to appear before national and international bodies.

Alejandra has developed a comprehensive accompaniment and advocacy methodology that combines education and community organizing with corporate research, human rights litigation, strategic communication and advocacy.


She has also contributed to the development of processes before the North American Labor Agreement system of the Inter-American System and the Committee on Freedom of Association of the International Labor Organization.


Honorary positions


Ancheita has also been a member of the advisory board of the European Center for Constitutional and Human Rights (ECCHR), the board of the Global Labor Justice – International Labor Rights Forum (GLJ-ILRF); the board of the Martin Ennals Foundation (MEF); the Academic Council of the Law School of the Universidad Iberoamericana and the Global Reference Group of the organization Bread for the World (period 2019-2022). She is also part of the Advisory Board of the Bonavero Institute of Human Rights, of the Advisory Board of the Journal of Human Rights Practice of the University of Oxford. In 2021, Ancheita was a jury member of the Berlin Human Rights Film Festival in Germany.




2019: Doctor Honoris Causa from the University of Paris Nanterre.

2017: Named one of the 100 most powerful women in Mexico by Forbes Magazine.

2016: HIPGiver recognition from the Hispanic in Philanthropy Foundation.

2016: Named one of the 30 global leaders building a better world by the American Jewish World Service Foundation.

2015: Recognition for her career as a Human Rights Defender by the Human Rights Commission granted by the LXII Legislature off the Senate of the Republic.

2015: Name as one of the 25 most influential Latin American women by the newspaper El País

2014: Martin Ennals Award from the Martin Ennals Foundation.

2014: Elected as “Rising Talent” of the Women’s Forum.

2014: Named one of the 50 people transforming Mexico by the mexican magazine Quién.

2014: Omecíhuatl Medal awarded by the Women’s Institute of Mexico City.




Windkraft versus Menschenrechte, Taz, 2022.

Corredor de Justicia Laboral Transnacional, Proceso, June 2022.

Justicia energética es soberanía energética, Proceso, June 2022.

Unión Hidalgo: despojo eólico o justicia agraria, Proceso, May 2022.

Somos guerreras, maternando en la desigualdad, Proceso, May 2022.

Las desigualdades laborales, Proceso, April 2022.

Poder colectivo contra la desigualdad, Proceso, April 2022.

Desigualdades y mujeres: datos y rutas, Proceso, March 2022.

La desigualdad: el elefante blanco en la sala, Proceso, March 2022.

El valle de los dinosaurios durmientes, 2022.

Power in Human Rights Advocate and Rightsholder Relationships: Critiques, Reforms, and Challenges, Harvard Human Rights Journal, 2020.

Inequality is the Real Pandemic, The Global Initiative for Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, 2020.

Por una narrativa diferente de desarrollo, Aristegui Noticias, October 2019.

Violaciones de derechos humanos en el marco del desarrollo de megaproyectos e industrias extractivas, Comisión Nacional de Derechos Humanos, 2017.

In Defense of Human Rights Defenders, Global leaders must call for an end to killings of human rights defenders, Medium, 2016.

Global North and South Collaboration”, Bertha Blog by Bertha Foundation, April 2016.

El contrapeso de la Balanza / Educational Exchange: Balancing the Scales for Communities Facing Exploitation by Multinational Corporations”. Bertha Foundation, February 2016.

Hacia una colaboración genuina entre Defensores de Derechos Humanos del Norte y el Sur Global. En coautoría con Carolijn Terwindt. Edición 4/2015, Lucius and Lucius, Stuttgart, December 2015.

La reforma energética de México en conflicto con los derechos humanos de las comunidades indígenas y agrarias. En coautoría con Eric Wiesner. Griffith Journal of Law & Human Dignity, Volumen 3(2), November 2015.

Unbowed / Erguida. Compilación de cartas y poemas de mujeres de la Red Bertha Justice Initiative. Coordinado por Claire Tixeire del Centro Europeo por los Derechos Constitucionales y Humanos ECCHR, September 2015.

¿Cómo renovar el discurso feminista?”. Periódico Reforma, Mexico City, March 2015.

The challenges for women defenders working on business and human rights. International Service for Human Rights. Geneva, Switzerland. November 2014.

Violación de los derechos humanos, problema global”. La Jornada, Mexico City, November 2014.

“México y los derechos humanos” La Razón, el diario nacional de Bolivia, La Paz, Bolivia, November 2014.

El despojo territorial como política del Estado mexicano”. La Jornada del Campo. Suplemento del periódico La Jornada, number 82, Mexico City, July 2014.

Sí a la Tierra, No a la Violencia. La Jornada del Campo. Suplemento del periódico La Jornada, número 67, Mexico City, April 2013.

Documento de Trabajo No. 4; INEDIM, ¿Quo Vadis? Reclutamiento y Contratación de Trabajadores Migrantes y su Acceso a la Seguridad Social: dinámicas de los sistemas de trabajo temporal migratorio en Norte y Centroamérica”. INEDIM, Mexico City, 2013.

Manual de Justicia Binacional; Marco normativo para la defensa de trabajadores y trabajadoras migrantes en México y Estados Unidos. Proyecto de Derechos Económicos, Sociales y Culturales ProDESC y Centro de Derechos del Migrante CDM, Mexico City, 2010.

“Los derechos Humanos Laborales violados en los campos agrícolas de Sinaloa”, Proyecto de Derechos Económicos, Sociales y Culturales ProDESC y Centro de Derechos Humanos de la Montaña- Tlachinollan, Mexico City, 2009.

“Revisión del Manual Defendiendo los Derechos de los Migrantes Transnacionales en los Estados Unidos”, La Alianza de Justicia para Trabajadores Globales, New York (E.E.U.U.), 2009.

Lo barato sale caro, Reporte sobre violaciones a los derechos humanos laborales en Wal-Mart México. Proyecto de Derechos Económicos, Sociales y Culturales, ProDESC, Mexico City, November 2008.

Constant impunity – FEMOSPP keeps failing to deliver. Focus, Centro de derechos Humanos Miguel Agustín Pro Juárez, Mexico City, 2005.

“TLC vs. DDHH, Algunos casos”. Focus, Centro de Derechos Humanos “Miguel Agustín Pro Juárez”, Mexico City, 2004.

“Derechos Humanos Laborales, experiencia teórico-práctica para una estrategia integral de promoción y defensa”, Centro de Reflexión y Acción Laboral y Fundación Friedrich Ebert Stiftung, Mexico City, March 2003.

“Entre la Continuidad y la Resistencia, Informe de violaciones a los derechos humanos laborales en México durante el año 2001”, CEREAL, Mexico City, January 2002.

“Derechos Colectivos… ¡Todavía!, Informe de violaciones a los derechos humanos laborales en México durante el año 2000”, CEREAL, Mexico City, January 2001.

Informe: La Discriminación en México: Los casos de las, los migrantes, las mujeres trabajadoras, los pueblos indígenas y la comunidad lesbico-gay, “Capítulo: Discriminación de Género en el ámbito Laboral”, Centro de Derechos Humanos “Miguel Agustín Pro Juárez” y CEREAL, Mexico City, 2001.

“2º Sexo, Nociones más que vigencia en las universitarias”, Triple Jornada. Suplemento del periódico La Jornada, Mexico City, June 1999.

“Derechos y Salud Reproductiva”, K’inal Ansetik, Ciudad de México, mayo 1999.

Publicaciones varias. En Revista Lunatika, Escritora y Coordinadora del equipo editorial, Mexico City, 1998 – 1999.




Participación de Alejandra Ancheita en el Foro de Empresas y Derechos Humanos de la ONU, ONU, November 2021.