Fundación Latitudes

Category: Young journalist

Country/area: El Salvador

Organisation: Háblame de Respeto de la Fundación Latitudes

Organisation size: Small

Cover letter:

My name is Milena Steffany García Arce, 21, currently a sixth semester student of the Bachelor of Social Communication at the “José Simeón Cañas” Central American University, located in El Salvador. From the first year I started at the university I have trained in the area of ​​data journalism at the Photography Center collaborating for the Specialized Portal “Talk to Me about Respect” which focuses on comprehensively addressing gender violence in El Salvador since 2014.

For me the study and interpretation of the data have acquired great importance since I learned to tell about the violence that women are experiencing in my country (El Salvador) which is considered one of the most violent in Latin America. Unlike most media and other organizations that work on data journalism, I, together with my team, have built a true LAB to address the phenomenon of gender violence that allows us to interact with anthropologists, forensics, psychologists studying in depth the reason for this violence. Using data journalism has allowed us to create a model where we convert these data and images to make it easier for more women to understand the different edges that converge in gender violence. This is my main reason why I continue to make data. I use the data and the narrative for the compression of diverse audiences, I develop multiple spaces of digital dialogues for a better understanding of gender violence.

In December of the two thousand nineteen to continue specializing in this area I took a free course in “Knight Center for Journalism in the Americas”, I have also trained in courses in “School of Data”. Among other diplomas I have the certification of Microsoft Office and other workshops. In the Center I have learned how to clean the data, how to develop stories based on them, among other techniques. The main mentor I have had is the President of the Latitudes Foundation who has given me the space to learn and develop.

In our country there is a lot of violence against women and there are no organizations that carry out an investigation like the one we carried out in the foundation since we focus on a systematic and educational process, in this way we have a continuous development since every so often it is being updated information.

In the “Latitudes Foundation” I have been specializing in these topics for three years through the “Talk to Me Respect” portal. Where I have understood that gender violence is a multicausal phenomenon in El Salvador, today the Salvadoran population has lost the capacity to be amazed at it. Women in areas with a greater presence of gangs, as well as in political strata continue to be used and underrated by society. Today the index of violence against women is high in the different forms of expression such as rapes, missing persons, unwanted pregnancies and femicides. These four edges of violence against women have helped us to reveal that pandemic at a national and global level that the data reflects that every day, 5 women are victims of aggressions in the world. In this project I participated in the narrative of the data.

This work is very important for me because when I discover the data of rapes and pregnancies they are in the minors, which leads me to a personal reflection of the real situation that women live in these ages.

Description of portfolio:

It seeks to identify the role of women within criminal structures in El Salvador from different data sources. This effort has required the foundation to integrate security and protection models for journalists, to create a timeline and structure information request processes through the Offices of Access to Public Information of the different state institutions, interviews with public officials , prosecutors, police, site visits, story tracking developing a creative roping model that took us six months to present an academic scientific analysis.

With this database, the true role of women within the gang is achieved for the first time and demystify what many are secondary, and it is one of the main causes of feminicidal violence.

To give an answer, it was necessary to make a comprehensive approach that would help us systematize the different data that is collected through civil society, the State through public information among others. By having them we can link or cross the data to make an analysis of the different edges, which allows us to have a wider knowledge, in this way people can understand in a different way the dimension of violence that is not the product of a single action.


• Personal security of the equipment

• Direct and indirect threats of criminal structures

• The refusal of the offices of access to information that seek to find flaws in the writing of the requests create a series of pretexts to delay the processes of delivery of the information

• There are public information officers who threaten articles of the law to generate intimidation and that one desist from requesting the information

• The lack of ethics of the officers who, because they are students, first provide the information we request to the media one or two days before to remove the impact of our investigations.

• When they ask for an appeal, they often send it on Friday, counting on weekends so as not to file a counterclaim

• I have faced two appeals trials

• We do not have great resources to do this research

A search, data collection and processing model was designed, and then transformed into images so that people who read us can understand this phenomenon in a simpler way. It is done in this way, because we analyze our audience, which detailed that they read more images than text. However, we have designed a communication plan for our readers as we create different content on our platforms, so that they can choose the most convenient way to interact with the data and get informed.

The specific public: women, journalists, organizations, the State. Our main goal is not only to reach a professional group, rather they are women who can become victims of violence, they are young people who, according to our statistics, are the most vulnerable to suffering all types of violence. Age range is between 15 to 55 nationwide although we try to focus on the municipalities that our data show the highest rate of violence. Currently, we use different tools to disseminate our research, each one fulfills a different communication objective for the website or for our social networks. Most of our publications that are for social networks have an average reach of 50%, as are our specialized reports. In addition, different organizations, media and government sectors request our information to have a better context on gender violence.

Project links: