Building Coalitions




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Summary of Case:
The case focuses on the obstacles encountered by the executive director of a nonprofit organization, Casa
Amiga, situated in Juárez, Mexico. Casa Amiga’s executive director, Esther Chávez Cano, founds the
organization in 1999 in response to the overwhelming needs of rape and domestic violence victims who had
nowhere else to turn. Esther herself has become an ardent advocate for women’s issues in Juárez and is
struggling to deal with the ever increasing demand for Casa Amiga’s services. The situation in Juárez has
become even more desperate as violence against women has escalated to the serial murder of over 250
women in ten years. The situation has been cited as one of the worst cases of “femicide” in recent history.
Despite pressures from local NGOs, there continues to be a lack of thorough investigations and prosecutions
around these murders.
Casa Amiga is at a critical organizational juncture: how can it continue its work in a politically divisive and
culturally charged environment? Casa Amiga finds itself confronting a growing number of obstacles. The cross
border work has divided the factions—business owners, Juárez political officials, and grassroots organizations
—even further, because the work has brought Casa Amiga increasing international attention and funding. Now
Esther must decide what action steps she will undertake to bring together the various factions in the city. At the
same time, Esther must ensure that Casa Amiga has the proper organizational support to continue and that its
advocacy work will remain true to its mission and vision.
Answer the following questions for your initial discussion board post for this week:
#1. Explain all of the various stakeholders in Casa Amiga’s authorizing environment or network.
#2. Analyze how each stakeholder influences Casa Amiga—can they hurt or help Casa Amiga? Which
stakeholders are affected most by the issues? For example, what kind of support can United States
organizations offer emerging organizations in Juárez? How would their involvement impact Casa Amiga and
other groups?
#3. If the family groups were put under the umbrella of Casa Amiga, how would you mitigate conflicting
interests to move forward a unified agenda?
#4. As a leader of Casa Amigo what would you do to build a more effective coalition?

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