A leading Women’s Rights Campaigner in Guatemala, Cruz has worked tirelessly to draw public and international attention to crimes against women. Survivors Foundation is the foundation her and her daughter set up; it offers legal and emotional support, and sometimes shelter to victims and to the families of those who have been murdered. In 2007 the foundation was involved with 30 cases with successful convictions; a large number in a country where only 3% of cases involving violence against women come to court and where it is estimated 2 women are violently killed each day.
Cruz confronts cases involving rape, murder, sexual abuse, domestic abuse, mutilation and the increasing problem of babies being stolen for the international adoption trade. The deepening gang culture deepens the problems facing women; killing a woman in a rival gang member’s family has become part of some initiations.
Her work means that she is often the target of death threats.
In 2005 she was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize and in 2009 Hillary Clinton awarded her, and 7 others, the Secretary of State’s Award for International Women of Courage.