When governments facilitate the business of multinationals and leave communities unprotected– as with mining – those communities must defend themselves by their own means, through self-defense organizations, mobilizing affected communities, or creating new ways to prevent being evicted from their own territories.
The women of the Movement for Justice in El Barrio–a community-based organization led by immigrant women in New York– and the Zapatista women of La Realidad are two examples of how women in struggle all over the world are coming together to inspire and learn from each other, and how, in the process, they are transforming the world.
A meeting in Popayán, capital of the Cauca department, was the excuse for learning about a complex and violent reality. The war between the military, paramilitaries, guerrillas, and drug traffickers is intertwined with savage extractivism, with illegal mining its worst expression.
On Friday May 2, 2014 an Indigenous Zapatista teacher, Jose Luis Solís López – known by his name ‘in the struggle’ as “Compañero Galeano” – was ambushed and murdered. The murder of Galeano has galvanized a re-organization within the ranks of the Zapatistas and a renewed international solidarity movement.
By act and by omission, the Canadian state has been found guilty for its role in human rights violations in Latin America as a result of its efforts to promote, sponsor and protect Canadian mining investments abroad. Five Canadian mining companies were also found guilty of related crimes.