Women Indigenous Rights Defenders Targeted by State & Corporate Terror
“I remember feeling that pieces of me were scattered around the world; I belonged to her, Mother Earth.” ~ Raquel Cepeda, Bird of Paradise
Facing ever-growing levels of harassment from the current, crumbling power structure, a new breed of dis-obedient women is shaking up the world. No longer facing simple media slurs or targeted cyber-trolling, some of these women are even being murdered to keep the planet from knowing about the causes which they bravely champion.
One such warrior-woman is Ms. Gloria Ushigua. She has continued peaceful demonstrations and legitimate work that would save indigenous lands and environmental degradation despite intimidation, and repeated acts of force.
Five men sat outside Ms. Ushigua’s home recently, shortly after her sister-in-law, Anacleta Dahua Cují, was killed. She believes her sister-in-law died due to guerillas mistaking her identity. The ‘hit’ they were aiming to carry out was on Ms. Ushigua. Over the past month there have also been escalating attempts on her life.
Dahua Cují was brutally murdered, and likely raped before she was killed. Ms. Ushigua was doomed for the same fate. Sadly, she is familiar with this type of treatment, as she has already been beaten by police, who used tasers and tear gas, breaking into her home to interrogate her for her peaceful, lawful actions in defense of indigenous lands.
Ms. Ushigua coordinates the Sápara women’s organization Ashiñwaka, that defends Sápara people’s ancestral land and environmental rights in the province of Pastaza.
Yet another human rights defender, Nilce de Souza Magalhães has also just been found brutally murdered in Brazil. She was a fierce opponent of the Usina Hidrelétrica Jirau, a rock-fill dam in north-western Brazil.
A man who claimed he wanted to ‘silence’ de Souza Magalhães’ killed her. He tied her hands and feet with ropes attached to large rocks in order to keep her body submerged in a river. She was found six months after the incident likely occurred, on June 21st.
Over 30 Killings of Environmental and Human Rights Defenders
Over 30 killings in Brazil involving human rights and environmental health defenders have been documented in 2016 alone, causing Global Witness to rank Brazil as the deadliest country in the world for these activists – many of them being women.
The Patriarchy at Work
Women are supposed to be protected by men – at least that is the myth perpetuated by a patriarchy. The only problem with this idea is evident in the killing of these women who stand up for those who often cannot stand up for themselves, or the earth herself, who only has a voice through those willing to give her one.
If we are supposed to surrender ourselves to men, so that they can protect us, clearly society has to change. The patriarchy in which we now live, rooted in the ethos of war, is what has permitted men to seize land and treasures, rape women, exploit natural resources, and attempt to control female sexuality and power. The way we treat the land is the way we currently treat women.
Violence against environmentalists is shockingly up 400% overall, targeted even by the FBI. Will we wait for more bodies of innocent women to be desecrated before we stand up with them? A social structure that ‘silences’ a woman’s voice, the natural care-taker of a child, and the name of Mother Earth herself, will always fail.
The System Fails These Bold Women, But Hurts Men Too
Men who are more in touch with their feminine sides, that is, who are more soft-spoken and less aggressive, are often treated as secondary citizens, just like women. For example, the stifling of emotion has led generations of men to turn to unhealthy coping mechanisms such as alcohol abuse, which men are more likely to experience than women, rather than express their emotions freely.
Men are subject to sexual violence in a patriarchy as well. This isn’t just about ‘prison rape,’ either. Men are the subject of sexual abuse and sexual aggression more often than most people care to admit. Perverse Masonic initiation rituals are only the beginning of sexuality gone awry. Blackmail, and intimidation are used in the current system to keep the ‘pecking order,’ and no man, or woman is allowed to get out of line. Hazing and sexual bullying is also on the rise.
These are all but symptoms of a world which no longer values free speech, the protection of women, children, and the elderly, and instead places power and money above all else.
Protect the Women Who Protect Our Planet
“Despite a growing commitment made by Member States and other stakeholders to eliminate and prevent all forms of violence against women and girls, recent reviews of national implementation of the Beijing Platform for Action and the agreed conclusions from the 57th Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) show that progress continues to be unacceptably slow and uneven.”
With news of the murders of peaceful activists coming out almost every week, this is an understatement. She cites inadequate police enforcement, but it is often the police who commit violence against innocent people. The problem goes deeper than funding or police presence. It requires an overhauling of our ideas about true equality.
If we cannot even protect our women who stand boldly on the front lines to protect our planet, then we have failed, utterly.
“In a few decades, the relationship between the environment, resources, and conflict [war] may seem almost as obvious as the connection we see between human rights, democracy, and peace.” ~ Wangari Maathai, Nobel Peace Prize Winner and Founder of the Green Belt Movement
Read more articles from Christina Sarich.
About the Author
Christina Sarich is a staff writer for Waking Times. She is a writer, musician, yogi, and humanitarian with an expansive repertoire. Her thousands of articles can be found all over the Internet, and her insights also appear in magazines as diverse as Weston A. Price, Nexus, Atlantis Rising, and the Cuyamungue Institute, among others. She was recently a featured author in the Journal, “Wise Traditions in Food, Farming, and Healing Arts,” and her commentary on healing, ascension, and human potential inform a large body of the alternative news lexicon. She has been invited to appear on numerous radio shows, including Health Conspiracy Radio, Dr. Gregory Smith’s Show, and dozens more. The second edition of her book, Pharma Sutra, will be released soon.
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