DEFENSORAS

The Defensoras defend their territory, their native identity and their gender equality.

In Guatemala and Honduras, Maya, Lencas and Garífuna native women stand up against the incursion of transnational companies. They do it with their own agenda, with an intersectional vision of the fight against the different violence that hits them.

In some cases, they have achieved victories and some hydroelectric projects are on a tightrope or have had to abandon their activities. Some have Spanish capital such as the ACS construction company of Florentino Pérez.

But the price the Defensoras have to pay is very high: murders, rapes and criminalization, like the emblematic case of the Lenca leader Berta Cáceres, murdered the 2016.

 As they say, they fight for the body-territory. And they do it from their dignity.


Santa Eulalia city (Guatemala)

Reyna Mateo, her husband was murdered and it was issed an arrest warrant against her (Guatemala).

Hermelinda Simón, Director of the Women Association Aq’abal. She holds several orders of search and capture (Guatemala).

Ritual of offering of flowers in the waterfall sacred place close to Santa Eulalia

Contaminated Tiak’al river, near Saint Eulalia (Guatemala). Mining extractions of transnational companies have a direct consequence in the territory, rivers diverted or contaminated, land grabbing and the militarisation of the area.

Ana Francisca Juan Pascual, organising nights and days shifts (Guatemala).

Maria Cristina, board membre of Aq’abal Women Association, front of an abandoned digger, after achieving to stop the activites of the Hydroelectric Santa Cruz, in Barillas  (Guatemala)

Josefa Pascual, founder member of Women’s Association Aq’abal- She defends an intersectional vision about the violence that beats women (Guatemala)

Abandoned truck due to the  closing down of the Hydroelectric Santa Cruz (Guatemala);

Ramona Chocón, from the Red de Sanadoras, in Guatemala City

Pascualita, last spiritual guide of the Lenca indigenous people, after officiating a gratitude ceremony for the harvest, close to the Río Blanco community (Honduras). Lenca indigenous people understand the spirituality, the fight for their identity and their territory, as inseparable parts of their cosmovision

Ritual

Fencing and foremen’s houses of Río Blanco Hydroelectric (Honduras), nowadays without activity, after the mobilisation of the Lenca communities, led by Berta Cáceres, who was born in the same community of Río Blanco and murdered in 2016, as well as Tomás García, murdered in the 2013, in front of the hydroelectric.

Tania, from the Honduran Garifuna Association OFRANEH, fights to integrate LGBTI rights within the framework of the struggle for their indigenous identity and their territory

Karen was kidnapped by a group of drug dealers that occupied the Garifunas lands of Vallecito (Honduras) to build a landing strip for small planes. The community confronted them, and in spite of the kidnapping of Karen and 10 other people, the Garifunas recovered their lands. Now the community have built a community Center and some housing on the site.

Gloria Castillo, from  Nueva Armenia community. She confronts the transnational companies of the African palm monoculture (Honduras). During many years of intense struggle, the huts of community leaders have been burned.

Carolina, President and leader of New Armenia Community (Honduras), has been imprisoned 4 times and has 14 judicial cases on her shoulders, for having led the recovery of land grabbing from transnational companies that imposed the monoculture of african palm. She lives on her own in her cabin, together with other families, in the recovered land that they are still fighting for.

Body-territory. Indigenous women speak of the body-territory as an integrated whole. They explain that “if they harm my territory, they harm my body, if they attack my body, they are attacking the territory, which is why all the struggles are connected”.