On October 9, an initiative of Self-Convened Women from 13 nations from Argentina, decided to request a hearing with the Minister of the Interior, to propose an agenda of demands, in defense of water, against extractive and development projects in indigenous territory. When they were not received, they decided to wait there, until they were received, to solve what they call “Terricidio” (Killing the Earth):
We call terricidio the murder not only of the tangible ecosystems and the peoples that inhabit it, but also the murder of all the forces that regulate life on earth, what we call a perceptible ecosystem.
In the context of Indigenous Resistance Day, indigenous women in particular are setting an example for a path for the survival and resilience of indigenous people. It is Friday, October 11, in the afternoon, and the women are still there, resisting peacefully, but very firmly. As a result of the persistence, solidarity, and social pressure of civil society organizations, a few minutes ago, they were finally received by the Minister. At the meeting, the officer only gave evasive answers and has yet to commit to anything.
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There is a tiredness of women in resistance, the product of years of institutional neglect, years of aggressions, the plundering of natural resources, assassinations, persecution and harassment of communities, and due to the government’s lack of respect for the demands of the Indigenous Movement. This time, hearing no governmental response, they’ve decided to occupy the reception of the Ministry and hold fast to their demands until they have some solution to the proposed agenda. They’ve announced it as an act within the framework of the Day of Indigenous Resistance.
Here is the full statement of the Rebellion of Native Flowers:
Indigenous women of Argentina say BASTA to terricide. We indigenous women from different territories in conflict, belonging to diverse indigenous nations of Argentina, we come bringing our thoughts, the word, the proposal, which has emerged from the heart of the earth that beats beneath our feet. This heart is constituted by the whole spiritual world that sustains life on earth, which we call by different names, according to the voices of our people, reaffirming the territorial plurinationality that we have always belonged to. We gathered here today because officials have an obligation to listen to us.
We are life givers and guardians of life and just like a mother tells her daughters and sons: enough, stop, we come to say enough to this capitalist, racist and patriarchal system that is placing the life of the planet at risk. Through us thousands years of culture that have built a way of inhabiting the world in relation to reciprocity and love for the earth. Through us our ancestors speak, who were guardians of that wisdom and who with much pain and sacrifice gave us their knowledge. Through us the earth speaks, that land bound to us through our spirituality, in our way of understanding life. Honoring the ground we step on, honoring the fruit of the land that feeds us. Honoring the different ways of life, we come with determination, with courage and dignity to say: Enough.
We accuse governments of terricide, and the companies that are killing our territories. We call terricide the murder not only of tangible ecosystems and the peoples that inhabit it, but also the murder of all the forces that regulate life on earth, what we call a perceptible ecosystem. Those spirits are responsible for life to continue on the face of the earth and they are being destroyed along with their habitat. There will be no possibility to repair and restore these ecosystems, no matter how much we reforest or create green spaces, the force that inhabited those areas will be gone forever, we still have time to avoid it.
The Social emergent today is the earth, and we are spokeswomen for its pain. Terricide also destroys entire tribes that are the guardians of a way of understanding the art of inhabiting, which is necessary to be able to position a new civilization matrix. When they are eliminated, when indigenous people are assassinated, the opportunity to build a new social model is also being killed. Each of us, indigenous people not only have theories, we hold the practices of reciprocal societies with nature that sustain life as its main value. At this moment in the world, voices are crying out against climate change, demanding that governments put the brakes on, voices that leave Europe and have all the reflectors and amplifiers in the media. However, racist global policy makes the voices of indigenous people inaudible and invisible, and our deaths are socially indifferent.
We indigenous women are the bodies that suffer most from these atrocities. To our men we say: Wake up! Our anti-patriarchal struggle is an anticolonial struggle. Check on your behaviors that are permeated with this colonizing, slaving, western mentality, which has placed us under submission, humiliation and abuse. When in ancient times we were always a complementary duality united from reciprocity and love between beings. We want to recover this wisdom that inhabits us. In many of our communities there is no water, to wash clothes we have to walk 3 to 4 kilometers, cooking food for our family has become an almost impossible mission, dammed and contaminated rivers, devastated forests, murdered rainforests.
The Committee of Indigenous Self-Convened Women has the following participations: Mapuche Nation Lof Pillan Mahuiza, Chubut; Mapuche-tehuelche Lof Newen Tuaiñ Inchin Nation, Chubut, Mapuche Lof Cañio Nation Cerro León, Chubut; Qom Nation NanQom neighborhood, Formosa, Moqoit Nation, Toasted Mbya Guaraní Mbokajyty Nation 2, San Ignacio Misiones; Tapiete, Tartagal, Salta Nation; Nation QOM Rosario, Nation QOM Place El Canal, Chaco, Nation QOM, Saenz Peña, Chaco and Nation QOM, Nainec, Formosa.
For more information: Movement of Indigenous Women for Good Living