Court ruling of women defenders of nature and peoples against mining


Photo and court tribunal translation courtesy of Eva Vazquez (Acción Ecológica)

Towards the start of the 16 Days of Activism against Gender-based violence, Natalia Atz Sunuc wrote about her experience at the X Assembly of the Latin American Network of Women Defenders of Social and Environmental Rights, which took place in Antigua, Guatemala from November 13-17, 2019. The Network brings together women land and water defenders from across Latin America to strategize on the gendered impacts of resource extraction.

One of the activities Natalia highlighted was the Peoples’ Tribunal, “a space in which women presented cases of persecution, criminalization, and how women defenders of social and environmental rights live. In addition to the criminalization from the part of transnational corporations, women often face other types of aggressions that do not precisely come from transnational corporations specifically but from the patriarchal capitalist system installed in society.”

The Network has now published the ruling of the Peoples’ Tribunal in English. In it, they describe the general themes considered during the tribunal: the impacts on nature, on people, and on the women human and environmental rights defenders; declarations on the large-scale and systemic effects of environmental degradation; long-term commitments to the organizational strengthening of women human and environmental rights organizations; and offer recommendations to address the gender violence as well as the political violence these women face for their efforts in protecting Mother Earth in face of extractivism.

This statement was read at the launch of the Mother Earth and Resource Extraction (MERE) Women Defending Land and Water Digital Hub on November 25 link.

The statement concludes:

in each of the shared testimonies the search and effective construction of another society based on a different paradigm were present, rescuing it concretely as a basis to face the challenges in the times we are living.

We ratify the need to:

1) Strengthen women’s articulation against mining, regionally and continentally, weaving networks and sororities south-to-south.

2) Recognize community organization and the role that women have in their sustainability by supporting resistance in the territories.

3) Continue with the exchange of information, knowledge and strategies of women from different continents.

Read the full statement in English below. The Spanish version can be read online:

Download (PDF, 53KB)


Filed in: Gender Justice, Latin America

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