Media Release: Brazilian phase of KAIROS online gender justice and mining hub launches May 31
International panel event kicks off MERE Hub’s Brazilian phase
WHAT: KAIROS Canada launches Brazilian Phase of MERE Hub with the international panel event, Women Defending Land and Water in Brazil. English-Portuguese simultaneous interpretation will be provided.
Mother Earth and Resource Extraction (MERE) Hub is a living digital resource hub developed for and in consultation with women land and water defenders who are at the forefront in the protection of the environment, in Canada and across the globe. The Hub brings together a range of original and existing material to support research, advocacy, information sharing, and movement building around the subject of resource extraction and its gendered implications.
MERE Hub was launched on November 25, 2019, with an initial focus on Latin American. KAIROS launched the Canadian Phase on National Indigenous Peoples’ Day in 2020.
WHEN: Monday, May 31; 5:00 pm EDT
WHERE: Online. Register.
WHO: Moderated by: Fabricio Teló, PhD
Speakers: Sônia Guajajara, Executive Coordinator, Articulation of Brazil’s Indigenous Peoples, Apib, and Maria Júlia Andrade Zanon, member of the National Board of the Movement for Popular Sovereignty on Mining, MAM. Biographies are below.
“Canada’s mining presence in Brazil has had detrimental impacts on communities and the environment. In the last six years, for example, local communities have reported at least three tailings dam collapses associated with Canadian companies: Mariana (2015), Brumadinho (2019), and most recently Godofredo Viana (2021). What MERE Hub does is provide resources to support research, advocacy, information sharing, and movement building around the subject of resource extraction and its gendered implications to communities and women land defenders who are protecting their rights and the environment.” Gabriela Jiménez, Latin America Partnerships Coordinator
“I believe making MERE Hub available in Portuguese can help build more partnership ties between Canadian and Brazilian civil society organizations in their efforts to defend land, water and human rights. This is particularly important when it comes to the mining industry, since Brazil and Canada have a long-standing relationship of trade in this economic sector, which frequently leads to human rights abuses against local communities nearby the mines. Community leaders of these countries will be able to access MERE Hub in their own language and get to know more about corporate accountability, international law, the gendered impacts of resource extraction and stories of resistance in other countries.” Fabricio Télo, KAIROS Volunteer
Born in the northeastern state of Maranhão, Amazonian region, Sônia Guajajara holds a post-graduate degree in Special Education from the Federal University of Maranhão. While working as a nurse and a teacher, Sônia initiated her activism in the Articulation of Maranhão State’s Indigenous Peoples, which led her to her current position as Executive Coordinator within Articulation of Brazil’s Indigenous Peoples, Apib. Sônia has been recently facing political persecution for her leadership defending Indigenous rights.
Maria Júlia Andrade Zanon holds a Master’s degree in Anthropology from the Federal Fluminense University. She worked as a researcher and activist in several organizations in Brazil. She currently teaches at the Latin American Faculty of Social Sciences (FLACSO-Brasil) and coordinates research on environmental impacts of the mining industry in Brazil within the Oswaldo Cruz Foundation (FIOCRUZ). Maria Júlia is also a member of the National Board of the MAM.
Fabricio Teló is a newcomer to Vancouver from Brazil, where he completed his PhD in Social Sciences from the Federal Rural University of Rio de Janeiro, investigating land disputes and violence in rural areas. Previously, he served as a researcher on a project for the Rio de Janeiro State Truth Commission, entitled ‘Conflicts and Repression in the Countryside in Rio de Janeiro State (1946-1988)’, where he investigated human rights abuses suffered by rural workers during the Brazilian military dictatorship. Fabricio has also worked in partnership with several rural social movements in Brazil, including the Movement of People Affected by Dams and the Small Farmers Movement. In addition to volunteering with KAIROS, he is currently conducting research on illiteracy in rural Brazil as a consultant for the Inter-American Institute on Cooperation for Agriculture.
- One of the most dangerous places to be a land defender according to both Frontline Defenders and Global Witness.
- The Brazilian government is criminalizing Sônia Guajajara (Indigenous Peoples Articulation, Apib). Mongabay: Brazil’s Bolsonaro vowed to work with Indigenous people. Now he’s investigating them.
- Increase in human rights and environmental violations since the current administration took power, especially against Indigenous peoples, Black communities, labour, and women, girls, and gender diverse people. Human Rights Watch: Brazil: Events of 2020.
- At least 3 tailings dams spills have occurred in Brazil with links to Canadian companies in the last few years. SP The Bullet: What Do Mine Tailings Dam Disasters Teach Us? The most recent this past March. Business & Human Rights Resource Centre: Brazil: Possible tailings dam burst in the country’s largest gold reserve leaves population without access to water in Maranhão
- Canadian extractive sector quite interested in Brazil. Sacred Paradise: Canada and mining on indigenous lands in Brazil, again
- Amazon Rainforest – deforestation, burnings to expand resource extraction. Nacla: The Burning Quest to Revive a Nationalist Vision in Brazil’s Amazon
- The COVID-19 response is one of the worst and confirms the Brazilian government disregard for human rights and environment. The Guardian: Brazil’s Covid-19 response is worst in the world, says Médecins Sans Frontières
- Development and Peace: For Our Common Home.
- KAIROS Canada, Fabricio Teló: The Gendered Impacts of Mining in Brazil.
About KAIROS: Canadian Ecumenical Justice Initiatives:
KAIROS is a social justice organization that includes ten Canadian churches and religious organizations. We are Indigenous, settlers and newcomers in Canada working with people of faith or conscience all over the world for ecological justice and human rights. We deliberate on issues of common concern, advocate for social change, and join with people of faith and goodwill in action for social transformation. Learn more: KAIROS Canada website.
Cheryl McNamara, Media Coordinator, KAIROS Canada
416-875-0097 (mobile), firstname.lastname@example.org