Mexican Human Rights Activist Coming October 4, 2016
The Fight against Climate Change and Land Rights in Latin America
Please join Pangea Giving, Global Fund For Women, and Channel Foundation to hear Bettina Cruz, from Mesoamerican Women Human Rights Defenders Initiative discuss the fight against climate change and land rights in Mexico.
When: Tuesday, October 4, 6-8pm
Where: Pangea Member Gary Tabasinske’s home (in Seattle’s Belltown District)
This timely conversation will discuss the central role women’s organizations throughout Latin America play in the struggle for justice and basic human rights. Indigenous activists courageously fight for their rights to preserve the environment while protecting their livelihood and entitlements. As the region’s economy grows, countries are becoming more urbanized and investors and corporations are building on once-left alone remote areas where indigenous populations live. The environmental ramifications are huge as forests are cleared, canals and other industrial developments are constructed, rivers damned for electricity, and land drilled for oil. To make a living, indigenous communities depend on natural land resources-such as fishing and sustainably harvesting resources from the forests. The land and the rights of those living on it are in great peril.
About Bettina Cruz: Bettina has fought corporations and the government to protect the rights of indigenous women in the region. She mobilizes communities fighting private companies operating wind farms on indigenous lands without negotiating free, prior and informed consent (FPIC). Often, those communities receive no benefits from the companies whatsoever. In response to her activism, the Mexican Federal Government launched spurious criminal charges against Bettina in 2012; part of a pattern of government harassment of indigenous rights activists. Bettina demonstrated inspiring resilience throughout the course of her trial, which brought threats, assault, and arbitrary detainment against her. These baseless charges were finally dismissed in February of 2015.