Mujeres Generando Cambio

Durante el mes de Marzo Movimiento Jaguar Despierto celebrará un mes de reconocimiento a las mujeres. Pretendemos visibilizar la creatividad de las mujeres en distintas latitudes de nuestra América Latina y el Reino Unido.

Este mes daremos reconocimiento a mujeres que luchan, en el día a día, en actividades cotidianas, mujeres que sueñan, que pintan, que hablan y danzan, a todas. Es un mes para explorar la solidaridad en las mujeres y crear nuevas redes para la acción en sus diversos modos.

Las actividades comenzaron el 8 de Marzo, con una charla sobre movimientos sociales y proyectos liderados por mujeres latinoamericanas que inspiran cambios en nuestra realidad.

Conocimos luchas de mujeres en México, Chile, Argentina, Colombia y Reino Unido. Diferentes organizaciones sociales y diaspóricas: Mexico Solidarity Campaign, Justice Mexico Now, Argentina Solidarity Campaign, Festival of Choice, LAWRS y Colombians in UK; nos brindaron fascinantes historias en las que la solidaridad y construcción colectiva de mujeres ha cambiado la realidad, han generado leyes y están gestando nuevas voces de rebeldía.

De izquierda a derecha: Margarita (Festival of Choice), Luz (Colombians in UK) Martina (Argentina Solidarity Campaign/ Ni Una Menos), Teresa (Movimiento Jaguar Despierto), María (London Mexico Solidarity) Photo Credit: María Faciolince

De izquierda a derecha: Margarita (Festival of Choice), Luz (Colombians in UK) Martina (Argentina Solidarity Campaign/ Ni Una Menos), Teresa (Movimiento Jaguar Despierto), María (London Mexico Solidarity) Photo Credit: María Faciolince

Pudimos contar con la percepción de niños y niñas de Expresión Inka sobre el papel de la mujer en la vida moderna. Una visión fresca sobre la sencillez de la igualdad si la cultivamos tempranamente.

Paralelamente el colectivo Wretched of the Earth (Condenados de la Tierra)  realizó un taller de impresión que plasmó la voces y retratos de mujeres en lucha. Las personas participantes pudieron realizar impresiones en bolsas de tela de imágenes exquisitamente elaboradas sobre: las luchas de las mujeres indígenas por el derecho al agua en Estados Unidos; un homenaje a la militante ambientalista hondureña y defensora del agua Berta Cáceres; y finalmente una imagen destinada a la elección de la candidata a la presidencia en México indígena y sus luchas por el territorio y la cultura.

Un día lleno de actividad e historias diversas que nos alimentó el deseo de acción colectiva.

Este es uno de los 4 eventos que se estarán desarrollándose durante todo el mes. Sigue nuestro evento en Facebook y podrás enterarte de todas las actividades que estaremos realizando. Los próximos eventos te invitarán a explorar, reconocer y explotar tu creatividad.

¡Te esperamos el lunes y martes 13 y 14 de Marzo para acercarnos de manera amorosa a nuestras historias! descubre de qué se trata.

Movimiento Jaguar Despierto



Colombia: Fighting for a different kind of Peace

Seb Munoz, Senior International Programmes Officer at War on Want and co-founder of Movimiento Jaguar Despierto. This article was first carried by red pepper.

Colombians are tired of being ignored.

Nearly four years into negotiations to bring about an end to Colombia’s armed conflict, peace in Colombia has all too often centred on government talks with the two armed insurgency groups, the Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia (FARC) and the Ejercito de Liberacíon Nacional (ELN), leaving the vast majority of Colombians side-lined and the voices of grassroots social movements silenced.

But on 30 May, millions of Colombians will take to the streets in peaceful protest, to demand a different kind of peace. A ‘post-conflict’ Colombia on the terms of the state is not enough.

The national strike, under the banner of ‘The Agrarian, Ethnic, Rural and Popular Minga’, will see Colombians from diverse backgrounds making their case for a peace with social and environmental justice at its heart.  

The ‘Minga’ is an ancient call to assemble. Traditionally, indigenous communities from the mountains of the Andes would unite for the harvest season and work collectively to ensure crops were not lost. Today, this age-old practice cuts across the geographical and cultural boundaries of Latin America and says much about the historical moment in which Colombia finds itself: the prospect of peace closer than ever before.

Photogtraph: Congreso de los Pueblos

The human impact of Colombia’s 70 year conflict is stark: 220,000 people dead; thousands disappeared; and many more victims of sexual violence. Almost 7 million people have been forced from their homes, often violently, making Colombia the country with the second largest number of internally displaced people, surpassed only by Syria. 

In Colombia, people are not forced from their homes because of war, rather, war is waged for the very purpose of forcing them out. 

The central feature of the conflict remains rampant inequality. Unsurprisingly, those who have benefitted most from war are the established elites, who have historically controlled access to land and its natural resources.

Over time, those who have been kicked off their land and stripped of the means to provide for themselves and their families, have been forced to relocate in the city, where they are marginalised and confront exploitation head-on. Yet, since the start of the conflict in 1948 when Colombia’s most charismatic leader, Jorge Eliécer Gaitán was assassinated, people have fought back.

Social movements at the forefront of the struggle are made up mostly of survivors of violence and human rights abuses, who know all too well the prospect of peace in Colombia does not rest solely on the negotiations between the rebel groups and the state. Many more people have a stake.

It’s why indigenous and afro-descendant small-scale farmers; inter-city truck drivers and teachers; women led-organisations, students, their mothers, their sisters are coming together in protest. This is the spirit of the ‘Minga’.

From Bogota and beyond, they will take to the streets to voice their anger at government policies that continue to concede large swathes of land to deeply destructive mining projects, and are leading to the privatisation of basic services, already denied to most Colombians.

Government initiatives like the recently announced ZIDRES law - theZones of Interest for Economic and Social Development in Rural Area - will see land subjected to intense farming of single crops such as palm oil, grown for profit, whilst intensifying the deep divisions that led to the conflict in the first place.

For decades, Free Trade Agreements (FTAs) signed between Colombia and the UK and other rich nations have allowed for the exploitation of labour and natural resources at the expense of ordinary Colombians. A ‘post conflict’ Colombia may well provide the ‘risk free zones’ and ‘investor protections’ craved by corporations, and from which British companies will benefit, but it will do little for the vast majority.

The UK is one of the top investors in Colombia; it is also complicit in the conflict.  The operations of a number of UK-listed mining and energy companies such as BP, BHP Billiton and AngloAmerican, and their subsidiaries, have been accused of financing terror-generating paramilitary groups, central to the violence in Colombia.

The presence of these companies is often associated with violent displacement and a chilling array of human rights abuses. Add to this theenvironmental impacts typical of oil and coal extraction, such as contamination of water sources and damage to bio-diversity, and the UK government is faced with an uncomfortable truth with regards to the future of UK business activity in such a ‘post-conflict’ era.

Colombia’s grassroots social movements have been growing steadily since a succession of protests in 2013/14 demanded a more equal and just society. Back then, these calls were met with brutal violence and repression, leaving 164 people dead, thousands injured and even more criminalised on trumped up charges designed to discourage any challenge to the status-quo.

The threats of violence, repression and criminalisation will be more pressing this time. The stakes are higher.

As the government reaches the final straight in the negotiations with the FARC, a surge of violence has been triggered by ultra-right wing paramilitaries who oppose the peace negotiations. It has resulted in the assassination of 134 activists in the last 18 months.

Still, the ordinary people of Colombia remain steadfast and courageous in the face of such intimidation. They want their seat at the table and to have a decisive say in a plan for a lasting and sustainable peace.

They know that if their land, livelihoods, and culture are to be protected, they must be heard.

Just as the power of the ‘Minga’ brings them together, their collective force will make sure President Santos listens.