Photo by Caroline Bennett, Amazon Watch.
Our current theme Safe & Sound is all about rethinking security. Patricia Gualinga and the Mujeres Amazonicas are standing up for a peaceful and just idea of security – read their story and find out how you can take action:
Patricia Gualinga is an indigenous leader of the Kichwa people in Ecuador.
As part of the Mujeres Amazónicas (Amazonian Women) collective, Patricia is defending her people’s rights to territory and to live in a healthy environment. She helped to start the Kawsak Sacha (Living Forest) initiative, in the face of the serious impact of oil activities on Kichwa ancestral land.
In 2018, a man attacked Patricia’s home, shouting “next time we’ll kill you, b****”. Many of her fellow Amazonian Women campaigners have also been threatened. As part of their demands to the Ecuadorian government, the Mujeres Amazónicas are calling for:
- security for women and girls against the threat of violence;
- security for indigenous communities to continue their way of life in their ancestral home; and
- climate security for the planet.
Their story is an example of the old security model failing (protecting the interests of oil companies in the name of ‘energy and economic security’) and of people enacting a new idea of security: protecting individuals, marginalised groups, their local environment, and the planet.
“We are united and we will continue our struggle to defend Mother Earth.”Patricia Gualingua, Amazonian Women collective
Amnesty International have created a template letter to the Ecuadorian Attorney General, asking for attacks on the group to be investigated, and for them to be given security.