On June 13th, 14th, and 15th in Rionegro, Antioquia we brought together 20 organizations from Mexico, El Salvador, Chile, Peru, Ecuador, Colombia, Paraguay, Honduras, Costa Rica, the Dominican Republic, and Bolivia,to jointly analyze the violent patterns and methods used by fundamentalist groups against women defenders in the region. We also identified actions and strategies to confront the impacts and care for activists and their collectives. This was a convening to recognize ourselves and strengthen inter-regional support networks.
Based on individual and collective experiences we reflected oncare as an ethical and political focus. The women activists/defenders and the youngest feminists shared their political experiences from within the movement, their local contexts, and the similarities in anti-rights practices and speech faced in the region. The transformative power of bringing women together and having strategic dialogues was visible. A trademark of UAF-LAC’s work is the presence of many kinds of knowledge and experiences and this makes it possible to create a safe space for collective care, reflective pauses, and moments to feel our bodies. This makes it possible to continue strengthening resistance initiatives based on synergies that cross borders.
Fundamentalist groups and their anti-rights speech have created major challenges for the feminist movement; nevertheless the individuals who are members of these collectives and organizations reinvent themselves and advance their causes each day. Between 2016 and 2018, UAF-LAC, by means of our Rapid Response Grants program, had the opportunity to get to know and back 43 proposals for collective resistance to fundamentalism, in 13 countries in the region.
As feminists we are using marches, protests, campaigns in network, legal accompaniment, and comprehensive protection and care strategies to advance our rights and make our movements more sustainable.