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  • The II International Meeting of Women Who Fight which is set to take place from Dec. 26 to 29 in the south of Mexico. 

    The II International Meeting of Women Who Fight which is set to take place from Dec. 26 to 29 in the south of Mexico.  | Photo: LATFEM

Published 22 September 2019
Opinion

The meeting will be held around the topic of femicide and violence against women.

Zapatista National Liberation Army (EZLN) women in southern Mexico have published Friday a statement to summon the II International Meeting of Women Who Fight which is set to take place from Dec. 26 to 29 in Chiapas. 

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The woman's branch of the EZLN reiterated in their letter addressed to other women, that the main agreement made during the first meeting in 2018, was “to stay alive” in a world where killings and disappearances of women continue to happen daily. 

According to this agreement, the meeting will thus be held around the topic of femicide and violence against women, divided into two main parts: denunciation and figuring out what to do to stop the continual abuses suffered by women.

In February, the women collective of the EZLN said that Lopez Obrador’s government didn’t hold comprehensive community consultations for the 'Maya Train', which is a large-scale infrastructure project is set to connect the whole Yucatan Peninsula for tourism, transportation, and economic purposes, and thus canceled the meeting to protest to the “new, bad government (that is) doing the capitalist's megaprojects.”

“They kill and disappear us because we are women. They additionally tell us that it is our fault, the fault of the way we dress, the way we walk, at certain times, in certain places,” the letter said adding justifying the need to reinstate the event as “according to these king of thoughts, women should always be locked in their homes, they shouldn't go out, they shouldn't study, they shouldn't work, they shouldn't have fun, they shouldn't be free.”

The Zapatistas denounced the “machista” (chauvinistic) way of thinking that accuses women to seek death while those responsible are left without punishment.

Call for the II International Meeting of Women Who Fight
 

EZLN women firmly condemned patriarchy and the capitalist system that operates “like a judge telling us we are guilty of having born women and therefore our punishment for that crime will take the form of violence, death or disappearance.”

The movement blamed the governments and their passivity before the situation saying that attacks against women are such a commonplace that it seems to be a lucrative business for the system.

“If we live, if we are not violated or killed, then the business is ruined,” they expressed.

“In order to remain alive, we have to create another world. We can live only if we kill the system. Not fix it or ask it to behave in a better way. No. Destroy it, kill it, and make it disappear with nothing left, not even ashes. It is the system or us,” the statement concluded.

The Zapatistas and other Indigenous groups in southern and eastern Mexico have frequently come out against the system and against Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador administration on several issues including rights of indigenous communities, rights of the environment and violence against women. 

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