Graphics & Statement: Feminist collectives mobilize against violence and impunity in Latin America

This statement, by the feminist collective NiUnaMenos (Argentina) and the Feminist Coordination 8M (Chile), is circulating regarding actions in Latin America today, November 25 (25N). 

25N AGAINST IMPUNITY: Sexual Violence is Political Violence

This 25N, the International day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, Latin American feminists will be out in the streets against the coup in Bolivia and against state terror in Chile. Sexual violence is political violence. We say NO to impunity in the face of killings, torture, kidnapping, disappearance, abuses, harassment, and rape. This violence has the selective intention of disarticulating the power of feminisms and of dissident movements. Sexual violence is political violence against those who are challenging neoliberalism and its systems of indebtedness, obedience and exploitation, and who experience, invent or recuperate ways of being together that light up our desire and the need for another kind of life.

While we rise up across these territories, the armies have returned to the streets of Latin America. The hunt is obvious. The governments give a free hand and support to “security” forces, setting them up to mutilate and violate, to act with particular cruelty towards women and any identity that is dissident to normative heterosexuality, which is also enforced through violence. The police, then, shoot at the eyes of those who have irreversibly lifted their gaze.

Militarized police and the army in the streets, from Bolivia to Haiti, from Chile to Ecuador, from Wallmapu and throughout Abya Yala, re-open wounds which have yet to scar over from the disastrous and orchestrated Plan Condor, and from the state terrorism which was applied four decades ago in every corner of our America. We don’t forgive or forget any blow (or coup – golpe). Today’s impunity is expressive of the historical impunity of democracies which made agreements for justice in the context of what was possible at that time. That historical impunity formed the basis for agreements allowing the continuity of the neoliberal regimen, imposed through blood and shock, which has guaranteed the permanence of state terrorism in these lands.

Feminists say NO to the agreement that allows for the continued impunity of the killer government of Piñera. We demand his resignation now. We say NO to the racist and fundamentalist coup d’etat in Bolivia, which seeks the consolidation of a murderous transnational extractivist model.

Today, with a narrative of fighting drug trafficking and imposing internal security, our neighbourhoods and our streets are being militarized. They are biblically anointing troops, as though they were medieval crusaders, and aiming at the horizontal territorial organizations that are defending the land, the air, the plants and the animals as part of a worldview that they consider to have been “overcome,” but which in fact is subversive to extractivist neoliberalism.

The killings of women land defenders, especially those who are representatives of Indigenous and Afro-descendant struggles, is not slowing down, neither in Colombia, nor in Nicaragua, nor in Chile, nor in Brazil. We are also the earth that they want to pillage, we are the water they privatize, we are the plants and animals that they exploit and torture. It is women who are against the debt (somos nosotras contra la deuda), as the Puerto Rican feminists say. That is why we cry out, from all regions of our continent: “We are not available resources, we are not docile areas of normalization!” We denounce the alliance between extractivism, racism and religious fundamentalism, which dispute the control of our bodies-territories with us: that is where racism connects with the neocolonial advance.

As life is becoming more precarious, the machista violence which permeates the relations which sustain life is deepening, and is renewed every day. The ideological attack dogs of the right and new and old religions want again to shut us inside our houses, where we are killed and exploited. Sexual violence is political violence. Sexual violence is political violence, we will repeat this until we are heard.

The idealized nuclear family that religions defend as paradigms of order is often our tomb, or it is the slave plantation, where capitalists exploit our time, taking the value of unpaid work: the care we provide, the relations we sustain, the services we provide, in sum, the reproduction of life. The nuclear family, with a decadent and celebrated fatherly authority, is the basis for femicides and sexual abuse, where machista violence is reproduced. They kill us in our homes and try and convince us that the danger is outside, and that the soldiers are there to look after us. Today, inside and outside the home, danger is growing for us (nosotres).

The ongoing uprisings and plurinational disobediences have undone neoliberal normality and colonial continuities. The war today is against all rebellion.

We say NO to the gentlemen’s pact that makes us indebted, that makes us poorer, that excludes us and that wants us to be submissive. We say NO to the intervention of the IMF which mortgages [our futures] and regulates our ways of life. We say NO to agreements made from above, and behind the backs of the movements, which shut down our forms of deliberation and political decision making.

We don’t want the false happiness of unlimited consumption, upheld through our own structural poverty and through the impossibility of us deciding. Sexual political violence today treats us as the spoils of war. But we are alert, we have woven our agreements and our differences, which far from dividing us make us stronger, because we know that the way we do politics is not vertical, because we don’t seek to discipline each other, rather we work to open our feelings, to think together and to change it all. As the Chilean feminists said in the 1980s: today, more than ever, we are more (somos +).

Now that we are together, we bring our bodies together (nos acuerpamos) to confront this world of terror. To take it apart. Because we’re here for each other, and we’re moved by the desire for a live that is worth living. 

Translated by Toward Freedom. See the original here. Below are some of the graphics for todays actions. 

25N poster, Copiapó, Chile. Source: Facebook, Coordinadora Feminista 8M.
25N poster, Valparaíso, Chile. Source: Facebook, Coordinadora Feminista 8M.
25N poster, Rengo, Chile. Source: Facebook, Coordinadora Feminista 8M.
General Strike against production and reproduction in Santiago de Chile. Source: Facebook, Coordinadora Feminista 8M.