guatemala_mujeres_foro(Prensa Latina) The 8th Indigenous Women of the Americas Summit concluded in Guatemala, hoping to renew and continue the fights carried out two decades ago by hundreds of female leaders form the continent.

The meeting, which started on November 16th, became a space for experience exchange between 268 women from different generations and indigenous populations from 22 countries in the area about common challenges the face: racism, violence, discrimination, the impact of climate change, poverty, among others. After four days of intense debates in different panels, participants to the forum stressed their commitment to fight for women and indigenous people to live life to the full and for the protection, defense and healing of Mother Earth, according to the final declaration.

Participants voiced their concern over the lack of balance due to the disconnection with nature and the persistence of colonialism, discrimination, sexism, racism and exclusion for this sector of the population.

The final document acknowledges several progress in the actions of states, in accordance with international standards and agreements, however it stresses the absence of a judicial tool for the protection and recognition of indigenous women’s specific rights.

“We remain invisible in the statistics, in the national and international policies”, they said, adding that there has been a setback on the implementation of programs for indigenous women and a slowdown in the allocation of budget for these actions to survive”

The document also recommends creating consultation mechanisms between institutions and indigenous women as the demand to put an end to the violence of extractive companies and the land, air and water pollution, which threat food security and sovereignty.

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