This is why we fight: Interview with Isabel Flota Ayala
| By Isabel Flota Ayala & AWID
AWID spoke with Isabel Flota Ayala, an indigenous activist from the International Indigenous Women’s Fund (IIWF).
She spoke lovingly about people who fought bravely for her communities, including Griselda Tirado Evangelio, a human rights lawyer and part of Oganización Independiente Totonaca (OIT) a group that was defending the land rights of indigenous people in Mexico, and Alberta "Bety" Cariño Trujillo, who was a human rights defender and director of CACTUS (Centro de Apoyo Comunitario Trabajando Unidos), a community organization in Oaxaca, Mexico, through which she fought for the right to resources and autonomy of indigenous people in her community.
Griselda was assassinated just outside her family home in 2003. Bety was killed by gunfire during a peaceful solidarity caravan, in a case that still remains “unsolved.”
Read more about women human rights defenders like Griselda and Bety in AWID’s online tribute.
0:00-008 Hello! Good evening! My name is Isabel Flota. I’m a member of the International Indigenous Women’s Fund (IIWF).
0:09-0:23 The importance of women’s human rights defenders, to me, stems from the fact that they represent our foundation.
0:24-0:32 They forged a path for us. We have inherited the power to live better lives today.
0:33-0:45 Also, since we are the inheritors of their legacy, we are responsible to sustain the social commitment to which they dedicated their lives.
0:46-1:00 Some of them did this through the struggle, others through lives of sacrifice (as well as joy). The community work of these great women allowed us to enjoy human rights that we didn’t have before.
1:04-1:13 The struggle continues. For this reason, we are indigenous women who are committed to improving the social condition, not only for ourselves,
1:14-1:22 but also for our daughters, and our daughters’ daughters. Our hope lies in the possibility that a world committed to solidarity and community
1:23-1:27 life could be much better. This is why we fight.
1:28-1:45 We thank women like Griselda Tirado Evangelio and Bety Cariño because these indigenous women fought so that we could live a better present. We will fight for a better future.
This interview was originally published by openDemocracy 50.50