Wednesday, 7 March 2012

Latin American women who shake the world

Newsweek has published a list of 150 women who shake the world for International Women's Day. Here are the Latin Americans, along with some memory-related notes from me:

  • Brazilian president Dilma Rousseff. In her youth she resisted the dictatorship, was captured and tortured - read more about her experiences here.
  • Argentine president Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner. A rather ambiguous figure from our point of view, what with disputes with the media and some strong-arm tactics, but on the whole, progress on the human rights front has been made during the administrations of CFK and her late husband Nestor. I'm thinking mainly of the major trials of the ESMA perpetrators and so on, and the memorial projects such as the museum in the former ESMA.
  • Grandmothers of the Plaza de Mayo. The Abuelas are of course a constant presence on this blog and if you ask me, Estela de Carlotto should be one of everyone's role models. Their struggle for justice for their grandchildren is awe-inspiring.
  • Former Chilean president Michelle Bachelet, now head of UN Women. Another formidable woman with a dictatorship history who is not consumed by bitterness but instead works for progress.
  • Chilean student activist Camila Vallejo.
  • Cuban blogger Yoani Sanchez.
  • Brazilian graffiti artist Panmela Castro.
  • Guatemalan attorney general Claudia Paz y Paz Bailey. She leads the effort to prosecute human rights abusers under tough conditions.
  • Mexican attorney general Marisela Morales. Another one where you just want to go "Well, that's not going to be an easy job...".
  • Mexican journalist Adela Navaro Bello. Fighting the cause of press freedom in one of the most dangerous countries in the world to be a journalist.
  • Mexican congresswoman Rosi Orozco. Particularly active against human trafficking.
  • Mexican supreme court minister Olga Sanchez Cordero.

Take your pick of inspiration.

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