The following interview was conducted in July 2020 with Erika Quinteros, author and illustrator of TOMASA TITO CONDEMAYTA: Una historia de valor y coraje. Erika Quinteros is an industrial engineer with a Master’s degree in Political Communication and Governance from the George Washington University. She has worked as a consultant in the design and evaluation of community development projects. She has a particular interest in issues of gender, the rights of indigenous people, and environmental protection.
What inspired you to write the story of Tomasa Tito Condemayta?
It was Tomasa herself and her powerful story. She was an indigenous woman leading a battalion of women to fight against the Spanish. This happened during a period when many Peruvians believe that women had no military or political role.
I think, having grown up reading so many different books and being inspired by people overseas, I just couldn’t believe that no one had told me Tomasa’s story. She was Peruvian, like me. She was a woman, like me. And even though I am not indigenous, my grandmother was indigenous, part of me is indigenous. In Peru, our national heroes are mostly wealthy white men. I think every child should be able to learn about heroes that she or he can identify with, and I am sure many will be fascinated and inspired by Tomasa and her courage.
Imagine waking up one day to the news that your land, which you and your tribe have subsisted on for generations, has been sold by the government to someone else. In return, you will be moved to a small plot of land without the same kinds of resources as before. This loss of land creates a domino effect of loss in other areas such as income, traditional environmental knowledge, and general stability. Through green grabbing, government entities or private investors use their power over Indigenous and Afro-descendant groups to confiscate land under the guise of environmental conservation.
If you’ve been to Cartagena de Indias you’ve seen the women who are icons of the city: las palenqueras. These beautiful Afro-Latinas, dressed in colorful traditional garb and often pictured selling fruit or candy, are the pride of Colombia and on much of the country’s promotional material, especially that of the city of Cartagena. Tourists line up to get that Cartagena picture with the woman whose bright smiles and deep eyes often hold the story of Colombia that many of these same tourists might not care to know: the story of the black Colombia.
Stay-at-home orders during the COVID‑19 pandemic have had a devastating impact on women in Latin America and brought mass protests against gender violence to a screeching, and troubling, halt. Since the foundational march of NiUnaMenos in June 2015 in Buenos Aires, Latin American activists have revolutionized protest against gender violence in a spectacularly public way, bringing together hundreds of thousands of women and allies on the streets of major cities to denounce gender violence and demand protection of gender, sexuality, and reproductive rights. Since its debut last November, the flashmob Un violador en tu camino (A Rapist in Your Path), created by the Chilean feminist collective Las Tesis, has been performed in more than 200 cities around the world, decrying the role of the state and police in perpetuating gender violence.
Néstor, que antes tartamudeaba, proviene de Guatemala y encontró su voz después de migrar a Chicago, entrar al bachillerato, y aprender a moverse dentro de una nueva cultura. Actualmente usa su plataforma para animar a otros a contar sus historias.
“Cada lugar, cada persona y cada cosa me inspira una historia o poema distinto,” dice.
Abstract: The publication of Elsa Chaney’s research on female political engagement in Latin America in 1971 ensured her legacy as a pioneer in that domain. It also provided decades of investigators with a baseline for evolving theories associated with the supermadre model. Sociopolitical developments in the twenty-first century now question that model’s viability going forward. This discussion suggests a recast model—an “adaptation of species” with enhanced capabilities: the supra-madre.
Over the past two weeks, crowds across the United States and the world have taken to the streets to protest a series of recent killings of black US Americans.
On February 23, 25-year old Ahmaud Arbery was shot and killed while on a run after being pursued by a former police officer and his son. The following month, police in Louisville, Kentucky executed a search warrant to force themselves into the home of 26-year old Breonna Taylor, an E.M.T. They shot her at least 8 times, killing her in her own bed. Last month, a Minneapolis police officer was charged with homicide after pinning George Floyd on the ground and kneeling on his neck for almost 9 minutes.
The day after Floyd’s death, protests began in Minneapolis as citizens called for the police officer responsible for Floyd’s death, along with the three other officers present at the time, to be held accountable. Quickly, solidarity protests spread throughout the nation, with marches taking place in all 50 states and participants demanding an end to police brutality and systematic racism in the United States. Some protests have led to looting and destruction of property, which has been met by violence from police with the use of rubber bullets, tear gas, arrests, and beatings. Reports of police indiscriminately tear gassing, striking, and arresting peaceful protestors has led to concern and outcry. In one instance, peaceful protesters were removed from Lafayette Square in front of the White House with tear gas and rubber bullets so President Donald Trump could walk to a photo op in front of St. John’s Episcopal Church. The American Civil Liberties Union is now suing Trump and other federal officials involved.