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Solidarity with Mapuche defenders

Moira Millán and Vilma Díaz y Zárate visit the UK

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Two Indigenous activists from ancestral lands now known as Argentina visited the UK last week for a convergence of global social movements, hosted by War on Want.

Moira Millán is a Mapuche weychafe, land activist, and writer, and Vilma Díaz y Zárate is a Tehuelche elder, known as ñaña Vilma.

Both are founding members of the ‘Movimiento de Mujeres y Diversidades Indígenas por el Buen Vivir’ (Movement of Indigenous Women and Diversities for Good Living).

They are looking for support and ongoing collaboration. In a solidarity event we co-hosted with Moira and Vilma, we invited all participants to connect and contribute to these women’s project ‘the Pluriversity’, where Indigenous expansive ways of learning and ‘Western’ knowledge can be exchanged, to find sustainable solutions to care for our mother earth. We also began to create a solidarity network in which updates and common strategies can be shared.

Moira speaks at And Still We Rise festival in London. Camila Vergara

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The Latin America Bureau is planning to publish an important testimony and political essay by Mapuche leader Moira Millán entitled Terricide.

Millán has been fighting for land to be returned to Indigenous communities in Patagonia for 30 years and has been at the frontline of campaigns challenging illegal resource extraction by multinational companies. Her role as a defender of land rights and the environment has made her a target of State repression, along with other members of her family and community. She has also been a founding member of Indigenous women’s movements and a powerful voice for inclusion of native experiences in feminist organising.

Millán has written Terricide in Spanish and Mapundugun (the Mapuche language) and LAB will commission a translation into English in order to reach a wider audience with her story of struggles against powerful economic interests (national and international) in her homeland.

The closing ceremony of the War on Want festival And Still We Rise on 24 February included a powerful speech by Moira: