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Free Trade's need for the military endangers the future with growing femicide, genocide and ecocide.
Free Trade is the blueprint for terminal annihilation. Along with the fetishized glory of economic development, corporate invasion rides on the essential involvement of military and paramilitary forces assigned to eliminate entire societies. Those who remain become ill in the contaminated aftermath of resource exploitation of their homelands. Tho activists may be familiar with these two of many impacts of free trade, the growing plague of femicide is often overlooked or ignored as a side issue.

Humanity may well never recover from this carefully planned plunder. The Earth might do quite well in recovering without humans.

The systematic sexual brutalization of women and girls from Sierra Leone to Iraq, Pakistan to Guatemala, Dafur to Colombia, Edmonton to Juarez, The Congo to Chile, Spokane to Afghanistan, The Phillipines to China, Mumbai to San Diego has forced FEMICIDE out of the global closet of taboos. The scope and seriousness of targeting women and girls in horrific ways; rape, forced impregnation, trafficking, torture, sexual mutilation, honor killings and murder, illustrates the failure of truly integrating equality into the fabric of resistance not to mention the overall exclusion by societies and governments of women from dialog that impacts their lives.

Women who dare voice the reality they face as individuals or as communities, risk being lableled as "man haters", "divisive", "having problems with men" or being killed. This has been the case in Juarez and Chihuahua, Mexico where women who speak out against the decade long unsolved serial torture murders of over 400 young women and over 4000 more missing are beaten and killed as well. Police are accused of beating and dismembering Lucha of Chimpimpin, a woman sent by her sisters who had organized against rape and violence there to Juarez to heed the call to stop and solve these heinous crimes. In Colombia, the horrific nature of torture, rapes and murders of women and girls has led the United Nations High Commission on Refugees to compare the situation to that of the similar gender specific attacks against thousands (possibly millions) of women in Sierra Leone, The Congo and Dafur. 3 women who addressed violence women are subjected to as Internally Displaced Persons in Colombia, Marta Cecilia Aguirre, Francis Giron Quilindo and Esperanza Amaris Miranda, have been murdered by armed groups.

As an American woman who has been standing against rape, battering and murder of women for over 25 years, i first encountered the repercussions of such a position among my own friends and family. I am familiar with how even activist men balk at addressing violence against women prefering to compare the abuse men suffer at the hands of women rather than look at the immensity of this problem. For starters, it is a form of silencing to attempt to compare the manipulative, dishonest, greedy or slanderous behaviors attributed to abusive women to that of rape and murder. In the U.S., 85% of violent acts are carried out by men. The increase of violent acts by women is atrributed to their increased militarization. THE MILITARY IS A MAJOR FACTOR IN FURTHERING PHYSICAL ABUSE IN AMERICAN FAMILIES! In the rest of the world 97% of violent acts are carried out by men. This is also the case for rape. Nearly half the women i know have been either raped or battered or both. I know of no man in my personal experience raped by a woman. I do know men raped by men.

Women who are in the military are raped by their fellow combatants whether it is a girl soldier in Sierra Leone or a U.S. female soldier who cannot get the Army to provide her with an abortion. Women soliders in Colombia are beaten, mutilated, have their heads shaved for wearing cropped tops, low slung jeans and shorts. Personally, as i hear of more and more abuses by "resistance" groups in Colombia, i wonder who they are fighting for. FARC kills Indigenous peoples and peasants as well as the murders of 3 American activists, 2 Indigenous, in 1999. I may need some serious educating, but so far i have yet to come across any information that indicates an armed force of the caliber of the Zapatistas in Chiapas.

There is a growing nonviolent resistance movement in Colombia led by Indigenous peoples and women's groups such as Ruta Pacifica. These are the people who have united to include each others struggles in a way that seems to be missing from FARC's approach.

Femicide is nothing new. What is different is the alarming wide spread occurance and it's primary place in war zones. What also is alarming is the failure of peace and justice movements to place it in the center of protest focus as it is the gateway to complete genocide and ecocide. Targeting women and girls pulls the rug out of future survival profoundly. This failure also highlights the glaring absence of equality that continues to burden activism still subjected to Euro patriarchal heirarchy even among those who claim consensus as the great equalizer.

Unless deep authentic alliance building is prioritized, the trust so essential to healthy community will not have a chance. Uprooting systemic power over behaviors are essential to a successful revolt to global fascism. The solution must be as inclusive to all involved as the Zapatista struggle has been. Nowhere else has there emerged such a movement for the future that so incorporates methods encouraging women to actively shape their own lives and participate with full partnership. The Indigenous Council that gives final approval to Zapatista decisions begs consideration. Tools that unify must be implemented. All people, men and women, must realize that insuring the well being and safety of women and children will also enhance the lives of men. It is in the interest of oppressors to destablize loving and supportive relationships keeping us from realizing our full potential.

The call made by the Zapatistas to the civilians of the world to form communities of resistance needs to be taken very seriously. I see no other way out of the mess we are in here in the most powerful country with the most privileged people on the planet even under growing deprivation and militarization. But we must move fast with the greatest of courage and tenacity. We must live what we dream NOW with all our hearts. Only then can we hope to put an end to Free Trade Fascism and it's attendent femicide, genocide and ecocide.

In peaceful struggle, swaneagle
Tucson, Arizona

Ciudad Juarez Photos of the Families of Victims of Femicide 10.Apr.2005 10:15

Nuestras Hijas de Regreso a Casa a.c. aguiaz@rpi.edu


I took a trip to Ciudad Juarez for Spring Break March 12-19th, 2005 and got to learn what is really going on in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico. I had heard about murdered women and how there were hundreds since 1993 raped, murdered and mostly strangled to death by random men. Apparently there were over 400 dead and 400 missing, so I wanted to learn more about the situation as these were all poor young mexican women living in Ciudad Juarez. What I learned has impacted me forever.