“In Tun Savi, my indigenous mother-tongue, we do not know the word “justice”, I do not know how to translate it so I use the Spanish term; however the day that we enjoy justice in our communities, I‘ll be able to tell you how does it feel in Tun Savi.”
Meet Eulogia Flores Vázquez.
Eulogia Flores Vázquez, is a Na Savi indigenous woman and human rights defender from Cochoapa, Guerrero, México. Only 26 years old, she has been demanding and defending indigenous women´s rights for the last eight years, first in her community in Cochoapa el Grande—the poorest municipality in Mexico. Most recently, Eulogia has also worked as a collaborator with the Human Rights Center “Tlachinollan”.
In 2004, Eulogia, together with 200 Na savi indigenous women in Cochoapa, organized to demand better health services for their community. Cochoapa has the lowest human development index in Mexico, comparable by the UNDP with conditions in Sub-Sahara Africa. Cochoapa also has the highest rate of maternal mortality in México. Some improvement has been achieved, but only after the loss of some women, and in spite of violence against Eulogia and her colleagues. “The community and the authority prohibit you to organize and demand your rights, because as women, we do not have voice,” says Eulogia.
Eulogia knows that her struggle to changing conditions in a medical clinic conditions was only one way to start making changes. Another important goal is to demand education for all women, giving tools to girls to know their destiny shall not be marriage by age 12—as dictated by tradition. However, this is not an easy task. In fact, Eulogia had to leave her community because after she received threats to her life.
Now, working in Tlachinollan, a Human Rights Center based in the Montaña region in Guerrero, Eulogia accompanies indigenous peoples demanding their rights. She uses a multicultural approach, working with agricultural migrants from the indigenous communities who go to work on agricultural fields in different parts of México. Eulogia is also preparing for her future, finishing high-school, and training in women’s rights in order to continue her work as an indigenous women rights defender.
Eulogia is determined to bring about change: “We do not want governmental paternalistic projects, we want justice, and this means, better health conditions, respect as women, and freedom from poverty”.
Migrantes somos y en el camino andamos (report on internal migrants – Spanish), Tlachinollan, 30 Nov 2011.
Indigenous women: Multiple layers of victimization – Jody Williams, Nobel Women’s Initiative, 23 Jan 2012.
Action, not words: Jody Williams, Nobel Women’s Initiative, 24 Jan 2012.
End “War on Women” in Mexico, Honduras and Guatemala: Nobel Laureates, Nobel Women’s Initiative, 29 Feb 2012.
Law for the protection of human rights defenders and journalists passed in Mexico, Nobel Women’s Initiative, 18 May 2012.
Paying the price – Migrar o Morir (English), Tlachinollan, 17 Nov 2012.