The first big piece of news is that the Government has finally agreed, for the first time, to set the record straight about the around 350,000 women who were sterilized against their will (or without their consent) during the Fujimori regime in the mid-1990s. We made possible, right after 14 Feb, the meeting at which Amnesty International presented the thousands of signatures to the Minister of Women’s Affairs demanding the Government re-open the criminal investigations into forced sterilizations. After much pressure from our feminist organizations, President Humala has finally announced the creation of, what I consider is the first step towards justice, reparation and a no-repetition commitment, an official record for the victims. It is a first victory.
Also, we’ve started our work on communities in the north of Peru: we’ve set up what we call Local Circles of Action, women and men organized around specific objectives (identified through democratic processes) in the fight for equality and against sexual violence and abuse on a local level. We believe a revolution has to do with making tools available for the people to produce long lasting change and it will only come from a true, deep, understanding of where we stand in relation to the normalized abusive everyday landscape. I say this because one of our biggest challenges is staying away from paternalistic perspectives, we want us all fully committed from an intimate level given we are all affected in a direct or indirect way: we are the country in the region with the highest rates of denounces of sexual violence, the situation is quite critical. And we strongly believe empowerment, educating in rights and providing tools for the people to have political impact and the capacity to organice themselves and produce evidence of the impact of their activism is the way to start experiencing the urgent & true cultural shift.
We’ve started preparing for 14 Feb with the idea of going back to our origins through theatre and art (because we find the point of encounter of our artistic/creative engine and our more technical side is our greatest asset and the reason why we are appealing to a number of people).
Below are two pictures from a workshop in Trujillo, Peru. I’ve stepped down as the visible face of the movement in Peru because, if we are talking about democracy and democratic processes we must be consequent, so that role will be given to a new person every two years; now, Monica Sanchez, a smart, strong activist and actress is the public image of OBR Peru, you’ll see her in the pictures moderating the group next to our amazing team at the Trujillo Local Circle of Action.