On World Environment Day, we are in solidarity with courageous women earth defenders of Mujeres Amazónicas (Amazonian Women), a collective in the Amazon region of Ecuador.
These determined women risk their lives to protect the world’s largest rainforest from environmental damage caused by extractive industries, like mining, oil drilling and logging.
Patricia Gualinga is a leader of the Kichwa Sarayaku Indigenous community that went all the way to the Inter-American Court of Human Rights to demand that an oil company remove explosives it had placed in Sarayaku territory without their consent.
Patricia was attacked with stones. Her attacker yelled: “Next time, we’ll kill you, bitch!”
Other women defenders of the Amazon have also been attacked and threatened with death in retaliation for outspoken efforts to protect the environment on which the survival of their people depends.