Thursday, March 28, 2013

Borderlands and Disposable Women: Intersection of Ecofeminism and Feminicide

Disregard and disrespect of women is experienced frequently and horrendously here on the border. The culture of disrespect of women culminates in feminicide--the killing of women simply because they are unimportant and powerless. The perpetrators do not come to justice. Authorities collude in this.

Last night, at Yale Divinity School, Reverend and Doctor Daisy Machado presented the Bainton Lecture, entitled "Border, Borderlands and Disposable Women: A Look at Ecofeminism and the Maquiladora Murders."

Ecofeminists, particularly in the work of Yvonne Gebara, have called Christians to think about the connections between poverty, violence (to Earth and humans), and immigration. When examined from the reality of the U.S./Mexico border the ecological damage/violence, which has been a reality of the maquiladora industry since the 1970s, has escalated to violence against female maquiladora workers, women who “personify the meaning of human disposability.”

This lecture examines how this long history of violence and ecological ruin along the U.S./Mexico border has expanded to a femicide that has taken more than 400 female lives in the city of Juárez. It also considers how the ethical challenges made by ecofeminists can examine this reality and issue a call for justice for the women killed.

Click the video (below) to play it. Mouse over, and the slider appears at the bottom. Move the slider ahead to minute 5 1/2 to arrive at Machado's intro.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Reflections on the death of Hugo Chavez by former US Pres. Jimmy Carter

By José Cruz/ABr 
via the Carter Center
Rosalynn and I extend our condolences to the family of Hugo Chávez Frías. We met Hugo Chávez when he was campaigning for president in 1998 and The Carter Center was invited to observe elections for the first time in Venezuela. We returned often, for the 2000 elections, and then to facilitate dialogue during the political conflict of 2002-2004. 

We came to know a man who expressed a vision to bring profound changes to his country to benefit especially those people who had felt neglected and marginalized. Although we have not agreed with all of the methods followed by his government, we have never doubted Hugo Chávez's commitment to improving the lives of millions of his fellow countrymen.

President Chávez will be remembered for his bold assertion of autonomy and independence for Latin American governments and for his formidable communication skills and personal connection with supporters in his country and abroad to whom he gave hope and empowerment. During his 14-year tenure, Chávez joined other leaders in Latin America and the Caribbean to create new forms of integration. Venezuelan poverty rates were cut in half, and millions received identification documents for the first time allowing them to participate more effectively in their country's economic and political life.

At the same time, we recognize the divisions created in the drive towards change in Venezuela and the need for national healing. We hope that as Venezuelans mourn the passing of President Chávez and recall his positive legacies — especially the gains made for the poor and vulnerable — the political leaders will move the country forward by building a new consensus that ensures equal opportunities for all Venezuelans to participate in every aspect of national life.

Photo credit: (Agência Brasil - Foto no:130922 [1]) [CC-BY-3.0-br (], via Wikimedia Commons