gallery

24 Indigenous Rights Fighters From Latin America To Keep In Mind While You Celebrate Women’s History Month

No look back at Latino culture and history could be complete without a thorough investigation of the various Indigenous women who existed long before and after the Spanish colonized the Americas. In the many years before Spanish colonization, Indigenous women were FIERCE chiefs, warriors, leaders and rule breakers. Today, they still are. Here’s a list of the 25 Indigenous women who shaped Latin America and contributed to the world we know.

1. Janequeo, Peru

CREDIT: @guidokidsalinas / Instagram

Also, known as Yanequén, was a heroine of the Mapuche-Pehuenche people and the wife of the chief, Huepotaén. After her husband’s murder, which was ordered by Governor Alonso de Sotomayor, Janequeo succeeded him as lonco and led her people in battles against the Spanish.

2. Emilia Nuyado, Chile

CREDIT: @lafamiliateatro / Instagram

Nuyado is a political leader of the indigenous Mapuche group and one of two women of that group to become members of Chile’s Congress. She represents the southern Araucanía region and is working with the Chilean government to put an end to a centuries-old conflict.

3. Aracely Leuquén, Chile

CREDIT: @aracelyleuquen / Instagram

Like Nuyado, Leuquén is also a political leader representative of the indigenous Mapuche group. Along with Nuyado she is the first woman to become a member of Chile’s Congress.

4. Milagro Sala, Argentine

CREDIT: @andresfleytass / Instagram

The Indigenous leader from Argentina is considered the first political prisoner of President Mauricio Macri’s government. She is the founder of the 70,000 member group called the Tupac Amaru movement and leads the organization in efforts focused on Indigenous rights and impacting political issues.

5. Silvia Carrera, Panama

CREDIT: Telemetro.com

As the first woman chief of the Ngobe Bugl, Carrera led a resistance movement that worked to block hydroelectric dam and copper mining projects being built on an Indigenous territory. Throughout her activism, she has strived to negotiate with the Panamanian government and to represent her people in talks concerning respect for Indigenous rights. Today she is seen as a symbol of resistance for women across Panama and Latin America.

6. Aura Lolita Chavez Ixcaquic, Guatemala

CREDIT: Greens EFA /Youtube.com

The Guatemalan Maya K’iche leader is a defender of women’s rights and environmental causes.  Today, she is a leader of the Council of K’iche’ Peoples in Defense of Life, Mother Nature, Earth and Territory and fights for the right of indigenous people to determine the fate of their territories.

7. Miriam Miranda, Honduras

CREDIT: Victoriaenelojo / Youtube.com

The leader of the Garifuna Afro-Indigenous community and the organization known as Ofraneh is known for her activism. Her resistance has combatted mega-tourism projects and the climate change effects that have displaced Garifuna communities along the Honduran coast.

8. Rigoberta Menchu, Guatemala

CREDIT: @valer.zennn / Instagram

The Guatemalan human rights activist began campaigning for human rights when she was a teen. In the years since she has devoted her life’s work to fighting for the rights of indigenous people and victims of Guatemala’s civil war.

9. Berta Caceres, Hondoras

CREDIT: @rawrealreach / Instagram

The Lenca indigenous leader and environmental and human rights defender is also the co-founder of the National Council of Popular and Indigenous Organizations of Honduras (COPINH). Her work has helped her and others to spearhead a successful resistance movement to halt the creation of the Agua Zarca Dam. Before and during its construction the project was never given consent by the local indigenous community.

10. Transito Amaguaña, Ecuador

CREDIT: @de.provincia / Instagram

Transito Amaguaña, AKA “Mama Transito,” was an Ecuadorean indigenous activist and feminist icon in Ecuador. Her political work and community activism has pushed the efforts of major indigenous and campesino actions further. In 11946 she co-founded the Ecuadorean Indian Federation to fight for land redistribution.

11.  Digna Ochoa, Mexico 

CREDIT: i3yD / Instagram

The human rights lawyer and political activist advocated for the interests of Mexico’s campesino ecologists and vulnerable indigenous people. She took on the Mexican army and led campaigns that eventually and brought soldiers who had abused their power and tortured others to court. She was eventually found shot dead in her office.

11. Dolores Cacuango, Ecuador

CREDIT: @estelle.herv /Instagram

The native rights leader and Ecuadorean revolutionary began an early life of servitude on a hacienda as a teen. Realizing the difference in the quality of life between the rich and poor pushed her to advocacy that focused on education, native lands rights, and government reform in recognition of indigenous people. Despite never reaching higher education, Cacuango directed one of the first schools for indigenous children with instruction in Spanish and Quechua for 18 years.

12. María Jesús Alvarado Rivera, Peru

CREDIT: Notimérica.com

Rivera was a journalist, teacher, and activist from Chincha Alta, Peru who spent her life focused on the empowerment of women through activism and political representation. Her advocacy focused sexual health, sex worker rights, and indigenous land rights.

13. Blanca Chancoso, Ecuador

CREDIT: Ekologistak Martxan / Youtube.com

The Indigenous leader founded the Confederación de los Pueblos de la Nacionalidad Kichua del Ecuador, the group organized the first assembly for indigenous women. Her work contributed to the ousting of President Adbalá Bucaram. Today she continues her fight for indigenous rights. In 2015, open letter to Evo Morales she wrote: “You should remember that those who occupy the presidential office will one day be replaced… Correa’s term will one day end, but the indigenous communities will always be here…”

14. Ana de Peralta, Ecuador

CREDIT: vivirecuador.com

Ana de Peralta was the first woman to protest a Spanish law that kept mestizas from wearing indigenous and Spanish clothing. The law “The Royal Charter of 1752″ was issued by the King and Queen of Spain and said wearing such clothing made “mujeres de mal vivir.”

15. Rosa María Vacacela Gualán, Ecuador

CREDIT: @Nico / Twitter

Gualán is an indigenous leader who was awarded the Medalla Bicentenario for her work in bilingual education.She developed teaching materials for students that were in both Quechua and Spanish. She also worked to ensure that older indigenous members also learned how to read. 

16. Juana Azurduy de Padilla

CREDIT: latinoamericaexuberante.org

De Padilla was a Mestiza by ethnicity and therefore had both Spanish and indigenous ancestry. The revolutionary led a military life and career and fought for Bolivia independence. Simon Bolivar, the namesake of Bolivia, once said the country should have actually been named after her. 

17. Micaela Bastidas, Peru

CREDIT: @urb.ru / Instagram

The partner of Tupac Amaru helped lead the Tupac Amaru Rebellion involving native peoples against the Spanish. In her role, she managed an army and was seen as a pioneer of Peruvian independence. 

18. Iara

CREDIT: @iaracf / Instagram

Iara was a legend and never a real woman who walked this world. However, her legend and story are an important part of Latin American folklore. The legend of Iara came out of Brazil and is based on ancient Tupi and Guaraní mythology. 

19. Xtabay

CREDIT: magdalenoma82 / Instagram

This sex-positive story of a Mayan enchantress is also part of a Mayan legend. Still, her story of seduction acts as a fascinating indigenous version the Madonna/whore concept.

20. Eréndira, Mexico

CREDIT: @kushkatan / Instagramd

Eréndira was a princess of the Purépecha people who led an uprising against Spanish militants during the 1500s. The image above actually isn’t a depiction of Eréndira, but of the Purépecha she belonged to.

21. Patricia Velásquez, Venezuela

CREDIT: @hookedonhorror / Instagram

The actress and model is also the founder of the Wayúu Tayá Foundation. She is celebrated by many who consider her to be the first Native American model. Her father is mestizo and her mother was born into the indigenous Wayuu people. As an out lesbian, he is also a staunch LGBTQ advocate.

22. Lido Pimienta

CREDIT: @mrgconcerts / Instagram

The queer Afro-Colombiana of Wayuu descent is a Colombian Canadian musician and singer. Her song “La Papessa,” won the $50,000 2017 Polaris Music Prize in 2017.

23. Malinche, Mexico

CREDIT: Alana Anderson / Youtube.com

The Nahua woman played an influential role in the Spanish conquest of the Aztec Emire and is viewed as a controversial figure throughout Latin America. She was sold into sexual slavery as a young woman and became an interpreter. Some view her as a person who saved her people from the Aztecs who occupied her home, others blame her for betraying the indigenous people by helping colonizers. Either way, there’s no doubting that her influence helped to the Aztec Empire’s fall

24. Isabel Chimpo Ocllou, Peru

CREDIT: aulamelody.com

Chimpu Ocllo was born in the heart of the Inca imperial family: Cuzco and was an Incan Princess.  During the civil wars between the Spaniards, she was forced into marrying Sebastián Garcilaso de la Vega Spanish conquistador and colonial official.


Recommend this story by clicking the share button below!

Notice any needed corrections? Please email us at corrections@wearemitu.com

Exclusive: Luis Fonsi Talks Working with Rauw Alejandro, Christina Aguilera, and Demi Lovato

Entertainment

Exclusive: Luis Fonsi Talks Working with Rauw Alejandro, Christina Aguilera, and Demi Lovato

UNIVERSAL MUSIC LATIN

Luis Fonsi is kicking off 2021 with a new single. The Puerto Rican superstar premiered the music video for “Vacío” on Feb. 18 featuring rising Boricua singer Rauw Alejandro. The guys put a new spin on the classic “A Puro Dolor” by Son By Four.

Luis Fonsi throws it back to his románticas.

“I called Omar Alfanno, the writer of ‘A Puro Dolo,’ who is a dear friend,” Fonsi tells Latido Music. “I told him what my idea was [with ‘Vacío’] and he loved it. He gave me his blessing, so I wrote a new song around a few of those lines from ‘A Puro Dolor’ to bring back that nostalgia of those old romantic tunes that have been a part of my career as well. It’s a fresh production. It sounds like today, but it has that DNA of a true, old-school ballad.”

The world got to know Fonsi through his global smash hit “Despacito” with Daddy Yankee in 2017. The remix with Canadian pop star Justin Bieber took the song to new heights. That was a big moment in Fonsi’s music career that spans over 20 years.

There’s more to Fonsi than “Despacito.”

Fonsi released his first album, the fittingly-titled Comenzaré, in 1998. While he was on the come-up, he got the opportunity of a lifetime to feature on Christina Aguilera’s debut Latin album Mi Reflejo in 2000. The two collaborated on “Si No Te Hubiera Conocido.” Fonsi scored multiple Billboard Hot Latin Songs No. 1s in the years that followed and one of the biggest hits was “No Me Doy Por Vencido” in 2008. That was his career-defining romantic ballad.

“Despacito” remains the second most-viewed music video on YouTube with over 7.2 billion views. The hits did not stop there. Later in 2017, he teamed up with Demi Lovato for “Échame La Culpa,” which sits impressively with over 2 billion views.

He’s also appearing on The Voice next month.

Not only is Fonsi working on his new album, but also he’s giving advice to music hopefuls for the new season of The Voice that’s premiering on March 1. Kelly Clarkson tapped him as her Battle Advisor. In an exclusive interview, Fonsi talked with us about “Vacío,” The Voice, and a few of his greatest hits.

What was the experience like to work with Rauw Alejandro for “Vacío”?

Rauw is cool. He’s got that fresh sound. Great artist. Very talented. Amazing onstage. He’s got that great tone and delivery. I thought he had the perfect voice to fit with my voice in this song. We had talked about working together for awhile and I thought that this was the perfect song. He really is such a star. What he’s done in the last couple of years has been amazing. I love what he brought to the table on this song.

Now I want to go through some of your greatest hits. Do you remember working with Christina Aguilera for her Spanish album?

How could you not remember working with her? She’s amazing. That was awhile back. That was like 1999 or something like that. We were both starting out and she was putting out her first Spanish album. I got to sing a beautiful ballad called “Si No Te Hubiera Conocido.” I got to work with her in the studio and see her sing in front of the mic, which was awesome. She’s great. One of the best voices out there still to this day.

What’s one of your favorite memories of “No Me Doy Por Vencido”?

“No Me Doy Por Vencido” is one of the biggest songs in my career. I think it’s tough to narrow it down just to one memory. I think in general the message of the song is what sticks with me. The song started out as a love song, but it turned into an anthem of hope. We’ve used the song for different important events and campaigns. To me, that song has such a powerful message. It’s bigger than just a love song. It’s bringing hope to people. It’s about not giving up. To be able to kind of give [people] hope through a song is a lot more powerful than I would’ve ever imagined. It’s a very special song.

I feel the message is very relevant to the COVID-19 pandemic we’re living through.

Oh yeah! I wrote that song a long time ago with Claudia Brant, and during the first or second month of the lockdown when we were all stuck at home, we did a virtual writing session and we rewrote “No Me Doy Por Vencido.” Changing the lyrics, kind of adjusting them to this situation that we’re living now. I haven’t recorded it. I’ll do something with it eventually. It’s really cool. It still talks about love. It talks about reuniting. Like the light at the end of the tunnel. It has the hope and love backbone, but it has to do a lot with what we’re going through now.

What do you think of the impact “Despacito” made on the industry?

It’s a blessing to be a part of something so big. Again, it’s just another song. We write these songs and the moment you write them, you don’t really know what’s going to happen with them. Or sometimes you run into these surprises like “Despacito” where it becomes a global phenomenon. It goes No. 1 in places where Spanish songs had never been played. I’m proud. I’m blessed. I’m grateful to have worked with amazing people like Daddy Yankee. Like Justin Bieber for the remix and everyone else involved in the song. My co-writer Erika Ender. The producers Mauricio Rengifo and Andrés Torres. It was really a team effort and it’s a song that obviously changed my career forever.

What was the experience like to work with Demi Lovato on “Echáme La Culpa”?

She’s awesome! One of the coolest recording sessions I’ve ever been a part of. She really wanted to sing in Spanish and she was so excited. We did the song in Spanish and English, but it was like she was more excited about the Spanish version. And she nailed it! She nailed it from the beginning. There was really not much for me to say to her. I probably corrected her once or twice in the pronunciation, but she came prepared and she brought it. She’s an amazing, amazing, amazing vocalist.

You’re going to be a battle advisor on The Voice. What was the experience like to work with Kelly Clarkson?

She’s awesome. What you see is what you get. She’s honest. She’s funny. She’s talented. She’s humble and she’s been very supportive of my career. She invited me to her show and it speaks a lot that she wanted me to be a part of her team as a Battle Advisor for the new season. She supports Latin music and I’m grateful for that. She’s everything you hope she would be. She’s the real deal, a true star, and just one of the coolest people on this planet.

What can we expect from you in 2021?

A lot of new music. Obviously, everything starts today with “Vacío.” This is literally the beginning of what this new album will be. I’ve done nothing but write and record during the last 10 months, so I have a bunch of songs. Great collaborations coming up. I really think the album will be out probably [in the] third or fourth quarter this year. The songs are there and I’m really eager for everybody to hear them.

Read: We Finally Have A Spanish-Language Song As The Most Streamed Song Of All Time

Notice any needed corrections? Please email us at corrections@wearemitu.com

Lifestyles Of The Rich And Dangerous: Cartels Are Using TikTok To Lure Young People

Things That Matter

Lifestyles Of The Rich And Dangerous: Cartels Are Using TikTok To Lure Young People

Alfredo Estrada / Getty Images

If you’ve ever wondered what someone with a bulletproof vest and an AR-15 would look like flossing — the dance, not the method of dental hygiene — apparently the answer to that question can be found on TikTok.

Unfortunately, it’s not as a part of some absurdist sketch comedy or surreal video art installation. Instead, it’s part of a growing trend of drug cartels in Mexico using TikTok as a marketing tool. Nevermind the fact that Mexico broke grim records last year for the number of homicides and cartel violence, the cartels have found an audience on TikTok and that’s a serious cause for concern.

Mexican cartels are using TikTok to gain power and new recruits.

Just a couple of months ago, a TikTok video showing a legit high-speed chase between police and drug traffickers went viral. Although it looked like a scene from Netflix’s Narcos series, this was a very real chase in the drug cartel wars and it was viewed by more than a million people.

Typing #CartelTikTok in the social media search bar brings up thousands of videos, most of them from people promoting a “cartel culture” – videos with narcocorridos, and presumed members bragging about money, fancy cars and a luxury lifestyle.

Viewers no longer see bodies hanging from bridges, disembodied heads on display, or highly produced videos with messages to their enemies. At least not on TikTok. The platform is being used mainly to promote a lifestyle and to generate a picture of luxury and glamour, to show the ‘benefits’ of joining the criminal activities.

According to security officials, the promotion of these videos is to entice young men who might be interested in joining the cartel with images of endless cash, parties, military-grade weapons and exotic pets like tiger cubs.

Cartels have long used social media to shock and intimidate their enemies.

And using social media to promote themselves has long been an effective strategy. But with Mexico yet again shattering murder records, experts on organized crime say Cartel TikTok is just the latest propaganda campaign designed to mask the blood bath and use the promise of infinite wealth to attract expendable young recruits.

“It’s narco-marketing,” said Alejandra León Olvera, an anthropologist at Spain’s University of Murcia, in a statement to the New York Times. The cartels “use these kinds of platforms for publicity, but of course it’s hedonistic publicity.”

Mexico used to be ground zero for this kind of activity, where researchers created a new discipline out of studying these narco posts. Now, gangs in Brazil, Colombia, El Salvador, and the United States are also involved.

A search of the #CartelTikTok community and its related accounts shows people are responding. Public comments from users such as “Y’all hiring?” “Yall let gringos join?” “I need an application,” or “can I be a mule? My kids need Christmas presents,” are on some of the videos.

One of the accounts related to this cartel community publicly answered: “Of course, hay trabajo para todos,” “I’ll send the application ASAP.” “How much is the pound in your city?” “Follow me on Instagram to talk.” The post, showing two men with $100 bills and alcohol, had more than a hundred comments.

Notice any needed corrections? Please email us at corrections@wearemitu.com