Gualcarque River
Gualcarque River

Last night the forces of authority, greed, and misogyny assassinated one of the world’s great defenders of the Earth: Berte Cáceres. Winner of the Goldman Environmental Prize for her defense of rivers in her homeland, she was murdered for leading indigenous peoples against the construction of the Agua Zarca Dam.

I think of the great women in America who defend the land under their feet: Barbara Albrecht in defense of Pensacola’s watershed, Madeline Kiser-Bieta in defense of Tucson’s watershed and Costa Rica’s rivers; Terry Tempest Williams in her defense of wilderness in Utah, and Florida writers like Jannise Ray in her defense of the Altamaha River and the Long Leaf Pine habitat; Anne Rudloe in defense of Gulf coastal habitat, and Marjory Stoneman Douglas for defense of the Everglades.

Women relate to nature through their bodies as well as their minds, as mothers who watch over their children. That is why women must lead today. Listen to this mother of mothers speak about her homelands. Under constant threats to her life, she persisted to speak for her people and their land, for the Earth.