Paulina Cruz Ruiz

Paulina Cruz Ruiz, from the Rabinal, Baja Verapaz region of Guatemala, was an ancestral Maya Achí (Indigenous) authority and a human rights defender.

She was actively involved in community organizing and resistance, including legal measures against mining projects on Indigenous territory, projects that would severely affect and damage the socio-environmental fabric.  

Rosane Santiago Silveira

Rosane Santiago Silveira was affectionately known as Rô Conceição. A Brazilian environmental and human rights activist, she fervently fought to protect the environment where it was most threatened. 

This included defending it on the island of Barra Velha, where it was endangered by oil exploration, as well as safeguarding it by campaigning against land-grabbing and expansion of eucalyptus plantations in Bahia State, where Rosane was a member of the Cassurubá Extractivist Reserve Council.

Cristina Bautista

“If we stay quiet they kill us and if we talk [they kill us] too. So, let’s talk.” -  Cristina Bautista, 2019

Mirna Teresa Suazo Martínez

Mirna Teresa Suazo Martínez was part of the Garifuna (Afro-descendent and Indigenous) Masca community, living on the North Caribbean coast of Honduras. She was a community leader and a fervent defender of the Indigenous territory, a land that was violated when the National Agrarian Institute of Honduras gave territorial licenses to people outside of the community. 

Nilcéa Freire

Nilcéa Freire was a Brazilian feminist activist, politician and academic. A persevering advocate for women’s rights and those of underrepresented minorities in the country, her life and work carried a long history of struggles and victories.

"While resisting we have to keep pushing for progress, and what we can achieve at this time, in my view, will be through the stupendous organization of young white women, and especially black women, in all of the state capitals and large cities of Brazil." - Nilcéa Freire

Rosa Candida Mayorga Muñoz

Rosa Candida Mayorga Muñoz was a Guatemalan social worker, union leader and labor rights defender. She was affectionately called Rosita and she inspired change. 

Isabel Cabanillas de la Torre

Isabel Cabanillas de la Torre was a much loved young feminist artist and activist from Ciudad Juárez, Mexico, known for her beautiful and evocative hand-painted clothing with eyes being an emblematic feature in her work. Her murals transformed the run down and vacant buildings in Ciudad Juarez’s downtown, bringing life and political commentary to their walls.

Gloria Chicaiza

Gloria Chicaiza, an Ecuadorian social and environmental activist, was a fervent defender of land and water. She defied the status quo, fighting against a model of development based on extraction and worked tirelessly for ecological justice and the rights of communities affected by mining.  

María Digna Montero

María Digna Montero was a Garifuna (Afro-descendent and indigenous) land defender and a member of the National Black Fraternal Organization of Honduras (OFRANEH), a grassroots organization working to protect the Garifuna communities, their ancestral rights, culture, resources and territory.

María also taught in the local school and was a member of the OFRANEH Intercultural Bilingual Education working group.

On the Day of Indigenous Resistance, October 12, 2019, unknown assailants shot María multiple times in the backyard of her house.  

Roxana Reyes Rivas

Roxana Reyes Rivas, philosopher, feminist, lesbian, poet, politician and LGBT and women’s rights activist from Costa Rica. Owner of a sharp pen and incisive humour, a laugh a minute. She was born in 1960 and raised in San Ramón of Alajuela, when it was a rural town, and her whole life she would break away from the mandates of what it meant to be a woman.