HAVANA TIMES – The Matagalpa Women’s Collective, founded in the late 1980s in the Nicaraguan central highland city in its name, is one of the 15 NGOs just shut down by the Ortega-Murillo government in its crusade against civil society.
All the newly closed NGOs, like the other 40 in the last two and a half years, are accused without recourse of fabricated charges to justify their summary extinction.
The Women’s Collective issued the following statement today reaffirming their commitment to “feminist dignity” and the greater Matagalpa community.
Feminist Dignity – They Won’t Silence Us!
Today, August 26, 2021, Nicaragua’s National Assembly cancelled the legal standing of the Matagalpa Women’s Collective.
We denounce this arbitrary decision, based on legal ruses and lies. We also condemn the systematic repression and state violence of the Ortega-Murillo government, which has to date closed down 55 national and international organizations, in order to impose fear and silence.
The accusations against all the organizations are practically identical and totally false. The Matagalpa Women’s Collective has completely fulfilled its financial, occupational, social and ethical responsibilities throughout our 31 years of legal incorporation.
Proof of this, beyond all our legal documents, lies above all in the thousands of women and children who have received comprehensive attention, including a multitude of community projects sustained through the organization of rural women and youth. Our projects in the rural areas have included community centers, revolving loan funds, community libraries, sustainable agriculture projects, rainwater storage, construction of houses, community grain mills, cooperative stores, and small community medicine cabinets.
Aside from this, the Women’s Collective has promoted creative initiatives via theater groups, a choir, stilt walking, educational enrichment with children and youth in the city and the countryside. We’ve also produced volumes of informative and educational materials, pamphlets, manuals, a literacy primer, and much, much more.
The fruits of this decades-long work have been planted in people’s hearts and minds, and no National Assembly, no government, can wipe them out. They belong to the rural women, the children, the youth, the users of social media who view and share our productions, and the national and international organizations who have recognized our work.
As feminists, we’ve constructed our own dignity and developed strategies adapted to this millennium, for surviving patriarchal dictatorships.
We denounce these violations to the right to organize, to justice, to freedom of expression and to the right to live free of violence.
We hold the government of Daniel Ortega responsible for any damage to the physical or psychological integrity of the members of the Matagalpa Women’s Collective.
A logo, a symbol
A witch – wise and powerful woman
A fire – memory of women burned
By fear, ignorance, power,
the inquisition, the patriarchal dictatorship.
The past, a history of resistance
Honored over 30 years
In the logo of a feminist group.
It emerges as a coat of arms
We the witches they want to burn.
Glowing coals warm us
And serve for cooking.
The circle of fire brings us together
Ideas and bodies dance
The memories we’ve built will feed us,
And together we sing our dignity.
Matagalpa, August 26, 2021