Thereasa Perez Mendez explains what happened during the repression.
She also explains that the forest is a vital source of food and medicinal herbs.
A resource that the villagers would like to leave to their children.
“We came up to the mountains to defend the forest. Because the trees provide us with water and food. We have to defend the forest because it is ours. Nobody ordered the women to come up. There is no authority that told them to come up here. It was our own free will to swiftly leave out houses and come up here. They (the paramilitaries) were carrying axes, machetes, chainsaws to cut the trees down. The men from San Miguel stole two pickup trucks from our community. We do not know if they were using the trucks for these actions or if they were doing something else with them. All we know is that when our trucks arrived here they took them. We will continue defending the forest. People from San Miguel have no business here. This forest does not belong to them. If they destroy the forest they will destroy the nature that surrounds us. Where will we get out water from? We have children where will they get their water from? And what of the ones who will come after them? That is the future that the children will inherit. We have fields where we grow beans, maize and peas. If they take that away from us then where are we going to get our food from? I will continue to defend the forest. It is our children’s future.”
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GS & JNP