The Perspective of an Activist From Latin America
Can you imagine the fear of thinking your life will never be the same? Can you imagine knowing that everyone you love is going to drown someday due to climate crisis, and it doesn't matter how hard you try to stop it, the government just lets you down over and over again, justifying their actions with useless arguments? All of this in addition to the fear of being killed after fighting for your future?
That is what being an activist in Latin America is like.
I was raised in the Caribbean, a state named Quintana Roo is my home, as a child, I always heard how climate change was going the be the reason everyone was going to die someday, they told me it was going to change life as we knew it, and a lot of terrifying statements, but I believed their words, the ones that stated this was so far in the future, I was not going to see it, this seemed to be a problem my grandchildren were going to face, now I know how wrong they were.
My generation is feeling the consequences of centuries of bad decisions, the climate crisis is closer than ever, and with it, the death of our future, but earth protectors from Latin America, those in the frontline have more to fear: their own death.
Just last year, 2020, one of the hardest years we have ever faced, 18 activists protectors of the earth were killed in Mexico, another 65 were harmed and 26 of these aggressions were made by state agents, this is a report that the Mexican center of environmental law or CEMDA for its acronym in Spanish gave, all of this is information about Mexico, but the rest of Latin America has the same problem.
At this point it is so bad that we just hear numbers and see statistics, we forget these numbers once we're names from people who believed the same things you do now. Latino activists are giving their lives for the climate crisis and this should not be this way. In a place like the one I'm living in (Latin America), defending your life, your world, your thoughts is a revolutionary act that might get you killed. Young activists have to face college, climate crisis, and possible death.
This is the reason why our mothers are so scared to see us fighting against the climate crisis and the reason why most people are not taking action.
I truly believe someday all Latin America will be a safe place to express your thoughts and defend what needs to be protected, but right now, I hope I get to live enough to breathe clean air again.