Sunday, 29 January 2023

Textile Details

'Los Bosques no son mercancía / The Forests are not for sale', by Rosa Borrás. (Photo: Martin Melaugh)
'Los Bosques no son mercancía / The Forests are not for sale', by Rosa Borrás. (Photo: Martin Melaugh)


Title of Textile:Los Bosques no son mercancía / The forests are not for sale
Maker: Rosa Borrás
Country of Origin: Mexico
Year Produced: 2022
Size (cm): 51.5 cm (w) x 51.5 (h)
Materials: Cotton headscarf, embroidery threads, felt and beads
Type of Textile: Embroidered Pañoleta / Headscarf

On the rustic coloured background of this cotton pañoleta / headscarf, Rosa commemorates environmental activist, Guadalupe Campanur, who was murdered on 16th January 2018. She was 32 years old. For the previous 10 years, Guadalupe was at the forefront of campaigning, denouncing and defending the indigenous community of Cherán, in the North Western part of the Mexican state of Michoacán, against illegal logging and organised crime.

In April 2011, with other Indigenous leaders of Cherán, she rang the bell calling on people to defend their forests. She was a founding member of the Forest Rangers of Cherán, a community initiative that held community patrols in defence of the forest. She was also heavily involved in the move towards self-government of the Indigenous Peoples, where the Cherán community elected their own representatives, independent of conventional elections. Cultural Survival (February 16, 2018) Environmental Defender Guadalupe Campanur Tapia Murdered in Mexico

Her activism cost her dearly. On 17th January, 2018, her body was found on the side of a road in Chilchota, about 30km from Cherán. She is believed to have been strangled by two unidentified killers. Her death adds to the growing numbers of Indigenous human rights and environmental defenders targeted and killed for their actions. Of the 312 human rights defenders killed in 2017, 67% were defending land, environmental and indigenous peoples’ rights and 80% of the killings were perpetrated in just four countries – Brazil, Colombia, Mexico and the Philippines. (Front Line Defenders) Annual Report on Human Rights Defenders at Risk in 2017

Speaking at the launch of the report, on 22 January 2018, - a few days after Guadalupe’s murder - Executive Director of Front Line Defenders stated: “Killings almost always occur following a series or pattern of threats, indicating that if preventive action were taken by police, and threats against defenders were taken seriously by authorities, HRD [Human Rights Defender] killings could be drastically reduced.”

Whilst The Attorney General of the State of Michoacán announced in the aftermath of Guadalupe’s death that an investigation was underway, Front Line Defenders remind us that of the cases tracked by their organisation, only 12% of all murder cases resulted in the arrest of suspects. Such impunity continues to enable an environment of frequent killings, needlessly endangering and cutting short the lives of environmental and indigenous peoples’ rights activists such as Guadalupe.

Owner: Conflict Textiles collection
Location: Roberta Bacic, Northern Ireland
Original / Replica: Original
Photographer: Martin Melaugh

Textile exhibited at: Threads for Corporate Justice workshop programme, 4/05/2022 - 31/08/2022
Threads for Corporate Justice, 11/10/2022 - 17/10/2022

Textile Detail Image(s)