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Abstract

Feminicides of indigenous women are not easy to distinguish in the data and statistics that feminist activists collect, to document gender-based violence against women in general. The killing of women because they are women responds to a legal definition that specifically refers to a particular type of victim: poor, working-class, urban women (Lagarde 2008). Very often the violent deaths of indigenous women defending communal/territorial resources, or violent acts related to the militarization of rural areas and extortion by organized crime may not necessarily be classified as feminicide since that violence is the result of the intersectionality of several orders of discrimination in contexts where the state has failed to protect citizens (Wright 2017). This paper will explore diverse initiatives developed by indigenous women activists aimed at unveiling the epistemological and political limitations of feminist statistics that neither record the ethnicity/race of the victims, not the socio-political contexts that shape indigenous community life. In addition, this paper will reflect upon indigenous women’s calls for alliances with the academy in order to develop appropriate conceptual approaches, methodologies and strategies, gaining a better understanding of the multiple orders of violence that operate against racialized bodies. Our ultimate goal is to build a mindful alliance between academy and indigenous activism to decolonize our activist ethos and highlight claims of justice from rural scenarios that are frequently overlooked.

Note on the Author

María Dolores Figueroa Romero is a Research Fellow at the Centre of Research and Advanced Studies of Social Anthropology (CIESAS) in Mexico City. She is a CONACYT Research Fellow at the Centre of Research and Advanced Studies of Social Anthropology (CIESAS) in Mexico City. Generally speaking, Figueroa´s academic interest is focused on conceptualizing structural, social and extreme violence against indigenous women in rural realms from an intersectional perspective and critically dialoguing with the anti-feminicide feminist advocacy work. Her goal is to render a better understanding of the indigenous women´s claims of justice and social restoration that are left unattended from hegemonic approaches to address gender-based violence.

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