Join us for conversation and coffee with Bettina Cruz Velázquez and Francisco Grado Villa from the Indigenous Governing Council of Mexico’s National Indigenous Congress. Conversation will center around the struggle for indigenous autonomy in Mexico and the fight against major capitalist projects that threaten indigenous ways of life.
Date: Thursday, January 18th
Time: 3:00-4:00 PM
Location: UMC 247
Bettina Cruz Velázquez (Binnizá) is from Juchitán, Oaxaca, and has worked in defense of communal lands. Ms. Cruz Velázquez helped form the Assembly of the Indigenous People of the Isthmus of Tehuantepec in Defense of the Land and the Territory, a group that is fighting dispossession of lands due to mining and wind energy production projects. She has a BA in Agricultural Engineering from from the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM), an MA in Rural Regional Development from the Autonomous University of Chapingo, and doctoral studies in Territorial Planning and Regional Development from the University of Barcelona.
Francisco Grado Villa (Cochimí) is from La Espinita, Baja California and has been working towards the recovery, preservation and promotion of the Cochimí culture–which has been declared extinct. The Cochimí culture inhabited the area of the Baja California peninsula and left rock paintings dating back more than 5,000 years. The Jesuits established now-abandoned missions throughout the area in the late 17th Century and in the 1970s photographer Harry Crosby claimed to have photographed “the last of the Californians.” Mr. Grado Villa, and others who identify themselves as the descendants of the ancient Cochimis are fighting for recognition of their culture. Mr. Grado Villa is a member of the Milapá Cultural Association and has been on the Indigenous Governing Council for the past year.
Hosted by CU Engage, Latin American Studies Program, Department of Geography and KGNU Community Radio