This Mexican Feminist Group Got Hit With Death Threats After They Stopped Officials From Building Over An Earthquake Site
In September, when two earthquakes ruptured cities in Mexico within the span of two weeks, media outlets quickly turned the spotlight on citizens who rallied behind relief and rehabilitation in damaged areas. For days stories of people trapped under rubble and the upwardly ticking death toll permeated news feeds. But at the same time, the story of an all-female rescue effort leading the charge and exposing the government’s negligence was left to the wayside.
Last night, Samantha Bee redirected attention to La Brigada Feminista, the women-led volunteer group, on her show “Full Frontal.”
When Mexico was devastated by an earthquake, La Brigada Feminista was there to help, whether men wanted them to or not. Produced by @missbreton and @mileskahn with @laserlauren, and edited by @tennilleu. #SamanthaBee pic.twitter.com/15Sb7IjtjB
— Full Frontal (@FullFrontalSamB) December 14, 2017
Four of La Brigada Feminista’s members sat down with Bee to discuss how the government pushed back at their relief efforts, and the harassment they received on and offline. The women detailed their struggle to stop the government from hastily flattening out the site of a crumbled textile factory just two days after the earthquake had erupted. Various undocumented workers had been employed there and had still not been found when the government brought in heavy machinery to level out the site.
La Brigada barred officials from covering up the government’s involvement in the earthquakes’ destruction.
The group led protests that put a day’s long halt to the removal and flattening of rubble by the government, giving them more time to rescue possible survivors or remove bodies so those individuals could get a proper burial. They also worked to expose the government’s attempt to hide that they had approved the factory’s construction despite it not being up to code.
While talking to Bee, the women of La Brigada explained how they refused to allow the government to cover up their involvement. While officials reeled in heavy equipment to rebuild, people were still searching for missing workers.
“People need to be show respect. Their bodies too,” says one of the interviewed women.
Their protests, which became violent, also brought attention to other vulnerable sites that had been neglected.Full Frontal / TBS / Youtube.com
Despite all of their work, the women’s story had largely gone ignored by the Mexican press, which focused on the rescue story of a young girl named Frida Sofia, who turned out actually never existed. Then media focused heavily on another Frida – a rescue dog who captured the hearts of millions and became a symbol of courage. Meanwhile, the attention the group received was largely negative, harmful, and threatening.
“Stupidity is global,” one of the members told Bee.Full Frontal / TBS / Youtube.com
When describing to Bee the type of attention the group did receive, the women said it mostly came in the form of online harassment or spreading false information about La Brigada Feminista, like that the group was only saving women from the damage. That lie spread like wildfire. As a result, brutal threats against their lives were hurled their way throughout their entire attempt to save and rescue the innocent migrant workers who had had fallen victim to the earthquake.
“Oh my god, our countries have so much in common!” Bee said as she cringed before suggesting Donald Trump actually might like the country more than he might think.
Check out the story of La Brigada Feminista here!
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