ClimateCovid P1.6: Media Justice and Socio-Environmental Struggles During COVID-19 Time: Experiences from Mexico



Panel 1.6: Media Justice and Socio-Environmental Struggles During COVID-19 Time: Experiences from Mexico


“Panel Discussant”

Jéssica Coyotecatl (UC Santa Barbara)

“Yet Another Crisis: A community radio work during COVID-19”

Ana Salgado (Radio Tsinaka)

“Challenges for Community-based Media in Mexico Before and After COVID-19”

Mónica Montalvo (La Sandía Digital)

“Feminist Journalism & Land Struggles During COVID-19”

Ximena Torres (ZonaDocs)

Q & A

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3 replies
  1. Cambria Wilson says:

    Mónica, your talk was incredibly enlightening and so well articulated! It’s discouraging to think about how large of an impact the media has in shaping the narrative of COVID-19, since it caters to those in power. As Jessica said in the introduction, this highlights the top-down process and the spread of misinformation with strong tones of fear and perpetuation of power dynamics. This should be a time for promotion of mutual aid, solidarity within and between communities, and strengthening relationships between humans and the natural world. I admire that you, among so many others, are promoting this instead of succumbing to the fear. Reclamation of media as a tool for bottom-up communication is one of the most important things we can do right now. I recognize the challenges you specifically face in speaking out against Lopez Obrador and his corrupt policies in defense of the people, and I admire your bravery. Despite the dangers that social and environmental activists face by fighting for our wellbeing and condemning non-consensual projects of large corporations, here you are amplifying voices of the people. I didn’t know that the first industries to be labeled “essential” after the pandemic were that of mining and construction. That’s outrageous! It blatantly shows the structural issues that have exacerbated the effects of this pandemic. But, I’m hopeful to hear that land defenders are utilizing media to encourage mobilization through a wide variety of tactics. Music, infographics, flyers, etc. are all incredibly valuable and this talk did a great job of stressing that.

  2. Daphne Prodis says:

    Thank you so much Ximena for taking the time to speak about such pressing issues happening in your local communities and your role as a journalist during this time of crisis. I admire your strength and perseverance despite the risks that you face on a daily basis by communicating these important stories of resistance against the injustices of Mexico’s government and transnational industries. As you pointed out, those brave women and men out there protesting and fighting for their human rights are fully capable of organizing their movements and defending their liberty, but your role as a journalist is also crucial in making sure their message is is properly brought to the public’s eye, and therefore a wide scope for influence and significant change. While these companies that are carelessly exploiting the land and its people purely for economic gain are difficult to tackle, especially when they are in cahoots with corrupt governmental officials, it’s media reporters like you that are so necessary to spread awareness and bring democracy back in the hands of citizens. I just watched the video you published on the zonadocs website, “#ANTIGRITA FEMINISTA EN GUADALAJARA: ¡VIVA NUESTRA DESOBEDIENCIA Y REBELDÍA!” and used the english traslator in youtube settings to understand it and wow! was so impactful and inspiring to hear first hand from women protesting and bravely standing up for their rights. I am eager to learn more. Again, thanks so much for reporting on such pertinent subjects, especially in relation to feminism.

  3. Elizabeth Melena says:

    I want to thank you all for sharing your stories, thoughts, and concerns with us. It was very inspiring and motivating to hear how all of you are working hard to build strong, resilient communities!

    Ana- The work you are doing in Pueblo is amazing. I love how the radio station is working with other organizations to ensure the safety of the residents. I recall it being stated that when COVID-19 first came about, all government announcements were made in Spanish. This too happened in my hometown in California, where a number of residents are indigenous. It is unfortunate that these kinds of events happen, however, I personally believe it mobilizes us, good citizens, to push for something much greater and out of this world. What I thought was extremely important and you covered in your story was how capitalism is a source of all crisis. I agree! Nowadays, especially in the older generation, I have noticed many individuals shadow the idea that capitalism exists. While this behavior is caused by them accepting and getting comfortable with the idea, I think it is extremely important that we bring the problem to the forefront, holding discussions with family, friends, coworkers, and any other peers in our social groups.

    Mónica- Your lecture was very encouraging as well. You mentioned that Mexico is ranked in the top 10 most dangerous countries for environmental activism. I applaud you for stating this fact and speaking up against the injustices that are positioned on you, your community, and all of civilization. It takes a courageous woman to speak up, and take action, so thank you! Something that you mentioned and I found heartening was that community platforms are sharing traditional health knowledge about plants to strengthen the immune system. Being a Hispanic woman with all cultural and ritual practices stripped away from me as a child, I find a sense of comfort and hopefulness that one-day l will regain my identity. Though my family has eurocentric views, I am already finding the courage to cross borders into a life where I am connected to the earth, just as my ancestors were.

    Ximena- Big applaud you! I know your work is not easy and you are probably constantly enduring many hurdles. You mentioned that there is a difference between territory and life. While I always connected the two as being integrated as one, I totally understand now how the two are its own identity. As language and communication are key, I appreciate how human rights issues are being recognized in journalism. Due to your hard work, wider audiences are now gaining knowledge, organizing, and standing up to the injustices that are inflicted on us. THANK YOU!

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