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Indigenous Women Leaders at Rio+20 Available for Interviews

CONTACT: Kaitlyn Soligan, MADRE (212) 627-0444,

Indigenous Women Leaders at Rio+20 Available for Interviews

MADRE Partners Organize Around UN Summit

June 20, 2012–New York, NY– Twenty years ago, world leaders and activists gathered in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, in a historic effort to address climate change and environmental threats and their impact on poverty. As the anniversary summit convenes this week, MADRE partners are available to discuss the demands of the Indigenous Peoples' movement at Rio+20.

Since the first United Nations Conference on Environment and Development in 1992, governments have increasingly relied on corporate solutions to climate change, neglecting the sustainable alternatives we need. Twenty years later, we are faced with severe weather patterns and rising temperatures. A recent study warned that the Earth is nearing a "tipping point" at which the planet would undergo sudden, irreversible changes, echoing decades of warnings by environmental activists and women's rights groups, including MADRE.

It is time to hear from Indigenous women, whose communities have often faced the worst ravages of climate change and whose work draws on generations of Indigenous knowledge on natural resource management and sustainable living.

MADRE partners are available for interviews in Spanish. Please contact MADRE to coordinate.

Available for interview:

Otilia Lux de Coti is the Director of the International Indigenous Women's Forum(FIMI). She has served as a member of the Guatemala Congress and as Minister of Culture and Sports, and was Vice President of the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues from 2001 to 2007, as well as Representative of Guatemala to the UNESCO Executive Board in 2004 to 2007. She holds a degree in Educational Administration.

Tarcila Rivera is the Executive Director of CHIRAPAQ, an organization based in rural Ayacucho, Peru. CHIRAPAQ offers human rights trainings, distributes information on Indigenous cultures and rights, and investigates violations of Indigenous Peoples' rights. The organization also works to eradicate poverty and hunger in the Andean region through community programs that increase self-sufficiency and access to food and expand the community's economic base. An Indigenous Quechua from Ayacucho, she is a popular educator and renowned advocate for the international recognition of Indigenous rights. She has served as a resource person to the NGO Committee on Indigenous Rights, and she advocates for sexual and reproductive rights at the local, national, regional, and international levels.