Speaker’s Tour 2022 – Overview activities

CATAPA’s next Speakers Tour is coming up!

From the 3rd until the 13th of March we have two Peruvian guests visiting us in Belgium: Rosas Duran Carrera, a farmer and activist from the Valle de Condebamba in Cajamarca, and Mirtha Villanueava, director of our partner organisation GRUFIDES. 

Their days will be filled with awareness raising, networking and lobbying events. They are here to share their struggle against large-scale mining in Peru and how standing up for their rights comes with the risk and fear of being intimidated, stigmatized and persecuted. During their visit, they will talk to students, local and European politicians, the press, civil society organizations and interested citizens. 

Here you can find an overview of activities in which you are able to meet them personally:


4.03: Kick-Off Speaker’s Tour + Public Action

4 March 2022, 18h45, Ghent. 

We start with an internal reception to give a warm welcome to our speakers with our movement, as well as a celebration to kick-off the speaker’s tour. Old and new Catapistas and CATAPA’s partners are invited. Didn’t inscribe yet? Fill in this form: https://forms.gle/v1DBtAh72NNGLqFw8

The Kick Off starts at 19h30, but before that (at 18h45) we already gather at Sint-Pietersplein in Ghent for a public action! During this action we will sing Cajamarcan protest songs, play music and call for the protection of our environmental defenders and for the implementation of the Right to Say No! If you register for the kick off, you will receive all the information about the action too. 


06.03: Ontbijt met een Rebel 

6 March 2022, 9h30, Ghent

It has become a tradition, our annual Breakfast with a Rebel! After a coronabreak last year, we are going for it again this year! Come and listen to five rebels on 6 March with inspiring stories from all corners of the world, while you can feast on the vegetarian breakfast buffet.

More information here.


8.03: Round Table: DEFENSORAS. Tierras que resisten en manos de mujeres

8 March 2022, 19h30, Brussels

Being a woman and defending the land is the double threat faced by women environmental defenders all over the world.

On March 8, we will listen to the testimony of defensoras from Peru, Colombia and The Netherlands/Bolivia. They will share stories about climate activism and their experiences and struggles within the defense of their territories, in order to promote solidarity and to connect different struggles for justice. They’ll also talk about the vital role of women in activism.

Join our cozy round table conversation and get strengthened by stories of hope and resistance of these inspiring Defensoras!

More information about the event here.



7, 9 & 10.03: Student events 

Our guests will go to three universities to talk in four events about their experiences with students. All these testimonies will be followed by an interactive session, in which we will determine some links between the universities and issues related to mining. Together we will brainstorm about solutions and think of ways to present these solutions to the rector!

Three of those four events are public! Also non-students are welcome to take part. Here’s an overview: 


12.03: Re-Connect Restart Party

12 March 2022, 14h, Antwerp

Rosas & Mirtha will share their testimonies at the Re-Connect Restart Party on the 12th of March! This is a Repair Café with all kinds of interesting workshops and sessions, which takes place at Circuit in Antwerp. Rosas & Mirtha will explain why the Right to Repair and going towards a more circular way to produce and consume metals is important to reduce our need for newly extracted raw materials. 

More information here


This year CATAPA is collaborating with Gent Fair Trade for the Speaker Tour activities that take place in Ghent. 

Mirtha Vasquez visits CATAPA

Mirtha Vasquez visits CATAPA

This week Mirtha Vasquez visited CATAPA. She is the director of GRUFIDES and the lawyer for famous environmentalist Maxima Acuña and is based in Peru. The purpose of her visit was to lobby and raise awareness for the Defensoras in Peru and Latin America through public events and a meeting at the EU. The visit laid the groundwork for a very exciting week here at CATAPA.

On Tuesday there was an event at the Pianofabriek in Brussels called Women, gender equality, climate justice: a case for Defensoras. Besides Mirtha Vasquez, Amelia Alva Arevalo who is a researcher at University of Ghent spoke of her current research that focuses on the implementation and exercise of the prior consultation of indigenous peoples in the Andean Countries. In June-July 2017, she was on an observation mission to El Salvador on human rights violations towards Defensoras. Furthermore, Nicky Broekhoven spoke about her research that is coming from a legal perspective and focuses on gender equality, women’s rights, and environment. She is also a volunteer at the Gender and Human Rights division of Amnesty International, and advocates for a mainstreaming of gender in questions regarding human rights. The event attracted a diverse and large audience and the Pianofabriek was filled to the brim. After the presentations there was also a Q & A session with all the speakers, leading to dynamic discussions about the issues that WHRDs face.

All rights reserved CATAPA

On Wednesday there was an event at the European Parliament aimed at raising awareness on the precarious situation of women environmental activists in Latin-America. Mirtha Vasquez did a presentation together with Dr. Clara Burbano-Herrera (University of Ghent). The presentations contained recommendations for the EU concerning the protection of HRDs and WHRDs in Latin America. Much interest was garnered from MEPs and NGOs with regards to how WHRDs can be protected, both within a legal framework and through attention garnered in various press publications. MEPs also asked questions about how they could include issues discussed in the presentation within free trade agreements (FTAs) and how they should be framed in an inclusive manner.

Following the presentations of Mirtha Vasquez and Dr. Clara Burbano-Herrera there was presentations from both Florent Marcellesi (MEP Greens/EFA), Rapporteur for Opinion, and  Jordi Solé (MEP Greens/EFA), member of AFET and BUDG. The presentations were concerning the protection that the EU give HRDs and how their new strategies are supported by the budget. At the request of the various civil society organisations present they elaborated further on the real life impact of the EUs commitments. It was indeed very interesting to hear about similar issues coming from both the EU and individuals affected by their policies.

All rights reserved CATAPA

Of course there was also time for an internal meeting with Mirtha Vasquez and the catapistas to discuss the current situation in Peru and future collaborations.

It was a great pleasure to have her as a guest here at CATAPA and we are very glad that so many people showed interest in listening to her description about the current problems with the mining industry and WHRDs in Peru