I am a woman from the Amazon, a solo mother of two girls, I dedicated myself to raising them with the help of other women in my family. We had a life of militancy for rights in an agrarian reform settlement in the north of the country, more specifically in the state of Pará, one of the most violent states for forest and human rights defenders.
My life changed completely when in 2011 I had my brother and sister-in-law murdered, they were leaders of the place where we lived, the cause? They denounced the illegal exploitation of timber, illegal occupation of public land and various violations against human rights, from that day on they killed along with them a little of us, they killed our references of dedication to protecting the forest and also our peace. We found ourselves crying for our dead and asking for justice, justice that even 11 years later we still do not have.
In the paragraphs above, in a very brief way, I tell a part of my life that was absolutely a watershed. Claudelice before and after the murders, of a pain so deep that it would change my story forever. Life in my community in the interior, on the edge of the woods with Zé and Maria alive, godfathers to my daughters, the eldest calls him Father because he was the example of this one she did not have (Claudia's father died when I was 3 months pregnant). Where I young had dreams so big and alive in my hope that that world was my perfect world. And the after, where I just tried to overcome "licking the wounds" marks so deep that I still wonder if I will ever really forget, if only for a day.
Me and my little girls, that time we had no idea of what was ahead, standing on the left Claudia and on my lap my youngest Dorothy, today they are 20 and 16 years old.
The fight for justice somehow makes me take the impetus of my own pain, not let this pain paralyse me, but give me courage to never be silent or omit myself in the face of injustices, counting on the support of family members and companions of the social movements. The journey for justice while we also fight for the memory of Maria and Zé's life of struggle also comes with death threats.
So Aura found me and I found Aura, it was extraordinary, and I knew that one day something wonderful would happen in my life, and that it would involve other women, because these elements are and always have been my universe. And the way Aura came was magical.
My first ritual with Aura, I remember burning things I no longer wanted for myself.
Everything flowed in such a way that I went from a moment of total emotional fragility to a moment of self-knowledge, healing of pains, care for physical health and significant improvement in the potentialities of human rights activism in my country.
Being connected with Aura enabled me to be well enough to finally create the Zé Claudio e Maria Institute, an organisation named after my brother and sister-in-law. In the IZM we continued the work they were doing and in networks with other organisations and defenders we were able to give support to defenders who were threatened for fighting in defence of human rights. During this period, with the support of another organisation, we also bought Casa de Respiro, a shelter for defenders who have been threatened and need to be exiled from their place of conflict. Today we are in the process of improving both the therapeutic architecture and the policy of displacement and reception of defenders who ask us for this type of support.
Cover of the website of the organisation I coordinate, named after my brother and sister-in-law.
Meet Instituto Zé Claudio & Maria
I keep finding in women's circles that portion of love and care that warms the heart and mind, that is what Aura represents for me, to look at myself, to look at the past understanding that I am no longer there, to look at the now as the possibility of my life and the future where all my dreams fit.
Place where I met with aura, in Dunur, Ayr in Scotland.