November 28, 2023
Originally published by Peace Brigades International Netherlands on 9 November 2023
On Wednesday, November 1st, Mona shared her story with the students from the University College Utrecht. The discussion focused on Mona’s and her movement’s work in Bolivia, her stay in Utrecht, and her experience as an Environmental Rights Defender participating in Shelter City.
The lecture commenced with a presentation by Mona, in which she delved into various topics. Mona began by recounting her initial involvement with activism and the creation of the movement she is a part of. Throughout the presentation, Mona offered a comprehensive overview of the political situation in Bolivia and the ongoing Human and Environmental Rights violations perpetuated by the Bolivian government and private companies. Additionally, she underscored the significance of non-violence, a fundamental principle of her movement, and highlighted its successful track record as an alternative means of opposition.
The presentation was followed by a Q&A session. The students were very eager to engage with Mona and asked multiple very interesting questions.
Mona answered questions about the situation in Bolivia and the challenges both she and her movement have encountered. She also described how she has been able to rest in a safe space in a new environment. As well as how important it has been to share her story and spread awareness to many different people. Not only students but international organizations and the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
With more than 15 students attending, the flow of the questions never slowed until it was time to end the Q&A session. The students were moved by Mona’s story and wanted to write some encouraging words for both her and her movement.
Thank you to our Shelter City Utrecht partner, Peace Brigades International Netherlands, for organizing the lecture.