Las Mujeres Hablan (The Women Speaking) is a network of local activists working in Northern New Mexico, USA, to protect their peoples and lands from the nuclear weapons industry.
The women work locally for global disarmament. Since 1943, Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) has occupied the sacred ancestral homelands of the Pueblo Peoples and displaced Hispanic homesteaders with the establishment of the Manhattan Project on the Pajarito Plateau in the Jemez Mountains.
Over the past decade, the U.S. Department of Energy, which owns LANL, has pushed to expand manufacturing of plutonium triggers for nuclear warheads to 450 per year. Las Mujeres Hablan played a pivotal role in mobilizing disenfranchised downwind and downstream communities to successfully limit production to 20 triggers per year. Nevertheless, LANL is the only U.S. facility that manufactures plutonium triggers.
The women attribute much of their success to self-training on the technical issues of the nuclear weapons industry. They say that this knowledge has been essential for building working relationships and influencing key federal and state decision makers. Their work looks not only at the impacts of LANL today, but on future generations.
As women, we are not afraid to take comfort in what we know and to speak it and be true to our spirituality. -- Las Mujeres Hablan.
Las Mujeres Hablan includes:
Joni Arends, Concerned Citizens for Nuclear Safety
Marian Naranjo, Honor Our Pueblo Existence
Sheri Kotowski, Embudo Valley Environmental Monitoring Group
Kathy Sanchez and Beata Tsosie-Pena, Tewa Women United
Holly Beaumont, New Mexico Conference of Churches
Paula Garcia and Quita Ortiz, New Mexico Acequia Association
Clarissa Duran, Community Service Organization del Norte
The declaration of independence - from nuclear weapons, Huffington Post, 9 December 2009.