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The Silent March Of Italy’s 'Recession Widows'

LA REPUBBLICA (Italy)

The widows of men who committed suicide because of their economic situation in crisis-ridden Italy have marched in front of the Italian Revenue Office in Bologna.

The silent protest Friday was led by Tiziana Marrone, whose husband Giuseppe Campaniello died after setting himself on fire in front of the Revenue Office to protest against a tax level he deemed unbearable. It was one of what officials say is a disproportianately high rate of economic-related suicides in recent months.

Calling themselves the "White Widows," the group carried white banners and handkerchiefs. Though emotional, the protest was demonstrably peaceful compared to what happened on Thursday when a man armed with a shotgun and two pistols took a dozen tax office employees hostage in the Lombardy region, complaining about his accumulating tax debts. After a standoff, the man released the hostages unharmed and was arrested.

Read the original in La Repubblica

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Indigenous Women Of Ecuador Set Example For Sustainable Agriculture

In southern Ecuador, a women-led agricultural program offers valuable lessons on sustainable farming methods, but also how to end violence.

Photo of women walking in Ecuador

Women walking in Guangaje Ecuador

Camila Albuja

SARAGURO — Here in this corner of southern Ecuador, life seems to be like a mandala — everything is cleverly used in this ancestral system of circular production. But the women of Saraguro had to fight and resist to make their way of life, protecting the local water and the seeds. When weaving, the women share and take care of each other, also weaving a sense of community.

With the wrinkled tips of her fingers, Mercedes Quizhpe, an indigenous woman from the Kichwa Saraguro people, washes one by one the freshly harvested vegetables from her garden. Standing on a small bench, with her hands plunged into the strong torrent of icy water and the bone-chilling early morning breeze, she checks that each one of her vegetables is ready for fair day. Her actions hold a life of historical resistance, one that prioritizes the care of life through the defense of territory and food sovereignty.

Mercedes' way of life is also one that holds many potential lessons for how to do agriculture and tourism better.

In the province of Loja, work begins before sunrise. At 5:00 a.m., the barking of dogs, the guardians of each house, starts. There is that characteristic smell of damp earth from the morning dew. Sheep bah uninterruptedly through the day. With all this life around, the crowing of early-rising roosters doesn't sound so lonely.

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