Zimbabwean activists are fighting against the violence and oppression their country has felt under president Robert Mugabe, who was named Foreign Policy's "second worst dictator in the world," after North Korea's late leader Kim Jong Il:
"Mazvarira was abducted in 2000 from her home in Chivhu, a small town south of Harare, and raped by two ZANU-PF CIO officers after her 17-year-old daughter, an MDC organizer, was killed by a petrol bomb. Mazvarira contracted HIV from the assault. 'They told me, ‘You and your daughter are Tsvangirai’s bitches.’' When Mazvarira went to the police station to report the attack, the officer in charge refused to hear her case. 'The police are only ZANU-PF,' she said.
"The two women are not placid about what happened to them, but what converted them from victims into activists is that they were never able to hold their attackers to account. 'The government won’t help us. No one can help us. It is up to us, ourselves, now. That is where we are.' In 2009 Munengami launched Doors of Hope, a nonprofit organization that supports and speaks for victims of politically motivated rape. Doors of Hope now has 375 members from all over the country. 'We are standing for women,' Munengami said. 'Those so-called war vets raped so many women during the liberation struggle, but they don’t want to talk about it. So we are going to talk about it. Whether it’s 1975, or now, we don’t want this to continue. We have had enough. We are sick and tired of being quiet. Where has silence got us?'"
PUBLISHED: April 15, 2013
LENGTH: 10 minutes (2744 words)
A look at the Oglala Lakota people of the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota, and how they've preserved their identity and customs after more than a 100 years of a tenuous relationship with the U.S.:
"Buried deep within the pages of the 2010 Defense appropriations bill, signed by President Barack Obama in December 2009, is an official apology 'to all Native Peoples for the many instances of violence, maltreatment, and neglect inflicted on Native Peoples by citizens of the United States.' The resolution commends those states 'that have begun reconciliation efforts with recognized Indian tribes,' but there is no mention of reparations, nor of honoring long-broken treaties.
"White Plume lit one of his rolled-up cigarettes and squinted at me through a ribbon of smoke. 'Do you know what saved me from becoming a cold-blooded murderer? My language saved me. There is no way for me to be hateful in my language. It’s such a beautiful, gentle language. It’s so peaceful.' Then White Plume started to speak in Lakota, and there was no denying the words came softly."
PUBLISHED: Aug. 1, 2012
LENGTH: 16 minutes (4082 words)