AUSTIN: Sandra Lima, Latin American Revolutionary Women Honored at Lecture

Photo: A presenter discusses Comrade Cecilia Hidalgo, an Ecuadorian revolutionary who led the National Health Workers Union in the 1990’s and helped bring militancy back into the workers’ movement

By Dmitri Sans

On Monday, revolutionary organizations gave presentations on the lives of Brazilian Communist Sandra Lima and other women revolutionaries from Latin America.

The lecture was co-hosted by Popular Women’s Movement-Movimiento Femenino Popular (PWM) and the Committee to Support the People’s Struggle in Brazil (CSPSB) and included talks on revolutionary women in Mexico, Ecuador, Peru, and Brazil.

Comrade Sandra Lima, who passed away in 2016, was given special recognition as a proletarian heroine who had helped found the Brazilian Popular Women’s Movement (MFP) in 2000. She had lived, worked, and fought alongside the masses since she was a teenager in Belo Horizonte and helped mobilize support for renowned peasant struggles of the 1990’s like the Battle of Santa Elina and the Red Flag Village.

A presenter discusses Sandra Lima and the revolutionary women’s movement in Brazil

It was Comrade Sandra Lima’s tireless commitment to anti-revisionism and political debate that laid the groundwork for the PWM in Brazil, such as her participation in a confrontation against the reformist October 8th Movement in 1995. Through actions like these, she was able to draw women away from the dead-end of electoral politics and towards involvement in Brazil’s revolutionary movement for New Democracy.

Having suffered from different illnesses throughout her life, Comrade Sandra Lima succumbed to a brain tumor on July 27, 2016. “Comrade Sandra, I wanted you to live a thousand years because we need you. Because the poor masses of our country need you,” one comrade said at her wake. Her casket was draped in a red flag with a hammer and sickle.

After the presentations, a discussion was held, with a focus on how activists in the US could model the devotion and discipline of Comrade Sandra Lima, and other women revolutionaries mentioned during the presentation like Comrade Norah, a former leader of the Communist Party of Peru. One woman, a Brown Beret from San Marcos, said that she had seen people come and go from the movement or sell out, but that she had persisted in her commitment to revolution because she is sick of the horrors that accompany present day society.

Presentation on Comrade Norah (Augusta La Torre) and the Peruvian revolutionary women’s movement

One presenter answered that Comrade Sandra Lima was able to contribute so much over the course of her life towards advancing revolution in Brazil because of her ideology. She discovered The Origin of the Family, Private Property and the State by Friedrich Engels when she was young and ever since applied Marxism to her work developing the women’s movement in Brazil. She is remembered for by a phrase she repeated throughout her life: “Brazil needs a revolution!”