An ally of Greta Thunberg, Xiye questioned world governments for perpetuating and defending the harmful systems of colonialism and oppression.
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4 min read
This story originally appeared on México Desconocido
By Rodrigo Osegueda
Xiye Bastida, 19 years old and originally from Mexico, caught the eye of the world for her speech during the recent Climate Summit.
“Excellencies, President Biden and honorable heads of state, my name is Xiye Bastida , and I am a climate justice activist, born and raised in Mexico,” she began her speech.
In the virtual presence of forty world leaders, including Valdimir Putin of Russia, Xi Jinping of China and Joe Biden of the United States, Bastida criticized the current governments for “ perpetuating and defending the harmful systems of colonialism, oppression and capitalism ” . Due to her courage and oratory, the Mexican won applause and global recognition.
Xiye Bastida grew up in San Pedro Tultepec, State of Mexico , and is a descendant of the Otomí and Toltec communities. In 2015, a drought that hit his town, affecting the water supply and the farmers. Shortly before, she and her family had marched to the United States, where she was able to witness the ravages of Hurricane Sandy. Then he became aware that both the drought and the new extreme weather events are related.
“ “ Our lake was drying up because we had no rain. We live with the cycles of the Earth and that the rainfall does not come when it is the rainy season, it is very crazy. When it doesn’t rain, the land dries up, and we depend on it ”, he told Nexus Media .
Xiye Bastida and Greta Thunberg
Xiye Bastida began his activism by distributing propaganda at his school in Manhattan to warn about the climate crisis. He also created the organization P eoples Climate Movement, Sunrise and Extinction Movement Rebellion, as well as a platform for training activists who want to fight for the environment. In 2019, he summoned more than 600 students to protest the climate crisis.
“I realized that my mission was to promote climate and environmental justice, focusing on communities that have lived in balance with nature, before being targeted for exploitation and pollution,” he added.
That same year he received Greta Thunberg in Manhattan, whom he admires for her movement that is not limited to a political group, but to scientific issues. However, she does not like being called the “Mexican Greta”, which is why she wrote a book entitled “My name is not Greta Thunberg.” In the text, she clarifies that each one has a personal project, which gives strength to the struggle that they interweave. While Greta relies on scientific models, Xiye focuses on indigenous communities, drought and human rights abuses.
During this year’s Earth Day, Xiye Bastida appeared at the Climate Summit, where he questioned:
“They will tell us over and over that (young activists) we are unrealistic and unreasonable. But who is being unrealistic and unreasonable with these so-called unambitious solutions? “