YPJ martyr Alina Sanchez remembered in Buenos Aires

Families, friends, and comrades gathered to remember doctor Lêgerîn.

A tribute to YPJ member Alina Sanchez (Lêgerîn Çiya) was held in Buenos Aires, Argentina. The young woman lost her life on 17 March following a car accident in Hesêke.

The tribute was organised by the Kurdistan Women Solidarity Committee and the Kurdish Women Movement in Latin America and was celebrated at the ATE (State Workers Association).

On Sunday 6 May, some 500 people filled the auditorium of the association to pay their tribute to the Argentinian doctor Alina Sánchez. Her family, representatives of women political and human rights organisations, deputies, representatives of the Plaza de Mayo Mothers, as well as members of the solidarity committees with Kurdistan from different parts of Argentina, joined the event. Students and friends of Alina who studied with her in Cuba were also there.

During the tribute there were speeches, messages of struggle, memories and stories about Alina. Her commitment and example were in every word said at the ceremony, as well as the pledge to carry on her work as a way to remember her.

The message of the Women's Movement

A representative of the Kurdish Women's Movement said that “all internationalist comrades who are participating to the struggle have brought new strengths to their own experience, especially Lêgerin. We know that internationalist comrades have been participating to the Kurdish Women's Movement, the Freedom Movement and the Rojava Revolution from the very beginning. They made a great contribution to this struggle and this movement has turned into a national universalised movement”.

The Women's Movement representative read a message written for Alina Sanchez in which it was remembered how Alina’s aim was to contribute to internationalism and develop the solidarity net to support the Kurdish struggle.

Messages from her friends in Latin America

A close friend of Alina Sanchez, Emi, read a joint message written by a group of friends who met Alina in Cuba. “She lived in Cuba like Che Guevara. In the Latin American women’s movements she lived like the feminists from Abya Yala. She lived in Kurdistan as a Kurdish fighter”. Emi ended her speech with the Kurdish slogan “Jin Jiyan Azadi” (Women, Life, Freedom).

Nora Cortiñas, from Plaza de Mayo Mothers - Linea fundadora, said: “Alina bravely decided to walk with other peoples. She was a branch, creating bridges. These solidarity actions generate peace. We will remember Alina and the other women murdered in Paris”. She then recalled her experience in Kurdistan, where she traveled to meet the Peace Mothers. “I have seen this land, this place, Kurdistan, I met these mothers, and even if we didn’t speak the same language we were together for days, we have been in a square there like we do here in our Plaza de Mayo. It is the same desire for struggling, the desire to have our beloved present, and this is what made us go back to that square every day”.

Claudia Korol, Latin American feminist, member of Pañuelos en Rebeldía also remembered Alina: “I want to talk about Alina’s smile - she said - this smile that would tell us that the women revolution must be carried out with joy. Alina went to Kurdistan to defend life, even behind bombs, to defend life. And we now here are celebrating Alina’s life”.

Marta Baravalle, from the Plaza de Mayo Mothers -Línea Fundadora-; María del Cármen Verdú (representative of CORREPI), also spoke.

Adriana Guzmán, from Communitarian Feminism Bolivia said: “We are feeling on our body the attack against Afrin, this far away city, difficult to recognise, thinking of our practice, how to continue the solidarity struggle, thinking to the next step, being consistent with what we are saying on the Kurdish issue, thinking how to do, how to make solidarity with such a far away cause, knowing our problems in Bolivia… it was then when we learned about Alina’s death (…) and we reaffirmed the need for a women committee for revolution, here, there, everywhere”.

The Women Committee in Solidarity with Kurdistan-Argentina, read a text in which they remembered Alina. “Friend, comrade, fighter. She did not think twice and faced patriarchalism and capitalism”.

She was full of life

Alina’s family remembered her as full of life. The mother, father and brother of Alina also said a few words.

Her mother, Patricia, said that “Alina is full of life and will always be. When I went to Kurdistan I was proud to see that Alina belongs to Kurds and has a special place in their heart. I felt like home. I was a mother to them, they are my children”.

Alina’s father said that despite his huge pain for the loss of his daughter he understood that she “had found her place in the world, and this place was among the Kurdish people. She was happy. She worked hard and opened a medicine university in Rojava. Alina was a brave woman. I am the father of a daughter who went much further than what I could imagine”. He remembered Alina telling him, when she was in Iraq: “Dad, you don’t know the kids I saved, if something happened to me one day, don’t cry, I have done a lot”.

Alina’s brother, Juan said: “She treated people as equal. She was happy with what she was doing. She loved people and she connected with people. Alina lives in the hearts of the Kurds”.

At the end of the tribute, feminist journalist Lilian Daunes read a poem by the late journalist Alejandro Haddad, who always struggled for the Kurdish people in Argentina.

A Kurdish music concert closed the event.