For Maxima Acuna – a poem by Paul Vincent Cannon

2016 Goldman Environmental Prize winner for Peru, Máxima Acuña (Photo: Goldman Environmental Prize)

“This isn’t a cause of fear for me – it’s not a motive for us to stop fighting, to stop defending.” Maxima Acuna(when asked if she was worried given Berta Caceres’ assassination)

Maxima Acuna is a wife, mother, farmer, weaver, environmental activist who has had her home destroyed (twice), has been beaten unconscious with her daughter, has been physically beaten with her husband, and has had false charges laid against her. I really admire her tenacity, strength, and sense of justice in the face of pure evil in both protecting her way of life, her rights and the environment.

There is a short video worth seeing at –

For Maxima Acuna

In the Northern Highlands of Peru the
diminutive Maxima and husband Jaime
bought a farm in the Tragadero Grande,
they built a simple earth shack to raise a 
family, and they respectfully subsist and
produce while caring for the land
but came the miners with engineers, 
security, even local police to raise their 
home to the ground for a mining company,
some time later they returned to beat her
and her daughter unconscious and despite 
the recorded evidence no appeal to the 
courts would be heard, instead Acuna was 
blamed and false charges stuck against her,
resulting in an eviction order with huge fines,
until outside voices raised the alarm,
but the dismissal of the false charges has
not lessened the threat and abuse, beatings,
and intimidation of Maxima the farmer, the
weaver, the maker, the land and water carer,
who refuses to surrender the land and life
in her care.

Copyright 2022 ©Paul Vincent Cannon
All Rights Reserved ®️ 


Filed under awareness, Economics, environment, farming, Free Verse, injustice, life, poem, quote

24 responses to “For Maxima Acuna – a poem by Paul Vincent Cannon

  1. Heartwrenching, and inspiring … a compelling read Paul … and I’ll watch the video soon … thank you for sharing ..

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Maybe this poem/song by Natalie Merchant is appropriate Paul .. Lyrics/poem first, then the song …

    Where in hell can you go
    Far from the things that you know
    Far from the sprawl of concrete
    That keeps crawling its way
    About 1,000 miles a day?

    Take one last look behind
    Commit this to memory and mind
    Don’t miss this wasteland, this terrible place
    When you leave
    Keep your heart off your sleeve

    Motherland cradle me
    Close my eyes
    Lullaby me to sleep
    Keep me safe
    Lie with me
    Stay beside me
    Don’t go, don’t you go

    O, my five & dime queen
    Tell me what have you seen?
    The lust and the avarice
    The bottomless, the cavernous greed
    Is that what you see?

    Motherland cradle me
    Close my eyes
    Lullaby me to sleep
    Keep me safe
    Lie with me
    Stay beside me
    Don’t go

    It’s your happiness I want most of all
    And for that I’d do anything at all, o mercy me!
    If you want the best of it or the most of all
    If there’s anything I can do at all

    Now come on shot gun bride
    What makes me envy your life?
    Faceless, nameless, innocent, blameless and free,
    What’s that like to be?

    Motherland cradle me
    Close my eyes
    Lullaby me to sleep
    Keep me safe
    Lie with me
    Stay beside me
    Don’t go, don’t you go

    Liked by 1 person

  3. It is awful the lengths that greedy people will go to to get their hands on gold.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. People like me who are less than brave benefit from the courage of those like Maxima Acuna.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I just watched the video. 19th-century Manifest Destiny in the US has moved into the Southern Hemisphere. Appalling.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Paul, there is evil everywhere. Thankfully there are courageous people everywhere who stand up and fight back! A powerful and informative post!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. lync56

    Wow – I didn’t know this – we need this to be kept in our consciousness of what is really going on behind the fake news


    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.