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Zaida Catalán

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Zaida Catalán
Bertil Ericson/Agence France-Presse - Getty Images
Lived 6 October 1980-March 2017
© Sören Andersson/AP

Zaida Catalán (1980-2017) was a Swedish politician who was a member of the Green Party[wp] and leader of the Young Greens of Sweden between 2001 and 2005.[1] She was known for her work in animal rights[wp], equality and the sex purchase law (which she supported); she was a passionate human rights and environmental activist.[2] She was murdered while on a UN mission to the Democratic Republic of the Congo in March 2017.

Biography

Early life

Zaida Catalán was born in Stockholm but grew up in Högsby in Småland.[3] Her mother was Swedish while her father had come to Sweden as a political refugee from Chile in 1975.[4] She studied law at Stockholm University, obtaining a Master of Law degree.[5]

Political career

With a background as an animal rights activist she in 2001 became the leader of the Young Greens of Sweden. After two years as the leader of the organisation along with Gustav Fridolin[wp] and two years along with Einar Westergaard[wp], she resigned as leader of the Young Greens in 2005.[4]

In late 2008 she announced her candidacy for the European Parliament for 2009.[6] After an internal voting within the party she came fifth in the party's list for the parliament. After her personal campaign she received 16,300 in the election, which wasn't enough to get a place in the European Parliament.[7][6] After the Swedish general election in 2006 she was part of the Stockholm City Council for the Green Party.[6]

In December 2010 Catalán announced that she was to leave her work as a lawyer for the Green Party's parliamentary group and she was to start work as an expert on sexual violence for the European Union[wp] police work EUPOL[ext] in Goma[wp], Democratic Republic of the Congo[wp].[8][9]

Kidnapping and murder

On 12 March 2017, Catalán and another UN employee, American Michael Sharp, were kidnapped during a mission near the village Ngombe in the Kasai Province[wp] in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.[10] They were both found dead on 27 March.[11] Catalán was found in a shallow grave.[10] The body was beheaded[wp] presumably as some kind of ritual or statement from the executioners[12], and the head was not found despite the arresting of two primary suspects by Congolese authorities.[13] The UN was reportedly horrified when a grisly video of the execution of the two UN experts surfaced in April, 2017.[14]

On 29 March, Swedish authorities launched an investigation into the murder of Zaida Catalán; the Minister for Education Gustav Fridolin[wp] and the Prime Minister Stefan Löfven[wp] both expressed their dismay and sadness over her death and offered their condolences to her family.[15] UN Secretary-General António Guterres[wp] also offered his condolences.[16]

Criticism of the U.N. has been expressed about the U.N.'s approach to the mission of their two experts.[17] They were sent into a remote and violence-torn area on motorbike taxis with only an interpreter at their side and without much training, safety equipment or even health insurance, an "astoundingly irresponsible approach by the United Nations to an obviously dangerous and hugely important task."[18]

Homages to her memory

At February 20, 2018, a ceremony took place for the inauguration of the Zaida Catalan's Room at the Chilean Embassy at Sweden.[19] In 2018, NOHA foundation[ext] (Network On Humanitarian Action) also released a Scholarship program in her memory.[20]

Diverse

Quote: «Zaida Catalán (6 October 1980 - March 2017) was a Swedish politician who was a member of the Green Party[wp] and leader of the Young Greens of Sweden between 2001 and 2005. She was known for her work in animal rights, equality and the sex purchase law (which she supported).

Equality is one of the cornerstones of the Greens' ideology. They promised equal pay for equal work, breaking gender segregation in employment, splitting parental leave into three parts (one for each parents and one freely transferable including to a third person close to the child), fighting violence against women, quotas for women on the boards of stock market-listed companies, investments in school health (to fight mental health problems), laws against sexist advertising which perpetuate gender norms, improving sex ed, improving support to people who have faced abuse and a law on gender mainstreaming.

In line with this, the Greens are the most pro-immigration party, enthusiastically supporting open borders (or a world without borders). Its manifesto endorsed a liberalization of asylum laws (an automatic right to a permanent residence permit if an asylum seeker hasn’t been deported within 2 years, facilitating family reunification, people born and permanently residing in Sweden should automatically obtain citizenship); better integration (easier access to housing and jobs for new arrivals) and fighting discrimination.

Zaida Catalán was killed while on a UN mission to the Democratic Republic of the Congo in March 2017. On 12 March 2017, Catalán and another UN employee were kidnapped during a mission near the village Ngombe in the Kasai Province in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. They were both found dead on 27 March. Catalán had been beheaded and was found in a shallow grave.»[21]

References

  1. Aaron Ross: Two U.N. officials of U.S., Swedish nationality kidnapped in central Congo, Reuters on 13 March 2017
  2. Ida Sawyer and Jason Stearns: The U.N.'s Tragic Inaction on Congo, The New York Times on June 14, 2017
  3. Congo-Kinshasa: Two United Nations Workers Kidnapped in DRC, AllAfrica.com on 13 March 2017
  4. 4.0 4.1 Bodies of two UN investigators found in Congo - govt, Raidió Teilifís Éireann (RTE) on 28 March 2017
  5. Catalán Zaida / Candidates / Sweden / EU map: who signed ILGA-Europe's Pledge / Be Bothered - European Parliament 2009-2014 / Working with the European Institutions / How we work / Home / ilga[ext], ILGA Europe on 29 March 2017
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 Lydia Parafianowicz: Zaida Catalán: Getting the vote out for a greener Europe, The Local on 20 May 2009
  7. Rights Group: Congo Must Help Search for Missing UN Staff, VOA News on 25 March 2017
  8. MONUSCO: Search continues for abducted UN experts in DR Congo, Africa Times on 14 March 2017
  9. Zaida Catalan - det blir svårt att uträtta något bra, Jusektidningen Karriär on 12 February 2011
  10. 10.0 10.1 Kasai unrest: UN experts found dead in DR Congo, BBC News on 29 March 2017
  11. Congo finds Caucasian bodies where U.N. experts disappeared, CBS News on 28 March 2017
  12. Meurtre de deux experts de l'ONU: la RDC présente une vidéo, LaLibre on 24 April 2017 (In French)
  13. Kimiko de Freytas and Somini Sengupta: For 2 Experts Killed in Congo, U.N. Provided Little Training and No Protection, The New York Times on May 20, 2017
  14. Experts killed in the Congo, The Guardian on 24 April 2017 (UN 'utterly horrified' by video appearing to show murder of two experts in Congo)
  15. Wallström kräver att mordet på Catalán klaras upp, Dagens Nyheter on 29 March 2017 (Swedish)
  16. Krav på att mordet på Catalán klaras upp, Svenska Dagbladet on 29 March 2017
  17. Kimiko de Freytas-Tamura and Somini Sengupta: U.N. criticized for dangerous mission, The New York Times on May 20, 2017 (For 2 Experts Killed in Congo, U.N. Provided Little Training and No Protection)
  18. The U.N.'s Complicity in a Congo Murder, The New York Times on May 23, 2017
  19. Inauguración del Salón Zaida Catalán - Embajada de Chile en Suecia, Retrieved June 5, 2018 (In Spanish)
  20. Stipendium till minne av Zaida Catalán, Retrieved June 5, 2018 (In Swedish)
  21. Swedish woman who believed in "equality" and open borders executed and beheaded in Africa, Diversity macht frei on May 4, 2017

External links


This article based on an article Zaida Catalán (4 February 2018) from the free Encyklopedia Wikipedia. The Wikipedia article is publised under under an unknown license. In Wikipedia is a List of Authors available those who worked on the text before being incorporated in WikiMANNia.