Victims of Massive Forced Sterilization Plan Seek Justice Through a Telephone Hotline

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Source: The Guardian / The Dawn News / February 2017

Esperanza and Teodula are calling for justice in rural Peru, part of 300,000 people sterilised without consent more than 18 years ago. The Quipu Project is their phoneline that allows victims across the country to share their shocking testimonies and ensure those responsible are punished.

Together with other affected women, activists and artists, Esperanza and Teodula are using technology that’s designed to reach those living in isolated communities. They have established the Quipu Project, a specially developed phone line connected to the internet allows women to share their stories in their own words, listen to others’ experiences and be heard around the country and the world.


The Quipu team travel across Peru to the regions that were most affected by the sterilisation campaign – impoverished villages in the Andes and Amazon. As they meet more people and collect their stories on the phone line, the real scale of the campaign starts to be revealed.

This documentary film follows the intimate journeys of these two peasant women fighting for recognition and women’s rights in a male-dominated society, while inviting others to join them in the hope that their voices will no longer be silenced. Featuring stunning landscapes and mass women’s protests around Peru’s 2016 election campaign, Quipu tells the story of some unlikely, inspiring heroes.

Find out more about the Quipu project and hear more testimonies on their interactive platform.

Key credits

  • Directors: Maria I. Court and Rosemarie Lerner
  • Producers: Sandra Tabares-Duque and Rosemarie Lerner
  • Editor: Javier Becerra Heraud
  • Executive producers for the Guardian: Charlie Phillips and Laurence Topham
  • Commissioned by the Guardian and Bertha Foundation
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