Discussions in Mexico towards Cancun
Five Mexican movement initiatives towards the Climate summit in Cancun were
presented at two meetings during Foro Social Mundial tematico 2-4th of May
in Mexico City and at an ad hoc meting during WSF international meeting.
Partly the initiatives were linked to each other. Political content and what
organizations actually backs which initiatives was somewhat unclear. Partly
because some were not present at the first meeting as Klimaforum10 and Via
Campesina, partly because what to do and what demands to put forward is
still to be discussed. The five initiatives were:
1. The meetings without a name, afterwards others have labeled these
meetings Frente amplio, broad front, a classical Latin American left wing
concept. 6 such meetings has taken place. Participants are networks
cooperating internationally with Latin American movements on anti neoliberal and other issues, NGOs as Greenpeace and other rather main stream environmental
organizations as well as ecological grass roots groups.
2. Climate justice campaign towards Cancun, a Latin American campaign also
still without a name supported by Mexican organizations as RMALC, the network
against free trade that grow out of the struggle against NAFTA. This group
participates in the broad meetings and describes its purpose as participating in the open meetings to come to an agreement with the bigger environmental NGOs, often having international funding, on a common platform towards Cancun. (these environmental NGOs are sometimes mentioned as important as they are
organizing the climate campaign "Pintale la Raya al Cambio Climatico" -
http://pintalelaraya.org. It should also be noted that in general main
stream environmental organizations and Climate Action Network (CAN) groups in
Latin America are more radical than in the US or Europe but of course still far
from the position of ecological grass roots groups and a clear Climate Justice
Now standpoint, see Pintale la Raya al Cambio Climatico campaign as an example.
3. Organicaciones de base ; almost grass roots organization, and partly or
all Mexican Via Campesina. This was presented as a strand that was not
completly integrated in the other initiatives.
4. Klimaforum 10 - an initiative by ecological grass roots organizations
with social justice concerns on a radical platform similar to the Cochabamba and
Klimaforum09 declarations excluding the Climate Action Network and
tcktcktck campaigning promoted by Greenpeace and others. Some of the ecological
groups behind the Klimaforum10 initiative have more radical demands on emmissions, growth and social change than the environmental NGOs or even Climate
Justice Now but want to have a broad platform for the Klimaforum10 based on the rights of Mother earth, Human rights and migrant rights and the system change not climate change decalaration from Copenhagen.
In general Klimaforum10 people were more open about the content, both their
own and what they wanted for a common platform. They stated also where the
grass root ecological movements might differ from others. They said: they are for animal rights, and more to the point they are against capitalism but also
oppose socialism when it is developmentalist (desarollistas) which is the case
with many left wing political parties in Latin America and according to their
experience in the Mexican capital region. This is why they are all for the
Cochabamba declaration on the rights of Mother Earth with one exception,
the notion of socialism. They have been the only force in the climate justice
discussions here at FSM meetings on climate justice cooperation that have
positively mentioned the Zapatista kind of struggle while being scetpical
towards left wing parties. They were also the only ones mentioning the
systemcritical Mesa 18 in Cochabamba were indigenous groups and ecological
groups met opposing mining and other development projects causing social
and environmental problems in Bolivia and ALBA countries. This Mesa 18 was
not allowed to be part of the official Cochabamba meeting. That
Klimaforum10 mentioned Mesa 18 was not seen positively by some other groups present belonging to the Cochabamba main stream.
Klimaforum10 have 18 people engaged voluntarily and meetings twice a week.
They have contacted the foreign ministry for infrastructure support.
5. Local ecological grassroot organizations in the Cancun region. Fundacion
sin fronteras working on ecological issues and solidarity economy and
likeminded small groups in the region presented the situation. Danish Peoples Climate Action (mostly big NGOs of the tcktcktck kind having a coordination during COP15 in Copenhagen) have visited Cancun and a meeting for all interested took place.
The local "left wing" government have made and NGO with one person in key
position previously in the government. As the local grass roots
organizations are sceptical towards the left wing government and its record they have maintained their own cooperation but lack resources.
The first meeting was held on monday. It was chaired by a young person from
the Boell foundation which is linked to the German Green party and a main
donor to many NGOs and environmental projects in Mexico. The chair
intervened quite extensively in the discussion. The main contradiction in the Mexican wor towards Cancun was said to be the relationship with government. On whatissues was not presented which made the discussion obscure. Centro Mexicana de Derechos Ambientales seemed not against to have some contacts with the government while RMALC was opposed. Both groups participates in the broad meetings without name.
The discussion was extensive but did not make the political content much
more clear. There is a strong Latin American cooperation between well
established networks that used the meeting in Cochabamba to further develop their work towards Cancun. It was also clear that there were many Mexican grass roots organisations, especially rural, that had their own discussion on their own agenda. All Mexican groups stated that there was a need to develop more
consciousness about climat change and climate justice in Mexico.
The most clear political agenda at the first meeting was promoted by RMALC,
mainly stating it was climate justice and refering to Cochabamba and some
general climate justice agenda as Latin American networks have formulated
the issue. It was more presented as something that was well known already
and not to be contested rather than in a critical manner showing what the
differences could be in relation to other opinions or in relation to
possible internal differences.
A more clear political discussion seems to be hard to have as the broad
meetings was sometimes presented as only for information exhange and the
participants so far in spite of many meetings have not made their opinion clear. At other times the purpose was presented as enabling to come to an initiative later.
The general Picture can be summarized: On the one hand there was a Mexican
initiative emerging with RMALC as the key organization within the broad
meetings getting their legitimation from their established position as a
network working with many different summits and latin American networks as
the Hemispheric Alliance. On the other hands Klimaforum10 with
Ecocommunidad and like minded organization as key groups that have a long
term commitment to local ecological struggles also against the left wing
regional government that was funding the FSM tematico. These groups lack
international experience before going to Copenhagen, have coordinated the
ecological part of Mexican social forums earlier when it was not as much in
their mind coopted by the regional government. They also never recieved any
international funding. Apart from these two groups the third dominant actor
are environmental NGOs as Greenpeace and others often funded by Boell
foundation who all have a key position in the Frente amplio meetings. These
groups stated clearly their undecisiveness, that they wanted to have the
situation open including cooperating with CAN and not only CJN. Via
Campesina made it clear that they are going to have threi own process to find out their agenda in different parts of Mexico.
A problem seems that many Mexican groups except for the ecological grass
roots groups who have for long been working on climate and enverionmental issues
and RMALC who have a long record in international cooperation with other
networks are uncertain about the issue and want to wait and see tofind out were
possible cooperation partners are. RMALC and their closest coopèration partners
seems especially looking at tactics in relation to election that will take place
in thew whole region of Cancun the following months. Thus a clear political
picture is not possible until after this according some estimatyions. To get
support from the regional government is seen as a key element for getting reoruces by this group and then go to the federal government. Via Campesina had
announced a special meeting in Mexico City in connection to both FSM tematico and WSF International committee meeting. But this was postponed due to Mexican Via Campesina that needs more time to discuss their position.
Miljôfôrbundet Jordens Vânner, Friends of the Earth Sweden