I write this in english so it can be circulated also here among CJN people.
The situation here seems interesting. On the one hand Klimaforum backed by
a few very small ecologist grass root organizations, on the other hand
Frente amplio who is set up for information exchange between many
environmental organisations and anti neoliberal networks. On the paper the
Klimaforum organizations can be seen as almost negligble in sice compared
to the more resourceful organization within the Frente amplio.
It took some time to find out about the political content. At a meeting
during FSM tematico four Mexican initiatives four strands were presented.
Both political content and what organizations actually backs which
intiatives was somewhat unclear. Partly because some were not present at
the first meeting as Klimaforum and Via Campesina, partly because what to
do and what demands to put forward is still to be discussed.
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. The last ones according to one
source far away from the city centre and hard to reach. It is these
meetings that Latin American social movements refer to in a recent letter
on Klimaforum as “a broad space of convergence and mobilization. This work
is the result of a call which went out among interested groups (including
RMALC, the Mexican organizations which are a part of the "Drawing the line
Change" campaign, Other Worlds, organizations from all social sectors
including members of Via Campesina and some NGOs which are a part of
2. La Rumba de Cancun, I am not for certain about this name but a Latin
American campaign for climate justice, and possibly wider ; question mark ;
supported by Mexican organizations as RMALC, the network against free trade
that grow out of the struggle against NAFTA.
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 third
4. Klimaforum 10
A 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 Mexicom (in the letter
some NGOs which are a part of
this struggle) . Boell foundation has different strands within itself and
it seems like the Mexican environmental office belongs to the more
progressive side of the foundation.
The chair intervened quite extensively in the discussion. The main
contradiction in the Mexican work towards Cancun was said to be the
relationship with government. On what issues 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 Frente Amplio meetings.
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 agenda.
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
difference could be in relation to other opinions or in relation to
possible internal differences.
The more clear political content here in Mexico was instead developed as a
discourse against Klimaforum10 instead of formulating the own agenda. This
seems to be impossible as the Frente amplio meetings a for information
exhange and the particippants sop far in spite of many meetings have not
made their opnion clear.
The general Picture can be summarized: On the one hand there was a Mexican
initiative emerging with RMALC as the key organization within the Frenta
Amplio 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 ahve a key psotion in the Frent amplio meetings. These
groups stated clearly their undecisiveness, that they wanted to have the
situation open including cooperating with CAN and not only CJN.
The information I recieved about the differences between the two main
initiatives can be presented as:
Klimaforum European, Frente Amplio-RMALC, truly LatinAmerican/Mexican
It is true that Klimaforum have links with Klimaforum in Copenhagen. The
Klimaforum declaration process was dominated by third world people. It is
true that the Klimaforum declartion process and Klimaforum was not
dominated by left wing parties. But it was not especially European. On the
contrary were the strong European NGOs excluded from influence by the
political platform denouncing false solutions, technofixes and a main trust
in market based solutions. It was a rebellion against the European main
stream NGOs with the help of global democracy. Within Frente Amplio there
are many European funded NGOs and projects who seems to be very influential
and that RMALC wants to be part of their intiative. Another way to put the
differences could than be: Mexican grass roots against main stream
progressive NGOs and networks with strong financial base in Europe.
There is also other arguments claiming that Klimaforum10 is European as
e.g. the name and in general that it lacks roots in Mexico/Latin America.
This has been expressed in earlie messages from Cochabamba meeting and is
now repeated in a more general language is a longer email from Latin
American groups on Klimaforum10.
Klimaforum10 is not respecting the reality of the struggles, identity and
history in Americas which hás been developed in the struggle against Freet
trade agreemnts anda t Peoples summits, Frenta amplio does
Ecocommunidad and others behind Klimaforum have participated in the
struggle against the free trade agreemtns from the very start. They are
also in the ecologuical and climate justice struggle from the very start.
The claim that Klimaforum10 has any other political base than that which
has emerged among systmecritical soscial moveemnts that address both socila
and ecological issue have no arguments from the actual political oplatform
as it has been discused by Klimafrum10. It was presented at the FSM
Defend the rights of mother earth
Defend human rights
Defending the right of migrants
It was also made clear what the Grass root ecological movements might
differ from others they Said: they are for animal rights, and more to the
point they are against capitalsim but also oppose socialism when it is
Developmentatist (desarollistas) which is the case with many left wing
political parties in Latin America and according to their experience in the
Mexican capital regional. 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 stated their
strong belief in 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 parto f the offcial Cochabamba meeting. That Klimaforum10
mentioned Mesa 18 was not seen positive by the other groups present
belonging to the Cochabamba main stream.
When it comes to the environmental issues the Klimaforum10 organizations
are open for discussion. They have a longer ciommitment to envrionmental
confrontational struggles that most other organizations in Mexico and
cetrainloy many of the NGOs at the core of Frente Amplio. These NGOs do not
want to to have a climat Justice Now platform but to also telate to CAN and
the Greenpeace style camágining on climate issues. Klimaforum10 with its
roots in Mexican ecoloigcal struggles fully support the CJN platform and
oppose this kind of CAN-Greenpeace kind of climate campaigning which they
regard as much a s resulto f transtional NGIO influence.
The claim that Klimaforum10 is not an expressing of a struggle rooted in
Mexican reailties have no political content nor is it correct when looking
at the history of the Grass roots groups that is behind the initiative.
Klimaforum is closed, Frente amplio is open
In the discussions Klimaforum10 is frequently accused of being closed while
Frent amplio is open. One of the main accusations is that Klimaforum10 has
degrowth in its political platform. This is false. The ecological
grassroots iare very open about how they got involved as ecocummnidad was
invited to Kliamofrum as they are promoting the Idea of degrowth. But they
also state clearly that the platform of klimaforum does not include
degrowth. When i confronted the RMALC reprsentative with Kliamforum10
rerpsentative with each other it turned out that the RMALC reprsentative
was not open for any discussion while Klimaofru10 was.
Klimaforum10 is right, frente amplio is left
Another way of presenting the two alternatuives is claiming the Grass roots
ecologistas as right and the frente amplio as the only progressive force.
It si true that the Klikaforum10 organizations are sceptica towards
clsoeness to left wing governemnts promtoing eoclogicall dangeroeus
projects and thinks that e-g- the FSM temático in Mexico city was to much
part of government propaganda and not independent. It is also true that
Klimaforum 10 have contacts with the foregn ministry to try to get
infrastructure resoruces in Cancun for Klimaforum10. It is also true that
the record of the garss root groups is independence to any government or
party. Frente amplio would probably in the end also apply for help from the
fedral government but have contacts also with the regional left wing
government and hope to Begin there. They condier the FSM in Mecio city with
its strong closeness to the left wing goervnment as a good model for
Cancun. They seem uninterested in Zapatistas and Mesa 18 in Cochabamab and
oprefer cooepration with Greenpeace and Boele foundation funded NGos rather
than ecological Grass roots organisations. Which initiative in the end is
system critical anjd not is with other words not possible to frame the way
it is rehorically done by infleuential organisations in Mexico Who use more
or less any argyumen they can find to avoid cooeprating with indedpendent
Grass root ecological movements.