In line with their mission to strengthen democratic participation through civil society, DECA Equipo Pueblo, a Global Council member and the Mexico and Central America sub-regional representative of the CSO Partnership for Development Effectiveness held a virtual press conference on January 15, 2021 titled, ”For the defense of civic spaces and an enabling environment for CSOs.”
Throughout the event, 11 civil society actors based in six different regions across Mexico from Baja California Sur to Yucatan, provide a complete picture of the challenges and struggles civil society face in the country as their rights to association, expression, and participation become increasingly limited.
The event speakers are:
- Laura Becerrra, Executive Director of DECA Equipo Pueblo
- Luis Pineda, Project Manager of Municipal Strengthening and Local Development at DECA Equipo Pueblo
- Miguel Concha, President of the Fray Francisco de Vitoria Human Rights Centre
- Rafael Reygadas, Executive Secretary of SEDEPAC (Service, Development and Peace)
- Monserrat Flores Higuera, Executive Director of Society, Culture and Environment
- Carmen Novelo, Project Coordinator at ADL Visión Compartida
- Eugenia Mata, Director of IDEMO (Initiative for the Development of Oaxacan Women)
- Jorge Figueroa Cancino, President of the Sinaloa Council of CSOs
- Julio Cesar Hernandez, Director of IMAC (Mante Institute)
- Oscar Miron, Coordinator of the Veracruz Council of CSOs
- Margarita Argott, Coordinator of CSO Convergence
This event is part of a wider National Campaign launched by CSOs in Mexico to denounce the tendency of canceling civic spaces based on measures that are contrary to development. Close to 200 organisations and personalities have joined the National Campaign movement, demanding that the various spheres of government intervene to stop the closing of Mexican civic spaces.
More concretely, in this conference, the organisations that join the Campaign demand that the Executive reconsider the restrictive measures adopted in February 2019 and consequently push forward:
- A political dialogue to agree on joint strategies to reverse the progressive closure of civic spaces
- Compliance with the obligations of the Federal Law for the Promotion of CSO Activities
- The formalisation of a Special Promotion Program that obliges all levels of government, including state authorities, to implement public policies based on strengthening civil society
- Consultations with the legislative branch regarding possible reforms to formalise mechanisms for citizen participation
- Advancement of multi-stakeholder dialogues between governments, donors, recipients, multilateral agencies and the media.
- Measures and mechanisms that reverse the closure of civic space and create an enabling environment for CSOs
The full conference is available on their Facebook page on this link.
Civil society organisations in Mexico are not alone in their fight against shrinking civic spaces. Across the globe, a pattern of repression has been limiting the autonomy of civil society and people’s organisations.
In response, CPDE has led a campaign called Belgrade Call to Action, which asks United Nations Member States to act to reverse the closing and shrinking space for civil society, to stop the attacks on human rights defenders and the undermining of democratic participation, and to renew the prospects for an inclusive agenda 2030, and the full realisation of the SDGs.
The global civil society platform working on uniting CSOs on issues around effective development cooperation has also organised the National Campaign Against Shrinking Civic Spaces which calls for civil society and people’s organisations around the world to unite in urging governments to take concrete steps in protecting civic space.
Get to know more about the global pattern of Shrinking Civic Space and Belgrade Call to Action by downloading these explanation cards, prepared by CPDE. #