Dear Mexico Readers,
2010 marks the bicentennial of Mexico's independence from Spain as well as the centennial of the Mexican Revolution whose ambiguous outcome gave rise to the institutions that continue to hold Mexico in their corrupted grip a century later.
Now, amidst growing economic, social and environmental crisis, Mexico has been designated as the site for the Global Climate (COP or "Conference of Parties") talks in November 2010.
But 2010 looks to be a year of pain and reckoning in Mexico. The Mexican economy -- highly vulnerable to conditions in the US -- has cratered dangerously since financial larceny in the US that set off a worldwide recession. As Laura Carlsen reports in a recent article [Mexico and the Crisis of a Dependent Economy], Mexico has lost at least 600,000 jobs this year even as the economy continues to deteriorate.
Meanwhile, the ever-escalating drug war - a central feature of President Calderon's administration - has snuffed 6,300 lives since January according to the Wall Street Journal. 14,000 have died since Calderon took office following the tainted 2006 elections.
Also this week, two of Calderon's other top priorities -- energy privatization and union busting - brought tens of thousands of Mexicans into the streets for increasingly militant protests against the government's attempt to crush the Electrical Workers Union (SME).
Mexican Electrical Workers and Supporters Head to the Zocalo on Wednesday
Foto: Carlos Ramos Mamahua
Mexico might seem an odd place to hold global climate talks given the multiple crises confronting the country, but the choice provides a unique opportunity to reframe the climate debate.
To date, the climate conversation has been monopolized by corporate prattle about "cap and trade" and other approaches that delay genuine solutions to this looming disaster. It will be critical to bring forward the so-called equity issues in future debates. The failure to engage the issues raised by vast discrepancies in planetary wealth and development or to even create a viable framework for doing so, is the central reason that next month's Copenhagen talks are doomed.
The venue of Mexico DF was President Calderon's idea, but at the end of the day it will not be his show. The event, with 18,000+ participants, thousands of foreign correspondents, potentially hundreds of thousands of protesters and the whole world watching means that for a moment, Mexico, DF will be the place where the hopes and fears of humanity are focused. It represents a huge opportunity for international action and solidarity.
Throughout 2010, readers of this list will continue to receive timely information about issues in Mexico and the organized response of international civil society to the global climate talks that will be held there.
Until our next post, please check out John Gibler's coverage of clandestine organizing in Guerrero and the recent release of political prisoners Jacobo Silva y Gloria Arenas.
Finally, if you are interested in travelling to Mexico at the beginning of 2010 during the 16th anniversary celebration of the Zapatista uprising in Chiapas please contact Sneh Rao who still has room for you on our 2010 New Year's Delegation.
Thanks for your valuable time and attention,