They are not a flower for a day. Neither the election season result nor the Q4 response. NGOs have been around for more than 70 years in Mexico. Of course, over time, different political circumstances have modified their mission, operational structure, and patterns of social intervention. But any discussion about them must take into account their long history.
As explained by Luis Lopesleira, one of the founding fathers of development cooperation in Mexico, in Civil society and emerging peoplesNGOs were born in the 1950s, by the Mexican Social Trust of the Catholic Church, which was formed to address social issues. The result of this extension is the cooperative savings and credit movement, and the foundations of the Basque School of Social Work in Quiroga, devoted to training personnel specializing in this work. At the end of the decade, the National Center for Indigenous Welfare was born, the predecessor of the National Center for Indigenous Missions Assistance (Cinnami), which played an integral role in accompanying the reconfiguration of Indian peoples (https://bit.ly/3cJBEqY).
In the 1960s, on a Continent Shaken by the Cuban Revolution and National Liberation Movements, Publication Peoples Development And popular student protests are emerging, inspired by principles of Christian solidarity, organizations such as the Mexican Institute for Social Studies, the Promotion of Popular Development, the National Center for Social Communication, and the Mexican Center for Educational Studies and Economic and Social Development.
In the following decade, the Society of Jesus closed the Patria Institute and devoted its resources to cultural and educational promotion, an initiative in the service of grassroots projects. Organizations such as Analysis, Development, Management, and the Pueblo Team were also created. Enlightened by Paolo Freire’s editorial literacy theory, hundreds of grassroots groups have built a powerful movement for public education, health and housing.
The NGOs became the trade union space for the sectors of the critical intellectual to link them to the popular sphere. In addition to the organizational and awareness work they carried out, they acted as hinges connecting different worlds and built circles of social mediation and alternative development laboratories.
During the eighties, civil organizations developed with the main aim of interfering in the popular movement, with popular education tools. They were conceived as an instrument of social movement and worked with it in terms of self-management, class, and mass mobilization (https://bit.ly/2Pnnjrv).
The 1985 earthquakes dramatically changed the world of NGOs. The massive role of the citizen has given rise to a myth again: the self-organization of civil society as the seed and basis of a new order. Since then there has been an unprecedented proliferation of NGOs and support for international cooperation.
This association has been funded (and is being implemented so far) with ODA resources from first-world countries, and through embassies, private, multilateral and non-profit institutions, as well as its own funding campaigns. Receiving resources from abroad does not make them agents in the service of foreign powers or corporate interests. Although agencies like USAID and NED have an intrusive agenda and some grantees are willing to serve these purposes, the vast majority of NGOs do not accept this.
The rise of the new Cardinians in 1988 was the new earthquake on the horizon of civic organizations. He restored many party politics and electoral struggle. His approach to corporate politics ended in dropping N and its members into public servants.
At the same time, with the victory of Foxism, the old business association centered around private aid institutions and philanthropy, radically changed its mission and launched itself completely into the dispute over the space for international cooperation, positing itself as representatives of civil society. Organizations such as Mexicanos Primero or Mexicanos Contra la Corrupción, both headed at various times by Claudio X. González, were the vanguards of this initiative. Their power and resources allowed them to occupy a large portion of this space with relative ease in key areas such as education (https://bit.ly/39FnR2F). Today they play an important role in forming a right-wing opposition electoral bloc.
The attack on the right of businesses to assume themselves as a spokesperson for civil society does not mean that the country does not have a large constellation of non-governmental organizations (especially in the field of human rights) and citizen movements that genuinely defend popular causes outside the state.
Don’t be confused. Agreeing, as some do irresponsibly, to unacceptable interference by the United States Department of State in internal affairs is one thing, and to act according to the legitimate rules of the international cooperation financing game.
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