Mexico

Community Empowerment in Southern Mexico

When Ben Achtenberg and his wife Emily joined the Grassroots International delegation to Mexico, he brought his camera and an eye for picture-taking, along with a deep history of engagement with global movements and political activism. You can read more about Ben's observations on his blog (Caring for Survivors of Torture), starting with "Indigenous farmers are protecting a way of life and a vital resource for the future...."

The whole blog appears here, with a snippet below:

Climate Change, Learning Exchanges and Your Coffee

Nearly 75 percent of Mexico’s coffee is dying. A fungus (known as la roya, or rust) is working its way across the coffee fields in Oaxaca, Chiapas and other states, threatening to ruin farmers’ livelihoods and severely impact the supply of coffee that growers export around the world.

The rapid spread of the Roya Fungus is rooted in two global phenomena: climate change and trade agreements.  And small farmers are organizing to adapt to the first, and confront the second, with remarkable innovation and courage.

Trans-Pacific Partnership vs. the People and Planet

The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), a potentially disastrous “trade” deal, fundamentally undermines economic and social equality, environmental protection, and human rights. With Congress poised to vote on the Obama-touted deal, it’s time to expose the false promises of the TPP.

The final TPP text was finally released in November after seven years of secretive negotiations, during which 500 official U.S. trade advisors representing corporate interests had special access and Congress, the public and press were shut out.

Celebrating International Day of the World's Indigenous People: A Photo Blog

Since 1994, August 9 has been dedicated as the UN’s International Day of the World’s Indigenous People. The primary purpose of this commemorative day is to help promote and protect the rights of indigenous people around the world. 

Stories of Victory and Struggle from 2014

Grassroots International and our global partners are leading the way in developing sustainable solutions to the biggest challenges facing our world. From farming cooperatives and seed banks, to passing laws that protect ancestral lands and defending the human right to land, water, and food,  together we take on big struggles and win important gains. Below are just some of the successes achieved in 2014 with support from Grassroots International, standing up to challenge poverty, climate disruption and human rights abuses.

Moving Towards an International Declaration on the Rights of Peasants

Migration, Food Sovereignty and Land Rights: A conversation with Carlos Marentes, Sr.

On this International Migrants Day (December 18), Grassroots International pays tribute to the courage and dedication of many of our partners and allies, internationally and in the U.S., who are working at the intersection of migrant justice and resource rights. One of these partners is Carlos Marentes, Sr., director of Centro De Los Trabajadores Agrícolas Fronterizos (the Border Agricultural Workers Center) in El Paso, Texas. A close Grassroots International partner and co-coordinator of Via Campesina North America.

Biodiversity and Creole Seeds Focus of Global Learning Exchange

Peasant groups from around the world joined an international agroecology learning exchange in Goiás, Brazil.

Which Ways Forward for Trade Justice

During the Engaged Donors for Global Equity (EDGE) conference in Berkeley, Grassroots International facilitated a discussion about the history and vision of social movement struggles for trade justice. Activists and thought leaders from Mexico, the US and the Philippines – including Grassroots’ allies and grantees – shared the first-hand damages of Free Trade Agreements versus the dignity of Trade Justice.

We co-organized the workshop with our allies at International Development Exchange (IDEX). Participants included:

The Contamination of Native Mexican Corn Varieties by GM Strains

This presentation was given during the final thematic hearing of the Permanent Peoples’ Tribunal in Mexico on “Violence against Maize, Autonomy and Indigenous Peoples’ Rights” in November, 2013. Gabriela Linares Sosa is a member of the Union of Organizations of the Sierra Juarez of Oaxaca (UNOSJO), a partner of Grassroots International and a leading indigenous voice in efforts to unmask the presence of genetically-modified (GM) corn in the Oaxacan countryside.

Monsanto Meets its Match in the Birthplace of Maize

On April 21, a Mexican judge dealt a blow to the efforts of agricultural behemoth Monsanto and other biotech companies to open the country to the commercial cultivation of genetically modified (GM) maize. The ruling upheld the injunction issued last October that put a halt to further testing or commercial planting of the crop, citing “the risk of imminent harm to the environment.”

In a fitting tribute to Mexican surrealism, Monsanto had accused the judge who upheld the injunction of failing to be “impartial.” I don’t know if the presiding judge smiled when he denied Monsanto’s complaint, but I did.

I had just arrived in Mexico to look at the GM controversy, and I could tell it was going to be quite a visit.