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www.alliance21.org > What is the Alliance? > History of the Alliance > The Allies in the World Today

Latin America

We begin with Latin America because after the World Citizens Assembly in Lille in December 2001, the meeting of Allies of the South Cone in Rio de Janeiro in June 2002 was the first geocultural meeting held to envisage the future of the Alliance. It is important to underscore that this meeting was organized by the Allies of the South Cone as an independent initiative. It gathered roughly forty participants from Chile, Argentina, Uruguay, Paraguay, and several regions of Brazil, in particular from São Paulo.

After an evaluation of the Alliance experience in the region (some of the Allies who were there have been involved with the Alliance since 1993-94), the participants designated a group to be in charge of following and articulating the activities of all Allies of the South Cone. A specific Web site was set up, hosted by CTERA, the Confederation of Argentine Education Workers, and facilitated by Laura Maffei (http://www.ctera.org.ar/Web/Inicio.htm). The Web site is updated approximately every two weeks, with Laura and the Regional Coordination Team constantly calling on the Allies to send information on their activities in order to keep the Web site alive. The Allies do not, apparently, send their information spontaneously. It is no easy task to move out of individual niches, reach out to neighbors, and build cross-cutting dynamics. The other regions, as well as the Thematic Workshops and the Socioprofessional Networks face the same difficulty.

During the June 2002 meeting in Rio, the idea of a Regional Citizens Assembly was brought up. But preparation for it has not begun. The region’s Allies have not, however, shelved the idea for good: preparation of a Regional Citizens Assembly has been postponed to when the networks of Allies are stronger.

For the Allies of the South Cone the objective, at the present stage of the Alliance in the region, is to advance progressively, on the basis of the different ongoing initiatives, toward the constitution of a regional network that is better structured and then to move on to a stage with greater scope, such as the organization of a Regional Citizens Assembly. Otherwise, there have been many opportunities for meetings in the region, in particular the Social Forums of Argentina (August 2002) and of Porto Alegre, which were opportunities for many Allies of the South Cone to meet.

Some of the Allies’ concern was to answer the Call for Initiatives, which had just been made public by the FPH (May 2002). For activities with a national dimension, Allies from Chile, Paraguay, and Brazil presented projects in answer to the Call. Others have carried out more independent activities, financed, when necessary, by other donors (national or from the North). The São Paulo Group facilitates, among other activities, the Drums for Peace (http://www.tamtamforpeace.org/), the circulation of the Charter of Human Responsibilities, the publication and circulation of the Proposal Papers in Portuguese, and “street conversations” during meetings and other events organized in São Paulo or in other Brazilian cities (during the Carnival of Bahia, for example, where the Charter of Human Responsibilities was circulated by groups of peace drummers).

Otherwise, the group set up for regional articulation and the more active Allies in every country are continuing Alliance-specific activities, such as the circulation of the Papers and discussion on the Charter. Other Allies have remained more-or-less scattered or haven’t contacted the FPH or the Regional Coordination Team. At the present moment, we cannot state that a truly regional dynamics is at work. The perspective of an action of greater scope and of subcontinental dimension, however, is still being considered as an approach that could reinforce the different initiatives.

Elsewhere in Latin America, Alliance activities are in progress mainly in Colombia, Mexico, and Ecuador in the form of answers to the Call for Initiatives. Joël Audefroy, facilitator of a community organization in Mexico, is pursuing the development of an international community network. The CINEP initiative in Colombia is just beginning. It aims to open a discussion on the Charter and to have a debate on the project of a World Citizens Parliament. The CINEP is also taking part in the preparation of the Colombian Social Forum (June 2003). From Ecuador, Fernando Rosero, a partner in the Family Farming, Societies and Globalization Network (APM http://www.zooide.com/apm/), intends to set up a training center for social leaders to follow up on the proposals of the Proposal Paper on that subject. The magazine Claves, newsletter of the Alliance in Spanish, edited and circulated by CEPSI in Ecuador, has stopped its publication for lack of financing. Eulalia Flor, head of CEPSI and facilitator of the Geocultural Group of Ecuador, has not undertaken any new initiatives. In Peru, the Bartolomé de las Casas Center, in charge of publishing the Proposal Papers in Spanish, released the first Papers in late December 2002.

In the other countries that have featured Alliance activities these past few years (such as in Bolivia) and where lasting partnerships have been interwoven (such as in Venezuela), the Alliance could once again become a forum for strengthening the different initiatives.


Gustavo Marin
Director of the Forum for a New World (...)
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