In a pronouncement published on February 26th, 166 civil society organizations criticized President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador (AMLO) considering that “the assessment and generalization” that he has made about organized civil society as well as its ethics and commitment is wrong and unjust. They recognized that “We are aware that not all citizens – organized or not – act in an honest and transparent manner and also those who use the needs and pain of others to profit. Of course, those actions must be sanctioned -no matter where they come from.” However, they stressed that, “like other agents of society, CSOs are diverse, plural, with different ideologies and objectives in a society that is complex, unequal and diverse, an expression of democracy”.
They emphasized that “although it is true that in past administrations organizations have been created for clientelist purposes and to support forces or political currents, it is not a phenomenon that can be generalized, we are not all equal, many have promoted and acted ethically in politics as we have already expressed on other occasions, solid democracies foster a strong civil society that favors the exercise of activities freely. It is the government’s responsibility to ensure a legal, inclusive, economic and political environment that encourages and does not discourage and harm civil society.” For this reason, they requested a dialogue with the president and “reconsider his administrative provisions, but above all, his judgments.”
In his morning press conferences and on more than one occasion, Lopez Obrador has questioned organized civil society and announced that CSO would no longer receive money from the public budget. “There was the bad habit of budgeting … funds were transferred to social organizations and there was no transparency,” AMLO said, for example. He also said: “I do not know who grabbed that from civil society, (that) the right, conservatism appropriated. It is very rare to find that there is a grouping of progressive civil society, and there are well-intentioned people, but in general, all companies promote bodies of the so-called independent civil society that there are, but of the people, not of vested interests.” He also disqualified the contributions of CSOs in their questioning of the creation of the National Guard
For more information in Spanish:
Llamamiento de las OSC a Andrés Manuel López Obrador Presidente de México (Pronunciamiento completo, 26 de febrero de 2019)
Es equivocado e injusto que AMLO generalice sobre las OSC, reclaman organizaciones (Animal Político, 26 de febrero de 2019)
“No todas somos iguales”, muchas actuamos con ética: organizaciones al Presidente (Aristegui Noticias, 26 de febrero de 2019)
‘Es equivocado e injusto que AMLO generalice sobre las organizaciones ciudadanas’ (Vanguardia, 27 de febrero de 2019)