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Rural Democratization in Mexico’s Deep South: Grassroots Right-to-Know Campaigns in Guerrero

By: Jonathan A Fox, Carlos Garcia Jiménez, Libby Haight

This paper was written for the Center for Global, International and Regional Studies, UC Santa Cruz.

This study reviews the historical, social and political landscape that grounds campaigns for rural democratisation in Guerrero, including Mexico’s recent information access reforms and then compares two different regional social movements that have claimed the ‘right to know’. For some movements, the demand for information rights is part of a sustained strategy, for others it is a tactic, but the claim bridges both more resistance-oriented and more negotiation-oriented social and civic movements.

In Mexico’s southern state of Guerrero, rural social and civic movements are increasingly claiming their right to information as a tool to hold the state publicly accountable, as part of their ongoing issue-specific social, economic, and civic struggles.  Mexico experienced the first agrarian revolution of the twentieth century, followed by a regime that combined authoritarian rule with distributive reform. Though a decades-long political transition has since transformed a one-party regime into a multi-party competitive system, the rural democratisation process remains incomplete and contested. To shed light on whether and how rural state–society relations have changed in the process, this study analyses recent grassroots movements in Guerrero, a largely rural state in Mexico’s ‘deep south’ that shares levels of poverty and repression that are comparable to Oaxaca and Chiapas.

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Uploaded on: Dec 09, 2015
Year Published: 2009
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