In Central America, social organizations and collectives with visions for a just society are primarily able to intervene in public discourse. The office promotes democratic participation from below and organizes civic education events for socially and politically marginalized segments of the population. Alongside these activities, the RLS also brings them into dialogue with left-wing and progressive parties in order to facilitate access to political participation. In this context, the Stiftung’s focus is on global social rights and their enforcement. We strengthen trade unions, indigenous organizations, women’s collectives as well as LGBTI and human rights groups in their capacity to utilize their political rights and increase their social impact. Here, our work focuses heavily on the rights of indigenous groups, women, young people and members of the LGBTI community.
Socio-ecological alternatives, land and territory
In rural areas across Mexico and Central America, an economic model based on the predatory extraction of natural resources and agricultural monoproduction is destroying the livelihoods of a largely indigenous population. Not only do the extractive industries (mining, oil and shale gas) and agro-businesses fail to benefit local economies, they also have disastrous environmental and social impacts that have left entire swaths of land uninhabitable. These issues are aggravated by mega-projects such as dams. Instead of generating energy sustainably, they contribute to the destruction of habitats and nature. But local communities are developing their own alternative approaches to this form of predatory capitalism, and the office supports them in articulating and carrying forward viable solutions.
Faced with destroyed livelihoods, excessive violence and repression on a daily basis, many Mexicans and Central Americans have no other option but to leave their homes. The RLS supports migrants and their advocates in pushing for their right to migration, which must include their human rights and their right to bodily integrity as much as their right to remain and to a decent life in their home communities.