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Mexico: creation of a CADTM launching committee
4 October 2018

A meeting was held in Mexico City, in the lecturers’ hall at the Faculty of Economics of the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM) on 1st October 2018 to launch the creation of a Mexican chapter of the CADTM. The UNAM counts four hundred and fifty three thousand students, teaching staff and administrative staff for the 2018-19 academic year. Alongside the University of Buenos Aires it is the principal university in Latin America. It was and still is a leading reference in social struggles.

The creation of this launching committee is the result of 25 years of fraternal amity and mutual support for the numerous movements that are active in Mexico.

The 30 delegates at the meeting were from a number of organisations: two from the piloting committee of the electrical workers’ union (Sindicato mexicano de electricistas –SME), a highly combative union that has played, and still plays an important role in global struggles; another delegate was from the union of the telephone services workers. This union has, for the last two years, been working on an audit of the Carlos Slim telephone corporation, which operates an international empire of telephone services; about fifteen UNAM and Puebla University lecturers from different fields (economy, sociology and engineering, among others); 3 delegates came from CONUR (the National Coordination of electricity users), who are currently moving for the abolition of user debts that have been generated by the privatization of the sector between 2009-13; others came from organisations struggling for gender rights, against public or private debts, against mega projects (such as dams or wind farms), GMOs, free trade agreements, farming monoculture. Most of the delegates did not mention any political party sympathies but some announced adhesion to the Revolutionary Workers’ Party, the Socialist revolutionary Coordination or MORENA, which is the party of the newly elected President. Delegates were also present from the states of Puebla and Jalisco (Guadalajara). Mexico is a federation of 32 States including the Capital territory of Mexico City.

The SME offered to provide meeting rooms and office premises for the new CADTM Mexico.

A provisional coordinating committee of six members was established. The Launching Committee will hold its next meeting at the UNAM on Tuesday 6th October at 1 pm.
The meeting was called at the end of September 2018 during four lectures on the issue of illegitimate debts by Eric Toussaint.

The first occurred on Wednesday 26 September. Eric Toussaint, the author, introduced The Debt System at UNAM before an audience of 80 people, made up of a dozen university lecturers along with graduate and post-graduate students. The event was transmitted live on internet and questions came both from the live audience and from the internet audience.

On the 27th Eric Toussaint gave a video interview to “Digital Regeneration” (, which is the web portal for the President-elect AMLO (Andrés Manuel López Obrado, who was newly elected in July. The portal has, on average, 100,000 visits daily, 3 million a month. The interview will be published in the coming days.
On the same day a march was held to demand truth and justice for 43 activist students that disappeared on 26 September 2014 and are believed to have been assassinated ( 

On the following day CADTM gave two lectures: at 11:30am. in the main auditorium of the very vindicative SME before an audience of 130 See in spanish;

Before this lecture, Éric Toussaint met with leaders of the SME (Martin Esparza, general secretary, Humberto Montes de Oca, in charge of international relations and X. Bombadilla, in charge of internal / domestic affairs), who expressed their enthusiastic support for the creation of a CADTM in Mexico.

The second lecture was at 4:30pm. in the Workers’ Union cultural centre within the UNAM. The union “STUNAM” has 27,500 members from the university’s administrative staff and another 5,500 of teaching staff. This lecture was attended by an audience of 140. They were mostly activists from popular districts struggling for the abolition of users’ debts towards the electrical distribution companies which were privatized as from 2009. Women, who play an important role in this struggle, were very numerous. Between the two presentations, at around 2:30pm. Eric Toussaint went to meet the demonstrators on a picket line demanding the abolition of just such debts. He was invited to address the crowd to explain the action of the CADTM. Every day for the last three months the picket line has been maintained by 400 demonstrators, working a three shifts a day system. The picketers are mostly women, some of whom travel over 100km to take part.

A march by two thousand demonstrators, mostly young women, demanding that abortion be decriminalized took place on the same day
The Debt System was again presented on Monday 1st October at the UNAM faculty of economics ( ). The auditorium of 80 places overflowed with an audience of nearly a hundred, mostly students with some professors.

Eric Toussaint gave four lectures in four days to a total audience of nearly four hundred.
The tour of lectures spotlighted that the question of illegitimate private debt is very much alive in Mexico, particularly among the popular classes, who are deeply affected by the privatization of the electrical sector. They are organised into numerous, very active, associations. With the SME they prevent the cutting off of users in payment arrears.

Also, the Mexican public debt is coming back to the forefront. When the President-elect, AMLO will take office in December 2018 he will be confronted with the bullying of the national and international creditors keeping him from fulfilling his electoral promise of increasing social spending. As a result, more and more people are convinced that an audit is essential as a significant step towards suspending payments.

Translated by Mike Krolikowski