Reasons for a Citizen Constituent
Neoliberal governments have altered the legal foundations of the Mexican social order to distort its Political Constitution and adapt the State, public institutions and the Right to the needs and demands of large companies and corporate groups basically foreign capital, in particular North American and American oil.
The works that various organizations, collectives, activists and human rights defenders have carried out within the Mexico Chapter of the Permanent Tribunal of the Peoples endorse these assertions. The understanding of the role played by free trade agreements that Mexican governments have signed with multiple countries around the world and, especially, NAFTA, which frames the country’s subordination to the United States, has been confirmed as an element explanatory key for the diagnosis that has been elaborated during the process. Likewise, the visibility and documentation of so many grievances against the people of Mexico confirm the neoliberal deviation of power that the State has exercised for more than thirty years.
Under the shelter of a manipulated interpretation of the constitutional norms and of the objective inconsistencies of the constitutional revision procedure in force, the Mexican political elite and the political parties used the presidential power, the authoritarian structures of government, the corruption of public servants and all type of social actors, as well as corporate social control and traditional clientelist practices, to usurp popular sovereignty, block the democratic development of public life and subordinate national interests to the satisfaction of certain private foreign and national interests.
The multiple constitutional and legal reforms imposed by neoliberal governments to facilitate the privatization of public assets, the deregulation of economic activities, the free trade of goods, the denationalization of the country’s riches, the plundering of natural resources, territorial spoils and the super-exploitation of the labor force, as well as the institutional dismantling and the progressive annihilation of public services and rights, are elements that corroborate the war that the neoliberal governments undertook against the social content and the nationalist principles of the Mexican Constitution.
Likewise, the acceleration of the processes of absolute dispossession and concentration of the means of production of social life, the generalized impoverishment of the population, the precarization of their material conditions of life, the migration and emptying of localities, the high levels of inequality , social disintegration, discrimination, exclusion and marginalization, irreversible ecological damage and environmental degradation, as well as the mass production of vulnerable groups, structural violence and the unpunished, massive and systematic violation of multiple rights, are evidences of the crimes of crimes against humanity committed in the name of free trade.
The structural and conjunctural violence suffered by the population is embodied in the dynamics of savage accumulation of capital, in legal permits and institutional tolerance of privileges, dispossessions and looting, in the imposition of the forms and contents of consumption, as well as as in censorship and the biased management of information, the criminalization of protest, the judicialization of conflicts and the repression directed against human rights defenders, activists, movements and social leaders.
The neoliberal economic policy has generated the extreme distancing of collective expectations in relation to the social realities achieved. It is this abyss of irrepressible frustration that has opened the cycles of contemporary social protest.
Social repression is not a novelty in Mexico, nor is corruption or the collaborationist, anti-national and entreguista spirit that characterizes many and many Mexican politicians. However, the repressive forms and social control policies developed from 1982 to date with the purpose of imposing on Mexican society the current irrational regime of capital accumulation and its consequent package of “structural reforms” must be placed within the framework of the deviation of power committed by the governments that have kidnapped the Mexican State and destroyed the social contents and nationalist principles of the 1917 Constitution.
The Mexican authorities have encouraged the deterioration of the material conditions of social life, have neglected the needs of the population and have refused to undertake a comprehensive reparation of the totality of the grievances caused by the liberalization of the Mexican economy. On the contrary, neoliberal governments have preferred to use and take advantage of the punitive power and institutional power of the Mexican State to discredit legitimate claims and dismantle social organization, as well as to intimidate and deactivate social mobilizations, public demonstrations and other popular forms of fight for rights.
The imposition of laws, governmental policies and acts of authority contrary to the general interest of the people of Mexico and to multiple vital collective interests, has been guaranteed through legal and media manipulation.
The emblematic cases of criminalization, judicialization and state repression that citizens and the population as a whole have suffered, evidence the current crisis of the Mexican legal system and instances of political representation, while at the same time showing the extreme ways in which it blocks access to justice and hinders the construction and development of spaces of autonomy in Mexico, as well as the paths that have followed the deviation of power, the disarticulation and annulment of social organization and the multiple expressions of resistance and the struggle for rights.
The set of cases and testimonies presented before the Permanent Tribunal of the Peoples show the State terrorism and structural violence, legalized, supported and deployed institutionally, that have supported those who have tried to raise their voice to defend their means of subsistence, their conditions of life and its dignity. (1)
Facing the neoliberal onslaught, the struggle for justice and rights has been deployed in collective processes of legal claim, resistance, protest and social transformation, but has also adopted the concrete figure of self-defense, self-management and the construction of autonomies. Likewise, this struggle has appealed to legitimate social defense, civil disobedience, resistance to oppression and rebellion as valid forms of social reaction to the negative balances of savage capitalism. Finally, the path of nationalist reforms and social revolutions must also be counted among the alternatives deployed with the purpose of containing and reversing the privileges and dispossessions promoted by free trade.
It is in this framework of class struggle and social war that the construction of a constituent process becomes relevant and it becomes a fundamental combat flag for every harassed society that does not find in its laws, authorities and governing bodies the real satisfaction of its needs, and that it does not have at its reach the institutional mechanisms and effective participation that would make viable its historical reconstruction and the transformation of its material conditions of life. Participation in initiatives such as the “citizen constituent” is already a way to promote the reconstitution of the subjects responsible for social change.