The experience of local processes of citizenship in two regions of Antioquia indicate diverse routes, responding to different contexts, characterized by humanitarian affection due to armed conflict, manipulation and/or social and political exclusion. Victims re-encounter the capacity to play their citizenship and inhabitants of territories manage to get involved in a leading way in local development, designed among all and for the benefit of all.
Families in the commune of San Gabriel del Baba are now convinced about agroecological production and now they are enthusiastic promoters of the cause. Their farms became completely agroecological and, so far, their biggest challenge has been to find alternative markets and conscious consumers, but these set back shave not changed their conviction, because, for them, the market and the economic part are not the most important goals.
The management of land plots with agroforestry systems demands conviction and a continuous careful work. The situation in which the pioneer producers of agroforestry Amazonian systems currently live shows that they live well, producing with the forest and without the need to continue deforesting and burning the vegetation.
Fifteen years ago the Red de Guardianes de Semillas (Seed Guardian Network), a collective with full horizontal relations, was born in Ecuador, dedicated to the rescue of native seeds. Each guardian, member of the network shares and applies their knowledge from their autonomous environment. There is a wealth of experiences and practices around production and food, housing and other areas of daily life. Its common denominator: to build the future in the present.
In Loma del Esmeraldal, residential sector of the municipality of Envigado in the valley of the Aburra (Colombia), the indiscriminate urban densification, product of the speculation and misrepresentation of the regulations to facilitate construction licenses provoked a response from the citizens. The Ciudadano Envigado Collective (Citizen´s Collective Envigado) managed with resistance and proposals the recovery of lands ready for construction and turned them into public spaces, improving the quality of life of the residents.
The Hip Hop culture with BreakDance and other scenic arts become lifestyles and ways of thinking for young people in the different districts of Metropolitan Lima. Cultural manifestations of young people have managed to transform the stigmatization that civil society had generated on their attitudes.
Human settlements such as Virgen de la Candelaria, on the outskirts of Lima, are a very frequent phenomenon in large cities. Low-income families are looking for a place to live close to the apparent economic and educational opportunities of the metropolis. Selective laws and norms result in the consolidation of these neighborhoods and make the progress of their habitants extremely difficult. These conditions force majorities in large cities to find an informal housing solution, dealing with a perverse logic of laws that are not made for those who have been taken to critical circumstances by the development model. This situation ends often in a paradoxical picture: majorities of the population excluded by laws that protect the interests of the system instead of responding to the needs of the majority.
“We have never been against the construction of the urban railway, but not at the price of being expelled” says Margarita Monforte, president of the neighborhood association “Quinta Virgen del Quinto Patio”, the struggle of forty families in downtown Lima to exercise their rights in front of the megaproject of the electric train as part of a mass transportation system in the Peruvian capital.
The fight for the right to decent housing, a recognized right, is in fact denied to many families in the country, who live in precarious housing conditions, without access to basic services and invisible in their just demands. This harsh reality led a group of tenants from Cochabamba to dream about the possibility of a community living space. The Organization of Tenants of Cochabamba (OINCO) is facing a hard struggle, due to the commercialization and speculation of urban land, carrying out the task of building community and community housing. One of these efforts allowed access to a land in lending that allows affiliates of the OINCO to produce healthy food, organizing the Popular School of Agroecology, as part of its philosophy of learning and teaching to manage the soil.
Accountability by public authorities in compliance with transparency protocols is often the result of the persevering pressure exerted by dynamic sectors of the civil society in a local context; is sometimes the only viable way to achieve quality in public services.