Mexico Climate Politics Heats Up

History has not been kind to the indigenous Raramuri people of the northern Mexican state of Chihuahua. Pushed to remote mountains of a harsh land by Spanish and mestizo colonists, the Raramuri managed to hang on to their culture while eking out an existence based on rain-fed farming and small herd grazing. In recent decades their lands have been invaded again, this time by cattlemen, loggers, miners, dope growers, tourism developers, and soldiers.

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Mexico’s New Agricultural Crisis

February’s freezing fury has left a path of crumpled crops, pummeled harvests and dashed dreams in the countryside of northern Mexico. Hardest hit was the northwestern state of Sinaloa, known as the”Bread Basket of Mexico,” where about 750,000 acres of corn crops were reported destroyed after unusually cold temperatures blanketed the north of the country in January and early February.

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Peasant, Indigenous Organizations Reject Market Schemes for Global Warming

The UN Climate Conference (COP16) in Cancun is turning out to be both anti-climactic and anti-climatic.

Negotiators have given up on a binding agreement to limit emissions of greenhouse gases. Instead, they are seeking to expand schemes to allow contaminating industries and nations to continue with business as usual and add another lucrative area to their portfolios–trade in carbon offsets and credits.

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In Mexico City, a Message for Cancún

On Tuesday, as U.N. negotiations on climate change geared up in the Caribbean beach resort of Cancún, thousands of people marched through the streets of Mexico City to demand grassroots solutions to global warming—and to the slew of other crises they face.

The peasants and workers, students and environmentalists gathered here don’t draw lines around issues. Demands for rural development and the release of political prisoners mix with calls to stop global warming and save the jungles. Peasant farmers from the poor southern states of Mexico walk somberly down the Paseo de la Reforma in four straight lines, their silence broken by the occasional collective slogan. Their discipline and gravity are a far cry from the image of destructive “globalphobics” that the Mexican government has reportedly been warning Cancún locals about. The smaller groups of students and activists are rowdier, dancing down the streets, holding banners, and laughing along the way.

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Two Worlds Collide at Cancun Climate Talks

The debate over climate change generally transpires within the cloistered confines of expensive hotels, executive boardrooms, and diplomatic halls. As seen in the failure to arrive at binding agreements in Copenhagen, the talks are generally as sterile as the surroundings. Now, all signs point to another high-level fiasco at the UN Climate Change Conference (COP 16), to be held Nov.29-Dec. 10 in the beach resort town of Cancun, Mexico.

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Mexican Representative Says There Will Be No Climate Deal in Cancun

The Mexican representative for international climate change negotiations, ambassador Luis Alfonso de Alba, said not to expect a binding agreement at the Climate Change Conference to be hosted in Cancun this year. Many had hoped to finally achieve the goal of an agreement to commit the signatory countries of the Kyoto Protocol to reduce their pollutant emissions and prevent a global temperature rise of 2 degrees centigrade over the next few years.

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