2021 Report 

A Year for Imagining

In 2021, at Fundar, we took the time to rethink and imagine a future where dignity, hope, and collaboration are unwavering.
As an organization, we resisted, advanced, and learned new ways of working for social justice and equality. This year, we recognized that challenging times also bring forth good ideas, new connections, and long-term activism. In an adverse context like the one we are currently experiencing, we know that coming together to imagine and build the future we long for is, in itself, an emancipatory and revolutionary act.

2021 was also a year of important outcomes.

Swelling Waves for Equality

We promoted a fairer tax system

In Mexico, our fiscal system and the way taxes are collected benefit the wealthiest. Therefore, promoting a more just fiscal system is urgent. At Fundar, we published the serie Privilegios Fiscales (Fiscal Privileges) with analysis and recommendations for creating better fiscal policies. Also, with CIEP and Oxfam Mexico, we published the study “La vacuna contra la desigualdad” (The Vaccine Against Inequality) to provide evidence of the pandemic’s social and economic impacts and propose measures to confront them.  

Farewell to a sexist tax

Our fiscal system worsens inequalities, and women, girls, and menstruating people are among the most affected sectors. Because of this, as part of the collective Menstruación Digna México (Dignified Menstruation Mexico), we succeeded in getting the 16-percent value-added tax (VAT) eliminated from menstrual management products! In a country that is violent against women and dissidents, removing a sexist tax is essential to progress toward equality.

Another Way to Accompany

We worked to return the identity to people in forensic services

In our country, over 96,000 people are victims of disappearance, and there are 38,000 yet to be identified by the medical forensic services. The work done by family members of victims of disappearance has been key in giving these people back their identities. Due to this work, the Extraordinary Forensic Identification Mechanism (MEIF, for its Spanish initials) was created in 2020. Later, in 2021—through the Public Appointments Observatory, formed by Fundar and Article 19, together with the Movement for our Disappeared in Mexico—we promoted best practices in processes of open and participative public appointments so that people with appropriate backgrounds would be designated for the MEIF Coordinating Group.

We built other ways of accompaniment

As part of our accompaniment work, we reflected on how, as an organization, we connect with victim groups, and continue building more horizontal relationships. Within this process, in 2021, we published the book No hay lugar en este país [There’s No Room in This Country], which was the result of a literary workshop developed during the pandemic. Its 13 authors, who are family members of disappeared persons, tell their stories in the first person, sharing their pain, which has worryingly become invisible due to its recurrence. No hay lugar en este país seeks to contribute to changing the narrative of the violence in Mexico, in which testimonies and experiences should not be part of a process of “translation,” silencing, or appropriation.

We promoted dignified notifications

Together with the Psychosocial Space for Human Rights, an alliance of organizations and experts in psychosocial accompaniment, we published the “Protocolo Interdisciplinario de notificación de la identificación de personas desaparecidas y restitución digna” [Interdisciplinary Protocol for Notification in the Identification of Missing Persons and Dignified Restitution]. It is intended as a guide the State can follow to integrate the psychosocial perspective into notification processes, thus guaranteeing that they adhere to victims’ rights (guaranteeing a dignified notification—#NotificaciónDigna—for the family members of missing and disappeared people).

Defending Land Is Defending Life

We generated evidence to defend the territory

The struggle of Indigenous peoples for water, autonomy, and the defense of their rights is a struggle to defend life. Alongside them, we have developed research on the Mexican State’s obligation to carry out prior studies and assessments on the environmental and social impact that megaprojects will have and how they will affect their rights.

We continued to promote an Indigenous Constitutional Reform

As part of the Alliance for Free Determination and Autonomy (ALDEA, for its Spanish initials), we continued strengthening our advocacy capacities. In 2021, as part of ALDEA, we were successful in getting our recommendations included in the initiative of the General Law of Consultation of Indigenous and Afro-Mexican Peoples and Communities. Even though it still has room for improvement, the approval by the Chamber of Deputies of this initiative has been a crucial step toward respecting and guaranteeing the right to the prior, free, and informed consent from Indigenous peoples and communities toward continuing to promote the Indigenous Constitutional Reform.

We demanded respect for communities and the environment

Indigenous communities have taught us major lessons about dignity, and they are our guide in the fight against the policies that prioritize company profits above the common good. An example of this is the struggle to provide evidence of how the current Mining Law puts the right to land, territory, and the very existence of these communities and peoples at risk. As organizations, rights defenders, and indigenous peoples and communities, we joined the call “Cambiémosla Ya”, (Change It Now) to demand a law that respects life.

We promoted fair agriculture for day laborers

The future also lies in the sustainability of life. Therefore, in 2021, we continued working together with agricultural day laborers to demand their rights. As part of the Alianza Campo Justo (Fair Agriculture Alliance), we were able to register day laborers from the Montaña de Guerrero region in the government’s priority social programs. This is the first step toward reducing the historic debt that is owed to the population of day laborers, and, in the context of a pandemic, it can mean the difference between life and death.

For the Right to Live a Dignified Live

We highlighted the obstacles to accessing health

2021 continued to be marked by the pandemic and by the growing difficulties involved in accessing and guaranteeing rights for all. In this context, we created the research series “Salud para todes” (Health for All), which addresses the impact that recent legal reforms have had on the health system. These studies aim to provide evidence of how access to the right to health in Mexico has fallen behind so that authorities can improve these public policies.

We evaluated the scope of citizen complaints

Citizen participation mechanisms are key in fighting corruption, especially in cases in which human rights are affected. In 2021, we assessed the reach of citizen complaints to the Chief Audit Office of the Federation (ASF, for its Spanish initials) and the Secretariat of the Civil Service (SFP, for its Spanish initials). With this work, we documented the struggle to clean and sanitize water in San Mateo Huitzilzingo and followed up on it through a citizen complaint against the irregular construction of a wastewater treatment plant.

We imagined hopeful futures

While we carried out this work in 2021, at Fundar, we also created a space to build a vision of the organization we want to be. We did our five-year strategic planning and set the routes for reaching the future we imagine and that we are working toward.
2021 was a year for imagining a future of hope where dignified life and collaboration are unwavering.

Thank you for your support!

The journalist Erika Lozano (Kuru) guided the development of this report. The editorial design and illustrations were overseen by Queso Rayones , floresrosx, Sebastopol / andamosflotando.com

This report summarizes the work we did at Fundar during 2021. Its content consists of four thematic recaps conceptualized as a fanzine that you can download and print at home.