(The Peasant's Democratic
Front is know by its initials "FDC")
The FDC is the result of a wide social movement which
took place in the State of Chihuahua during the winters of 1985-1986
and 1987-1988, when the peasants decided to organize independently
to demand fair prices for corn and bean.
On December 1985 and January of 1986, hundreds of peasants from
the northern part of the State, took-over 69 silos of CONASUPO
(the state buyer of agricultural and food products) and as a
result, the guarantee prices for corn and bean were increased
30 per cent. The movement, initiated by the peasants from the
Unión para el Progreso de los Campesinos de la Laguna
from Anáhuac, is named Movimiento Democrático Campesino
(Democratic Peasant Movement) and is formally created in a public
assembly held in Cuauhtémoc, Chihuahua, on April 10, 1986,
on the anniversary of the murder of Emiliano Zapata.
On December 6, 1987, the Democratic Peasant Movement calls upon
other organizations to a forum and the most important peasant
and farmworker groups of the State of Chihuahua participate.
The FDC is born in this historic meeting.
Immediately, the FDC petition the government to increase the
crop prices but the government rejects the increase proposal.
The members of the FDC initiate a movement to put political pressure.
A total of 35 silos are taken over. The peasants start a march
to Chihuahua and walk for four days to call attention to their
plight. On January 15 of 1988, the "Campamento de la Dignidad
Campesina" ("Dignity Camp") is installed and the
door steps of the State Capitol. On February 5, two leaders of
the FDC, Camilo Daniel, a catholic priest from Anáhuac,
and Humberto Ramos Molina, a former major of Cuauhtémoc,
launch a hunger strike. Little by little, more people join in
on the strike and other solidarity camps are opened in Ciudad
Juárez, in Cuauhtémoc and in Parral. The movement
is successful and on February 15, the government grants the producers
an additional subsidy to support the corn and bean.
With the expansion of the efforts of the FDC, a formal structure
was developed to guarantee a collective decision making process.
In 1988, for example, the Peasant Council was established as
the highest leadership body within the Front. The Council is
formed by the representatives of the member communities.
In 1990 when the federal government attempts to exclude the poor
peasants of the temporary zone from the credit system, the FDC
organizes massive opposition and demands that all producers without
credit be given state support to cultivate their land. After
three weeks of protests in the city of Chihuahua, the FDC reached
an agreement to benefit the majority of the poor producers.
By September of 1991, the FDC already has presence in more than
10 municipalities. It is then that the Permanent Commission,
a leadership and decision making body, is formed with one representative
for each municipality. In the same month, the FDC joins the National
Network of Corn Producers.
In late 1991, the FDC organizes opposition against the attempts
to reform Article 27 of the Mexican Constitution and joins with
11 other Mexican peasant and farmworker organizations to form
the Council of Agrarian Organizations.
During the campaign for governor and local representatives which
culminates in July of 1992, the FDC shows its political diversity
character. Several of the militant members present themselves
as candidates for different parties. Many of the active members
of the FDC also participate as observers to monitor the electoral
process. A member of the FDC is elected major of the village
of General Trias.
In January of 1993, the FDC, along with 10 other peasant and
farmworker groups initiated the Coordinadora de Centrales Campesinas
y Organismos del Sector Agropecuario (Coordinate of Peasant and
Farmer Organizations), to protect small and medium sized producers
from the further deterioration and worsening of the farm crisis
under globalization and the neoliberalist economic policies.
The FDC continues to lead the struggle as a response to the plight
of the poor and small producers due to the farm debt and the
current economic crisis in rural communities. The FDC is an organization
deeply rooted in the collective action of its members. Takeover
of banks and public offices and blockade of highways have taken
place continuously. But besides the active defense of the rights
and interest of the peasantry, the FDC also provides direct assistance
to its members, negotiate credits and loans for agricultural
production as well as to improve housing and the general conditions
of the people in the rural communities. The FDC also works to
organize economic development alternatives.
The FDC works in collaboration with several organizations at
the state, national and international level. Since 1988, the
FDC has been working with DECA Equipo Pueblo in specific projects
dealing with community based development and economic policies.
Internationally, the FDC participates with the Catholic Committee
on Development and Against Hunger, based in France and the Canadian
Catholic Organization Development and Peace. The FDC was the
first non-North American member organization in the Rural Coalition,
an alliance of rural groups and rural communities based in United
Currently, the FDC have 4,000 members in the municipalities of
Ahumada, Bachíniva, Bocoyna, Carichí, Cuauhtémoc,
Cusihuiriachi, Chihuahua, Gómez Farías, Guerrero,
Matachí, Namiquipa, Riva Palacio, Santa Isabel (General
Trias), and Temósachi.
The highest authority of the FDC is the State Congress which
takes place every two years. The resolutions of the Congress,
the Council and the Permanent Commission are executed by the
Executive Commission. In each community, the highest authority
is the Assembly. The Assembly elects the representative of each
community to the Frente.
The State Coordinator: of the FDC is professor Dagoberto González,
municipality of Guerrero.
The main office of the FDC is located in the City of Chihuahua:
13 y Jiménez 2208
Tel/fax: 011-52 (14) 16-07-72
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