The Women of Caltongo Who Opened the Government’s Doors: Social Accountability at the Edge of Mexico City
Date: December 2019
Author(s): Daniela Rea with photos by Mónica González
Publication type: Accountability Note
Published by: Periodistas de a Pie, Pie de Página, ControlaTuGobierno and Accountability Research Center
The government’s plans to repair a central avenue in the Mexico City neighborhood of Caltongo brought together a group of women of diverse ages and backgrounds who were concerned about the government’s corruption and its lack of public consultation and transparency. They began to organize themselves, forming the group Caltongo Organized, and with the help of the civil society organization ControlaTuGobierno, they accessed government budget and contract information and learned about laws and regulations. They educated their fellow community members, advocated for the community’s concerns to be taken into account, and monitored the execution of the road project, which allowed them to successfully engage with government authorities to carry out its responsibilities. In this struggle, they learned that the authorities exist to serve the community; they also learned that information is power. With their struggle, the women of Caltongo sowed the seed of a community organization that seeks to make decisions about their territory and their own lives. This Accountability Note is based on a three-part journalistic series published by Pie de Página on August 19 – 21, 2019. For all the original articles, photos and videos, see Mujeres de Caltongo.