This profile was prepared when Adriana Labardini was elected to the Ashoka Fellowship in 2008.
The New Idea
Drawing upon her background as a successful lawyer specializing in Mexican telecommunications law, Adriana co-founded ALCONSUMIDOR, A.C., a CO dedicated to defending and promoting consumer rights. Unlike the United States, in Mexico there are virtually no organizations dedicated to educating consumers and protecting them from private sector or government abuses. ALCONSUMIDOR, co-founded in April 2006, is working towards creating a collective voice of Mexican consumers through informational campaigns paired with strategic legal action. One of the centerpieces of Adriana’s system-changing strategy is the widespread introduction of a federal procedure for class-action lawsuits to Mexico, which until now have been strictly limited to cases brought through the Procuraduría Federal del Consumidor (Profeco), the government agency in charge of consumer rights. Adriana has worked closely with legislators from all three main political parties in Mexico to advance legislation allowing class-action lawsuits on a broader and more powerful scale. ALCONSUMIDOR is also laying the foundations for a new Mexican consumer culture based on ethics, solidarity and sustainability. Adriana has launched consumer awareness and education campaigns through the internet, radio, television, and press, and she also lobbies the government on behalf of consumers as an advisor to various government agencies, including Profeco. Adriana’s goal is to make ALCONSUMIDOR the most prominent champion of consumer rights in Mexico while assisting other COs throughout the country to develop similar strategies. Her vision encompasses not only commodities and utilities but also public services and most importantly empowering consumers as economic citizens.