Gustavo ALANIS ORTEGA

Ashoka Fellow

Citation

This profile was prepared when Gustavo Alanis was elected to the Ashoka Fellowship in 2002.
The New Idea
A lifelong resident of Mexico City, Gustavo feels the ill effects of tremendous environmental destruction and neglect every day. Recognizing that air and water degradation pose immediate threats to human health and well-being in his community, he works with various social actors to ensure that existing environmental law is fully understood, kept relevant, and actively enforced by the nation's judicial authorities. His strategy, which encompasses training, public education, and litigation, has already brought to the Mexican environmental movement a new level of sophistication and impact. Moreover, his use of international legal policy, particularly the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), to determine and protect environmental safety rights, promotes corporate accountability and environmental justice on a broad stage. By representing people's democratic right to a clean environment, Gustavo helps Mexicans keep pace with the developing global economy and put their legal system to work for them.
The Problem
The Strategy
The Person

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