Diverse and complex reasons explain the organization of the First North-South Conference on Degrowth-Descrecimiento, México 2018 (Primera Conferencia Norte- Sur de Degrowth-Descrecimiento, Mexico 2018). Ivan Illich lived in Mexico between 1960 and 1976 and created in 1969, in Cuernavaca Morelos, the legendary Center for Intercultural Documentation (CIDOC). Jean Robert, the illustrious teacher that is very familiar with Illich work and ideas lives in Cuernavaca, Morelos since 1972. Based on the ideas of both teachers and others who are considered as forerunners of degrowth, it was founded in 1991 the Foro Ecologista del Valle de México (Ecologist Forum of the Valley of Mexico) which subsequently was refounded in 2005 with the name of ECOMUNIDADES, Autonomous Ecologist Network of the Mexico Basin. The launching of the slogan descrecimiento in 2007, in Mexico City during the First Cycle of the Colloquia La Apuesta por el Descrecimiento (The commitment for degrowth) The Mexican movement ¡Descrecimiento o Colapso! was born in 2008. In 2010, Serge Latouche offers lectures on a number of important Mexican universities. ECOMUNIDADES participates in Barcelona, Montreal and Venice degrowth conferences. In 2013 and 2014 are held the first and second meetings on degrowth in the cities of Puebla and Queretaro.
Mexico has an enormous cultural and biological diversity: there are in this country at least 56 ethnic groups and languages; this enormous cultural diversity served as an inspiration for Ivan Illich work; on the other hand, it is the third or fourth mega diverse country (biodiversity) in the world; it has a border of more than 3.000 km with U.S.A.: the most developed country in the world; it was the first country affected by a military intervention of that country (1847). These events offer a unique basis to discuss the differences and convergences of proposals on degrowth and colonization of the social imaginary, originated in the countries of the North and the South. In addition, the indigenous uprising of the Ejército Zapatista de Liberación Nacional (EZLN) (Zapatista Army for National Liberation) in 1994 in Chiapas, which has had a great influence in Latin-American indigenous movements, and the beginning from that year on, of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), offers an extraordinary framework to this discussion. The opening to cultural change in Mexico City reinforces the socio-cultural conditions favorable for this debate.