San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

Latin American-Iberian Mayors Meet in San José

The mayors of capital cities in Latin America, Spain and Portugal met in San José last week and resolved to call on their nation’s governments to support local leadership and decentralize power.

The 12th Assembly of the Union of Latin American-Iberian Capital Cities (UCCI) also elected Madrid Mayor Alberto Ruiz-Gallardón and San José Mayor Johnny Araya as co-presidents of the organization.

In the Declaration of San José, signed at the end of the conference, the 26 mayors pledged to support “channels of citizen participation in decision-making” and “convert cities into motors of sustainable development.” Ruiz-Gallardón said the region’s countries must devote more resources to local governments.

Another result of the conference is the creation of a Committee of Solidarity among Capitals for Attention to Disasters, which, according to Araya, creates a network of support that would have been invaluable in situations like Hurricane Mitch’s devastation of Tegucigalpa, capital of Honduras.


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