Opened 7 years ago

Last modified 6 years ago

#6115 assigned Question/How do I...?

Considering an MF/PL node in Argentina

Reported by: Patrick Owned by: Jamie McClelland
Priority: Medium Component: Tech
Keywords: argentina Cc:
Sensitive: no


I collaborate on projects in Argentina, and I'm looking for a web host here that's similar to MF/PL. I asked on a Software Libre User Group list, and found out about the hosting infrastructure available for SLUGs in Argentina via the group Usuarios de Software Libre de Argentina (USLA):

Further, someone (Joaquín Cañete) proposed that we could get something like MF/PL going here in Argentina, starting from the base of the USLA infrastructure. (I intend to post a link to the archives of that conversation when those archives are opened. Currently they're behind a subscriber wall at ) I said that if we want to do something similar to MF/PL, we may as well save effort and boost community power by joining MF/PL, functioning as a node of MF/PL.

So, our questions now: What might that look like? Includes questions of tech and membership. How could we run an MF/PL node in Argentina? Does it make sense to do that this year? Or does it make more sense to run a new cooperative, and consider uniting with MF/PL later if it makes sense later?

cheers, Patrick

Change History (8)

comment:1 Changed 7 years ago by Patrick

Looking around, I just found the Consulta Hemisférica page, explaining the intention of MF/PL to include membership in all nations of the hemisphere:

The Consulta pages propose activities for the 2010 Americas Social Forum. What happened? What's the current picture in terms of hemispheric dialogue and collaboration?

I see that the MF/PL site has gone mostly bi-lingual English/Spanish in recent months, and I watched the video about collaboration with folks in Mexico. My interpretation of that video is that while there are members in Mexico, the hardware is all in New York -- is all MF/PL hardware currently in New York?

~ Patrick

comment:2 Changed 7 years ago by Ross

Keywords: argentina added
Owner: set to Jamie McClelland
Status: newassigned

Hi Patrick,

This sounds really interesting. I'll let jamie give you the full picture of our hemispheric work, but it would be amazing if we could expand our hardware infrastructure to include more locations.


comment:3 in reply to:  description Changed 7 years ago by Patrick

Replying to

Further, someone (Joaquín Cañete) proposed that we could get something like MF/PL going here in Argentina, starting from the base of the USLA infrastructure. (I intend to post a link to the archives of that conversation when those archives are opened. Currently they're behind a subscriber wall

The subscription wall has been removed, the conversation with USLA is archived, with the subject "¿cooperativa de servidores?" here:

comment:4 Changed 7 years ago by Jamie McClelland

Hi Patrick - that's great news indeed. Apologies for my slow response - in no way does it reflect our lack of enthusiasm with working with you.

Over the last several years, we've been working very hard to build our hemispheric relations, ranging from our participation in the social forum of the americas in 2008 (as you mention), to participating on the tech team of the Forum on Mother Earth in Cochabamba in 2010.

Over the last year, we've worked primarily on incorporating over a 100 new members from Mexico and in the process transitioning from a US organization to a truly bi-national one (while we've always had members from other countries, the Mexican membership accounts for nearly 20% of our current members, making it qualitatively different).

For us - the work with Mexico is about struggling against borders - and not just with Mexico.

At the moment, nearly all our servers are in New York. We're discussing adding servers in Mexico, but we haven't moved on it yet.

I'd be very interested in talking more with you about the vision you have and ideas on how you might want to collaborate. Are you free anytime this sunday for a phone/skype conversation?

I'm free anytime between 3:00 pm and 9:00 pm America/New_York time.

In solidarity, jamie

comment:5 Changed 7 years ago by Patrick

Yes, let's have a conversation on Sunday. If you email me at patrick0 (that's a zero) at riseup dot net, we can coordinate a time and channel.

Last edited 7 years ago by Patrick (previous) (diff)

comment:6 Changed 6 years ago by Jamie McClelland

Resolution: fixed
Status: assignedfeedback

Hi Patrick - are you still in Argentina? Can you give us a sense of the work going on there and whether or not we should pick up on this ticket? I'm putting in feedback while I await your response.


comment:7 Changed 6 years ago by Patrick Gibbs

Resolution: fixed
Status: feedbackassigned

Hi Jamie. I came to the US last week.

Short response: there are no concrete plans to start an MFPL node in Argentina, though there is interest from at least one group (Altermundi / Codigo Sur) in collaborating with MFPL.

Long response:

Based on my experiences at the libre software events I participated in, and in-depth conversation with people about May First / People Link, I narrowed my focus to Altermundi, a group of about 6 people, including the 3 Argentines that work for CodigoSur. Nico E. and Alejandro L. were the people with whom the conversation about starting a May First / People Link node progressed the most. Nico participated in part of the MFPL annual membership meeting, and left some comments on the etherpad that was used during that meeting. He suggested that it might make more sense to use Codigo Sur's name in Latin America (rather than May First / People Link), since they're already known in Latin America for providing web development services to community organizations, and other related work. Nico also wondered how MFPL can function with so many open support tickets. The Altermundi folks are participating in the creation of the IEX (Internet Exchange, a.k.a. NAP) in Córdoba, and so starting in 2013 they might have servers plugged in directly to the Internet backbone.

I suggested to Nico and Alejandro that perhaps they could pay for a server to put in the Córdoba IEX by building a base of MFPL members in Argentina, and once those people and groups start paying dues, request some money from MFPL to pay some or all of the cost of the server hardware.

In general, people I talked with seemed enthusiastic about the existence of MFPL, recognizing that such an organization doesn't currently exist in Argentina (or, seemingly, Paraguay, Uruguay, or Chile). I asked some people if they would pay US$ 100/year for membership including hosting, and that amount seemed reasonable to people who currently pay for servers, and beyond the budget of some people and groups.

Slightly similar groups were mentioned: Saravá in Brazil ( and El Grupo Cooperativo de las Indias in Uruguay and Spain ( I also met up with some Lorea developers in Buenos Aires ( and learned about their effort to build Anillo Sur as a vibrant Latin American online social network using Lorea ( I also met Bernardo Gutiérrez, who focuses on techno-political techniques of social movements in Spain and Brazil (

Two of the most active areas in Argentina right now are community wireless networks (redes libres) and libre software. These interplay with two government initiatives: Conectar Igualdad, which has distributed over 2 million netbooks to primary and secondary school students in recent years; and Argentina Conectada, which aims to increase Internet access and bandwidth throughout the country. On a continental level, the UnaSur project aims to build a fiber optic ring in and around Latin America, and connect directly to Africa and Europe instead of going through Miami and New York. Map of proposed fiber optic ring: Video about proposed fiber optic ring:

There's a strong tradition of worker cooperatives in Argentina, though there's a sense that many cooperatives are just fronts for non-democratic, capitalist enterprises. At any rate, the presence of cooperatives and the legal frameworks for cooperatives are in place.

~ Patrick

comment:8 Changed 6 years ago by Nat Meysenburg

Hi Patrick,

Thanks for this really detailed response. I'm going to have to read it a few more times to let all of it sink in.

Briefly though, if you're still speaking with Nico (and also for you own info), we agree that the number of open tickets is a problem. The ticket tracker has been a work in progress for years, it was not until a little over a year ago that we really developed the workflow that we use now. Also (and the old tickets show this), for a while Jamie was the only one providing regular support. You can find several tickets that start "Hi Jamie." As the support team has become more formalized, and MFPL has grown, that is thankfully not even close to the case right now.

The week following the membership meeting, the support team set ourselves the ambitious goal of getting the number of Open and Assigned tickets below 1024. In less than a week we had done that. In the following week we got it down below 512 open tickets. And last I looked we're at 417. This is actually getting close to an accurate count of tasks we have on our plate, or the ideas we are discussing for the future (for example this ticket).

Hopefully the number of open tickets will not climb back up to the same overwhelming heights.


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