Issue #1
August 1st, 2005

Work in progress

FSFLA is taking concrete steps towards its final organizational and legal incorporation. One of them regards designing of its structure and drafting its bylaws. This is where the FSFLA Team is concentrating its work today.

In order to complete this job and open up the debate to interested members of the community, the team agreed to publish a a first draft of the proposed structure, and to invite interested people to an open exchange on how FSFLA ought to be structured, and how individuals can participate.

The goal is to gather input from all those persons who expressed their interest in helping build the Free Software Foundation Latin America.

To that end, we invite the interested community to subscribe to the open discussion mailing list through the web interface here to share ideas and proposals for FSFLA.

Draft documentation

The organizational structure drafted by the FSFLA Team for public discussion is as follows. The individual responsibilities and duties of the members of each member and of the different governing bodies will be posted to the discussion list.

FSFLA Structure, First Draft

Consultative Council (CC or Board)

The CC is FSFLA's decision-taking organ. It takes all of the organisation's tactical and strategical decisions. All of its members have the same responsibilities and duties. The CC meets at least once a year in a General Assembly, to review the last year's performance and to decide on future strategy. The General Assembly is the CC's only official meeting for legal purposes, but it remains in permanent session through appropriate electronic means. The CC should make every effort to make its decisions by consensus. When this is not possible, the CC members will proceed to a vote, one vote for each member.

To become a member of the CC, a person must be presented by at least one current member, and approved by two-thirds of the CC without any negative votes. Candidates to the CC need to be well known to its current members, usually through their work in one or more of the Work Teams. A CC member can resign, and he or she may lose membership to the CC if two thirds of the CC vote for his or her removal. The initial CC will be elected by FSFLA's founding Team.

Every two years, the CC elects three of its members for the Executive Council. For the election to take place, at least 75% of the CC members must be present. The EC is elected by simple majority.

Executive Council (EC)

The EC is composed of a President, a Secretary and a Treasurer. Every two years, the CC elects three persons to occupy this role and take care of implementing the planned strategies. In order to avoid unnecessary delays, EC members can take tactical decisions by themselves, although this should happen only in situations that require a quick response. When they do take decisions by themselves, they are personally responsible before the CC for their actions. In the rare case that a vote within the CC results in a tie, the EC can break the tie through an internal vote among its members, one vote to a person.

Work Teams (WTs)

People who are formally or informally linked to the organisation and whose merits have earned its trust can create WTs dedicated to specific tasks on behalf of FSFLA. The WTs are where FSFLA's actual work takes place. Every team has a designated leader, elected by the team members and confirmed by the CC, who reports directly to the CC. The CC has the right to veto any action decided within a WT, and to distance FSFLA from any action already undertaken by a team without the CC's consent.


Beatriz Busaniche spent a week in Nicaragua, working together with the Heinrich Böll Foundation, the Humboldt Centre and the Alliance in Defense of Biodiversity. She introduced the work in progress at FSFLA and Fundación Vía Libre, spoke on political and ethical aspects of Free Software at Universities, Social Organisations and at meetings with some actors of the local Free Software movement. She also took part in two events introducing the book "¿Un mundo patentado? La privatización de la Vida y el Conocimiento", which includes articles by Richard Stallman, Federico Heinz y Beatriz Busaniche, as well as with James Boyle, Pat Mooney and others. The book can be downloaded for free from the Böll Foundation's website. This joint collaboration with the Böll Foundation facilitates the first regular activities of FSFLA in Central American countries.