Between 1995 and 2000, a multicoloured NGO coalition pressed federal and State congresses to pass legislation to regulate civil society institutions’ access to public funds and tax privileges. Both Left and Right wing parties have supported these initiatives. Some State Governments (as Chiapas) have created non-estatute public funding programs for NGO’s between 2000 and 2011.
The paper presents an assessment of three recent institutionalization experiences (the Federal District’s and the national laws; and the non-law Chiapas case) constructed upon data gathered from direct experience in the public agencies in charge of implementing the estatutes. It also analyzes the relations between NGO’s and popular movements and associations using information collected on the field since 1994. Finally it provides a critique of how emergent elites used NGO networking as a means to get included into the post-Transition-to-Democracy establishment; and how the powers-that-be have managed to “tame” popular insurgency and simultaneously renovate public discourses.