Chiapas: Presentation of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples

On 13 September the Chiapas section of Amnesty International Mexico and the Jesuit Mission of Bachajón presented in San Cristóbal de Las Casas the Universal Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples in Spanish and Tseltal.  It was then exactly three years after the date on which the UN General Assembly approved the declaration that establishes the right to self-determination, to indigenous control of lands and natural resources, and to the cultural traditions of indigenous communities.

Manuel de la Cruz, member of the Center for Indigenous Rights A.C. (Cediac) affirmed that “The UN declaration on our rights has proven to be a valuable tool for indigenous peoples, above all now that it has been translated into our language.  This way we can analyze and discuss it in courses and workshops held in communities.” He mentioned as an example that, thanks to the knowledge different communities have regarding their rights, they have organized themselves, succeeding in “momentarily” suspending the construction of the San Cristóbal-Palenque highway.  He added that “[t]his path would have affected the lands and natural resources of many ejidos, and it would not have brought us any benefits; indeed, it would only be for the movement of vehicles, as occurs on many such highways.”

For more information (in Spanish):

UN declaration on indigenous rights is presented in Tzeltal (La Jornada, 14 September 2010)

United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (English version)

UN approves Universal Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (La Jornada, 14 September 2007)

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