International/National: International Indigenous Peoples’ Day

James Anaya, relator especial de Naciones Unidas sobre Pueblos Indios (@UN)

On 9 August, in observance of International Indigenous Peoples’ Day, the UN Special Rapporteur on indigenous peoples’ rights, James Anaya, made a call to “put an end to the persistent, profound problems related with historical mistakes, the failed politics of the past, and the barriers that still exist for the full exercise of the rights of indigenous peoples.”

In this sense, in Mexico the National Network of Civil Human Rights Organizations “All Rights for All” published a communique reminding “the state, municipal, and federal authorities of their obligations as stipulated in the international human-rights treaties regarding indigenous rights, which they have signed and ratified.”

The Network declared that “the situation of indigenous peoples continues to be alarming,” and it denounced that “the expansion of megaprojects throughout the country which involves extractive industries, dams, and wind-energy parks promoted by private business but sustained and supported by state and federal authorities has in the last few years been one of the red alerts that has made clear the lack of observance of the rights of peoples such as the right to free, prior informed consent, and cultural rights, among others.  The drive toward economic projects has signified occupation, trickery, and pollution of culture, lands, and territories which belong to indigenous peoples.  At the root of these megaprojects there have developed different local resistance movements that have resulted in judicial harassment, criminalization, aggression, and even murder against communal rights-defenders.”

The Network added that it continues to “document and denounce the violations to the right to access to justice for indigenous peoples, for example for lack of adequate defense, lack of translators during the penal process, abuse of habeas corpus, corruption, and impunity.”

Finally, the Network noted that “the right to autonomy, which is constitutionally recognized, continues to be restricted, and the struggles and resistance advanced by communities have met with extreme violence on the part of the Mexican State and local authorities.  It should suffice to mention that on numerous occasions the Good-Government Councils of the Zapatista autonomous municipalities, which today celebrate 10 years of existence, have denounced the increase in aggressions and harassment directed against autonomous communities in the state of Chiapas.”

For more information (in Spanish):

Declaración “Los tratados no respetados deben convertirse en cosa del pasado”. Experto de la ONU llama a la reconciliación con los pueblos indígenas (Relator especial James Anaya, 9 de agosto de 2013

Persisten violaciones  sistemáticas a los derechos humanos de los pueblos indígenas en México (RedTdT, 9 de agosto de 2013)

Boletín “Derechos de los Pueblos Indígenas, una deuda histórica” (CDHFBC, 9 de agosto de 2013)

Pronunciamiento “9 de agosto, Las Autoridades Indígenas No Festejamos, Denunciamos” (Colectivo oaxaqueño en defensa del territorio, 9 de agosto de 2013)

Informe del Relator Especial sobre los derechos de los pueblos indígenas, James Anaya: Las industrias extractivas y los pueblos indígenas”(James Anaya, 1ero de julio de 2013)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

9 August: International Day of Indigenous Peoples (19 August 2012)

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