National/International: Visit of the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples to Mexico Ends

UNPhoto: @frayba

From November 5th to 17th, the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, Victoria Tauli-Corpuz, indigenous leader of the Philippines, made an official visit to Mexico, which included the capitals of the states of Guerrero, Chiapas and Chihuahua. She met with more than 200 representatives of 23 indigenous peoples, civil organizations defending their rights and officials at all levels.

At the end of his visit, she declared that “the current inadequate legal recognition of indigenous peoples as holders of rights, together with structural discrimination, are at the basis of all the issues and concerns” in the areas “lands and territories; autonomy, self-determination and political participation; self-ascription of indigenous peoples; access to justice; violence and impunity; the right to determine their development priorities; consultation and free, prior and informed consent; economic, social and cultural rights, and the particular situation of specific sectors of indigenous peoples.” While acknowledging “Mexico’s support for advancing the indigenous agenda in international forums,” “this commitment must be coherent and should be reflected in the application of these standards in Mexico.”

On the controversial issue of the consultation, she said that “even in the absence of national legislation on this issue, Mexico already has the obligation to consult indigenous peoples on any activity or legislative or administrative measures that could affect them according to the standards of the ILO Convention 169, the Inter-American jurisprudence and the UN Declaration. The adoption of specific legislation is not the only mechanism to apply the right to consultation and the fact that there is no single model for consultation should also be taken into account, since each indigenous people has its own authorities and decision-making processes.”

The rapporteur also stressed that “the initiatives of indigenous peoples in the area of ​​autonomy and self-government should enjoy greater recognition, and be recognized and incorporated into the overall political structure of the country. In addition to self-government, indigenous peoples have the right to participate fully, if they so wish, in the political life of the country. I have seen some positive developments that could facilitate the political participation of indigenous peoples in this area, such as the possibility of registering independent candidacies.”

For more information in Spanish:

Relatora de la ONU constata violaciones a derechos de indígenas en Chiapas (Proceso, 15 de noviembre de 2017)

Declaración de cierre de Misión a México (Victoria Tauli-Corpuz, ONU, 17 de noviembre de 2017)

Discriminación indígena persiste por falta de voluntad política: ONU (La Jornada, 17 de noviembre de 2017)

Indígenas no son consultados sobre megaproyectos que afectan su territorio en México: ONU (Aristegui Noticias, 17 de noviembre de 2017)

Relatora Especial sobre Derechos de los Pueblos Indígenas de la ONU visita Guerrero (Boletín de prensa, Tlachinollan, Guerrero, 14 de noviembre de 2017)

Pueblos indígenas presentan recomendaciones ante ONU (Boletín de prensa, Chiapas,15 de noviembre de 2017)

For more information from SIPAZ:

Nacional – México: Visita de la Relatora especial de la ONU sobre derechos de los pueblos indígenas (8 de noviembre de 2017)

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