On October 15th, the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, Victoria Tauli-Corpuz presented her report in Mexico City based on the visit she made to the country in November 2017 to four Mexican states: Mexico, Guerrero, Chiapas and Chihuahua.
When making a comparison with what was observed by the then Special Rapporteur on Indigenous Peoples’ Rights, Rodolfo Stavenhagen in 2003, the present report concludes that there have been no significant advances in 14 years, despite the international commitments made by Mexico since then on the issue; this in a context that continues to be of “deep inequality, poverty and discrimination of indigenous peoples that limit their access to justice, education, health and other basic services.”
One of the points that was emphasized in the presentation was the current development policies based on extractivism, energy, tourism, real estate and agricultural megaprojects, which constitute “a major challenge” for the human rights of indigenous peoples. “With regard to social and economic development, government institutions must substitute programs and policies with a welfare approach for those with a human rights focus and that promote empowerment, self-determination, and the priorities and proposals of these peoples,” it said. The report documents that the consultations that have been carried out for the implementation of megaprojects have not complied with the international human rights standards to which Mexico has committed: that they be prior, free, informed, culturally appropriate and in good faith.
On the same subject, the representative of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights in Mexico, Jan Jarab said that these consultations become a method of blackmail, as those who make them try to convince the inhabitants of indigenous lands with the promise of benefits, which they will lose if they vote against. “It’s a very manipulative context,” Jarab warned. He also said that the processes that they have accompanied from the UN have been “disappointing”, which “makes us doubt the last characteristic, which is good faith.”
Victoria Tauli-Corpuz also explained that indigenous peoples in Mexico face various violations of their rights such as violence, forced displacement, impunity, criminalization of those who defend their lands, lack of access to education, health, housing, and even assassinations, among others.
Some of its recommendations point to the need to “promote and strengthen autonomy, self-government and indigenous legal systems. As established in Article 4 of the UN Declaration on these communities, they have the right to the provision of the means to finance their autonomous functions”; as well as to “create a new relationship between indigenous peoples and the State based on equality, respect and non-discrimination.”
For more information in Spanish:
Las consultas con los pueblos indígenas para explotar la tierra son una manipulación: ONU (Animal Político, 16 de octubre de 2018)
Gobierno, obligado a consultar megaproyectos a indígenas: ONU (La Jornada, 15 de octubre de 2018)
La ONU exige a México consultar a pueblos indígenas sobre megaproyectos en sus tierras (Sin Embargo, 15 de octubre de 2018)
DESTACA CNDH GRAVEDAD DEL 65% DE DISCRIMINACIÓN EN MÉXICO POR ORIGEN ÉTNICO, Y URGE ATENDER TAMBIÉN POBREZA, ALIMENTACIÓN, VIVIENDA, EDUCACIÓN, SALUD Y JUSTICIA PARA QUE LAS PERSONAS INDÍGENAS ACCEDAN A UNA VIDA DIGNA (CNDH, 15 de octubre de 2018)
PRONUNCIAMIENTO DE LAS ORGANIZACIONES Y COMUNIDADES QUE PROMOVIERON LA VISITA DE LA RELATORA ESPECIAL DE NACIONES UNIDAS SOBRE DERECHOS DE LOS PUEBLOS INDÍGENAS, VICTORIA TAULI-CORPUZ, A CHIAPAS, EN 2017. EN EL MARCO DE LA ENTREGA DE SU INFORME EN MÉXICO (OSC de Chiapas, 15 de octubre)
For more information from SIPAZ: