Within the framework of the International Indigenous Peoples’ Day, the National Institute of Indigenous Peoples (INPI) launched an initiative to reform the Mexican Constitution on the rights of indigenous and Afro-Mexican peoples. This reform seeks to modify 15 articles “to guarantee the recognition of indigenous and Afro-Mexican peoples.”
According to the INPI website, this initiative was born from the proposals and agreements emanating from 62 regional assemblies of the free, prior and informed consultation process that were carried out in 2019, so this modification “reflects the thinking of the communities who have historically fought for their individual and collective rights.” However, it must be remembered that at the time various indigenous organizations in the country had refrained from participating in these forums as they were imposed consultations. “We do not participate in order not to endorse a simulation process of T4, where the design of the assemblies, forums and proposals comes from above”, said Carlos Beas Torres, advisor to the Union of Indigenous Communities of the Northern Zone of the Isthmus (UCIZONI) .
During the conference “20 Years of Constitutional Reform in Indigenous Matters”, the federal Senator of the Republic for Oaxaca, Susana Harp, as well as the federal deputy Irma Juan Carlos, spoke of the achievements and challenges of this reform born in 2001 after the uprising of the EZLN in 1994 and of the San Andres Larrainzar Accords in 1996.
In Oaxaca, Tequio Juridico A.C expressed that the prior, free and informed consultation “as it is proposed, challenges the autonomy of the peoples, it does not respect it”; in addition to the fact that, in environmental matters, “although we recognize the serious problem facing our planet, these concepts, limited to indigenous territories, have been used to commercialize them and impose energy projects.”In addition, in the dialogue “Challenges of Indigenous Reform” the pending issues of 20 years were mentioned, for example, the participation of women and youth in decision-making and access to land or the right to political representation in public bodies.
On another note, organizations such as La Montaña Tlachinollan Human Rights Center and Services and Assessment for Peace (SERAPAZ) highlighted that “advancing this reform implies paying off a historic debt” to enforce the San Andres Larrainzar Accords on indigenous rights and culture “and give way to a relationship of respect and equality between the peoples and the State.”
For more information in Spanish:
Riesgos y aciertos de la reforma sobre derechos indígenas y afro mexicanos, según Tequio Jurídico (Educa Oaxaca, 11 de agosto de 2021)
Posicionamiento público de tequio jurídico a.c., con relación a la iniciativa de reforma constitucional (Tequio Jurídico, 9 de agosto de 2021)
Alianza de indígenas exige aprobar reforma constitucional por el respeto a sus derechos (La Jornada, 9 de agosto de 2021)
Video: Mesa de análisis “20 años sobre el derecho a la libre autodeterminación(Dirección de Derechos Humanos del Consejo de la Judicatura del PJEO, 12 de agosto de 2021)
For more information from SIPAZ: