Indigenous communities in Mexico are demanding recognition of their autonomy

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Mexico city. In southern Mexico, there are increasing voices calling for the country’s Morena government to make progress in recognizing indigenous rights.

In October, several alliances came out on the subject, including the Alliance for Self-Determination and Autonomy (Aldea), an association of 50 social and civil society organizations and indigenous communities from several states.

Aldea calls on the legislature and the government to move from election promises to action two years after taking office and to implement constitutional reform so that indigenous communities are finally recognized as legal subjects and historical discrimination and racism in the country are combated.

The basis The proposals are the agreement on indigenous rights between the Mexican government and the zapatista guerrilla EZLN from 1996, which was never implemented, as well as current demands, which particularly emphasize indigenous rights in connection with controversial large-scale projects.

In a forum with the participation of international organizations such as the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights and the UN rapporteur on the rights of indigenous peoples, Francisco Cali, stressed Jorge Oziel Pech from the collective “Maya de los Chénes” that agricultural companies, solar and wind parks and now the Maya train project “systematically violate their right to autonomy and self-determination”.

“We are no longer ready to be treated as outsiders in our countries and territories”, indigenous organizations in Oaxaca also clarified at another forum. That’s why call on them to work out a local legal initiative, which should establish the territorial rights of the indigenous communities and peoples of the state of Oaxaca.

In the case of Oaxaca, where a good half of the population defines themselves as indigenous, demands decision of the Supreme Court asked the local parliament to enact indigenous rights, including the right to be questioned. The 50 or so organizations and communities also criticize the fact that “in view of the ambitions of capital”, laws have been passed in the past that facilitate the expropriation of indigenous areas, which is reflected in the concessions for mining, hydropower, wind power and highways. The native seeds, especially maize, are also threatened by the agricultural industry and the use of genetic engineering.

The fact that the indigenous policy of the government under President Andrés Manuel López Obrador is not under a good star is also shown by the occupation of the central offices of the National Institute for Indigenous Peoples (INPI) in Mexico City by otomy indigenous people who are represented in the National Indigenous Congress (CNI ) are organized, which is close to the Zapatistas.

The indigenous people who have been homeless in Mexico City since the earthquake in 2017 are not only demanding housing for their families, but also an end to the attacks on communities in Chiapas that are affiliated with the EZLN. The cast takes place support by organizations from other parts of the country, which they interpret as a “wake-up call” with which the right of self-determination of the indigenous peoples is to be claimed.

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