Indigenous Rights Mexico

Mexico Promotes Indigenous Self-Determination at UN Forum

Mexico Promotes Indigenous Self-Determination at UN Forum

INPI and National Council of Indigenous Peoples participated in the 23rd Session of the Permanent Forum of the United Nations on Indigenous Issues, at its headquarters in New York. INPI published a press release detailing Mexico’s proposal.



Mexico Promotes Indigenous Self-Determination at UN Forum. Image Credit: INPI, Mexico.



New York, April 16, 2024.

Adelfo Regino Montes, the director-general of the National Institute of Indigenous Peoples, affirmed that the Government of Mexico is working to implement the right to self-determination recognized in the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.

Participating in the 23rd regular session of the Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues of the United Nations (UN) at its headquarters in New York, he highlighted the presence of the National Council of Indigenous Peoples, which serves as a space for consultation and connection between indigenous peoples and the Mexican state to achieve the recognition and implementation of their collective rights.

He added that indigenous authorities and the Government of Mexico are collaborating on the implementation of 17 Justice Plans in the most neglected regions.

“We are constructing artisanal roads managed by the peoples themselves; we recognize and protect sacred places, and we have established the University of Indigenous Languages ??of Mexico,” he affirmed.

He emphasized that President Andrés Manuel López Obrador has submitted a Constitutional Reform Initiative on the rights of indigenous peoples to the legislature, based on the UN Declaration and other international legal instruments.



The cornerstone of this reform, he assured, is the recognition of indigenous peoples as subjects of public law, with legal personality and their own heritage.



He added that this represents a historical shift in Mexican constitutionalism as it moves away from the colonial vision that considers indigenous peoples as objects of guardianship and proposes a new relationship based on the right to self-determination.

The head of the INPI reported that, in compliance with the recommendations of this forum, Mexico organized the Latin American Seminar: Advances and Challenges in the Implementation of the Declaration from April 1 to 3 of the current year. Indigenous experts who signed the Agreements of Mexico-Tenochtitlan participated.

“Under the principle of progressiveness and the evolving nature of human rights, one of the agreements is to initiate the process of elaborating a new international legal instrument that strengthens the principles and norms of the Declaration and materializes the obligations of the States,” he emphasized.

He also suggested, based on the international legal regime and the participation of indigenous peoples as collective subjects, that it is necessary to change the name of this space to the “Permanent Forum of Indigenous Peoples.”



Finally, he said, with the support of Mexico, “I invite governments and indigenous peoples to promote these initiatives and contribute to building a fairer and more dignified world, in which our peoples are fully considered as subjects of their own history and destiny.”



Meanwhile, the members of the National Council of Indigenous Peoples, Xo?chitl Lo?pez Santiago and Oralia Maceda Me?ndez, participating in the parallel event “Promoting the Self-Determination and Autonomy of Indigenous Peoples of Mexico – Proposal for Constitutional Reform, Public Policies, and Justice Plans based on the Declaration of Indigenous Peoples,” agreed that the Council serves as a bridge between government agencies and indigenous communities and peoples.

They called on the Congress of the Union in Mexico, from the UN headquarters, to approve the Indigenous Reform Initiative to settle the historical debt with the indigenous and Afro-Mexican peoples of Mexico.

For her part, Andrea Carmen (from the Yaqui Pascua tribe), attending the parallel event, acknowledged that, through the Justice Plans, the Government led by President Andrés Manuel López Obrador has restored land, territory, and water to the Yaqui tribe, making real the inalienable rights and historical claims for which they have fought so hard.

For her part, Josefina Bravo Rangel, the Commissioner for Dialogue with Indigenous Peoples of Mexico (CDPIM) of the Ministry of the Interior, stated that President Andrés Manuel López Obrador signed on August 9, 2023, the Decree to recognize, protect, preserve, and safeguard the sacred places and sites, as well as the pilgrimage routes of the Wixa?rika, Na?ayeri, O’dam or Au’dam, and Mexikan peoples.

She explained that the Decree establishes that authorities must respect and promote the necessary actions to protect, preserve, and safeguard the cultural and natural heritage, ecological balance, and the environment of sacred places and their pilgrimage routes, ensuring they will not be subject to new concessions or permits related to mining or other industries that could affect or deteriorate them.


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