UN: Mexico does not comply on indigenous rights

From La Jornada, Aug. 10 via Chiapas95 (our translation, links added):

Iguala, Guerrero — During the term of Vicente Fox, the Mexican government has not complied with recommendations of the UN to instate consitutional reforms on the rights of indigenous peoples, as mandated under the San Andres Accords, decried the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights and fundamental freedoms of indigenous peoples, Rodolfo Stavenhagen.

At the start of an international seminar on this theme and in the context of the International Day of Indigenous Peoples, the UN functionary said that the Fox administration’s ommission “will have consequences that could generate conflictive situations.”

Stavenhagen said the government does not want to re-open the debate, despite the fact that at the beginning of his term, Fox said: “this reform does not satisfy me”, but later said it was the best that could be obtained.

“Later, there was a letter by 100 deputies [elected representatives] asking the House to re-open the debate, but this was not done because the party leaders didn’t want it,” he said.

[Stavenhagen] recalled that “12 years ago, the Zapatista National Liberation Army launched an indigenous political movement in our country…which finally resulted, after negotiations with the previous government, in the San Andres Accords; but from there the constitutional reform was truncated in 2001, which satisfied nobody; conflicts continue because there is still much injustice.”

He recognized that there have been advances: “20 years ago, nobody spoke of the rights of indigenous peoples; today it is one of the central themes. It is a critical matter for the UN. But even if they manage to impose peace in Lebanon, a world without a Universal Declaration of Indigeous Peoples will be a world much more anarchic, chaotic and dangerous than the world which actually exists.”

For his part, Amerigo Incalcaterra, Mexico’s representative to the UN’s high commission in this matter, said that since 2003, the government of Vicente Fox has complied with UN recommendations, including to “loan more attention to the protection and promotion of guarantees to the original peoples.”

He cited efforts to consult with communities on the constitutional reform, and to strengthen respect for the rights of indigenous peoples to access to lands, territories and natural resources…

Note strategic use of the term “access to lands, territories and natural resources,” as opposed to “control over lands, territories and natural resources”—the sticking point of the San Andres Accords.

See our last post on indigenous struggles in Mexico.