Date: 27 APRIL 2017
Location: New York, United States.
Thank you very much, good afternoon to you all of you.
I tell them to Mexico City is a great honor to meet in the UN headquarters. I want to acknowledge the presence of Ms. Victoria Tauli-Corpuz, UN Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples; It is a true honor to present this text with your presence.
I greet all the members of this main table and of course, within these 10 years of the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples is absolutely important for us to find to raise what now will expose.
We are here to raise, to expose our experience, to discuss with you how we did, how we establish the rights of indigenous people, communities and indigenous peoples in the Constitution of Mexico.
Mexico City has a multicultural, multiethnic and plurilinguistic composition. Our native cultures developed their own architecture; forms of political organization; scripture, religion, food and agriculture based on the cultivation of corn, cactus, amaranth, chili and beans.
Our city can be considered as the Indian Capital of America only by the number of people who belong as indigenous, we are talking about more than 784 thousand people, representing 8.8 percent of our total population. In addition, there is exemplary registration 55 indigenous languages in this country, with more than 129,000 speakers.
Náhuatl, Mixteco, Otomí, Mazateco, Rug, Huichol, Huastecan, Tzeltal, Tzotzil, Triqui, Zoque, Maya, Mazahua Lacandón Rarámuri Purepecha Quiché Tojolobal, Yaqui Popoluca Chinanteco Chichimeca Totonacan, Mixe, Pame, are some of the cultures and languages alive today is our city.
How can we not be proud of this rich cultural heritage that lives and builds until today.
While it is regrettable that historically indigenous peoples and indigenous communities in the country live in poverty and marginalization, conditions which has resulted in ignorance of their human rights, the invasion of their territories, dispossession of their natural wealth and their exclusion in political and economic and therefore has resulted in injustice and inequality processes.
In 2013, in an unprecedented effort, we headed the government that launched the first survey on discrimination in Mexico City. One of the most alarming findings we had was discovering the terrible exclusion faced by indigenous people. We are certain that progress in this task we must first know and recognize this reality.
After this diagnosis, we should recognize, as I said, both in Mexico City, and nationally the indigenous agenda still has setbacks in the exercise of individual and collective rights.
In response, the idea of having our own constitutional text represents an opportunity to perpetuate the relationship between the government and indigenous people of the city. So we took on the task of reviewing documents, consult national and international experts.
In this spirit it was determined from the progress that has been generated in the national and international legal framework for civil rights.
In reviewing the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples we observed that essentially represented a solid basis for a new institutional arrangement with our communities.
Among other things, establishes the full enjoyment of their human rights and fundamental freedoms; mandata non-discrimination on ethnic origin; establishes the right to self-determination and raises the requirement to consult communities on governance issues that may affect them.
At the end of the analysis we ask, “Why not pick up Why not propel Why not make it happen Why not translate it into a cultural document????”.
That was how we decided to incorporate that statement, and the logical conclusion: if there is a statement, if those are the minimum rights in the world as Mexico City should recognize these rights; You can not go for less, I could not go for less, should not go for less.
So it was that it was decided, and decided to include it as a result of discussions, workshops, seminars and forums arose ultimately narrow the UN Declaration on the draft Constitution of the City of Mexico, the first Constitution of the Mexico City.
Here I must stress the synergies generated with civil society organizations, who of course recognize their active participation in the project as well as academic institutions and various levels of government.
The next step was to conduct a consultation with the free and informed participation, it is very important to emphasize, informed indigenous people; This process was demanded by them, warning that it could not approve a constitution without their endorsement.
Besides, in those days received at Mexico City’s important visit of the UN Rapporteur on Indigenous Rights, Ms. Victoria Tauli-Corpuz, who of course, I appreciate your attention and support throughout this process.
Once the Declaration was incorporated into the constitutional project corresponded to the Constituent Assembly, of whom two representatives have here: the Lord Encinas and Don Porfirio Muñoz Ledo; to lead, work, convince, discuss and I must acknowledge the timely work of the Constituent Assembly that predominated: dialogue, political dialogue and the sum of wills.
All political forces represented here, all voted unanimously this project, no votes against, with no abstentions.
All and all agreed to contribute to settling the historical debt to indigenous people and their communities, because the Declaration include full in our Constitution, we have made binding.
It is also important to note that after its adoption, the Constitution was challenged, just now faces unconstitutionality and constitutional controversies by various bodies.
However, we are certain that the Constitution will be strengthened, that in this process we will defend it, in this process will work for any rights does not subtract the inhabitants of the city, let alone the rights are removed communities indigenous, native villages and neighborhoods.
The promulgation of the Constitution is just the beginning of a process, a process whose next challenge is the implementation, we are aware of it.
Over the coming months we must build secondary legislation; strengthen institutions; define the transverse and sufficient budget; redesign programs and actions with clear rules, simple operation adjusted to the constitutional framework. We should also professionalize our public servants to provide better care with respect for human rights and a spirit of service.
The entire city government should be clear that cater to indigenous people is a priority.
In addition, this action plan will include a detailed follow-up with periodic reports, performance evaluations and supported by measurement mechanisms, targets and indicators some of which are outlined in the Constitution itself results. I take this opportunity to seek the support of United Nations experts … to monitor and verify that the plan fully complies.
I want to share that not starting from scratch, Mexico City now has a policy of comprehensive care that connects traditional medicine and herbology, contribute to school attendance, grant support for productive projects and promotes community communication through language rights .
We have a secure job and Cultural Center and Indian Artisanal and Intercultural Center currently being built to provide work and training activities respectively. Legal support is also provided to indigenous people in prison, who are supported with interpretation, translation and in many cases have already achieved their release and removal.
Ladies and gentlemen, representatives of indigenous peoples of the world, I want to reiterate in this unique platform, in this great opportunity in the City of Mexico indigenous people and their communities have rights, preserve their traditions and customs, they are equal to other peoples yet, different and as such must be respected.
We are facing a challenge but also an opportunity before. At present in our country, Mexico, we are obliged to close ranks, to strengthen our sense of identity as a nation, as a community around indigenous peoples, indigenous peoples; which is precisely where our roots.
I know we can do it, all the challenges we have overcome so far, government and society have made great strides in addressing early childhood; in protecting women’s rights; in the exercise of the rights of older persons; LGBTTTI of populations; people with disabilities and of course, of migrants.
If we give good results, we are confident that it will be replicated throughout the country. This example of Mexico City should be dispersed, it must reach the national level. If it was feasible here, with the concert of all political forces, we see no obstacle that can be replicated in the country as happens with a lot of social policy applies in Mexico City.
For your attention and for this wonderful opportunity to comment on the Constitution of the City of Mexico, thank you very much.