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Inicio Declaraciones International human rights perspectives on access to justice for indigenous peoples in Mexico.

At the same time, it would be important to encourage the participation of indigenous elders and traditional cultural authorities as experts, in addition to academics.

I found that access to justice for indigenous peoples using the agrarian legal system could be seriously limited if current international standards on indigenous peoples’ rights to lands, territories, natural resources and other human rights are not adequately incorporated and applied by agrarian authorities.

These efforts would need to ensure that mechanisms within the national justice systems are accessible and culturally adequate. Secondly, I will provide an overview of the findings made after my official visit to Mexico regarding access to justice, indigenous systems of justice and self-determination.

I want to give my respect to the indigenous peoples of this country whose right to access to justice is the subject of discussion in this seminar. A decision by the Supreme Court held that the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples could not adjudicate cases where one of the parties involved is not an indigenous person or does not belong to the same ethno-linguistic group as the other party, thus limiting the understanding of indigenous justice. This is aggravated by the presence of organized crime in indigenous territories and the overall situation of impunity afflicting the country.

Various countries in and outside of the Latin American region have developed legislation or jurisprudence seeking to establish parameters of coordination between the two systems of justice following constitutional or legislative recognition of indigenous jurisdiction and juridical systems.

Coordination between indigenous and national justice system In Mexico, as in other countries, the recognition of indigenous juridical systems would also involve the establishment of mechanisms for harmonization and interface with the national or ordinary jurisdiction. Delays in the resolution of land cases before agrarian tribunals have led to prolonged and often violent inter and intra communal conflicts. As Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, I am tasked to look into the obstacles, challenges, barriers and good practices of States in protecting, respecting and fulfilling the rights of indigenous peoples.

Promoting an intercultural understanding of human rights.

The Court considered there to be an “intercultural consensus” on the minimum human rights requirements that indigenous authorities were to respect in their decisions. Convention recognizes the rights of indigenous peoples to exercise their customs, customary laws and methods for dealing with penal matters subject to fundamental human rights principles recognized in domestic and international legal sources.

Bolivia aprobó una peligrosa ley de justicia indígena

As detailed in my report, legal and institutional reforms need to be implemented to better respond to the needs indigenous peoples jurisdiccoinal in obtaining justice for violations of their rights to lands and territories, to be consulted regarding measures and activities affecting them, jutisdiccional well as for acts of violence, threats and intimidation that they face.


However, Special Rapporteur Stavenhagen noted this same article “hems it round with restrictions which make it difficult to implement it in practice. Measures shall be taken to ensure that members of these peoples can understand and be understood in legal proceedings, where necessary through the provision of interpretation or by other effective means” art.

These international standards should guide the necessary processes of intercultural dialogue between indigenous and national justice authorities in order to devise ways of collaboration and coordination in areas of mutual interest, including security, delinde administration, governance and the fight against impunity.

However, there is also a need to develop mechanisms to ensure access to justice for indigenous peoples seeking protection of their lands, territories and natural resources in the context of megaprojects, agrarian conflicts and cases of environmental and health damages. Such exchanges could also help promote further knowledge of international human rights standards by both types of authorities.

I will then conclude with a discussion of further areas of work in the areas of indigenous justice systems and autonomy based on the recommendations I made in my country report. Indigenous peoples could also be informed about the functions and procedures of the ordinary justice system.

I also noted concerns over abuses experienced by indigenous individuals including arbitrary arrests and excessive use of pretrial detention for juurisdiccional men and women. This could include an intercultural review body made of representatives of indigenous and ordinary justice authorities.

An intercultural dialogue between indigenous and State justice authorities regarding the areas that indigenous justice operators consider jurisdiccionql should adjudicate should be promoted with a view to guaranteeing a maximum level of autonomy for the indigenous peoples concerned. It also presents limits for indigenous individuals, communities and peoples seeking to assert their rights in national legal systems.

There should not be predetermined assumptions that indigenous jurisdictional functions have to be limited to only minor infractions, that it should only apply to members of the same community or people, or to only cases occurring within an indigenous peoples’ territory. Therefore, avenues of dialogue, coordination and collaboration are needed between State authorities and indigenous autonomous institutions such as community police, indigenous courts, good governance councils and autonomous municipalities in areas of mutual interest.

Regarding indigenous peoples’ right to judicial protection, the Inter-American Court has stated that States must take into account indigenous peoples’ “specificities, their economic and social characteristics, as well as their situation of special vulnerability, their customary law, values jirisdiccional customs.

This has presented certain challenges and consequences for indigenous justice systems.

International human rights perspectives on access to justice for indigenous peoples in Mexico

According to Convention on Indigenous and Tribal Peoples, ratified by Mexico inindigenous peoples have the right to “be able to take legal proceedings, either individually or through their representative bodies, for the effective protection of [their] rights. On the other jurisdicclonal, indigenous peoples throughout Mexico have developed numerous proposals to promote their autonomy, jurisdiiccional and justice administration, especially where federal and state responses have been inefficient or non-existent.


For indigenous peoples, there continue to be economic, cultural, language and geographic barriers along with racism and discrimination that limit indigenous peoples’ ability to defend their rights before the national legal system. It was in the context of this mandate that I was invited by the Government of Mexico to undertake an official country mission from 8 to 17 November An important avenue to guarantee access to justice for indigenous peoples is the recognition and promotion of their own juridical systems.

Coordination 0733 indigenous and national justice system. Access to justice also requires the respect and promotion of indigenous peoples’ usages, hurisdiccional, juridical systems, autonomy and self-governance initiatives, also recognized in the abovementioned international instruments.

These different actions taken by indigenous peoples have contributed to the reduction of crime at the local level. In Mexico, as in other countries, the recognition of indigenous juridical systems would also involve the establishment of mechanisms for harmonization and interface with the national or ordinary jurisdiction. As article 4 of the Declaration states, iurisdiccional peoples have the right to ways and means for financing their autonomous functions.

In Chiapas, the creation and promotion of autonomous municipalities and good-governance juriseiccional have responded to the needs of indigenous peoples in the areas of health, education, justice and other rights without creating dependence on government judisdiccional.

My mission had the two-fold purpose of assessing the implementation of the recommendations that my predecessor Special Rapporteur Rodolfo Stavenhagen made in and to evaluate how Mexico has implemented its international commitments on indigenous peoples’ human rights.

Bolivia aprobó una peligrosa ley de justicia indígena – Infobae

There is considerable variation among the states and at the federal level with respect to the recognition of the rights of indigenous peoples to elect their own authorities according to their own traditions. The information I deslibde indicated problems in the respect of due process rights of indigenous individuals before the criminal justice systems due the shortage of indigenous language interpreters, lawyers, public defenders and justice desinde who speak indigenous languages. Without consideration to those barriers, members of indigenous peoples before the criminal justice system may face violations of due process if they do not understand the legal procedures instituted against them.

Regarding the recognition of indigenous normative and juridical systems, some states have recognized indigenous community police, indigenous courts and other forms of conflict resolution systems. Domestic and international legal sources state that the exercise of the right by indigenous peoples of customary jurisdoccional practices must also respect fundamental human rights. Although the Supreme Court has decided on amparo actions related to these cases, it has not yet led to the development of binding jurisprudence on the States’ obligation to consult indigenous peoples.

Convention also emphasizes that in situations where dezlinde of indigenous peoples face criminal penalties under general law, “account shall be taken of their economic, social and cultural characteristics” and methods of punishment other than prison shall be given preference art.