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Date: Mon, 13 May 1996 04:58:45 -0500
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>>> Item number 7710, dated 96/05/10 19:08:58 -- ALL
Date: Fri, 10 May 1996 19:08:58 GMT
Reply-To: MEXPAZ_analysis <analysis@uibero.uia.mx>
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From: MEXPAZ_analysis <analysis@uibero.uia.mx>
Subject: MEXPAZ #71 -- ANALYSIS

New Relationship Between Indigenous Peoples and State

MexPax Analysis #71:
Heartbeat of Mexico, 8 March 1996

Although the Zapatista uprising and its sequel have focused the spotlight on the movement for indigenous autonomy, such demands have long been expressed by aboriginal groups and encompass far more ethnic groups than those in the state of Chiapas (Tzeltal, Tzotzil, Tolojabal, Chol, among others, who share a common Mayan ancestry). More than 200 delegates attended the fifth National Indigenous Plural Assembly for Autonomy (ANIPA), held the last week in April in Chilapa, Guerrero, representing indigenous peoples in the states of Guerrero (Nahuatl, descendents of the lordly Aztecs), Sonora (Seri, Yaqui), Oaxaca (Zapotec, Mixe), Michoaca'n (Tarasco, Pure'pecha), Hidalgo (Otomi', Nahuatl), among others. There are at least 62 distinct ethnic groups in Mexico, each with its own language, traditions, customs and territorial roots. The delegates proposed the creation of regional autonomies and criticized a proposal of the National Indigenous Institute (INI) which would decentralize the present organization, shifting control to the states, and create a new National Indigenous Commission.

The INI proposal is contained in an extraofficial preproject entitled The New Relationship of the State with Indigenous Peoples: Constitutional Aspects.

As Floriberto Di'az, mije leader, stated eloquently: [D]evelopment has no future when final decisions are made by the State. Therefore, we are sure that if we are the ones who really decide, we can put together and execute efficient projects. Modern science and technology are not opposed to indigenous peoples' development. Nor do we feel condemned to abandom our culture if we use them to reinforce our own communities and achieve development up to the challenge of the times. (La Jornada, May 3, 1996, supplement, p. 3.)

David Crow
Javier Medina
Fronteras Comunes
e-mail: frontcomunes@laneta.apc.org