Indigenous Consultation Is a Right, Not a Concession by the State

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 Indigenous Consultation Is a Right, Not a Concession by the State

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Roberto Garduño

La Jornada,

Jaime Martinez Veloz, Commissioner for Dialogue with Indigenous Peoples of Mexico at the Secretariat of Government Relations [SEGOB], explained that the prior, free and informed consultation of indígenous villages and communities “constitutes a human right and an obligation of the Mexican State enshrined both in the constitutional order and in international treaties.”

The official was objecting to Gerardo Gutierrez Candiani, president of the Business Coordinating Council (CCE), who recently warned that to consult indigenous peoples on energy issues would hamper development of the exploration and exploitation of natural resources in mining, energy and water projects. The Oaxaca businessman stated that it would be better for consultations on exploration and exploitation of energy not to be binding with indigenous peoples in order not to affect investment.

Such a set of assertions go against the…

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