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The Narco News Bulletin

"The Name of Our Country is América"

-- Simón Bolívar

November 26, 2000

Part II of The Mexican Transition: Spotlight on Chiapas

Countdown to December 1, 2000:

Fox's First Challenge: The San Andrés Peace Accords

Deeds, not Words, will Decide from the Start the Ability of Mexico's Next President to Govern

Full Text of San Andrés Accords, that Restore Autonomy to All Aspects of Daily Life, Including Drug Policy, Are Published Below Our Analysis

Sometimes presidents, kings, and even presidents-elect speak more clearly when their words will be published in foreign lands and languages, where the folks back home are unlikely to read them.

The Narco News Bulletin has thus monitored the international press coverage of Mexican president-elect Vicente Fox - who takes office next Friday, December 1 - and found an interview, published in the Catalan language of Barcelona (the autonomous region of Spain known as Catalunya) on Sunday, November 26th.

In the interview, by Verònica Sanz, Mexico City Correspondent of the daily Avui in Barcelona, Fox partially revealed his plan for Mexico's southernmost state of Chiapas, where the indigenous Zapatista Army of National Liberation (EZLN, in its Spanish acronym) has rebelled against the State for almost seven years.

And yet, in Mexico since his July 2nd election, Fox has said little about the Chiapas conflict, which, during his presidential campaign he boasted he would be able to solve "in 15 minutes."

Indeed, Fox's ability to govern, as we reported in our Chiapas analysis last August in Narco News, is absolutely dependent on his ability to end the "low-intensity warfare" waged by the Mexican state with Pentagon manuals, US arms, Davidow's Embassy spooks and narco-paramilitaries created and supported by governments to wage the dirty war against the indigenous people of Chiapas.

Especially relevant to our work is how the Mexican armed forces have used the Chiapas conflict to gain monopoly control over drug trafficking through this border state while repressing indigenous communities that not only do not traffic in drugs, but refuse consumption of drugs and alcohol.

Our nine-part series on Chiapas published last Spring reported what the Colombian daily El Universal of Medellín concluded in an investigative report last Wednesday, November 22nd: that in the past five years, with the Mexican Army and 70,000 of its troops occupying every corner of Chiapas, the drug trade in that State has increased exponentially. Chiapas, in wartime, has become a Narco-State, where the government trafficks the drugs in place of combatting them.

Bringing a peace with justice to Chiapas is not just necessary for Fox's ability to govern at home; it is an absolute requirement for the new president to continue to enjoy goodwill abroad.

There is one sentence, however, that is vitally necessary for Fox to speak, loudly and clearly. It is: That the San Andrés Peace Agreements will be enacted, in the form that they were signed. And then he needs to go beyond words and enact them.

The Mexican State signed the peace accords in 1996 with the Zapatista communities, and then proceeded to break them ruthlessly and violently.

Had the ruling PRI party of 71 years respected those agreements, it would still be in power. Thus, Fox owes his historic presidential victory to the Zapatista rebellion which began the end of the one-party state.

And yet Fox and his aides have ducked those three words -- San Andrés Accords -- at home and abroad.

The press, domestic and international, has also failed to pin him down on this central point.

We explained, last August, the reasons for the cageyness regarding the San Andrés Accords by Fox and too much of the media.

The San Andrés accords restore autonomy to indigenous communities: that is to say, autonomous control over local government, its form, its judicial processes (including certain drug policies), its media, and, above all, autonomous control over the land.

The US government has pressured the Mexican State to break that treaty (just as the US has broken all its treaties with indigenous peoples). The interests of multi-national corporations who want the oil to be privatized and looted along with the minerals, the hardwoods, the agriculture, the natural wealth of the Lacandon jungle, and the cheap labor of persecuted Chiapanecos, are mounted against the concept that Indians will control those resources in and under their towns.

Furthermore, US officials fear the precedent set: the enactment of the San Andrés Accords in Mexico will restore autonomy not just to Chiapas, but to all of Mexico's 56 indigenous ethnic groups in regions from South to North. This historic development would come as indigenous peoples in other lands - Guatemala, Ecuador, Bolivia, Peru, Brazil, Nicaragua, Panama, Colombia and others - are demanding the same justice.

Fox is caught between his campaign promise to respect and enact the San Andrés Accords and the pressures of the superpower to the North and its business interests (including the media, which has a vested interest in opposing that part of the treaty that would guarantee Indigenous access to the airwaves).

We say it again: Enactment of the San Andrés Peace Accords by the Fox government will be the sina qua non - that without which nothing else can happen - of his ability to govern the great nation of 96 million people, ten million or more of them indigenous, that is Mexico.

Our analysis begins with what Fox is saying (as opposed to his silence on the San Andrés Accords) in Sunday's edition of Avui ("Today") of Barcelona. Translated from the original Catalan by The Narco News Bulletin, here is what Vicente Fox told Mexico correspondent Veronica Sanz for consumption across the ocean:

Sanz: Is it true that you will withdraw the army from the State of Chiapas if the Zapatistas rejoin the peace negotiations?

Fox: I don't see reasons that justify the exit of the army from Chiapas nor from any other state. What I have said is that the army should return to the positions it held when the conflict began. Within a month, this will be an unconditional measure, a demonstration of good faith toward the leaders of the EZLN that the new government has the sincere will to dialogue.

Sanz: You said that upon winning the presidency you would try to put yourself in contact with the Zapatistas, but they have not responded. To what do you attribute this silence?

Fox: It s clear that there has to be dialogue to solve this conflict. I would think that the EZLN is making its analysis, it's reflection with respect to the messages that I have sent and that society has sent by electing for the first time a president and a governor who are not part of the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI).

Narco News Analysis: The withdraw of the Mexican Army "to the positions it held when the conflict began," as Fox pledges, ignores the role of those same Armed Forces in provoking the rebellion on December 31, 1993 that continues today.

When the Zapatistas rose up and took for cities on that New Year's Eve, they brought with them a pamphlet, "El Despertador Mexicano" ("The Mexican Awakener," alternately translated as "The Mexican Alarm Clock"), dated December 31, 1993:


We are the product of 500 years of struggle: first against slavery, then during the War of Independence against Spain led by insurgents, then to avoid being absorbed by North American imperialism, then to promulgate our constitution and expel the French Empire from our soil, and later the dictatorship of Porfirio Diaz denied us the just application of our Reform Laws, and the people rebelled and leaders like Villa and Zapata emerged, poor people like us. We have been denied the most elemental preparation so that they can use us as cannon fodder and pillage the wealth of our country. They don't care that we have nothing, absolutely nothing, not even a roof over our heads: no land, no work, no health care, no food, no education….

Well aware of the US-imposed strategy of using a hypocritical drug war to repress social movements throughout America, the Zapatistas wrote in their opening statement:

Beforehand, we reject any effort to disgrace our just cause by accusing us of being drug traffickers, drug guerrillas, thieves or other names that might be used by our enemies. Our struggle follows the Constitution, which is held high by its call for justice and equality.

The Zapatistas declared war upon the Mexican Army, when the military was in the very "positions it held when the conflict began" and among its demands called, in a clear reference to US influence over the Mexican Armed Forces through the School of the Americas and other means, for:

"summary judgements against all soldiers of the Mexican Federal Army and the political police who have received training or have been paid by foreigners, accused of being traitors to our country..."

Thus, while Fox's planned repositioning of the Mexican army in Chiapas will play well to those unfamiliar with the causes that led to the conflict almost seven years ago, it will not remove one of the key reasons why the conflict began: the use of a military apparatus by the Mexican state, with US aid, arms and advisors, not to defend the nation from foreign attack, but to occupy and oppress its own people, particularly the indigenous Mexicans.

Fox's post-electoral silence on the San Andrés Accords - the one hope that he has for ending the conflict and restoring peace - is bizarre, given that every national public opinion poll demonstrates that the Mexican public - indigenous or not - supports the Accords in numbers greater than it supports Fox or any other politician.

Miguel Concha, who heads Mexico's Catholic Dominican order and is one of the leading human rights advocates in all América, wrote a "Proposal for Chiapas" in his Saturday, November 25th column in La Jornada.

He noted that Fox's own appointed "Study Commission for the Reform of the State," a body that delivered its report last Wednesday to the president-elect, called for the passage of the San Andrés Accords, as interpreted by the Cocopa Peace Commission of federal legislators and citizens, so that "ethnic and cultural autonomy must be consecrated in the Constitution."

The commission's call for the passage of the San Andrés Accords and the "demilitarization of Chiapas" was met, wrote Concha, "with intense applause by the 130 academics, specialists and intellectuals who are members of the commission" that attended the Wednesday presentation of the report.

It was Fox who appointed these 130 members of Mexican Civil Society to his commission. Thus his silence on the San Andrés Accords is puzzling.

Fox made a reference in his Barcelona interview to the newly elected governor of Chiapas, Pablo Salazar. The new Chiapas governor was also a member of Cocopa, the peace commission that drafted the legislation based on the San Andrés Accords.

Fox's new special envoy to Chiapas -- the 85-year-old statesman Luis H. Alvarez - was also a member of Cocopa.

Alvarez, who will replace the whiney and disingenuous Emilio Rebasa who made a violent mess of Chiapas policy as outgoing President Ernesto Zedillo's Chiapas envoy, also seems to understand the primary importance of the San Andrés Accords, and yet since his nomination last Wednesday, Alvarez has not used the words even when he has referred to the broken agreements.

Interviewed in last Thursday's El Universal of Mexico City, Alvarez made a reference to the San Andrés Accords without naming them, when he spoke of "broken promises" by the State toward the indigenous Zapatistas:

El Universal: Do you now hope for some statement from the EZLN, which has not happened since the July 2nd election?

Alvarez: I personally don't even expect such a statement in the near future. I believe that the entering government will have to demonstrate with deeds that, in effect, it will conduct a new and different manner of governing.

El Universal: What is the fundamental step to initiate the dialogue?

Alvarez: The instituting of measures that have the capacity to revive the confidence in the various parties. The distrust is lamentable but understandable, because they (the Zapatistas) have been victims on innumerable occasions of tricks and broken promises.

And in an interview that same day with Proceso online, Alvarez said:

"We propose to demonstrate to the indigenous communities that the results of July 2nd have at their base the change of attitudes that lamentably have been present in the past and that have kept the people marginalized."

Not hearing the words "San Andrés Accords," Proceso nonetheless called Alvarez's statement "a clear allusion to the San Andrés Accords that President Ernesto Zedillo ignored."

If that is the case, then why won't Fox, nor his new Chiapas envoy, nor anyone else on his staff other than the 130-member commission on Reform of the State, use the words "San Andrés Accords?"

The optimistic view is that Fox, ever the showman, is holding back in order to bring more impact to his immediate adherence, next Friday, to the San Andrés Peace Accords.

But if the new government will merely talk of peace and dialogue in Chiapas while continuing to break the promise made by the Mexican State in the San Andrés Accords, the hopes and aspirations that the Mexican public have placed in their new leader will be extinguished before they even have a chance to be achieved.

Or, as the San Andrés Accords state explicitly:

"Autonomy is the concrete expression of the exercise of the right to self-determination."

We have often stated that, in formulating a new drug policy, autonomy -- of the sovereign nation, the community and the individual -- is our guiding principle.

The San Andrés Accords, in their guarantee of local autonomous systems of justice, provide community autonomy -- what more commonly in North America is known as "local control" or "home rule" -- over certain drug policies. That includes the right to prohibit, on a local scale, certain drugs, including alcohol, as the Zapatista communities have done. And it also includes, according to the agreements, "The rights of the indigenous towns to the protection of their sacred sites and ceremonial centers, and the use of plants... that are considered sacred for strictly ritual use must also be insured."

In this historic agreement that creates a saner drug policy more tuned to local customs and needs, The Narco News Bulletin adheres to the San Andrés Accords.

Beyond our own theme of drug policy, the historic importance of the San Andrés Accords is how they have applied the principle of autonomy to all aspects of everyday life, thus providing América a path out of the globalized inferno, imposed upon us without democratic vote nor consultation, under which we reside today.

Vicente Fox owes his victory to the possibility of defeating one-party rule, a hope that was raised valiently by the resistance that the indigenous Mexicans who rose up on December 31, 1993.

The coming days and weeks will determine whether Vicente Fox honors that debt.

From somewhere in that country called América,

Al Giordano
The Narco News Bulletin

In the public interest, Narco News hereby publishes the full text of the San Andrés Accords of January 18, 1996, signed by the Mexican Federal Government and the Zapatista Army of National Liberation.

The translation to English was by Rosalva Bermudez-Ballin for the Irish Zapatista Homepage:

San Andrés accords
January 18, 1996

Joint Proposals which the Federal Government and the EZLN commit to send to the Debate and National Decision Authorities, in Accord with Point 1.4 of the Rules of Procedure.

"The various parties commit themselves to sending to the Debate and National Decision Authorities the following joint proposals upon which they have agreed".

Section I

On the basis of the new relationship between the State and the indigenous peoples it is necessary to recognize, insure and guarantee rights within an emended federalist framework. Such an objective implies the promotion of reforms and addenda to the Federal Constitution and the laws emerging from it , as well as to State Constitutions and local Judicial Dispositions, to further, on the one hand, the establishment of general foundations that may insure unity and national objectives; and, at the same time, allow the federative entities the true power to legislate and act in accordance to the particularities of the indigenous issues coming before them.

1.- To urge a profound transformation of the State, as well as of the political, social, cultural, and economic relationships with the indigenous peoples, which satisfies their demands for justice.

2.- To urge the emplacement of an all-inclusive new social agreement, based on the understanding of the fundamental plurality of Mexican society and on the contribution that the indigenous people can make to national unity, beginning with the constitutional acknowledgement of their rights, and in particular, to their right to self-determination and autonomy.

3.- The legal reforms to be promoted must originate from the principle of the equality of all Mexicans before the law and judicial organs, and not by the creation of special codes of law that privilege particular people; respecting the principle that the Mexican Nation is a pluricultural entity which is originally supported by its indigenous peoples.

4.- The constitutional modifications represent one of the most important factors in the new relationship between the indigenous peoples and the State within the framework of reforming the State, so that their demands may find support within the State legal system.

Section II

1.- The creation of a judicial framework that establishes a new relationship between indigenous peoples and the State, based on the recognition of their right to self-determination and the judicial, political, social, economic and cultural rights that obtain from it. The new constitutional dispositions must include a framework of autonomy.

2.- Such a judicial framework must be produced with the recognition of the self-determination of indigenous peoples, who, with previous societies, are the ones who have suffered a historical continuation of colonial oppression, maintain and recognize their own identities; and possess the will to preserve them, based on their own, distinct cultural, social, political and economic characteristics. Those attributes characterize them as indigenous peoples, and as such, they are constituted as subjects with a right to self-determination.

Autonomy is the concrete expression of the exercise of the right to self-determination, within the framework of membership in the National State. The indigenous peoples shall be able, consequently, to decide their own form of internal government as well as decide their way of organizing themselves politically, socially, economically and culturally. Within the new constitutional framework of autonomy, the exercise of self-determination of indigenous peoples shall be respected in each of the domains and levels in which they are asserted, being able to encompass one or more indigenous groups, according to particular and specific circumstances in each federal entity. The exercise of autonomy of indigenous people will contribute to the unity and democratization of national life and will strengthen national sovereignty.

It is appropriate to admit, as a fundamental demand of the indigenous peoples, their right to autonomy, insofar as they are communities with different cultures and they have the faculty to decide their own local issues within the framework of the National State. This acknowledgement is based on Agreement 169 of the OIT International Labor Organization, and ratified by the Senate of the Republic. Thus, the recognition of autonomy is based on the concept of indigenous group, which is founded on historical criteria and on cultural identity.

3.- National legislation must acknowledge indigenous peoples as subjects with the right to self-determination and autonomy.

4.- It is proposed to the Congress of the Union to recognize, in national legislation, these communities as entities with public rights, with the right to free association in municipalities with populations that are predominantly indigenous, as well as the right of a group of municipalities to associate, in order to coordinate their actions as indigenous peoples.

Competent authorities will execute the orderly and gradual transference of resources, so that the people themselves may administer the public funds assigned to them, and to strengthen the indigenous participation in government, negotiations and administration in the various domains and levels. It will be up to state legislatures to determine, in their case, the obligations and faculties that might be transferred.

State legislatures will be able to move forward on the remunicipatization in the territories in which the indigenous villages are established, said remunicipalization must be based on consultation with the towns involved.

In order to strengthen the federal contract, it is essential to revise in depth, not only the relationship between the Federation and the state governments, but also the relationship between the latter and the municipalities.

The union between townships and predominantly indigenous populations is proposed, not as a different type of municipality, but as one which, within the framework of the general concept of this political institution, may allow indigenous participation in its composition and unity, while, at the same time promoting and integrating indigenous communities into the municipal government. As to what constitutes a municipality with a predominantly indigenous population, reaffirming the full meaning of a free municipality on which federalism is based, it is considered necessary that the organizations be constitutionally strengthened, in such a manner that:

a) they may be endowed with duties that guarantee the exercise of autonomy of the indigenous peoples;

b) the structure foreseen in the Municipal Organic Law will guide and orient them toward facing the new challenges of development, and in particular to the needs and new forms of organization specifically for indigenous towns;

5.- It is proposed that the Congress of the Union and to the State Legislatures acknowledge and establish the characteristics of self-determination and the levels and modes of autonomy, taking into consideration what "autonomy" means.

a) Territory. Every indigenous town is found in a territory that covers the entire habitat occupied or used by indigenous people in one form or another. The territory is the material base of their reproduction as a people and it expresses the inseparable unity people-land-nature.

b) Demarcation of application. Jurisdiction is the spatial, material and personal normative field of validity in which the indigenous people apply their rights. The Mexican State will acknowledge the existence of said fields.

c) Responsibilities. There must be compatibility with various federal, state and municipal authorities, as well as a distribution of political, administrative, economic, social, cultural, educational, judicial resources, for the management and protection of natural resources, with the purpose of responding opportunely to the requirements and demands of indigenous peoples.

Furthermore, it will be required to specify the obligations, faculties and resources that are likely to be transferred to the indigenous communities and towns under the established criteria in Section 5.2 of the document entitled "Joint Pronouncements", as well as the various forms of participation by the communities and towns vis a vis the government authorities, so that they may interact and coordinate their actions with them, particularly at the municipal level.

d) Self-development. The indigenous communities and towns themselves must determine their development projects and programs. For this reason, it is considered appropriate to incorporate, in local and federal legislation, the ideal mechanisms that would promote the participation of indigenous peoples in the planning for development at all levels; so that the design of this participation may take into consideration their aspirations, needs and priorities.

e) Participation in the national and state channels of representation. Local and national participation and political representation must be ensured, respecting the various socio-cultural characteristics, in order to create a new federalism.

It is proposed to the Congress of the Union, the recognition, in constitutional and political reforms that may derive, of the rights of the indigenous woman to participate as an equal with men in all levels of government and in the development of indigenous peoples.

6.- It is proposed to the Congress of the Union and to the State legislatures that, in acknowledging indigenous autonomy and for the determination of all its levels, they take into consideration the main rights that are the objects of said autonomy; establishing the characteristics required to insure its free exercise. Among said rights, the following may be emphasized:

a) to exercise the right to develop the specific forms of social, cultural, political and economic organization;

b) to obtain the recognition of their internal normative systems for regulation and sanctions, insofar as they are not contrary to constitutional guarantees and human rights, especially those of women;

c) to agree to State jurisdiction in a better way;

d) to agree collectively to the use and enjoyment of natural resources, except those which fall under national jurisdiction;

e) to promote the development of the various components of indigenous identity and cultural heritage;

f) to interact with the various levels of political representation in government and the administration of justice;

g) to cooperate with other communities of their ethnicity or different groups, in joining efforts and coordinating actions for optimal use of resources, and the initiation of regional and general development projects for the promotion and defense of common interests;

h) to design their community and their municipal government representation freely, as well as selecting their authorities as indigenous peoples, in accordance with their own institutions and traditions;

i) to promote and develop their languages and cultures, as well as their political, social, economic, religious and cultural customs and traditions.

Section III

1.- Increase in political participation and representation. Municipal strengthening. It is convenient to anticipate at the constitutional level the necessary mechanisms that:

a) Insure the adequate political participation of indigenous communities and peoples in the Congress of the Union and local congresses, incorporating new criteria in setting the boundaries of the electoral districts that correspond to the indigenous communities and towns;

b) Allow participation in the electoral processes without requiring participation of the political parties;

c) Guarantee the effective participation of the indigenous peoples in the publicity and supervision of those processes;

d) Guarantee the organization of internal election or nomination processes.

e) Recognize the system assignation of offices and other forms of organization, methods of designation of representatives, and the making of decisions in the assembly and of popular consultation.

f) Establish the election of municipal agents or allied figures or, when appropriate, be named by the corresponding towns and communities.

g) Foresee in the state legislation the mechanisms that may allow the revision, and, when appropriate, the modification of the names of the municipalities, proposed by the population located in the corresponding boundaries.

2.- The guarantee of full access to justice. The State must guarantee the towns full access to the jurisdiction of the Mexican State, with recognition and respect for their own internal normative systems, guaranteeing full respect for human rights. It will promote the recognition that positive Mexican Law may acknowledge the authorities, norms and internal procedures for conflict resolution of towns and communities, will guarantee that local judgments and decisions are confirmed by the judicial authorities of the State.

The recognition of jurisdictional spaces to the designated authorities in the heart of the indigenous communities, towns and municipalities stems from a restructuring of the municipal charter, so that said authorities will be able to settle internal conflicts of coexistence; their knowledge and resolution may imply a better acquisition and distribution of justice.

The marginalization in which the indigenous people live and the conditions of disadvantage to which they consent in the system of granting and procuring justice, create the need for a serious revision of the federal and state judicial frameworks, so that effective access of the indigenous peoples be guaranteed, or in place of local action, access to its members to the State jurisdiction, and in this manner, avoiding partial distribution of justice to the detriment of[the indigenous sector of the population.

In the legislative reforms that may enrich the internal normative systems it must be determined that, when sanctions are imposed upon members of the indigenous towns, the economic, social and cultural characteristics of those sanctioned must be taken into consideration, privileging sanctions other than incarceration. Preferably sentences may carried out in places that are closer to home and also, that integration into the community be favored as an essential mechanism of social readaptation.

The insertion of the norms and judicial practices of the indigenous communities as a source of law applicable to procedures and resolutions of controversies under their authorities, will be encouraged; also, in order to provide constitutional guarantees, it is strongly suggested that federal and local judgments in which the indigenous people are involved be taken into consideration.

3.- Knowledge and respect of indigenous culture. It is considered necessary to elevate the constitutional rank of all Mexicans by means of a pluricultural education that acknowledges, disseminates and promotes the history, customs, traditions and, in general, the culture of the indigenous peoples, root of our national identity.

The Federal Government will promote the laws and necessary policies so that the indigenous languages in each state may have the same social value as Spanish, and it will promote the development of practices that deter discrimination against them in administrative and legal transactions.

The Federal Government commits itself to the promotion, development, preservation and practice of indigenous languages by providing education in the indigenous languages; moreover, it will favor the instruction of writing and reading in the languages themselves; and measures will be adopted to insure that these peoples have the opportunity to learn Spanish.

Knowledge of indigenous cultures is national enrichment and a necessary step to eliminate misunderstandings and discrimination toward indigenous peoples.

4.- Integral Indigenous Education. The various governments commit themselves to respect the educational tasks of the indigenous peoples within their own cultural space. The allocation of financial, material and human resources must be brought about with fairness to plan and carry out educational and cultural activities determined by the indigenous towns and communities.

The State must bring about the indigenous peoples' right to a free and quality education, as well as to encourage the participation of the indigenous towns and communities in selecting, ratifying and removing teachers, taking into consideration criteria on academic and professional performance previously agreed on by the indigenous peoples and the corresponding authorities, and to form supervisory committees on the quality of education within the framework of local institutions.

The right to bilingual and inter cultural education of the indigenous peoples is ratified. The definition and development of educational programs with regional content, where their cultural heritage is recognized, are established as the jurisdiction of federative entities in consultation with the indigenous towns. It will be possible, through educational action, to insure the use and development of indigenous languages, as well as the participation of towns and communities in conformance with the spirit of Agreement 169 of the OIT (International Labor Organization).

5.- The provision of basic needs. The State must set up mechanisms to guarantee the indigenous towns the conditions that may allow them to satisfactorily tend to their nourishment, health, and housing at an adequate level of well-being. Social policy must set up priority programs for the improvement of the levels of health and nourishment of children, as well as support programs, in an egalitarian plane, for the training of women, increasing their participation in the organization and the development of the family and the community. Priority must be given to the intervention of the indigenous woman in the decisions regarding economic, political, social and cultural development projects.

6.- Production and employment. Historically, development models have not taken into consideration the productive systems of the indigenous peoples. Consequently, the utilization of their potentials must be encouraged.

The Mexican judicial system, both at federal and state levels must push for the recognition of the indigenous peoples' right to the sustainable use and the derived benefits of the use and development of the natural resources of the territories they occupy or utilize in any form, so that, in a framework of global development, the economic underdevelopment and isolation may be overcome. This action also implies an increase in and reorientation of social spending. The State must foster the development of the economicbase of the indigenous towns and must guarantee their participation in designing the strategies directed toward the improvement of their living conditions and the provision of basic services.

7.- Protection of migrant indigenous peoples. The State must set up specific social policies to protect migrant indigenous people, both in the national territory as well as beyond its borders, with inter institutional actions to support work and education of women, and health and education for children and youth, which, in rural regions, must be coordinated in the areas of contribution as well as those that attract agricultural workers.

8.- Means of communication. With the purpose of creating an inter cultural dialogue from the community level up to the national level, that may allow a new and positive relationship between the various indigenous groups and between these groups and the rest of society, it is essential to endow these towns with their own means of communication, which are also key mechanisms for the development of their cultures. Therefore, it will be proposed to the respective national authorities, to elaborate a new communications law that may allow the indigenous towns to acquire, operate and administrate their own means of communication.

The Federal and State governments will promote that the means of communication currently in the hands of the Indigenists become indigenous means of communication, which is a demand made by the indigenous communities and towns.

The Federal Government will recommend to the respective authorities that the seventeen INI (National Indigenist Institute) radio stations be given to the indigenous communities in their respective regions, with the transference of permits, infrastructure and resources, when an expressed request by the indigenous communities has been issued to this effect.

In the same manner, it is necessary to create a new judicial framework in the area of communications that may consider the following aspects: national pluriculturalism; the right to use indigenous languages in the media; the right to rebuttal; guarantees to rights of expression, information and communication; and the democratic participation of the indigenous towns and communities before the authorities who decide on matters of communication. The participation of interested parties in establishing a civic responsibility process for the decision making authorities in the area of communication, can be realized through the creation of a communications Ombudsman or a citizens' Council of communications.

Section IV


1.- Pluralism. The contact between the peoples and cultures that constitute Mexican society must be based on respect for their differences, and must assume their fundamental equality. Consequently, it must be the policy of the State to regulate its action, to promote a pluralist orientation in society, capable of actively combating every form of discrimination, and of correcting economic and social inequalities. Similarly, it will be necessary to move towards the creation of a judicial order nourished by plurality, reflecting intercultural dialogue with common standards for all Mexicans and respect for the internal systems of law of the indigenous peoples.

2.- Self-determination. The State shall respect the exercise of self-determination by indigenous peoples, in all fields and levels where they will try to validate and practice their separate autonomy, without damaging national sovereignty and within the new normative framework for the indigenous towns. This implies respect for their cultural identities and their forms of social organization. It will also respect the abilities of the indigenous towns and communities to determine their own development, as long as national and public interest is respected. The various levels of government and State institutions will not intervene unilaterally in the affairs and decisions of the indigenous towns and communities, in their organization and forms of representation, and in their current strategies for the use of resources.

3.- Sustainability. It is necessary and urgent to safeguard the natural areas and culture of the territories of indigenous peoples. Legislation will push for the recognition of the rights of the indigenous towns and communities to receive the corresponding indemnization, when the exploitation of natural resources carried out by the State causes damages to their habitat which may endanger their cultural survival. In the cases where damage has already occurred, and the towns are where damage has already occurred, and these towns are able to show that the given compensation does not allow their cultural survival, the establishment of review mechanisms will be promoted to allow the State and the affected to jointly analyze the specific case. In both cases the compensatory mechanisms will try to insure the sustainable development of the indigenous towns and communities.

In the same manner, there will be launched, in common accord with the indigenous towns, rehabilitation activities of those territories, and support of initiatives to create the conditions that may insure the sustainability of their practices of production and of life.

4.- Consultation and Accord. The policies, laws, programs, and public actions that might relate to the indigenous towns will be consulted. The State must promote the integrity and agreement of all the institutions and levels of government that influence the life of the indigenous towns, avoiding partial practices influence the life of the indigenous towns, avoiding partial practices that may split up public policy. To insure that their action corresponds to the distinct characteristics of the various indigenous towns, and to avoid the imposition of uniform policies and programs, their participation in all the phases of public action, including conception, planning and evaluation must be guaranteed.

Similarly, there must be a gradual and orderly transference of powers, obligations and resources to the municipalities and communities so that, with the participation of the latter, the public monies assigned to them may be distributed. As for resources, and for whatever purpose they may exist, they may be transferred to the forms of organization and association that are anticipated in point 5.2 of the document of Joint Pronouncements.
Since the policies in the indigenous areas should not only be conceived with the towns themselves, but implemented with them, the present indigenist and social development institutions that operate locally must be transformed into different entities that may be conceived and operated jointly and in concert with the State and the indigenous peoples themselves.

5.- Strengthening of the Federal System and democratic Descentralization. The new relationship with the indigenous peoples encompasses a process of decentralization of the obligations, faculties and resources of the federal and state authorities to the municipal governments, in the spirit of point 5.2 of the document Joint Pronouncements, so that with the active participation of the indigenous communities and the population in general, they may assume the initiatives thereof.

Section V


1.- The establishment of a new relationship between the indigenous peoples and the State has, as a necessary point of departure, the peoples and the State has, as a necessary point of departure, the creation of a new judicial framework at the national level as well as in the federative entities. The constitutional reforms that recognize the rights of the indigenous towns must be achieved through a creative legislative spirit, that may produce new policies and may give real solutions to social problems. To that effect, we propose that these reforms must contain, among others, the following general aspects:

a) To legislate on the autonomy of the indigenous communities and towns, to include the recognition of the communities as entities with public law; their right to associate freely with municipalities that are of predominantly indigenous populations; and also the right of various municipalities to associate for the purpose of coordinating their actions as indigenous towns;

b) To legislate to "guarantee the protection of the integrity of the lands belonging to indigenous groups," taking into consideration the specifics of the indigenous towns and communities, in the concept of territorial integrity contained in Agreement 169 of the OIT (International Labor Organization), as well as establishing the procedures and mechanisms for the regularization of the various forms of indigenous property rights and for thepromotion of cultural cohesion;

c) In issues related to natural resources, to install a preferential order that privileges the indigenous communities in the granting of concessions in order to reap the benefits of the exploitation and use of natural resources;

d) Legislate on the rights of the indigenous people, men and women, to have representatives in the legislative entities, particularly in the Congress of the Union and in the local congresses; incorporating new criteria to delimit the electoral districts that may correspond to the indigenous communities and towns, and that they be allowed to have elections in accordance to the legislation on that matter;

e) Legislate on the rights of the indigenous towns to elect their own authorities and to exercise authority according to their own internal norms in their autonomous localities, guaranteeing the participation of women on equal terms;

f) In the content of the legislation, to take into consideration the pluricultural nature of the Mexican Nation that may be reflected in intercultural dialogue, with common standards for all Mexicans and with respect for the internal normative systems of the indigenous towns;

g) In the Constitution, to insure the obligation to not discriminate on the basis of racial or ethnic origin, language, gender, beliefs or social condition, thus, making possible the designation of discrimination as a crime.

The rights of the indigenous towns to the protection of their sacred sites and ceremonial centers, and the use of plants and animals that are sites and ceremonial centers, and the use of plants and animals that are considered sacred for strictly ritual use must also be insured;

h) Legislate so that no form of coercion may be exercised against the individual guarantees and the specific rights and freedoms of the indigenous towns;

i) Legislate the rights of the indigenous towns to the free exercise and development of their cultures and their access to means of communication.

The Mexican Transition: Immediate History

Part I: Mexico's Next Secretary of State says Legalize Drugs

II: Fox's 1st Challenge is to enact the Chiapas San Andrés Accords

III: Fox Names Drug Reformer Gertz as Nation's Top Cop

IV: Answer the Call to Mexico City, February 2001

V: Marcos to Zedillo: "You Lost the War"

VI: A Play in Two Acts by Marcos

VII. Marcos Welcomes Fox: "You Start from Zero"

See Our Previous Nine Part Series on the Narco in Chiapas

Where Deeds Count More Than Words