Maria Dolores Mino, “Right to Consultation and Participation in Issues of Public Interest in Mexico”


 Maria Dolores Mino, “Right to Consultation and Participation in Issues of Public Interest in Mexico”, The Human Rights Brief, 2010

Petitioners: Centro de Derechos Humanos de la Montaña Tlachinollan, State of Mexico, Centro Mexicano de Derecho Ambiental (CEMDA), Comunidad Indígena Huichol de Tuapurie, Santa Catarina Cuexcomatitlán , Consejo de Ejidos y Comunidades Opositoras a la Presa La Parota (CECOP), Alianza Sierra Madre A.C., Colectivo Coa A.C., Conservación Humana A.C.

Commissioners: Felipe Gonzales, Rodrigo Tobal Gil and Dinah Shelton (Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples)

Executive Secretary Santiago Canton, Adjunct Executive Secretary Elizabeth Abi-Mershed and Attorney in Charge of Indigenous Peoples Issues Isabel Madariaga

Country: Mexico

In its hearing on October 28, 2010, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) analyzed the right to participation and consultation that the State should ensure before implementing infrastructure development projects. While Mexico has ratified ILO Convention 169, they stated, it does not respect the obligations under this treaty regarding the right to consultation to indigenous communities.

Petitioners mentioned that Mexico carries out these projects without the informed consent of the affected communities, and implements them without justifying their social need, even by using law enforcement agents. Therefore, communities are left defenseless and unable to present claims against the projects that affect them. While Mexican legislation establishes a few mechanisms of consultation, these procedures are in practice ineffective and inaccessible for all communities.

They stressed that the Mexican Government denies information regarding projects, and that it has repeatedly ignored the Precautionary Measures issued by the IACHR and national authorities. Finally, they mentioned several cases in which the Government has used law enforcement agents to start the projects, persecuted those who oppose their construction and allegedly killed some opposition leaders.  The petitioners asked the IACHR to inform the State about the report on the right to consultation, and requested the Mexican State to invite the IACHR and the Special Rapporteurship on Indigenous People for an on-site visit.

The Representatives of Mexico explained the existing legislation regarding indigenous rights and the right to consultation. The Commissioners asked questions regarding the titling of land and property over natural resources.