They ask the UN to urge Mexico to respect indigenous rights

Dozens of children have been born in displacement in Chalchihuitán.

By: Elio Henríquez

San Cristóbal de Las Casas, Chiapas

Organizations headed by the Fray Bartolomé de Las Casas Human Rights Center (Frayba) requested that Cecilia Jiménez-Damary, Special Rapporteur of the United Nations Organization on the Human Rights of Internally Forced Displaced Persons, to “recommend and demand” that the Mexican State “respect the collective rights of indigenous peoples, in particular with regard to territory and autonomy.”

At the same time, they demand a mechanism that guarantees respect for the principles on forced displacements, which include measures for sanction in case of non-compliance; application of the Forced Displacement Law in Chiapas, as well as consolidating the state program with a gender perspective and in favor of childhood in order to address and prevent that situation in the state.

They called for the promotion of the functioning and strengthening of state and municipal protection prosecutors’ offices with an intersectional and gender perspective, as well as the training of their personnel and awareness on the subject, and for the Chiapas State Commission for Attention to Victims to generate a registry with a differentiated approach, which investigates and disarms armed groups, and that those responsible for the injuries, killings and forced displacements are consigned.

In the report delivered during the visit that the official made last week to the state, the organizations, including Caritas, Melel Xojobal and International Service for Peace, also suggested that she “recommend and demand” that the physical integrity and protection of defenders who accompany victims be guaranteed and that there is accountability of the prosecutor’s offices.

The special rapporteur of the United Nations Organization on the Human Rights of the Internally Forced Displaced, Cecilia Jiménez-Damary, during an official visit to Mexico, on September 9, 2022.

They assured that: “This phenomenon may have as its root old agrarian conflicts that began in the 1970s between different municipalities and /or communal assets in the Los Altos region, where armed groups with similar characteristics operate. “

They pointed out that from 2010 to date the displacement of 14,476 people from different municipalities has been documented; Likewise, recently “the presence of organized crime has increased exponentially and with it the trafficking of weapons, vehicle theft, human trafficking, planting and shipment of drugs, territorial control through the imposition of terror in the communities, which has caused hundreds of people to flee their homes.”

Rapporteur Cecilia Jiménez-Damary repeated their request to the government to create a federal registry of victims of internal displacement in order to guarantee a sufficient budget for comprehensive care, as well as to raise awareness about this problem.

After concluding her visit to the country, she stressed that this registration must also include those who have not been legally recognized, since “they are displaced de facto.”

In a statement, she clarified that the census “should not grant legal status, but facilitate protection and humanitarian assistance in accordance with individual and collective needs.”

Originally Published in Spanish by La Jornada, September 13, 2022, and Re-Published with English interpretation by the Chiapas Support Committee

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