This declaration comes from the Supreme Indigenous Council of Michoacán, and makes a series of demands in relation to emerging liberal policies of Indigenous recognition. The declaration addresses the insidious interests of such policies and exemplifies more generally the complexities of Indigenous struggles for autonomy in Mexico.
Senate of the Republic
Chamber of Deputies
November 9th, 2018
The Supreme Indigenous Council of Michoacán, a council autonomous and independent from governments, political parties and religious orders, made up of civil, communal and traditional authorities of more than 50 communities: Santa Fe de la Laguna, Caltzontzin, San Felipe de los Herreros, Cocucho, Zirahuén, Apo del Rosario, Capácuaro, Huecorio, San Ángel Zurumucapio, Jicalán, Tahuejo, Zopoco, Pamatácuaro, Sicuicho, Cuanajo, Sevina, San Andrés Tziróndaro, Jucutacato, Corupo, Angahuan, Carapan, Rancho Seco, Comachuén, Paracho, Santa Ana, Cheranástico, Naranja de Tapia, San Benito, San Antonio, Aranza, Tirindaro, Agua Verde, Quinceo, Tomendan, Nuevo Zirosto, Condembaro, La Tinaja, Urapicho, Turián Bajo, Santa Rosa, Arato, Comanja, Zipiajo, Pomacuarán, Ahuirán, Santa Catarina, 18 de Marzo, Santa Gertrudis, La Virgen, La Escondida, San Andrés Coru, San Juan Tumbio, San Francisco Periban, Ichán, among others, represented here by the outreach committee, declare together the following:
- We completely reject the initiative of the Law for Agrarian Development, because it contributes to the dispossession and destruction of ejidal and communal territories of Indigenous communities. It is, de facto, a new neoliberal reform which validates Procede. Based in Article 6 of Convention 169 of the International Labor Organization, we demand the Chamber of Deputies and Senators to carry out a free, prior and informed consultation on this initiative law and on the administrative or legislative policies that affect us.
- We demand justice for the cases of forced disappearance of the Indigenous peoples of Michoacán. We categorically reject “reconciliation” with the assassins of the Indigenous communities. Never forgive, nor forget. Justice, memory and dignity.
- We demand the constitutional recognition of the Councils of Communal Government, the Communal Rounds and the Traditional Judges. We also demand that they legislate on the delivery of the direct budget for Indigenous communities that has been solicited through their respective general assemblies.
- We categorically disregard the National Indigenous Governor and the State Indigenous Governor of the State of Michoacán, Denisse Ramírez, for not having been consulted at any time about her appointment, not being of an Indigenous community, and not representing us in any way. We announce that we will legally challenge her designation before all corresponding agencies.
- We categorically disregard Celerino Felipe Cruz, Abundio Marcos Prado, Abelardo Torres Cortez, Alfonso Vargas Romero and Rogelio Mercado Damián as interlocuters of Indigenous communities, for being Indigenous bureaucrats without principles. They have worked at the service of the highest bidder and in detriment to the interests of the communities, privileging only their personal interests. We leave it clear that they will not represent us in any way and that we will combat their designation in whatever bureaucratic space. Furthermore, we will permanently take the agencies where they have been designated.
- We do not agree with the creation of the National Institute of Indigenous Peoples. We propose instead the creation of a Secretary for Integral Attention of the Indigenous Peoples, to which a budget is assigned in correspondence with the number of inhabitants of Indigenous communities.
Supreme Indigenous Council of Michoacán