In re Indigenous Peoples in Mexico – Native Americans/Indigenous Peoples’ Rights – CCR Docket Fall 1992

In another case involving indigenous peoples (see preceding Docket entry), CCR is investigating international human rights violations committed against indigenous peoples in Mexico, particularly descendants of Central American Mayans who were held and tortured in 1991 by local Mexican police in Palenque, the site of an important Mayan city. Palenque is located in Chiapas, the state bordering Guatemala, which is home to the highest percentage of indigenous peoples  and the most notorious area for human rights violations of indigenous peoples in Mexico.

Indigenous rights groups and other Mexican national human rights groups requested that CCR bring these and other violations of human rights to aninternational body, following years of fruitless protests to the Mexican government, and the assassinations of two Mexican attorneys active in the human rights movement: Jesús Michel Jacobo in 1987, and Norma Corona  in 1990.

Indigenous peoples in Palenque have objected for many years to encroachment of traditional lands by the tourism industry, and governmental failure to provide basic services, such as schools and access to markets. Local authorities also frequently arrest, detain, and brutalize them for such transgressions as the failure to possess national identification papers, which are made difficult for them to obtain. When they organize protest demonstrations, they are met with harsh police repression and even torture.

This case is in the developmental stage.

Jose Luis Morin and Michael Ratner