Mexico: Situation and treatment of Indigenous persons by society and by the authorities; state protection and support services available; situation of Indigenous persons living in cities, particularly in Mexico City, Guadalajara and Monterrey (2017–September 2020)
1. Situation of Indigenous Peoples
The International Work Group for Indigenous Affairs (IWGIA), a human rights organization "dedicated to promoting, protecting and defending Indigenous Peoples' rights" (IWGIA n.d.), reports that there are 68 Indigenous peoples with 364 dialect variations spoken derived from 11 linguistic families in Mexico (IWGIA Apr. 2020, 439). Based on its compilation of data from a 2015 survey by Mexico's National Institute of Statistics and Geography (Instituto Nacional de Estadística y Geografía, INEGI) , a 2017 report by Mexico's National Commission for the Development of Indigenous Peoples (Comisión Nacional para el Desarrollo de los Pueblos Indígenas, CDI)  indicates that 25.7 million persons, or 21.5 percent of the population, self-identify as Indigenous (Mexico 11 July 2017a). The IWGIA cites the 2017 CDI report as stating that 7.4 million persons, or 6.5 percent of the population, speak an Indigenous language (IWGIA Apr. 2020, 439). Minority Rights Group International (MRG) reports that the most spoken Indigenous languages are Náhuatl, followed by Maya, Tzeltal, Mixteco, Tzotzil, Zapoteco and Otomí (MRG n.d.). Sources state that the Indigenous population is concentrated in the southern and south-central region (MRG n.d.) or southern and southeastern states (Canedo 1 Mar. 2019, 14).
MRG states that official statistics using language as a criterion have been criticized by many as underestimating the "increasingly urbanised" Indigenous population; the 2000 census reports that half of those who self-identify as Indigenous spoke an Indigenous language (MRG n.d.). IWGIA similarly indicates that the Indigenous population is undercounted due to "denial of ethnicity, and, in some cases loss of one's maternal language" (IWGIA Apr. 2020, 440). Based on her visit to Mexico from 8 to 17 November 2017 and on independent research, a UN Special Rapporteur indicates that the use of different criteria to identify the Indigenous population of Mexico in national statistics has "affected the development of relevant policies and programmes and prevented some indigenous persons from gaining access to housing, health care and food, among other things" (UN 28 June 2018, para. 5). The same source provides the example of the Otomi people in Mexico State, who were not identified as Indigenous by state law or the federal list of Indigenous places, and who have been unable to participate in programs for Indigenous persons (UN 28 June 2018, para. 6).
1.1 Socio-Economic Indicators
A March 2018 report by the CDI cites the 2015 Intercensal Survey as reporting that out of a total Indigenous population of 12,025,947 (based on the number of households in which at least one person speaks an Indigenous language), women made up 51.1 percent and men made up 48.9 percent (Mexico 7 Mar. 2018). In a journal article on the risk factors of the Mexican Indigenous population in the context of COVID-19 published in the Science of the Total Environment, a peer-reviewed multi-disciplinary journal focusing on scientific research on the environment (Elsevier n.d., 1, 11), citing the 2015 Intercensal survey, authors Díaz de Léon Martínez, et al. state that 31.8 percent of the Indigenous population was under 15, 60.7 percent was between 15 and 64, and 7.4 percent was over 65 (Díaz de León-Martínez, et al. 12 May 2020, 2).
The UN Special Rapporteur cites official statistics from Mexico as stating that an estimated 71.9 percent of the Indigenous population live in poverty or extreme poverty, compared to 40.6 of the national population (UN 28 June 2018, para. 72). Díaz de León-Martínez et al. cites 2018 statistics from Mexico's National Council for the Evaluation of Social Development Policy (Consejo Nacional de Evaluación de la Política de Desarrollo Social, CONEVAL)  as stating the following:
- 11.8 million Indigenous persons live in poverty and extreme poverty;
- 3.7 million are "lagging" in education;
- 1.9 million are "lagging" in access to health services;
- 9.4 million are "lagging" in access to social security;
- 6.9 million are "lagging" in basic housing services, out of which 12.8 percent lack piped water, 26.9 percent do not have sanitation services, 13.9 percent of homes have dirt floors and 58.8 percent cook with wood or charcoal (Díaz de León-Martínez, et al. 12 May 2020, 2).
Bertelsmann Stiftung's Transformation Index (BTI) 2020, an international collaborative project which assesses "transformation processes towards democracy and inclusive market economy" (Bertelsmann Stiftung n.d.), reports that the Indigenous population has a literacy rate of 67 percent, compared to the national literary rate of 94 percent (Bertelsmann Stiftung 2020, 25). The same source reports that 26 percent of the Indigenous population has no education and 27 percent attended "a few years" of primary school (Bertelsmann Stiftung 2020, 25).
A journal article by Ana Canedo, a doctoral candidate at the University of Texas at Austin who has conducted research on economic and social development in Mexico (The University of Texas at Austin n.d.), based on her calculations of data from the 2016 National Household Expenditure Revenue Survey (Encuesta Nacional de Ingresos y Gastos de los Hogares, ENIGH), indicates that indigenous persons earn an average of 45.5 percent less than their non-Indigenous counterparts (Canedo 1 Mar. 2019, 13). Based on 2012 data from the Socio-Economic Database for Latin America and the Caribbean (SEDLAC) collected by the World Bank and the Center of Distributive, Labor and Social Studies (CEDLAS) at the National University of La Plata (Universidad Nacional de La Plata) in Argentina, a 2015 World Bank report indicates that an indigenous person in urban areas is "likely" to earn 12 percent less than their non-Indigenous counterpart with the same education background and household characteristics and 14 percent less in rural areas (World Bank 2015, 67-68). Canedo cites CONEVAL as indicating that 8 out of 10 Indigenous persons work in the informal sector (Canedo 1 Mar. 2019, 13). The UN Special Rapporteur indicates that Indigenous persons have access to "fewer" formal employment opportunities and "may" be excluded from employment and other benefits (UN 28 June 2018, para. 72).
The UN Special Rapporteur cites information from the Mexican government stating that the life expectancy of an Indigenous person is seven years lower than the general population (UN 28 June 2018, para. 73). Díaz de León-Martínez et al. indicates that Indigenous persons, especially women, have the "worst" heath indicators, including "high general mortality, high infant mortality, high maternal mortality and high prevalence of malnutrition" (Díaz de León-Martínez, et al. 12 May 2020, 4). The UN Special Rapporteur reports that the above-average child and maternal mortality rates in the Indigenous population are primarily due to preventable diseases, such as infectious and parasitic diseases (UN 28 June 2018, para. 73).
Sources indicate that the Mexican population access health services through systems provided for persons with formal employment or through public health insurance (Díaz de León-Martínez, et al. 12 May 2020, 4; Puyana Aug. 2018, 59). The UN Special Rapporteur states that the public health insurance has expanded over the last 13 years to cover over 5 million Indigenous persons (UN 28 June 2018, para. 73). Díaz de León-Martínez et al. cites CONEVAL as reporting that almost 20 million people lack access to health services, "many" of whom are Indigenous (Díaz de León-Martínez, et al. 12 May 2020, 4). The same source further states that there are 377 clinics and 336 beds per 100,000 residents for municipalities without Indigenous presence, compared to 63 clinics and 31 beds in municipalities with "high" Indigenous presence, and 670 doctors per 100,000 residents in municipalities without Indigenous presence, compared to 86 doctors in municipalities with "high" Indigenous presence (Díaz de León-Martínez, et al., 12 May 2020, 4).
An August 2020 article in Milenio, a Mexican newspaper, cites government statistics as indicating that 3,527 persons who identify as Indigenous tested positive for COVID-19 and 650 died; this fatality rate of 18.4 per 100 cases is 7 percent higher than the rate in the rest of the population (Milenio 7 Aug. 2020). UNESCO cites CONEVAL statistics as indicating that 21 percent of Indigenous language speakers in rural areas lack access to water, which makes it difficult for Indigenous populations in such areas to comply with COVID-19 preventative measures, such as staying home and washing hands (UN 4 Aug. 2020).
The World Bank report cites Mexico's 2010 census as indicating that 54 percent of the Indigenous population live in urban areas (World Bank 2015, 31). The same report states that when compared to other urban residents, Indigenous persons have less than half the access to electricity and piped water, one-fifth of the access to sanitation and are three times more likely to live in houses with dirt floors (World Bank 2015, 11). The World Bank cites the 2010 census as reporting that 17.2 percent of the urban Indigenous population completed secondary education, compared to 5.3 percent of the rural Indigenous population and 4.9 percent of the urban Indigenous population completed tertiary education, compared to 0.7 percent of the rural Indigenous population (World Bank 2015, 35).
1.2 Indigenous Women
IWGIA reports that Indigenous women have the "highest illiteracy rates, highest school dropout rate, fewest job opportunities, highest rates of suffering domestic violence, health problems and risks during pregnancy, and high levels of fecundity and mortality, among other factors" (IWGIA Apr. 2020, 440-441). The March 2018 CDI report indicates that 22 percent of Indigenous women out of a total Indigenous population of 12 million (based on the number of households in which at least one person speaks an Indigenous language) are illiterate, which is 5 percent more than Indigenous men (Mexico 7 Mar. 2018). The same report further states that 23.5 percent of Indigenous women and 65.7 percent of Indigenous men participated in the labour market, meaning that they were working or looking for work; 64.7 percent of Indigenous women aged 12 and over carried out unpaid work, such as housework or care work, compared to the national average of 62.8 percent (Mexico 7 Mar. 2018).
2. Treatment of Indigenous Persons
2.1 Treatment by Society
The BTI 2020 states that the Indigenous population is "marginalized and discriminated against" (Bertelsmann Stiftung 2020, 25). Freedom House indicates that Mexican law bans discrimination based on ethnic origin; however, the Indigenous population faces "social and economic discrimination" and southern states with a high Indigenous population face "particularly deficient services" (Freedom House 4 Mar. 2020). Canedo describes that many Indigenous communities in the southern and southeastern states "lack basic infrastructure" including roads, sewage, and electricity (Canedo 1 Mar. 2019, 14). The UN Special Rapporteur states the following:
Indigenous peoples face major obstacles to the realization of their economic, social and cultural rights. Long-standing structural discrimination has resulted in marginalization and multidimensional poverty, as well as a lack of adequate and culturally appropriate basic services. … This discrimination is also illustrated by the lack of access to water and sanitation; the exploitation and contamination of water sources by megaprojects to the detriment of people’s health; and the restrictions on community management of water. (UN 28 June 2018, para. 71)
The IWGIA states that domestic Indigenous migrants face discrimination since they relocate from the "most marginalised" regions into more developed areas; Indigenous women are "particularly vulnerable to discrimination" due to their identity as migrants, women and Indigenous persons (IWGIA Apr. 2020, 440). The same source indicates that some urban employment options open to female Indigenous migrants include working as domestic servants or working in the informal economy, such as restaurants, maquila assembly plants  or begging (IWGIA Apr. 2020, 441). A journal article by Gabriela León-Pérez, an assistant professor at Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) who conducts research on Mexican internal migration (VCU n.d.), cites three other reports as indicating that Indigenous migrants who move to urban areas tend to work as construction workers, domestic servants or vendors in the informal sector (León-Pérez 12 May 2019, 3).
A research paper on discrimination practices based on ethnic and racial traits, based on 35 interviews and 19 focus groups comprised of individuals across the socioeconomic spectrum conducted in Mexico City, Monterrey, Oaxaca City, Mérida and three towns in Yucatán State, led by Patricio Solís, a sociology professor at El Colegio de México, indicates that mistreatment is triggered by "a mixture of racialized physical traits such as skin tone; ethnic traits such as speaking an indigenous language and wearing traditional clothing; and other elements such as cultural, geographic, and socioeconomic considerations" (Solís, et al. 21 Aug. 2019, 1, 5, 22). The same source reports that discrimination practices are "similar across geographical regions, socioeconomic sectors, and age groups" and that "ethnic/racial discrimination practices are generalized and can be said to affect the entire Mexican society" (Solís, et al. 21 Aug. 2019, 22).
The UN Special Rapporteur reports that there are "still complaints about the lack of appropriate facilities and medical staff in indigenous communities and about cases of discrimination against indigenous persons in health centres" despite measures to increase cultural awareness in the health system (UN 28 June 2018, para. 73). Solís et al. cite interviewees in Oaxaca as indicating that there was "'despotism, humiliation and contempt'" toward Indigenous patients (Solís, et al. 21 Aug. 2019, 21). An interviewee in the same report provides the example of a Mérida-based private hospital which refused to receive patients from rural areas in Yucatán when there are no rooms which are "far away from rooms reserved for important people" (Solís, et al. 21 Aug. 2019, 21).
The UN's Committee on Elimination of Racial Discrimination (CERD) reports that medical staff in public health institutions have committed "discrimination and violence" against Indigenous women accessing sexual and reproductive health services and that sterilization procedures have been performed in some cases without "free and informed consent" (UN 19 Sept. 2019, para. 24). Cultural Survival  indicates that Mexico's National Human Rights Commission (Comisión Nacional de Derechos Humanos, CNDH)  received 124 complaints of forced sterilization of women and that men have also been targets of forced sterilization, but further notes that there is underreporting (Cultural Survival June 2018, 5-6).
For information on the treatment of the Tzeltal people in Chiapas, see Response to Information Request MEX105980 of September 2017. For information on gender identity expression in Indigenous communities, see Response to Information Request MEX106111 of May 2018.
2.1.1 Treatment of Indigenous Women by Society
The UN Special Rapporteur states that Indigenous women "face serious discrimination on the basis of gender and ethnicity, within and outside their communities" (UN 28 June 2018, para. 75). Canedo indicates that Indigenous women "are more disadvantaged than [Indigenous] men" as they face discrimination based on both ethnicity and sex, leading to a "'double' penalty" in the Mexican labour market (Canedo 1 Mar. 2019, 17).
Cultural Survival cites a report by Todos los Derechos para Todas y Todos (TDT), a civil society network, as stating that Indigenous women are "more at risk for sexual trafficking and exploitation, persecution for abortion, and murder and sexual assault" (Cultural Survival Mar. 2018, 5). The US Department of State's Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 2016 indicates that victims of domestic violence in rural and Indigenous communities "often did not report abuses due to fear of spousal reprisal, stigma, and societal beliefs that abuse did not merit a complaint" (US 7 Apr. 2017, 21).
2.2 Treatment by the Authorities
Sources state that major development projects are being launched without consultation with Indigenous communities (Cultural Survival Mar. 2018, 5; UN 28 June 2018, para. 30; US 11 Mar. 2020, 26). The UN Special Rapporteur indicates that the Supreme Court has ordered the suspension of some projects implemented without consultation, but orders have "allegedly been ignored by state officials and the private sector" (UN 28 June 2018, para. 35). The Associated Press (AP) reports that that the completion of the Mayan train, a railway in the Yucatán Peninsula, remains a priority for the Mexican president despite legal challenges and the COVID-19 outbreak (AP 3 June 2020). IWGIA states that some Indigenous communities opposed the project and have filed suits in Federal Courts (IWGIA Apr. 2020, 441). Reuters reports that the CNDH directed the government to stop work on the Mayan train due to the risk of exposure of "vulnerable" Indigenous groups to COVID-19 (Reuters 14 May 2020). AP states that a June 2020 statement from over 240 academics and groups indicated that the government "'dismissed and disobeyed judicial orders'" and CNDH's recommendations and decided to continue the project (AP 3 June 2020).
The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) of the Organization of American States (OAS) indicates that state police forces or private security agencies hired to protect private development projects have been responsible for "[m]ost" murders of environmental defenders (OAS 24 Feb. 2020, para. 415). A report by the Washington Office on Latin America (WOLA)  and Peace Brigades International (PBI)  states that Indigenous journalists and human rights defenders opposing development projects are "frequently targeted by extractive industries and other corporate interests, sometimes with the support or acquiescence of local authorities" (WOLA and PBI Mar. 2019, 19). The same report further indicates that the protection measures offered by Mexico's Mechanism to Protect Human Rights Defenders and Journalists (the Mechanism) are "often unreliable, are not adequately implemented, and do not take into account realities on the ground in different parts of the country" (WOLA and PBI Mar. 2019, 5). IWGIA reports that at least 14 Indigenous environmental activists were murdered in 2019, including some who had reported receiving threats to the authorities (IWGIA Apr. 2020, 443). Sources indicate that Julian Carrillo, an Indigenous human rights defender, was killed by armed men in 2018, while he was receiving protection (Amnesty International 24 Jan. 2019; US 11 Mar. 2020, 27) from the Mechanism (Amnesty International 24 Jan. 2019).
Cultural Survival states that Indigenous demonstrators, journalists, and radio workers have been "arbitrarily detained or extorted" (Cultural Survival Mar. 2018, 2). Sources indicate that an Indigenous journalist in the state of Quintana Roo, who was covering protests of water costs in Mayan communities, was detained by police for nine months (Cultural Survival Mar. 2018, 2; The Guardian 29 Apr. 2017). The Guardian indicates that the CNDH ordered the state government to apologize and pay compensation to the journalist, but the state governor at the time refused; a new state government apologized in 2017 (The Guardian 29 Apr. 2017).
The UN Special Rapporteur indicates that Indigenous persons face "abuse during arbitrary arrests by police and military officers" (UN 28 June 2018, para. 65). The IACHR similarly states that Indigenous persons are "more likely to be victims of torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment when arrested" due to factors like discrimination and exclusion (OAS 31 Dec. 2015, para. 258). A report on Indigenous women's access to justice submitted to the UN CERD by five organizations  provides an example of an Indigenous woman who was arrested at a checkpoint and forced to sign a "'confession'" at the Public Prosecutor's office, where she was told that "'Indians' 'have a reputation for being involved with drugs'" (EQUIS, et al. Aug. 2019, 10).
The UN Special Rapporteur states that there are "numerous allegations of abuses" committed during military operations in Indigenous communities, including sexual violence against Indigenous women and arbitrary killings through the use of excessive force (UN 28 June 2018, para. 61). EQUIS et al. indicate that "the militarization of public security has triggered an increase in homicides, disappearances, human rights violations, and forced displacement" (EQUIS, et al. Aug. 2019, 11). The same source cites a Spanish-language report by the Mexican Commission for the Defense and Promotion of Human Rights (Comisión Mexicana de Defensa y Promoción de los Derechos Humanos, CMDPDH)  as indicating that approximately 12,323 Indigenous persons were displaced by violence in 2017 (EQUIS, et al. Aug. 2019, 11).
The UN Special Rapporteur states the following:
Indigenous peoples are widely affected by problems concerning access to justice. According to the Mexican authorities, the vast majority of offences go unpunished. There is also a high level of criminal cases that go unreported owing to the lack of trust in the authorities and their procedures. Various factors prevent indigenous persons from gaining access to the national judicial system in order to defend their rights. They face economic, cultural, linguistic and geographic barriers, as well as racism and discrimination. (UN 28 June 2018, para. 64)
Cultural Survival indicates that security problems "disproportionately impact" Indigenous communities and the police are "sometimes complacent in these crimes or do not report them" (Cultural Survival Mar. 2018, 1). The UN Special Rapporteur further indicates that the murder of Indigenous women is increasing and "frequently go unpunished" (UN 28 June 2018, para. 77). The same source further states that Indigenous women report a "lack of diligence" by authorities involved in femicide cases (UN 28 June 2018, para. 77). An article by CE Noticias Financieras  reports that an Indigenous woman in Jalisco was murdered by her husband, who reported her death as a suicide (CE Noticias Financieras 11 June 2020). The same source indicates that the family filed a complaint with the Jalisco Human Rights Commission (Comisión Estatal de Derechos Humanos Jalisco) after the police, public prosecutors and forensics staff failed to account for various evidence pointing to murder, such as the wife's broken collarbone and damage inside the home, and ruled her death a suicide (CE Noticias Financieras 11 June 2020). The same source states that in a "second round" of investigations, the Prosecutor's office interviewed the only witness, the three-year-old daughter, who stated that she witnessed her father killing her mother and subsequently arrested the father; however, the public officials who reported the death as a suicide were not punished (CE Noticias Financieras 11 June 2020).
The UN Special Rapporteur indicates the following:
Indigenous persons who are arrested and prosecuted face violations of their rights to due process and a proper defence, owing to the shortage of interpreters, lawyers, defenders and justice officials who speak indigenous languages or know about indigenous cultures. There are only 25 bilingual public defenders, for example. (UN 28 June 2018, para. 65)
The IACHR cites complaints from civil society as reporting that over 8,000 Indigenous persons "are deprived of liberty due to the lack of interpreters" (OAS 6 Apr. 2020, para. 236). US Country Reports 2019 states that non-Spanish speaking Indigenous defendants were at times unaware of the status of their cases and were convicted without understanding the documents they were directed to sign (US 11 Mar. 2020, 12).
The Mexican government indicated to the IACHR that the Federal Institute of Public Defense has increased its ability to offer its services in Indigenous languages from 39 languages in 2018 to 97 languages in 2019, which includes services provided by 42 public defenders, 39 administrative officers, 1 department chief, 1 liaison, 1 maintenance officer and 1 analyst (OAS 6 Apr. 2020, para. 233). The same source further indicated to the IACHR that as of September 2019, the National Registry of Interpreters and Translators in Indigenous Languages (PANITLI), an online tool to contact interpreters for State agencies and the private sector, has 1,860 interpreters and translators able to work in in 113 Indigenous languages (OAS 6 Apr. 2020, para. 234).
The UN Special Rapporteur reports that the "excessive use of pretrial detention as an automatic precautionary measure in cases involving indigenous persons and women is … a source of concern" (UN 28 June 2018, para. 65). EQUIS et al. cites the 2016 National Survey of Population Deprived of Liberty (Encuesta Nacional de Población Privada de Libertad) as indicating that in 2016, 42.2 percent of women awaiting sentencing in pretrial detention spoke an Indigenous language (EQUIS, et al. Aug. 2019, 9).
3. State Protection
Article 2B of the Political Constitution of the United Mexican States 1917, amended in 2020, provides the following:
The Federation, the federative entities and the Municipalities, to promote the equality of opportunities of the indigenous peoples and to eliminate any discriminatory practice, will establish institutions and determine the policies necessary to guarantee the effectiveness of the rights of the indigenous peoples and the full development of their peoples and communities, which must be designed and operated in conjunction with them. (Mexico 1917)
The UN Special Rapporteur cites Indigenous representatives as indicating that most government programs on Indigenous issues are planned without "meaningful participation" from Indigenous persons, are not culturally appropriate and have limited effectiveness since the programs are "welfare-based" (UN 28 June 2018, para. 74). A report by Global Americans, a non-profit organization which conducts research and analysis on Latin America (Global Americans n.d.), quotes Rodrigo Gutiérrez Rivas, Human Rights Coordinator at the Institute of Legal Investigations (Instituto de Investigaciones Jurídicas, IIJ) at the National Autonomous University of Mexico (Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, UNAM), as stating that while there is an increasing recognition that the Indigenous population as a whole is deserving of protection, "'[m]any public servants have a brutal resistance to any affirmative action policies or equalizing measures'" (Global Americans 19 Oct. 2017).
3.2 Government Measures
The UN Special Rapporteur indicates that the CDI is the national entity responsible for "coordinating, promoting, monitoring and evaluating programmes, projects, strategies and government action for the comprehensive and sustainable development of indigenous peoples and communities" (UN 28 June 2018, para. 15). Cultural Survival states that the CDI operates in 24 states (Cultural Survival June 2018, 3). In its 2018 annual report, the OAS indicates that the Indigenous Rights Program, provided by the CDI, is responsible for supporting Indigenous persons who had dealings with the criminal justice system or administrative bodies, and provided assistance in 7,339 such cases (OAS 21 Mar. 2019, para. 178-179). Sources indicate that in 2017 the budget of CDI was cut by approximately 50 percent (UN 28 June 2018, para. 74; Cultural Survival June 2018, 3).
A 2019 report by the IWGIA indicates that the CDI was replaced by the National Institute of Indigenous Peoples (Instituto Nacional de los Pueblos Indígenas, INPI) on 2 October 2018; it is a "decentralized body of the federal public administration" with "administrative and budgetary autonomy" (IWGIA Apr. 2019, 103). The same source indicates that the INPI is responsible for the following:
[S]upporting processes of recognition, protection, defence and conservation of indigenous territories; guaranteeing and implementing processes of consultation and free, prior and informed consent (FPIC); drawing up and promoting Comprehensive Regional Indigenous Peoples' Development Plans; integrating and operating a National Information System on Indigenous Peoples and Communities; and promoting the measures so that indigenous peoples may acquire, operate and administer their own communications media; among other measures. (IWGIA Apr. 2019, 103)
The Mexican government indicated to the IACHR that in the 2019 fiscal year, the INPI provided support 1,461 times to Indigenous persons participating as interpreters or translators in judicial or administrative proceedings (OAS 6 Apr. 2020, para. 236). Sources indicate that the budget of the INPI is expected to be cut by approximately 40 percent in 2020 (openDemocracy 19 Sept. 2019; CE Noticias Financieras 18 Sept. 2019).
4. Support Services
EQUIS et al. cite the 2016 National Survey on the Dynamics of Household Relationships (Encuesta nacional sobre la dinámica de las relaciones en los hogares, ENDIREH) as indicating that 41.7 percent of Indigenous women who experience domestic violence seek help from NGOs (EQUIS, et al. Aug. 2019, 7, 20). The same report further states that 60 percent of shelters are operated by NGOs, of which 90 percent receive government funding (EQUIS, et al. Aug. 2019, 7). Reuters indicates that INPI-funded [Indigenous Women's Centres (HRW 3 July 2020)] (Casas de la Mujer Indígena, CAMI) are run by female community leaders and provide health care and support services, including for victims of domestic violence (Reuters 9 June 2020). Sources indicate that the government cut the budget of CAMIs (Reuters 9 June 2020; HRW 3 July 2020) in April 2020 (Reuters 9 June 2020). Amnesty International states that Mexico's Ministry of Interior (Secretaría de Gobernación) announced on 14 June 2020 that the budget allotted to entities dealing with women's rights and violence, including CAMIs, would not be impacted by COVID-19 austerity measures (Amnesty International 17 July 2020).
5. Situation of Indigenous Persons in Major Cities
5.1 Mexico City
INEGI reports that the total population of Mexico City in 2017 was 8,811,266 (Mexico n.d.b). MRG indicates that there were an estimated 1.2 million Indigenous residents in Mexico City (MRG n.d.). El Universal, a Mexico-based newspaper, cites a 2015 INEGI survey as indicating that there were 960,059 Indigenous residents in Mexico City or 9 percent of the total population, of which 397,148 are employed, primarily in the trade or construction industry, or as craftsmen or skilled workers (El Universal 26 Nov. 2017). The same source further states that out of the employed Indigenous residents, 3 percent held a management position (El Universal 26 Nov. 2017). A June 2018 article by CityLab, a news website focusing on "urban innovation and the future of cities" (The Atlantic 10 Dec. 2019), indicates that many Indigenous communities develop in the "periphery" of Mexico City, such as the municipality of Valle de Chalco on the edge of Mexico City, which has "cheap land" (CityLab 4 June 2018).
El Universal indicates that Mexico City has "high levels of classism, where it matters how you look, dress, and speak, especially in the working environment, where people who don't fit in are excluded" (El Universal 26 Nov. 2017). Solís et al. cites a lawyer in Mexico City as indicating that a person with an "'adequate' appearance" could receive preferential treatment in a courtroom (Solís, et al. 21 Aug. 2019, 21).
The UN Special Rapporteur indicates that the Constitution adopted by Mexico City in February 2017 recognizes the rights of Indigenous persons to self-identification, self-determination and prior consultation (UN 28 June 2018, para. 16). The same source further states that an indigenous community, affected by the construction of a new airport in Mexico City, took legal action (UN 28 June 2018, para. 7).
Information on support services provided to Indigenous persons in Mexico City could not be found among the sources consulted by the Research Directorate within the time constraints of this Response.
INEGI reports that the total population of Guadalajara living in private housing in 2015 was 1,460,148 (Mexico n.d.c). An August 2019 CE Noticias Financieras article cites INEGI statistics as indicating that 54,525 residents of the Guadalajara Metropolitan Area were Indigenous (CE Noticias Financieras 9 Aug. 2019). An August 2018 CE Noticias Financieras article cites representatives of migrant and Indigenous peoples residing in Guadalajara as indicating that this population does not have access to health and prevention services, housing and education (CE Noticias Financieras 18 Aug. 2018). An April 2020 article by historian and anthropologist Fortino Dominguez Rueda in CE Noticias Financieras states that "[m]uch" of the urban Indigenous population in Guadalajara work as artisans, domestic workers, masons and glass cleaners, or operate a family business such as grocery stores or sell produce on public roads (CE Noticias Financieras 11 Apr. 2020). A February 2019 CE Noticias Financieras article reports that the Jalisco Indigenous State Commission (Comisión Estatal Indigena, CEI) provides legal advice consultants with interpreter support, economic support for Indigenous persons and training and development of ecotechnology projects (CE Noticias Financieras 13 Feb. 2019). Further and corroborating information, including on the effectiveness of support services provided by the CEI, could not be found among the sources consulted by the Research Directorate within the time constraints of this Response.
The 2017 CDI report states that the Indigenous population in Monterrey in 2015 was 18,918 or 1.7 percent out of a total population of 1,109,171 (Mexico 11 July 2017b, 87). An October 2018 CE Noticias Financieras article cites 2015 INEGI statistics as indicating that 411,000 Nuevo León residents self-identify as Indigenous, approximately 60,000 residents speak an Indigenous language, and approximately 3,000 Indigenous persons migrate to Nuevo León annually (CE Noticias Financieras 7 Oct. 2018a). Citing an interview with José Cerda Zepeda, the head of the CDI office in Nuevo León by Milenio, a Mexican newspaper, the same source states that lack of housing and discrimination are the "most serious problems" for Indigenous persons who migrate to Nuevo León and further states that Indigenous persons are "stigmatized" by the residents of Monterrey as uneducated and poor (CE Noticias Financieras 7 Oct. 2018a). The same article quotes Zepeda as indicating that the lack of housing will continue until "people can obtain a job with benefits and can maintain a loan or have the resources to make a home" (CE Noticias Financieras 7 Oct. 2018a). A June 2020 article by CE Noticias Financieras cites the director of the Nuevo León Migrant Indigenous Women Network as describing that Indigenous persons in Monterrey experience "mistreatment" by public officials, "police persecution," "stigmatization" of neighbourhoods such as Alameda  and being targeted for bag checks when shopping in affluent areas (CE Noticias Financieras 14 June 2020). An October 2018 CE Noticias Financieras article cites the President of the State Commission for Human Rights (Comisión Estatal de Derechos Humanos de Nuevo León, CEDH [CEDHNL]) as indicating that Nuevo León and municipalities have "almost no" public policies that benefit Indigenous persons (CE Noticias Financieras 7 Oct. 2018b). A June 2020 CE Noticias Financieras article indicates that Nuevo León passed a Law to Prevent and Eliminate Discrimination in 2017 but it has not been implemented because the council which would resolve complaints of discriminatory acts by state authorities has not been formed (CE Noticias Financieras 15 June 2020). Further and corroborating information could not be found among the sources consulted by the Research Directorate within the time constraints of this Response.
This Response was prepared after researching publicly accessible information currently available to the Research Directorate within time constraints. This Response is not, and does not purport to be, conclusive as to the merit of any particular claim for refugee protection. Please find below the list of sources consulted in researching this Information Request.
 Mexico's National Institute of Statistics and Geography (Instituto Nacional de Estadística y Geografía, INEGI) is an "autonomous public body" responsible for collecting and disseminating information about Mexico, including territory, resources, population and economy (Mexico n.d.a).
 The National Commission for the Development of Indigenous Peoples (Comisión Nacional para el Desarrollo de los Pueblos Indígenas, CDI) was created in 2003 to "'guide, coordinate, promote, support, foster, monitor, and assess programmes, projects, strategies, and public actions to attain integral and sustainable development and full enjoyment of the rights of indigenous peoples and communities'" (Wilson Center n.d.).
 Mexico's National Council for the Evaluation of Social Development Policy (Consejo Nacional de Evaluación de la Política de Desarrollo Social, CONEVAL) is a "decentralized public agency," which coordinates the evaluation of social development policies and programs (3ie n.d.).
 Encyclopaedia Britannica indicates that maquiladora or maquila manufacturing plants use "low-cost labour" to produce "lower-priced goods" for duty free export (Encyclopaedia Britannica 27 Sept. 2013).
 Cultural Survival is a US-based non-profit organization which monitors the "protection of Indigenous Peoples' rights" throughout the world (Cultural Survival June 2018, 1).
 Mexico's National Human Rights Commission (Comisión Nacional de Derechos Humanos, CNDH) is a "semiautonomous federal agency" which monitors and acts on human rights violations and abuses (US 11 Mar. 2020, 21).
 The Washington Office on Latin America (WOLA) is a research and advocacy organization advancing human rights in the Americas (WOLA and PBI Mar. 2019, 40).
 Peace Brigades International (PBI) is an NGO with a presence in Mexico, aiming to "protect spaces for people and organizations that non-violently promote human rights and who suffer from repression as a result of their work" (WOLA and PBI Mar. 2019, 40).
 The five organizations include Equis Justicia para las Mujeres (EQUIS), a Mexico City-based feminist organization working to "transform institutions, laws and public policies to improve access to justice for all women"; the Red Nacional de Abogadas Indígenas (RAI), a national organization of Indigenous lawyers; Intersecta, a feminist research and advocacy organization working to end discrimination and human rights violation in Mexico; the Red Nacional de Refugios (RNR), a network of shelters for at-risk women and children; and the Centro Profesional Indígena de Asesoría, Defensa y Traducción, AC (CEPIADET), an organization raising awareness and defending the rights of Indigenous persons (EQUIS, et al. Aug. 2019, 19).
 The Mexican Commission for the Defense and Promotion of Human Rights (Comisión Mexicana de Defensa y Promoción de los Derechos Humanos, CMDPDH), is a civil organization working to defend human rights through "strategic litigation," dissemination of information and collaboration with individuals, organizations, state institutions and international organizations dedicated to human rights (IDPC n.d.).
 CE Noticias Financieras "provides breaking business, financial and economic news from across the entire Latin American region" (LexisNexis Dec. 2017).
 Solís et al. indicate that Alameda is a neighbourhood in Monterrey where Indigenous migrants "frequently" search for employment (Solís, et al. 21 Aug. 2019, 19).
The Atlantic. 10 December 2019. "Bloomberg Media to Acquire CityLab from the Atlantic." [Accessed 27 July 2020]
Amnesty International. 17 July 2020. "Government Confirms Funding for Women Rights." [Accessed 10 Aug. 2020]
Amnesty International. 24 January 2019. "Mexico: State Protection Measures Were Not Enough to Prevent the Killing of Environmental Defender Julián Carrillo." [Accessed 6 Aug. 2020]
Associated Press (AP). 3 June 2020. María Verza. "Mexico's President Goes Full-Steam Ahead with Mayan Train." [Accessed 10 Aug. 2020]
Bertelsmann Stiftung. 2020. "Mexico Country Report." Bertelsmann Stiftung’s Transformation Index (BTI) 2020. [Accessed 30 July 2020]
Bertelsmann Stiftung. N.d. "Who We Are." [Accessed 30 July 2020]
Canedo, Ana. 1 March 2019. "Labor Market Discrimination Against Indigenous Peoples in Mexico: A Decomposition Analysis of Wage Differentials." Iberoamericana – Nordic Journal of Latin American and Caribbean Studies. Vol. 48, No. 1. [Accessed 27 July 2020]
CE Noticias Financieras. 15 June 2020. "'Forget' Create Anti-Discrimination Council." (Factiva) [Accessed 12 Aug. 2020]
CE Noticias Financieras. 14 June 2020. "Alert in NL for Racism." (Factiva) [Accessed 31 July 2020]
CE Noticias Financieras. 11 June 2020. "Jalisco Authorities Simulated Necropsy to Hide Liliana's Femicide; Her Daughter Saw when Her Father Murdered Her." (Factiva) [Accessed 31 July 2020]
CE Noticias Financieras. 11 April 2020. Fortino Dominguez Rueda. "Urban Indigenous and Contingency." (Factiva) [Accessed 31 July 2020]
CE Noticias Financieras. 18 September 2019. "Indigenous Peoples Asked AMLO to Rectify the 40% Reduction to the National Institute of Indigenous Peoples." (Factiva) [Accessed 6 Aug. 2020]
CE Noticias Financieras. 9 August 2019. "To Highlight Roots." (Factiva) [Accessed 12 Aug. 2020]
CE Noticias Financieras. 13 February 2019. "In Jalisco Only 26.5% of Indigenous People Are Assumed to Be Such." (Factiva) [Accessed 12 Aug. 2020]
CE Noticias Financieras. 7 October 2018a. "In NL, Indigenous People Suffer from Housing and Discrimination." (Factiva) [Accessed 31 July 2020]
CE Noticias Financieras. 7 October 2018b. "NL Lacks Public Policies for the Benefit of Indigenous Groups: CEDH." (Factiva) [Accessed 12 Aug. 2020]
CE Noticias Financieras. 18 August 2018. "Debt Persists with Indigenous Peoples." (Factiva) [Accessed 12 Aug. 2020]
CityLab. 4 June 2018. Feike de Jong and Gustavo Graf. "The Indigenous Voice of Mexico City." [Accessed 27 July 2020]
Cultural Survival. June 2018. Observations on the State of Indigenous Women's Rights in Mexico. [Accessed 4 Aug. 2020]
Cultural Survival. March 2018. Observations on the State of Indigenous Human Rights in Mexico. [Accessed 27 July 2020]
Díaz de León-Martínez, Lorena, et al. 12 May 2020. "Critical Review of Social, Environmental and Health Risk Factors in the Mexican Indigenous Population and Their Capacity to Respond to the COVID-19." Science of the Total Environment. Vol. 733. [Accessed 4 Aug. 2020]
Elsevier. N.d. "Author Information Pack." [Accessed 4 Aug. 2020]
El Universal. 26 November 2017. "Being Indigenous: Heritage Not an Obstacle." [Accessed 6 Aug. 2020]
Encyclopaedia Britannica. 27 September 2013. "Maquiladora." [Accessed 10 Aug. 2020]
Equis Justicia para las Mujeres (EQUIS), et al. August 2019. Access to Justice for Indigenous Women: Shadow Report for the UN Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination. [Accessed 30 July 2020]
Freedom House. 4 March 2020. "Mexico." Freedom in the World 2020. [Accessed 27 July 2020]
Global Americans. 19 October 2017. "Indigenous Political Representation in Mexico." [Accessed 4 Aug. 2020]
Global Americans. N.d. "About Us." [Accessed 4 Aug. 2020]
The Guardian. 29 April 2017. "Rare Victory for Persecuted Journalist Highlights Mexico's Press Freedom Crisis." [Accessed 6 Aug. 2020]
Human Rights Watch (HRW). 3 July 2020. "Submission to the UN Special Rapporteur on Violence Against Women, Its Causes and Consequences Regarding COVID-19 and the Increase of Domestic Violence Against Women." [Accessed 6 Aug. 2020]
International Drug Policy Consortium (IDPC). N.d. "Mexican Commission for the Defense and Promotion of Human Rights (CMPDPH)." [Accessed 30 July 2020]
International Initiative for Impact Evaluation (3ie). N.d. "National Council for the Evaluation of Social Development Policy (CONEVAL)." [Accessed 5 Aug. 2020]
International Work Group for Indigenous Affairs (IWGIA). April 2020. José del Val, et al. "Mexico." The Indigenous World 2020. Edited by Dwayne Mamo. [Accessed 27 July 2020]
International Work Group for Indigenous Affairs (IWGIA). April 2019. José del Val, Juan Mario Pérez Martínez and Carolina Sánchez García. "Mexico." The Indigenous World 2019. Edited by David Nathaniel Berger. [Accessed 27 July 2020]
International Work Group for Indigenous Affairs (IWGIA). N.d. "About IWGIA." [Accessed 27 July 2020]
León-Pérez, Gabriela. 12 May 2019. "Internal Migration and the Health of Indigenous Mexicans: A Longitudinal Study." SSM – Population Health. Vol. 8. [Accessed 30 July 2020]
LexisNexis. December 2017. "New Releases." [Accessed 31 July 2020]
Mexico. 7 March 2018. Comisión Nacional para el Desarrollo de los Pueblos Indígenas (CDI). Mujeres indígenas, datos estadísticos en el México actual. [Accessed 12 Aug. 2020]
Mexico. 11 July 2017a. Comisión Nacional para el Desarrollo de los Pueblos Indígenas (CDI). "Numeralia Indígena 2015." Indicadores socioeconómicos de los pueblos indígenas de México, 2015. [Accessed 27 Aug. 2020]
Mexico. 11 July 2017b. Comisión Nacional para el Desarrollo de los Pueblos Indígenas (CDI). "5. Cuadro 01. Población total, población indígena y sus características 3 años." Indicadores Socioeconómicos de los Pueblos Indígenas de México, 2015. [Accessed 12 Aug. 2020]
Mexico. 1917 (amended 2020). Political Constitution of the United Mexican States. Translated by Adela Staines, J.J. Ruchti and Maria del Carmen Gress. In World Constitutions Illustrated. 2020. Edited by Jefri Jay Ruchti. Getzville, NY: William S. Hein & Co., Inc. [Accessed 6 Aug. 2020]
Mexico. N.d.a. Instituto Nacional de Estadística y Geografía (INEGI). "About Us." [Accessed 5 Aug. 2020]
Mexico. N.d.b. Instituto Nacional de Estadística y Geografía (INEGI). "Ciudad de México (09): Population." [Accessed 12 Aug. 2020]
Mexico. N.d.c. Instituto Nacional de Estadística y Geografía (INEGI). "Guadalajara, Jalisco (14039): Population." [Accessed 12 Aug. 2020]
Milenio. 7 August 2020. Cecilia Ríos. "Por coronavirus, muere el 18 por ciento de indígenas en México." [Accessed 2 Sept. 2020]
Minority Rights Group International (MRG). N.d. "Mexico: Indigenous Peoples." [Accessed 27 July 2020]
openDemocracy 19 September 2019. Raúl Fernando Pérez Lira. "Indigenous Communities Vs. AMLO: A Standoff at the Tehuantepec Istmus." [Accessed 6 Aug. 2020]
Organization of American States (OAS). 6 April 2020. Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR). "Chapter V: Follow-Up to Recommendations Made by the IACHR in Its Country or Thematic Reports: Fourth Report on Follow-Up of Recommendations Issued by the IACHR in Its Report on the Human Rights Situation in Mexico." 2019 Annual Report. [Accessed 30 July 2020]
Organization of American States (OAS). 24 February 2020. Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR). Annual Report of the Special Rapporteurship on Economic, Social, Cultural and Environmental Rights. (OEA/Ser.L/VII. Doc. 5) [Accessed 11 Aug. 2020]
Organization of American States (OAS). 21 March 2019. Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR). "Chapter V: Follow-Up to Recommendations Made by the IACHR in Its Country or Thematic Reports: Third Report on Follow-Up of Recommendations Issued by the IACHR in Its Report on the Human Rights Situation in Mexico." 2018 Annual Report. [Accessed 30 July 2020]
Organization of American States (OAS). 31 December 2015. Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR). The Human Rights Situation in Mexico. (OEA/Ser.L/V/II. Doc.44/15) [Accessed 30 July 2020]
Puyana, Alicia. August 2018. "Horizontal Inequality and Ethnic Discrimination in Four Latin American Countries." CEPAL Review. No. 125. [Accessed 31 July 2020]
Reuters. 9 June 2020. Christine Murray and Oscar Lopez. "Cutbacks in Mexico Put Centers for Indigenous, Afro-Mexican Women at Risk." [Accessed 6 Aug. 2020]
Reuters. 14 May 2020. Oscar Lopez and Christine Murray. "Mexican Rights Commission Calls for Halt to 'Mayan Train' Tourism Project." [Accessed 10 Aug. 2020]
Solís, Patricio, et al. 21 August 2019. "Ethnic/Racial Discrimination in Mexico: A Taxonomy of Discrimination Practices." Discriminación Étnico-Racial en México. Working Paper No. 1. [Accessed 31 July 2020]
United Nations (UN). 4 August 2020. UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO). "Indigenous Peoples and COVID-19: The View from Mexico." [Accessed 11 Aug. 2020]
United Nations (UN). 19 September 2019. Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (CERD). Concluding Observations on the Combined Eighteenth to Twenty-First Periodic Reports of Mexico. (CERD/C/MEX/CO/18-21) [Accessed 27 July 2020]
United Nations (UN). 28 June 2018. Human Rights Council. Report of the Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples on Her Visit to Mexico. (A/HRC/39/17/Add.2) [Accessed 27 July 2020]
United States (US). 11 March 2020. "Mexico." Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 2019. [Accessed 6 Aug. 2020]
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The University of Texas at Austin. N.d. Population Research Center. "Ana Canedo." [Accessed 2 Sept. 2020]
Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU). N.d. "Gabriela León-Pérez, Ph.D." [Accessed 30 July 2020]
Washington Office on Latin America (WOLA) and Peace Brigades International (PBI). March 2019. Gina Hinojosa, Virry Schaafsma and Maureen Meyer. Turning the Tide on Impunity: Protection and Access to Justice for Journalists and Human Rights Defenders in Mexico. [Accessed 14 Aug. 2020]
Wilson Center. N.d. "Advancing Indigenous Peoples' Rights in Mexico: A Conversation with Nuvia Mayorga." [Accessed 10 Aug. 2020]
World Bank. 2015. Indigenous Latin America in the Twenty-First Century. [Accessed 27 July 2020]
Additional Sources Consulted
Oral sources: assistant professor who conducted research on Indigenous peoples' politics in Latin America; doctor of sociology who conducted research on social inequality in Mexico; Jalisco – Comisión Estatal de Derechos Humanos Jalisco; Mexico – Instituto Nacional de los Pueblos Indígenas; Mexico City – Comisión de Derechos Humanos de la Ciudad de México; Nuevo León – Comisión Estatal de Derechos Humanos Nuevo León; professor who has conducted research on Indigenous people's movements in Mexico; Red Nacional de Abogadas Indígenas; senior research professor who has conducted research on Indigenous rights and laws in Mexico; UN – High Commissioner for Human Rights.
Internet sites, including: Agence France-Presse; Al Jazeera; BBC; ecoi.net; International Crisis Group; International Service for Human Rights; Mexico – Comisión Nacional de los Derechos Humanos; The New York Times; TeleSUR; UN – Committee Against Torture, Refworld.