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Textual: análisis del medio rural latinoamericano

On-line version ISSN 2395-9177Print version ISSN 0185-9439

Textual anál. medio rural latinoam.  n.72 Chapingo Jul./Dec. 2018



Alternative report: access to land, territory and natural resources for rural women, indigenous women, and disabled rural and indigenous women*


AMICAM Indigenous Women’s Alliance of Central America and Mexico
CDI Commission for the Development of Indigenous People
CDPD Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities
IITC International Council on Indian Treaties
CONAPO National Population Council
CEDAW Convention About the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination
FIMI International Forum of Indigenous Women
ILC International Coalition For Land Access
FPCI Permanent Forum For Indigenous Issues
INALI National Institute of Indigenous Languages
MNIcD Indigenous Women and Girls with Disabilities
ODS Objectives of Sustainable Development
OIT International Labor Organization
PicD Indigenous Populations with Disabilities
PROSPERA Program of Social Integration
RAN National Agrarian Registry
RGE Assembly of the Group of Experts

Member organizations of the coalition

Indigenous women’s alliance of central America and Mexico

The Indigenous Women’s Alliance of Central America and Mexico (ALIANZA) is a regional Central American network of indigenous women and indigenous women’s organizations which was created in 2004 as a meeting place between organizations and governmental institutions, civil society, the United Nations System, and for indigenous women from different countries of the sub-region with the objective of promoting joint actions of impact.

International forum of indigenous women (FIMI)

The FIMI is a global network which articulates local, national, and regional organizations from Asia, Africa, the Arctic, the Pacific and the Americas. The mission of the FIMI is to unite indigenous women leaders and activists in human rights from different parts of the world to coordinate agendas and strengthen abilities and leadership roles. The FIMI encourages the participation of indigenous women in international decision-making processes to ensure a coherent and substantial inclusion from the perspective of indigenous women in all the discussions about human rights.

International coalition for land access (ILC)

The ILC is a global alliance of civil society and intergovernmental organizations which work together to place people in the middle of governing the land. The common objective of the more than 200 ILC members is to achieve the governing of the land for and with people at the national level, responding to their needs and protecting the rights of the men and women and communities that live on and from the land. The ILC seeks to generate its impact focalizing at the action level of the national or country which should be reflected in the spheres and frameworks of regional and global action.

Universidad Autónoma Chapingo

The Universidad Autónoma Chapingo is a pertinent public Mexican institution with leadership and national and international recognition in education with a high academic level; the services and the transfer of scientific and technological innovations that it undertakes; the importance and the magnitude of its contributions to scientific and technological research; and for the cultural rescue and dissemination it develops.

Econmunnis, A. C.

A civil association founded in 1999 by youths to foment community empowerment for the conservation of bio-cultural territories and eco-systemic processes.

Fundación paso a paso. A. C.

It is an organization for and by indigenous people with disabilities (PIcD) with a high level of experience about indigenous women and girls with disabilities (MNIcD). It is considered to be the first organization of its kind at the Latin American level and has been the promotor of the initiative that raised the topic of the PIcD to the level of the United Nations. It is considered to be a trustworthy reference on the topic.

The coalition of indigenous and rural women with or without disabilities is made up of nonprofit civil society organizations and for indigenous people and indigenous and rural communities who are concerned about the vulnerabilities which they face due to the lack of laws, public policies, and specific programs to assure their access to land and territories decided together with the Universidad Autonoma Chapingo and with the support of the International Women’s Forum (Foro Internacional de las Mujeres) and the International Coalition for the Land (la Coalición Internacional por la Tierra) to prepare a national report to provide information to the Committee for the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW, for its acronym in English) from the perspective of intercultural gender by means of an inter-sectional analysis.

The participating organizations are mandated to be vigilant and encourage respect for human rights, specifically those of indigenous women and rural women in order to reduce the gaps in social inequality. The information presented here emerges from the review of official and of civil society organizations’ reports, as well as from the direct participation of indigenous and rural women with disabilities.


  1. In Article 14 of the Convention On the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination, the special case of rural woman is recognized and the specific obligations that the States must adopt for the recognition, promotion and the protection of their rights is highlighed; it is recommended that appropriate measures be adopted to eliminate discrimination against women in rural areas in order to assure conditions of equality between men and women, their participation in rural development, and in its benefits.

  2. In its 52th session period in 2012, the Committee made a series of specific recommendations to the Mexican government regarding the rights of rural and indigenous women, especially in relation to land and property access set out in recommendation 35 (2012).

  3. The ODS, in its objectives 1, 2, 3, 5, 6, and 10, seeks to close the inequality gaps, as well as guarantee the right to access to natural resources such as water, land, and biodiversity. The goals that mention people with disabilities are established in objectives 4, 8, 10, 11 and 17, respectively.

  4. We hold that by presenting grass-roots experiences, the committee can obtain information that can lead to the dismantling of social constructs that have made exclusion, discrimination, and diverse kinds of violence against indigenous and rural women and girls the norm, including the invisibility in which they have remained, the poverty, and marginalization, which today make up one of the agendas that are of utmost importance in the area of human rights.1

  5. One of the principal obstacles faced is the fact that an indigenous woman with disabilities is stigmatized and labeled as ‘sick’, incapable from one point of view of developing leadership, affecting or influencing social changes that would allow them to acquire equity towards achieving equality and political participation. Obstacles such as the absence of disaggregated data, the lack of support from family, or the loss of empowerment among peers persist. In order for indigenous and rural women, with or without disabilities, to be able to participate in political processes, there is a need for records and adequate actions to strengthen active citizenship.

I. Rural indigenous and non-indigenous women and their right to have access to land and natural resources

  1. The Coalition is concerned that the information presented does not make any reference to the policies implemented that strengthen and guarantee the rights of rural indigenous and non-indigenous women to have access to land and natural resources; the actions undertaken with regards to access to land and to taking advantage of natural resources regarding indigenous and rural women are made invisible. This has serious results because land and water are primary sources to guarantee the right to food, health, and economic empowerment which themselves are related to the right to life.

II. Rural and indigenous women and land ownership

  1. Different types of property exist in the country, in the Registro Agrario Nacional (RAN)2, (National Agrarian Records), between owners, common land owners, joint land owners, and settlers with a total of 1,199,797 women as compared to 3,394,432 men in the certified agrarian centers in 2018; while in the non-certified centers there are 93,874 women and 258,836 men that are not recognized, nor have certification in their agrarian centers. In both cases, the data reflects that a smaller proportion of women have the legally supported accreditation, be she owner or have possession of some agrarian center; nevertheless, a large percentage of rural and indigenous women find themselves with limited access to land and natural resources, especially because the fact that the women work the land and are the principal food producers does not necessarily give them the right to have judicial certainty of agrarian property.

  2. In a report made by one of the organizations of the coalition,3 the existence of gender gaps were noted with regards to the recognition and judicial certainty of the agrarian properties, as well as the patriarchal and male chauvinist practices existent inside of rural or indigenous communities which try and limit the full exercise of the rights of rural and indigenous women; however, the situation tends to be more delicate when speaking of indigenous and rural women with disabilities. That is, there is no record about how many of these women have a certified land title and how many of them work the land without owning any property. Although there are regulations such as the Ley General para Inclusión de las Personas con Discapacidad, 4 (the General Act for the Inclusion of People with Disabilities), the required social assistance and citizen services are limited. Nevertheless, it is remarkable that rural women and indigenous women and girls with disabilities are not given the visibility as people with legal capacities that would involve them and their communities as principal actors in formulating specific programs for attention and access to land ownership and the utilization of natural resources as primary empowerment sources for indigenous women and rural women with disabilities. Neither are actions to strengthen abilities observed that might augment the publicizing of the agrarian rights of indigenous and rural women.

III. Legal framework and land access

  1. Agrarian Law establishes a gender quota for the participation in decision making spaces, though the situation reported by the indigenous and rural women themselves is that there continues to be a wide gap in the participation and the presence of indigenous and rural women in agrarian positions continues to be less, and in small communities there is no awareness that they can occupy these positions so therefore women do not occupy decision-making positions.

  2. “Claudia’s Case.” In some rural areas there are empowered women who propose themselves for local positions, despite facing great challenges to remain in the position. That is Claudia’s case, who after winning the election for Comisaria Ejidal, (Communal Land Commissioner) had her post revoked as she did not agree with the interests of a mining company (limestone quarry or construction materials) which had an environmental impact on the community because it was located in the ring of cenotes in Yucatan so other common landholders (ejidatarios) declared Claudia’s election in the ejido (communal land) invalid and another assembly was called and other authorities were elected. At the same time, Claudia has received threats, insults and has lost prestige for being a woman. The authorities are the ones who protect the companies and especially since the companies are from outside. The agrarian case that has not defined the legality of the commissioner continues to this day.

  3. Said law also makes mention that an attempt to integrate women into commissions and assistant secretaries will be made; no directed actions have been observed or differentiated to strengthen or encourage the participation of rural and indigenous women into the bodies of local government nor the communal bodies regarding agrarian subjects. These observations were corroborated in the field and in the Registro Agrario Nacional (National Agrarian Records) 2018.5

  4. On the other hand, there is no judicial body that establishes urgent measures to advance the participation of indigenous and rural women with disabilities and their access to land. Although Article 71 of Agrarian Law (Ley Agraria) enacts, and under advisement of the assemblies, the establishment of land extensions called units of women’s agricultural industries, there are no records of the impact of these units, nor records of beneficiaries according to ethnicity, age, settlements, or disability. The administrative records make invisible the specific conditions of indigenous and rural women and indigenous and rural women with disabilities.

  5. There is no budget exclusively intended for the attention, strengthening, and support of indigenous and rural women of bodies that have within their mandates to ensure agrarian justice, land registries or bodies that foment actions for the attention to people in indigenous communities6 and rural women for agricultural production, fishing, and livestock. The percentage of budgets aimed at actions in favor of indigenous, rural women, indigenous and rural women with disabilities so that they might have access to land and natural resources is unknown. It is also worrisome that despite clear mandates, budgets have been steadily declining, those aimed at the indigenous population, rural women, and regarding the agenda of gender in general as well

IV. Social assistance programs for rural and indigenous women

  1. The programs of monetary transfers are an affirmative action which has had diverse and differentiated impacts. Nevertheless, it has been observed that there is not a coordinated strategy for beneficiaries who are women and indigenous people. In diverse recommendations, such as those of the Committee, the OIT 169, the Declaration of the Rights of the Indigenous People, the Political Constitution of the United States of Mexico itself in its second chapter, make reference to the fact that equal opportunity must be advanced for indigenous people and discriminatory actions must be eliminated. The establishment of the institutions and the policies necessary to guarantee the exercise of the rights of the indigenous people and the integral development of their people and communities which should be designed and operated jointly with them are also mentioned. However, there are presently no programs, proposals, local, state, or federal laws designed and operated in coordination with the communities and indigenous people, especially with regards to eradicating the gaps and gender violence that could lead to furthering the elimination of discrimination which limit the access to land.

  2. What has been observed is that the consultation processes, especially those undertaken in the indigenous towns and communities, have become an administrative requirement to meet with the mandates and to implement the projects already designed by one of the interested parties, thereby violating the good will, and the previously informed, freely given consent of the communities. The iconic program, PROSPERA (PROSPER) for the moment does not take into consideration the population of indigenous and rural women, and girls with disabilities. It is worth mentioning that there are reported cases of the political and patronage usage of the programs in which the beneficiaries tend to be threatened with the withdrawal of the support if they do not attend events with politically tinted ends.7

  3. In Yucatan, through the project Promotion of the Rights and Political Participation of Mayan Women in Southern Yucatan (“Promoción de los derechos y participación política de las mujeres mayas del sur de Yucatán”), it was learned that women from the communities were intimidated during electoral periods with the threat of removing their support if they did not vote for a certain candidate, becoming terrorized by these threats. Said project was financed by the National Electoral Institute (INE Instituto Nacional Electoral).

V. Access to agrarian justice

  1. In the report presented, the reporting organizations are concerned that the urgent and necessary measures to eradicate the specific discrimination affecting rural and indigenous women with regards to land access, its use, the use of the natural resources of their towns and communities are not observed. In the report the different kinds of support for farms are mentioned, but they are not presently detailed as to the percentages directed to men and women, nor as to how many are distributed among rural and indigenous women. Rural and indigenous women are the ones most rendered invisible in almost all the programs of diverse institutions.

A. Violence against the mnicd (indigenous women and girls with disabilities) article 14-2

  1. Indigenous Women and Girls with Disabilities (hereafter referred to as MNIcD) face discrimination in the use and enjoyment of their rights in multiple and intersectional fields based on gender, disability, age, and ethnicity. They often live in rural area with limited opportunities for access to work, to the land and territory, to education, health, social protection, and access to justice, living in poverty.8This situation intersects and is positioned as one of the most marginalized and vulnerable groups in society due to a lack of a political voice and a lack of attention to their specific rights and needs which are at the same time the cause and consequence.9At the moment, specific actions to advance, orient, advise, and assist indigenous and rural women with disability to guarantee their access to land and taking advantage of the natural resources that the environment might offer have been registered.

VI. The situation of indigenous rural women with disabilities and their right to land access

  1. The MNIcD are considered to be one of the most marginalized groups in the societies, whose traditional roles in their communities have been lost during colonization, assimilation, and segregation. In addition, they have been the victims of violence and prejudicial practices, in the same way that other women and girls with disabilities are victims of sexual abuse, domestic violence, forced sterilization, and negligence.10

  2. Our indigenous people and tribes have a unique way and a cosmovision that is based on the relationship to the land. Our lands are a primordial factor in our physical, cultural, and spiritual vitality.11Upon introducing themselves into the defense of the rights of the MNIcD, they have had to reinforce their identity as indigenous before Westerners without denying the importance of their condition of being disabled. This paradox in which they find themselves places them in the most vulnerable population sector. We have considered that democratic governability presently demands the participation of all sectors of society so therefore, it is important that the State formulate affirmative measures that remove historic barriers as well as promote surroundings in which the MNIcD can participate in public affairs without discrimination under equal conditions with the rest. The obligation to further address those situations in which conditions of vulnerability such as disability, ethnicity, and gender interlace must be assumed in greater measure. In this regard, in this section we will focus on two basic and primordial points for indigenous women and girls with disabilities (MNIcD): (a) effective political participation, and (b) the obligation to be consulted.

VI. Effective political participation of the rural and indigenous woman with disabilities (MNICD)

  1. A historic debt exists, owed to people with disabilities, especially to the MNIcD in relation to political participation. This historic debt was recognized by the Committee for the Rights of People with Disabilities (Comité de la CDPD) in the General Observation Number 3 about MNIcD when stating that their voice has been silenced which generates our underrepresentation in a disproportionate way in the adoption of public decisions. The disequilibrium of power in relation to the multiple acts of discrimination have built barriers to the creation or affiliation to organizations that could represent our interests.12

  2. In addition, like the majority of the States of Latin America, and the Caribbean, Mexico, does not fully recognize the right to legal competence, and still permits the loss or restriction of legal competence based solely on disability,13 due to the fact that the loss of legal competence is traditionally accompanied by restrictions on political participation and other rights. We are the only population group that can still have the right to choose and be elected restricted in an openly discriminatory manner.

  3. The deprivation of legal competence can also be utilized to carry out legal procedures without free, previous, and informed consent, such as in the case of medical procedures and forced displacement, the loss of the right to land and territories with a disproportionate impact on MNIcD. In this sense, already being extremely grave, the undertaking of these processes without informed consent also restrict our civil and political rights.

  4. The MNIcD face unique and generalized barriers to reach decision making positions regarding their rights; the close relationship existing between the difficulties to have an inclusive education of quality and the disadvantageous situation in the participation in different arenas of political life14such as student groups, unions, political parties, activist movements, influence the empowerment of the MNIcD and we think that we are in an opportune situation for empowerment due to the importance that the Declaration of the United Nations “Transform Our World: the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development” where the MNIcD have a place for being the most forgotten sector and can be a guidance tool for the Mexican state to promote development and the social inclusion of the MNIcD in a horizontal and specific manner, to accomplish the vision of NO ONE LEFT BEHIND and FIRST REACH THOSE THAT ARE MORE BEHIND.

  5. For this reason, so that the participation of the MNIcD in political life become a reality, quality education, access to information, and the free expression of opinions under all circumstances in public life, as well as allowing them to leave their homes and develop a meaningful life as a part of society, with legal access to the possession of land to have decent paid work.

VII. The obligation to consult indigenous women with disabilities

  1. When we speak of the consultation directed towards MNIcD, we can find that there are no socio-anthropological tools that permit obtaining instruments that the State should follow to have an effective consultation. There is a proposal in Mexico for a law about a free, prior, and informed15consultation. Despite this, the consultations do not take into account indigenous people with disabilities where the WHAT? is considered as is indicated in Article 1.1 of the Declaration of the Rights of Peasants and other people who work in rural areas. A peasant being a man or woman who has a direct and special relationship with the land and nature, as is clear in its Article 1.2 which includes indigenous people who work the land.16

  2. In compliance with the United Nations Declaration on the rights of indigenous people, particularly indigenous peasants, they have a right to free determination, and in view of this right, to freely determine their political condition and to freely seek their economic, social, and cultural development. They have the right to autonomy or self-government with regards to matters related to their internal or local affairs. Article 2 of the Declaration of the Rights of Peasants points out that peasants have the right to participate in the policy-making, decision making, and application and follow-up of whatever project, program, or policy affecting their lands and territory…” therefore, the MNIcD should be taken into account in all the processes, so that legislation that is established be within their reach and enable them to gain access to a direct relationship with the prerequisite and rights to existence in dignified conditions for food, water, health, and life. It is thereby important that the State develop mechanisms for consultations needed for the MNIcD to participate in the formulation of all the processes of policy, program, and projects.17

VIII. The right to education for the development of land sciences

  1. “I am a forest engineer and I called, along with a woman friend so we could do our professional practice. We were told that we could not because we are women. We were not accepted and on top of that we were asked to let them know if we knew of two men who would be interested”. Young woman engineering graduate (2018).

  2. Access to education among men and women to lessen the gender gap continues to be pending. The situation of indigenous and rural women students in land science and agricultural majors is a topic that deserves more attention, especially when many of the axis of the ODS seek to eradicate hunger and poverty; seek food sovereignty and access to water. Despite indigenous and rural women having relatively greater opportunities to enroll in universities than they did a few years ago, it is now necessary to make a timely review of the role of indigenous and rural women in the area of agronomical knowledge given that it is urgent that women’s ability be strengthened in order for there to be better access to the land, the sustainable use of natural resources, as well as the development of local initiatives that can be produced within the framework of food sovereignty.

  3. In the 70s, women began to break the stereotypes that ‘classified’ agronomy as a male major. Nevertheless, within the institutions and universities that orient high schools, higher, and postgraduate education there remain stereotypes in the enrollment of women in the “more engineer oriented” majors, for example, Agricultural Mechanics. Given the social pressure, some women are forced to choose professional orientations that seem to be more ‘feminine’ within agronomy. This situation is reflected in the fact that in the agricultural institutions of higher education there are few in number, though increasing, female research professors.

  4. The Western model persists in the teaching of agronomy, without a focus on gender and environmentally unfriendly, which gives little importance to the knowledge from the rural communities, especially those of indigenous people (for example, the care and selection of genetic resources, the sustainable use of water, land conservation, the management of kitchen gardens). The scarce educational efforts dedicated to indigenous and rural women are pedagogically inadequate since their level of formal educations is either forgotten or disregarded. (A high level of illiteracy persists in the rural areas.) The language used is Spanish. They are also environmentally inadequate since they are based on techno logical packages that use a lot of supplies foreign to the ecosystem, which in turn contaminate and bring about illnesses associated with the use of the same. That is to say, they are bio-culturally unacceptable.

  5. It is important that the Mexican state develop and implement public policies that assign budgets for the design of educational programs based on the agro-ecological conditions of the rural populations, especially that of indigenous women, rural women, and particularly of women with disabilities. Guaranteeing indigenous and rural women scientific knowledge for food production, the use of natural resources for food sovereignty in indigenous communities as well as in rural communities will thereby permit better development and the strengthening of women for the access to land, while at the same time guaranteeing the access to resources and technological advances amicable to the rural work in food production.

  6. In the specific case of the MNIcD, there remain important unresolved issues pending given that the Mexican state has not guaranteed equal access in conditions with the rest of the population, without any kind of discrimination, high-quality and inclusive bilingual education, cultural relevance, including admittance, permanence, progress, evaluation, accreditation and certification in the educational system at all levels, as well as life-long learning to promote development to the upmost: the personality, talents, and creativity of the MNIcD, and their full inclusion and participation in all spheres of society must be facilitated. The MNIcD have encountered plans, programs, and public policies that are non-inclusive at all levels of the educational system because up to this day and age a culture of positive perception of human potential, self-determination, and individual independence, abilities and contributions to society by the MNIcD has not been enhanced.

IX. Manifestations of violence against indigenous, and rural women, and with disabilities

  1. Environmental violence. During the meeting of the Group of Experts and the Permanent Forum on Indigenous Topics (FPCI) (Reunión del Grupo de Expertos y el Foro Permanente para las Cuestiones Indígenas -FPCI) in January, 2012 on “Combating the Violence Against Indigenous Women and Girls”, the International Council of Indian Affairs (IITC) jointly with the Native Village of Savoonga in Alaska presented an article titled “Indigenous Women and Environmental Violence: a perspective based on the rights to address the impact of environmental pollution in women, girls and future indigenous generations”.18This was the first time that the term “environmental violence’ was presented in a forum of the United Nations to describe the most pervasive violation of the human rights of indig enous women and girls as a result of the deliberate exposure on the part of the State and corporations to environmental contaminants, which has been documented, for causing illnesses, affecting the reproductive system, causing cancer, disabilities and birth defects, along with incalculable suffering and many deaths19(water pollution in Río Sonora, Río Atoyac de Puebla, with the recommendation of the National Commission on Human Rights, Río Santiago runs through Jalisco and Nayarit, and Río Balsas in Guerrero).

  2. In the face of environmental violence against rural and indigenous communities, it is urgent that measures be taken because indigenous and rural women and girls are not only exposed to these rivers polluted with high levels of toxicity,20the polluting of water is also part of structural ecological violence since as a result a series of violations of the Human Rights of Indigenous and Rural Women and Girls are unleased. The women who live in these areas say that they can no long use the natural resources that were previously obtained from the environment. For example, they can no longer consume the plants which grow at the edge of the river, ceasing to be a source of economic income for these women from their sale, the possibility of economic empowerment for them has been undermined, and as a result, of their families, especially the possibility of feeding their children. It has curbed their access to water too which has the implication of few possibilities for harvests and the cultivation of their land, or when applicable, resulting increased costs with the purchase of water for irrigation or human consumption.

  3. The environmental contaminants, for example, pesticides, deliberately released or as a result of industrial or military processes that the State and businesses consider to be ‘acceptable risks’ and ‘permissible damage’, cause illnesses, birth defects, and deaths because they are toxic for living beings. The State and corporation deny ‘verifiable’ impacts despite clear evidence that a series of grave impacts health and reproduction are caused which disproportionately affect indigenous women, boys and girls. This ‘environmental violence’ by the State and corporations should be identified as such by the Indigenous People and human rights agencies. Information is therefore attached about the many documented cases that should be a referent to challenge the Mexican State about this environmental violence.21

  4. This situation is worrisome, especially in the case of the MNIcD, given that they are the most susceptible to acquire additional disabilities since they do not receive timely nor adequate information about the collateral damage they encounter, not only due to their high degree of illiteracy, but rather because there are no actions focused on the prevention of illnesses stemming from polluted water. The State is obligated to conform to Resolution A/RES/66/288 of the General Assembly of the United Nations from the Conference of the United Nations on Sustainable Development in Rio de Janeiro, which acknowledges the deterioration of the environment and the urgent need for attention to it; indigenous, rural and peasant women, and women with disabilities should have full participation to access the information, as well as to the legal and administrative proceedings for the promotion of sustainable development.

  5. Structural violence. It is said that there are 68 indigenous languages with 365 dialects in Mexico according to the National Institute of Indigenous Languages (Instituto Nacional de Lenguas Indígenas -INALI), and an indigenous population of 12, 707.000 according to CONAPO-INI, of which 51% are women. In order to speak about the situation of indigenous women, it is necessary to know that there is no national analysis that sheds light on the situation. There are empty documentaries and in some states such as Oaxaca, Guerrero and Chiapas diagnostics have been made in the area of health and violence. Nevertheless, in other states this has not been done and when some institutions are questioned about what is done to combat violence, they answer that there is no budget to have data broken down into rural indigenous women and with disabilities. Additionally, there are no translations in the different culturally pertinent languages about their rights and the prevention of violence and for many women who can neither read nor write, there are audio and audiovisual campaigns.

  6. The militarization in indigenous populations puts many women at risk and uses them as war booty. On the one hand, it goes against their individual rights, their dignity, and on the other hand, it tears apart community unity; for example, the Gonzalez sisters in Chiapas in a case known as Ines and Valentina which reached the Inter-American Court, or the case of 73- year- old Ernestina Asencio22raped by soldiers. There has been no effective reparation of damages up to now, and it can be said that these are causes of forced displacement since because of militarization, many territories lose their population and many people leave their lands and territory.

  7. According to the National Health and Nutrition Survey of 2006, 63% of indigenous people who were able to visit a Health Center did not return because in general they were closed, they lacked medicine and material, the wait time was long, they were far away, and the service was terrible. Many women give birth in health facilities and not in hospitals.

  8. The previous information doubtlessly reflects the profundity of the abandonment motivated by structural discriminatory elements and which reinforces the evidence shown in the 2010 National Survey on Discrimination (Encuesta Nacional de Discriminación de 2010) which showed that 44% of the Mexican population thought that the rights of rural and indigenous women were not respected and furthermore indicated that: eight out of every ten Mexicans of both sexes said that their rights have not been respected because of their customs or culture, due to their accent when speaking, the color of their skin, for coming from another place, because of their education, religion, or way of dressing.

  9. Rural indigenous women and girls suffer violence terribly, especially in indigenous area according to the former special rapporteur of the United Nations, Rodolfo Stavenhagen, who has repeatedly documented the humiliation and aggression towards females used as terrorizing strategies in their communities.

  10. In this context, indigenous, rural, and peasant women have to fight and work to support their families and change ways of working though they continue to be exploited in their own territories. To speak of the “International Rural Woman’s Day” takes us to see a panorama of inequality, of a lack of statistical information broken-down into separate categories that would permit the analysis and reflection about the situation of indigenous rural women, agricultural workers and migrants.

  11. Without a doubt, indigenous women in rural areas are change agents and represent the sustainability of food of all of a society which makes their work at a world level invisible.


  • The present situation of land access for the indigenous people of Mexico, and especially of women, girls, rural women, indigenous, and with disabilities requires the adoption of a series of urgent measures by the Government which must also involve a number of diverse actors.

  • ¡ That the bilingual intercultural education system in the country be strengthened institutionally and given enough resources to efficiently accomplish its objectives at all educational levels, taking into consideration an intercultural and human rights approach.

  • ¡ Obtain a diagnosis and broken-down data about the different situations of violence, including the environmental violence caused by the lack of access to land which is the ase for women, girls, rural, indigenous, with and without disabilities, since up to now, there is a great void with regard to having culturally appropriate public policies.

  • Evaluate the impact that air, water, land, and electromagnetic pollution has on the health of women and children as a basis to design a strategy adequately funded at the federal, state, and local levels, based on consultations with all the communities, especially with indigenous people, in order to remedy the situation and to drastically reduce the exposure of peasants as well as farmers to pollutants.

  • ¡ It is recommended that the maximum permissible limits (LMP) established in the official Mexican norms be reviewed and that official norms be generated for emerging pollutants.

  • ¡ That the importation and use of any pesticide or chemical product whose use has been restricted in the exporting country be prohibited. It is especially requested that the Mexican Armed Forces stop using paraquat to fight illicit crops.

  • ¡ Incorporate systematically the interests and rights of the MNIcD in all plans of action, strategies, and national policies related to women, infancy, indigenous people, and disabilities, as well as in the sector planning about political participation.

  • ¡ Review legislation about political participation to eliminate the barriers for the MNIcD.

  • ¡ The state should be aware of the multi-dimensional nature of political participation and not reduce it to the electoral processes, understanding that for political participation to be part of the reality in the life of the MNIcD, quality education, access to information, and freedom to express opinions in all the circumstances of public life must be equally assured.

  • Trustworthy qualitative and quantitative information about the social situation of the MNIcD must be produced, including the social organizations of the MNIcD.

  • ¡ Adopt mandatory mechanisms for accountability which include the MNIcD that generate accessible and recurrent information about the administration of the State.

  • ¡ Assure that the MNIcD not be excluded from free, compulsory primary and secondary schooling due to disabilities. Similarly, promote their access to higher, technical, and vocational education.

  • ¡ Promote a positive image in local and national communication media about the MNIcD, respecting diversity and promoting equal opportunities with the appropriate ethical and cultural perspective.

  • ¡ Commit human and material resources to monitor the rights of rural and indigenous women forcibly displaced because of the violence caused by the presence of organized crime and of transnational companies.

1The situation of indigenous children with disabilities, European Parliament 2017.



4 LGIPD_orig_30may11.pdf


6Tables and summaries of the answers obtained through access to the information are attached.

7 “yes, we were told to go, I told my mother not to go because it was a complete lie, many went due to the fear that they would have the support taken away, they were threatened. They went and nothing, it was solely to go the governor’s report, they were used because they were told to wear a red T-shirt. The big gift is that they were told that they no longer had to go receive the money in another community, rather it would now arrive to the community thereby, they were told, saving transportation money and all and that the governor had given them that gift because they had been present. It was only a bunch of children crying because they had taken their children thinking that they were going to be given support” Testimony of an indigenous woman worker of the agricultural fields in the north of the country, 2018.

8IDA submission on indigenous women and girls with disabilities General Discussion on women and girls with disabilities 17 April 2013, CRPD Committee, 9th session. Report of the Experts’ Mechanism about the Rights of the Indigenous People with regards to its ninth period sessions (Geneva, July 11 to 15, 2016).

9A sample of indigenous women with disabilities undertaken by the University of Harvard Law School is attached.

10Available at, own translation.

11CIDH, Informe No. 40/04, Caso 12.053, Comunidades Indígenas Mayas del Distrito de Toledo (Belice), 12 de octubre de 2004, párr. 155.

12Comité CDPD: Observación General No. 3: Mujeres y niñas con discapacidad. CRPD/C/GC/3 (2016).

13Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, Regional Hearing: The situation of the judicial capacity and access to justice of people with disabilities in Latin America, Session Period 150, March 25, 2014 (Comisión Interamericana de Derechos Humanos. Audiencia (Regional): Situación de la capacidad jurídica y el acceso a la justicia de las personas con discapacidad en América Latina, Período de Sesiones 150, 25 de marzo de 2014.) Available at:

14Report on the special rapporteur about the rights of people with disabilities A/HRC/34/58

15Proposal of the General Law about previous, free, and informed consultations of indigenous people.

16Declaration about the rights of the peasants and other persons who work in rural areas ONU A/HRC/ WG.15/1/2

17CIDH, Democracy and Human Rights in Venezuela. Doc. OEA/Ser.L/V/II, Doc. 54, December 30, 2009, paragraphs 1076-1080.

18The complete article can be downloaded from the web site of the Foro Permanente para las Cuestiones Indígenas presentado por la Reunión del Grupo de Expertos, at the following site:



21Documented information about the case of the Yaqui People in the indigenous community of Vican, Potan, Torim, Rahum and Huirivis in Sonora, Mexico is attached.

22 Viewed Aug. 7, 2015

*Presented to the CEDAW Committee 70° period of sessions. Geneva, Switzerland

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