Mexico: Over 8,000 indigenous people in prison for lack of interpreters and lawyers


In Mexico there are over eight thousand indigenous people in prison, due to legal inconsistencies and flaws in their process, assured the deputy for Morena, Armando Contreras Castillo, who remarked that the most important and marked in each case is the lack of an interpreter.

He proposed to urge the Attorney General of the Republic to take action to ensure due process from his arrest, to be assisted by interpreters and defenders who have knowledge of their socio-cultural context.

With this, he said, the judicial system would have fewer processes, and if from their detention they are explained their rights, including having an interpreter.

The point of agreement, sent to the Indigenous Peoples Commission, also proposes to request the National Commission for Human Rights (CNDH) to implement real and efficient measures, in order to carry out a broadcast program on television and radio, as well as written press, in order to guide and inform the indigenous community about their rights in case of detention.

The legislator, member of the Justice Commission, indicated that Mexico is a diverse country, proof of this is the recognition of 68 indigenous languages; however, only 6.5 percent of the population aged 3 and over speaks any of these languages; that is, 7 million 382 thousand 785 people. Of them, about 1 million speak an indigenous language and do not speak in Spanish, they are monolingual.

He considered that the right of indigenous people to have a translator or interpreter should not be conditioned to the level of Castilianization. When a person recognizes himself as an indigenous person and asks to exercise his rights, he must be attended immediately by the jurisdictional authority, unless there is evidence to the contrary that is conclusive regarding his non-indigenous status.

However, this prerogative is not applied in practice because in many cases the indigenous people are detained and in their rights book they do not indicate that they have the right to the interpreter, having legal or inadmissibility gaps in the judgment for not understanding what they are told , and they remain deprived of their freedom for months or years.

He said that according to what was the National Commission for the Development of Indigenous Peoples, in 2017 in the country more than eight thousand indigenous people were deprived of their liberty for the commission of various crimes with the particularity that most of the procedures They are usually plagued with irregularities, not only because of the lack of trained translators, interpreters and defenders, but because the public prosecutor and the judges often disdain their cases.

The states that concentrate the largest number of indigenous population in the national prison system are Oaxaca, Chiapas, Puebla, Veracruz, Mexico City, Chihuahua and Guerrero. The languages ​​with which they are identified are Nahuatl, Zapotec, Maya, Tzeltal and Tzotzil, he said.

Contreras Castillo stressed that the rights of indigenous peoples are recognized not only in binding international instruments, but in the Political Constitution, which establishes their full access to justice.

“Unfortunately, despite the legislative efforts that have been made in the procedural practice, they continue to violate the procedural rights of indigenous people and this continues to be a constant in our judicial system,” he said.

Source: mexicampo

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