Politics, Business & Culture in the Americas

Endnotes: [i]The Obstacles to Justice for the Indigenous[/i]

1. According to the Catálogo de Lenguas Indígenas de México, published in 2008 by the National Institute of Indigenous Languages, there are 364 linguistic variations of 68 indigenous languages.

2. Damman, Siri, La pobreza indígena en America Latina y el primer objetivo de desarrollo del Milenio en Pobreza, exclusión social y discriminación étnico-racial en America Latina y el Caribe, María del Carmen Zabala (compilador), CLACSO-CROP. Bogota: CLACSO-Siglo del hombre, December 2008.

3. In its report “Access to Justice and Social Inclusion: The Road to Strengthening Democracy in Bolivia,” the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights observed with “deep concern the scarce presence of Judicial Branch operators and the Public Prosecutor’s Office in the national territory.” IACHR, Washington DC: June 2007.

4. See the Bolivia Report on Justice at www.cejamericas.org/reporte. In a meeting of DPLF with the head of the Public defenders Office in 2008, he said that they are 80 public defenders.

5. See http://www.defensoriapublica.gov.ec

6. Javier La Rosa, Coordinator of Legal Defense Institute area of Access to Justice is the professor responsible for the course at the Pontifica Catholic University of Peru Law School.

7. This is understood as the group of common law oral legal norms that indigenous peoples and communities recognize as valid and use to regulate their public acts and their authorities apply for resolving their conflicts.

8. Julio Faundez points out that these systems refer to all those systems that exert some form of non-governmental authority to provide safety and access to justice. This includes a wide variety of mechanisms which could be traditional, common law, religious or informal and that are faced with disputes and/or security issues. The relationship between these systems and the state varies considerably. Some systems can include community practices, which are relatively isolated from the state. Other systems are promoted by non-governmental organizations and some others are established and promoted by the state, but they are outside the formal judicial system for some specific reason. Faundez, Julio, Non-State Justice and Security Systems, DFID Briefing, May 2004.

9. In the 1990s, Mexico, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia, and Paraguay ratified ILO Convention 169. Argentina, Brazil and Chile ratified it after 2000. Nicaragua and Panama haven’t ratified the convention yet but their constitutions recognize indigenous justice.

10. Political Constitution of Peru, Article 149.

11. Political Constitution of Mexico, Article 2.

12. Political Constitution of Colombia, Article 246.

13. Political Constitution of Bolivia, Article 179, subsection 1.

14. Inter-American Court of Human Rights, Case of the Saramaka People v. Surinam, Judgment of November 28, 2007, Series C, No 172, para. 89; Case of the Yakye Axa Indigenous Community v. Paraguay, Judgment of June 17, 2005, Series C, No 125, para. 143.

15. Inter-American Court of Huma Rights, Case of the Saramaka People v. Surinam, supra note 23, para. 88 and 194(c).

16. Case of the Indigenous Community Sawhoyamaxa, Judgment of 29 March, 2006, Series C No 146, para. 118. Cf. also Case of the Indigenous Community Yakye Axa, supra note 23, para. 137.

17. Case of the Indigenous Community Yakye Axa, supra note 23, para.154.

18. Case of the Saramaka People v. Surinam, Judgement of November 28, 2007, Series C, No 172.

19. ILO Convention 169, article 6.

20. When this article was finished, the government had suspended (not revoked) the decrees for 90 days in order to discuss them with the indigenous.

21. See, among others, judgments C-079 of 2009 and C-030 of 2008.

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