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Latin America's Multicultural MovementsThe Struggle Between Communitarianism, Autonomy, and Human Rights$
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Todd A. Eisenstadt, Michael S. Danielson, Moises Jaime Bailon Corres, and Carlos Sorroza Polo

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780199936267

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2013

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199936267.001.0001

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Constitutional multiculturalism in Chiapas

Constitutional multiculturalism in Chiapas

Hollow reforms that nullify autonomy rights

(p.40) 2 Constitutional multiculturalism in Chiapas
Latin America's Multicultural Movements

Burguete Cal y Mayor Araceli

Oxford University Press

Two decades have passed since “constitutional multiculturalism” made its first appearance in Chiapas, Mexico; but, the constitutional reforms and legislation passed governing indigenous culture and rights have not impacted the lives of indigenous peoples. How do we explain these poor results? This work argues that, through their wording of these constitutional reforms, legislators recognized the rights of indigenous collectives, but in the same texts, used language which limits these rights. This contradictory language includes provisions to increase the state's powers, facilitating intervention into the lives of indigenous peoples rather than promoting genuine autonomy. The constitutional reforms implemented in Mexico and Chiapas since 1990, then, have had little net effect on the rights of indigenous peoples to autonomy and self-determination. They have, however, helped the neoliberal state in Mexico to institute a new legal framework, with multicultural components, to ease the penetration of capital into indigenous regions.

Keywords:   constitutional multiculturalism, indigenous peoples, autonomy, constitutional reform, indigenous self-determination, constitutional reforms, neoliberal state

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