• Indigenous peoples in Mexico

    Indigenous peoples in Mexico

    There are 16,933,283 indigenous persons in Mexico, representing 15.1 per cent of the total Mexicans. Mexico has adopted the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, and is a declared pluricultural nation since 1992. Yet, the country’s indigenous population are still facing a number of challenges.
  • Peoples

    16,933,283 indigenous persons live in Mexico
    15.1 per cent of all Mexicans are indigenous peoples
  • Diversity

    68 indigenous languages and 364 counted dialect variations are spoken in Mexico
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  • Mexico: International recognition for radio series on indigenous women in prison

Mexico: International recognition for radio series on indigenous women in prison

The winning program selected by the International Radio Biennial tells the story of Máxima Pacheco, a Nahuatl woman from the state of Puebla. She describes how encouraging it was to share and write about her life before and after imprisonment with other indigenous women in the same situation. According to the panel, the program was selected in the gender category because of the sensitivity with which it portrays the interviewees, avoiding victimization or an underestimation of their experiences.
"Máxima always used to arrive punctually at the literature workshop with a broad smile on her face. And yet she would break down in tears every time fragments of her life story were read,” describes one fellow workshop attendee. For Máxima, it was empowering to realize that the experiences of other indigenous women were very similar to those she was facing.

Freedom shared through writing

After seven years of imprisonment, Máxima regained her freedom. Her testimony is an echo of the voices of many other indigenous women who have suffered desolate experiences in prison. This relates especially to the marginalization caused by a judicial system that does not offer indigenous women fair conditions for their legal defense.

The life histories portrayed in the series are based on the results of the literature workshop coordinated by Aída Hernández Castillo in the women’s detention center, the Centro de Reinserción Social (Cereso) in Atlacholoaya. In this space, indigenous women document and write down the stories of their fellow inmates as a way of reflecting on the inequalities they suffer within the judicial system in Mexico.

The radio series "Cantos desde el Guamúchil: Indigenous women and peasants in prison" is a production of the Instituto Morelense de Radio y Televisión and IWGIA (International Work Group for Indigenous Affairs), under the coordination of Raúl Silva de la Mora (producer), Elena de Hoyos (writer in the Colectiva Editorial Hermanas en la Sombra) and Aida Hernández Castillo (researcher at CIESAS - Centro de Investigaciones y Estudios Superiores en Antropología Social).

You can listen to and download the full series (Spanish) here:





IWGIA - International Work Group for Indigenous Affairs - is a global human rights organisation dedicated to promoting, protecting and defending indigenous peoples’ rights. Read more.

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