MEXICO’S ENERGY REFORM IN CONFLICT WITH THE HUMAN RIGHTS OF INDIGENOUS AND AGRARIAN COMMUNITIES
AbstractAmong the grave human rights violations that exist in Mexico, torture and forced disappearances are two of the most serious examples of the atmosphere of generalised violence that pervades the country. The lack of access to justice for the victims and their families has become established in a seemingly endless cycle of impunity. It is in this context that Mexico's agrarian and indigenous communities are experiencing attacks that seriously threaten their community life for generations to come. These attacks come in the form of violations of the right to the free use and enjoyment of their land, territory, and natural resources at the hands of transnational corporations in the absence of protection from the Mexican State. On 20 December 2013, reforms to Articles 25, 27, and 28 of the Mexican Constitution were published in the Official Journal of the Federation (‘OJF’). These reforms authorised the private sector to pursue oil and gas exploration and the generation of electricity within national territory. Subsequently, on 11 August 2014, nine new laws and amendments to another 12 were published in the OJF that directly affect agrarian and indigenous communities’ rights to the free use and enjoyment of their land, territory, and natural resources and to free, prior, and informed consultation. This article seeks to analyse the Mexican State's legal basis for placing the interests of private enterprise above the respect, protection, guarantee, and promotion of collective rights. It will also explore transnational strategies that human rights organisations and affected communities are developing to resist such infringement on their rights by corporate actors.
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