Press release

Building an ecosystem that reflects the multicultural richness of the country, key to preserving native languages in Mexico


Since May 2020, UNESCO has worked with more than 70 experts in indigenous media to support and strengthen Indigenous and Community Media.
 
Mexico city, Friday July 16.- During the 13 Bienal Internacional de la Radio: Linguistic diversity, community media and sustainable growth, celebrated from July 12-16, in the forum Media facing the first decade of indigenous languages and 2030 agenda, Gabriela Velázquez, focal point for the International Decade of Indigenous Languages, recognized the urgency to build a communication ecosystem that is inclusive, plural and diverse, that also reflects the multicultural richness of the country and promotes the use and preservation of indigenous languages.
According several national and international instruments, such as the Mexican Linguistic Rights General Law and the Mexican Constitution, the Human Rights Bill for Indigenous People Rights and the Los Pinos Declaration (Chapultepec 2020), media must reflect the different realities in Mexico as well as the linguistic and cultural diversity, in order to promote equality and social inclusion, as a way to prevent the disappearance of 68 indigenous languages that are currently spoken in Mexico, from which at least 60% are at risk of disappearing (such as Kiliwa from Baja California or Awakateko, from Campeche). Globally, 43% of the 7 thousand languages around the world are at  risk of disappearing.
A special chapter of this ecosystem is comprised by the Indigenous and Community Media (MIC), that needs to be strengthened with new regulatory guidelines that ensure their operation and sustainability, to ensure they operate as instruments to ensure freedom of expression, access to information, justice and education rights for indigenous languages speakers, but also Cultural and Creative Industries (ICC) that protect the cultural legacies and create jobs and development in a sustainable form.
In this manner, Gabriela Velázquez highlighted that the work that has been carried out through the project Public policies designs to support the Indigenous and Community Media in Mexico and incorporate indigenous content in public and commercial media, has the objective of building a legal and social environment that guarantees the existence of community and indigenous media and a plural and diverse media ecosystem in the country. 
Velázquez indicated that, in order to improve the MIC conditions in Mexico, we need to encourage the production of content in indigenous languages, to guarantee the connectivity and infrastructure for this media, strengthen their capabilities and digital abilities, build an equitable social communication and official advertisement system, as well as actions that guarantee safety for the indigenous and community communication agents.
The project Design of public policies to support the Indigenous and Community media in Mexico is in progress since May 2020 with the involvement of a National Team comprised by more than 70 representatives of indigenous media, community and public, social organizations, academics and government entities. The result of these works will be a public political document that will be son delivered to the Mexico Presidential Office. It is a guide document to implement the actions that the National team has recognized as necessary and urgent, so that a media and inclusive environment can be built, that contributes to the sustainable development.
At the end of this event, Velázquez pointed out that great part of the developments in this project funded by the European Union are available at a dedicated micro site. People can review and download reports, diagnostics on the project's progress, as well as the campaigns and sessions of different forums that have been held since 2020. This micro site is a public compilation that allows access to knowledge to strengthen MICs and helps build a new media ecosystem that reflect the multicultural richness of the country, as well to contribute and preserve the indigenous languages in Mexico.
During the lecture Media facing the tenth anniversary of the indigenous languages and 2030 agenda, there were also comments from Rosario Lufrano, Argentina Radio and Television Chairman, Sandra Ceballos, Argentina Indigenous Female Lawyers Association Chairman, Dora Brausin Pulido, assistant manager at the Colombia National Radio and Tomás López Sarabia, Council chairman of the Centro Profesional Índígena de Asesoría, Defensa y Traducción A.C. The discussion was moderated by Pita Cortés, Radio Educatiòn producer.
 
Contact with media:
Gabriela Velázquezg.velazquez-alvarez@unesco.org