Article VI. Special guarantees against discrimination  

        1.     Indigenous peoples have the right to special guarantees against discrimination that may have to be instituted to fully enjoy internationally and nationally-recognized human rights; as well as measures necessary to enable indigenous women, men and children to exercise, without any  discrimination, civil, political, economic, social, cultural and spiritual rights.  The states recognize that violence exerted against persons because of their gender and age prevents and nullifies the exercise of those rights.  

        2.     Indigenous peoples have the right to fully participate in the prescription of such guarantees.




1.        Draft United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UN 1994)  

Article 2:  "Indigenous individuals and peoples are free and equal to all other individuals and peoples in dignity and rights, and have the right to be free from any kind of adverse discrimination, in particular that based on their indigenous origin or identity."  

2.         C 169, Convention on Indigenous and Tribal People (ILO Convention 1989)  

Article 3:  

1.         "Indigenous and tribal peoples shall enjoy the full measure of human rights and fundamental freedoms without hindrance or discrimination. The provisions of the Convention shall be applied without discrimination to male and female members of these peoples.  

2.         No form of force or coercion shall be used in violation of the human rights and fundamental freedoms of the peoples concerned including the rights contained in this Convention."  

3.         American Convention on Human Rights (OAS 1969)  

Article 1(1): “The States Parties to this Convention undertake to respect the rights and freedoms recognized herein and to ensure to all persons subject to their jurisdiction the free and full exercise of those rights and freedoms, without any discrimination for reasons of race, color, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, economic status, birth, or any other social condition.”  

4.         Asamblea General de la OEA. Res. Doc. 3136/94  

“No discriminación y tolerancia


1.         Condenar enérgicamente toda forma de racismo, discriminación racial o religiosa, xenofobia o tolerancia.


2.         Declarar que tales conductas violan los derechos humanos y en especial los referentes a la igualdad y libertad religiosa


3.         Invitar a los distinto órganos y entidades de la OEA a tomar medidas efectivas y oportunas para fomentar la tolerancia y erradicar las conductas racistas discriminatorias.  

4.         Instar a los Estados miembros a fortalecer sus políticas, programas y medidas para prevenir y evitar toda forma de racismo, discriminación racial o religiosa, xenofobia e tolerancia.    

5.         Charter of the United Nations. 1945  

Article 1: "The Purposes of the United Nations are 3.  To achieve international co-operation in solving international problems of an economic, social, cultural, or humanitarian character, and in promoting and encouraging respect for human rights and for fundamental freedoms for all without distinction as to race, sex, language, or religion."  

6.         International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (UN 1966)  

Article 3: “The State Parties to the present Covenant undertake to ensure the equal right of men and women to the enjoyment of all civil and political rights set forth in the present Covenant.”


Article 26: "All persons are equal before the law and are entitled without any discrimination to the equal protection of the law.  In this respect, the law shall prohibit any discrimination and guarantee to all persons equal and effective protection against discrimination.”  

7.         International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (UN 1966)  

Article 2(2): “The State Parties to the present Covenant undertake to guarantee that the rights enunciated in the present Covenant will be exercised without discrimination of any kind as to race, color, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, association with a national minority, property, birth or other status.”  

Article 3: “The State Parties to the present Covenant undertake to ensure the equal right of men and women to the enjoyment of all economic, social and cultural rights set forth in the present Covenant.”  

8.         International Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Racial Discrimination (UN 1965)  

Article 2(1): “State Parties condemn racial discrimination and undertake to pursue by all appropriate means and without delay a policy of eliminating racial discrimination in all its forms and promoting understanding among all races, and to this end.


(c) Each State Party shall take effective measures to review governmental, national and local policies, and to amend, rescind or nullify any laws and regulations which have the effect of creating or perpetuating racial discrimination wherever it exists;...”


(e) Each State Party undertakes to encourage, where appropriate, integrationist multi-racial organizations and movements and other means of eliminating barriers between races, and to discourage anything which tends to strengthen racial division.”


Article 2(2): “State Parties shall, when the circumstances so warrant, take, in the social, economic, cultural and other fields, special and concrete measures to ensure the adequate development and protection of certain racial groups or individuals belonging to them, for the purpose of guaranteeing them the full and equal enjoyment of human rights and fundamental freedoms.  These measures shall in no case entail as a consequence the maintenance of unequal or separate rights for different racial groups after the objectives for which they were taken have been achieved.”  

Article 7: “State Parties undertake to adopt immediate and effective measures, particularly in the fields of teaching, education, culture and information, with a view to combating prejudices which lead to racial discrimination and to promoting understanding, tolerance and friendship among nations and racial or ethnical groups, as well as propagating the purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the United Nations Declaration on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination, and this Covention.”  

9.         Convention for the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide (UN 1948)  

Article II: "In the present Convention, genocide means any of the following acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group, as such:


(a)        Killing members of the group;


(b)        Causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group;


(c)        Deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part;


(d)        Imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group;


(e)        Forcibly transferring children of the group to another group."  

           10.       Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UN 1948) 

Article 7: “All are equal before the law and are entitled without any discrimination to equal protection of the law. All are entitled to equal protection against any discrimination...”  

           11.       Declaration on Race and Racial Prejudice (UNESCO 1982) 

-Article 1(2): "All individuals and groups have the right to be different, to consider themselves as different and to be regarded as such. However, the diversity of life styles and the right to be different may not, in any circumstances, serve as a pretext for racial prejudice; they may not justify either in law or in fact any discriminatory practice whatsoever, nor provide a ground for the policy of apartheid, which is the extreme form of racism."


-Article 6(3): "... Where circumstances warrant, special programmes should be undertaken to promote the advancement of disadvantaged groups and, in the case of nationals, to ensure their effective participation in the decision-making processes of the community."


-Article 8(1). "Individuals, being entitled to an economic, social, cultural and legal order, on the national and international planes, such as to allow them to exercise all their capabilities on a basis of entire equality of rights and opportunities, have corresponding duties towards their fellows, towards the society in which they live and towards the international community. They are accordingly under an obligation to promote harmony among the peoples, to combat racism and racial prejudice and to assist by every means available to them in eradicating racial discrimination in all its forms."


-Article 9(2): "Special measures must be taken to ensure equality in dignity and rights for individuals and groups wherever necessary, while ensuring that they are not such as to appear racially discriminatory. In this respect, particular attention should be paid to racial or ethnic groups which are socially or economically disadvantaged, so as to afford them, on a completely equal footing and without discrimination or restriction, the protection of the laws and regulations and the advantages of the social measures in force, in particular in regard to housing, employment and health; to respect the authenticity of their culture and values; and to facilitate their social and occupational advancement, especially through education."  

12.      Declaration on the Rights of Persons Belonging to National or Ethnic Religious or Linguistic Minorities (UN 1990)  

Article 2(1): “Persons belonging to national or ethnic, religious and linguistic minorities...have the right to enjoy their own culture, to profess and practice their own religion, and to use their own language, in private and in public, freely and without interference or any form of discrimination.”


Article 3(1): “Persons  belonging to minorities may exercise their rights, including those set forth in the preent Declaration, individually as well as in community with other members of their group, without any discrimination.”  

Article 4(1): “States shall take measures where required to ensure that persons belonging to minorities may exercise fully and effectively all their human rights and fundamental freedoms without any discrimination and in full equality before the law.”  

13.       Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, "General Recommendation XXIII (51) Concerning Indigenous Peoples," (August 1997)  

"The Committee calls in particular upon States parties to:


b.         ensure that the indigenous peoples are free and equal in dignity and rights and free from any discrimination, in particular that based on indigenous origin or identity;  

d.         ensure that members of indigenous peoples have equal rights in respect of effective participation in public life, and that no decisions directly relating to their rights and interests are taken without their informed consent."  

14.      Treaty on Central American Social Integration, signed by the governments of Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, and Panama, Cerro Verde, Republic of El Salvador (March 30, 1995) 

Capítulo II. Article 6: "Principles: The States Parties to the present Treaty will act in accordance with the following principles (e) Non-discrimination on the basis of nationality, race, ethnic group, age, illness, disability, religion, sex, ideology, civil or family status, or any other kind of social exclusion."  

           15.      African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights (Banjul Charter 1981) 

Article 19: “All peoples shall be equal; they shall enjoy the same respect and shall have the same rights."  

16.      European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms  

Article 14: ”The enjoyment of the rights and freedoms set forth in this Convention shall be secured without discrimination on any ground such as sex, race, color, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, association with a national minority, property, birth or other status.”  

17.      Copenhagen Declaration on Social Development and Programme of Action of the World Summit for Social Development (Copenhagen, Denmark, March 6-12, 1995)  

Annex II:  Programme of Action of the World Summit for Social Development Content.


Chapter IV. Social Integration  

-Para. B(73): "Eliminating discrimination and promoting tolerance and mutual respect for and the value of diversity at the national and international levels requires: (a) Enacting and implementing appropriate laws and other regulations to combat racism, racial discrimination, religious intolerance in all its various forms, xenophobia and all forms of discrimination in all walks of life in societies;" 

18.      Agenda 21: Programme of Action for Sustainable for Sustainable Development, Rio Declaration on Environment and Development. Statement of Principles. Final Text of Agreements Negotiated by Governments at UNCED Conference, June 1992, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil 

26.1: "...Indigenous people and their communities shall enjoy the full measure of human rights and fundamental freedoms without hindrance or discrimination..."  

19.      Alliance for Sustainable Development documents signed by the Presidents of Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, and Panama and a Representative of the Prime Minister of Belize, at the Central American Ecological Summit for Sustainable Development in Managua, Nicaragua, (October 12, 1994)  

Annex II: Commitments of the Alliance:


"Social Commitments:  

Actions Against Discrimination - We pledge to continue striving to eliminate from Central American societies all actions that may encourage discrimination because of gender, ethnic background, nationality, age, health, religious and political beliefs. We reiterate our commitment to establish the necessary conditions for eliminating all forms of discrimination from our societies."  

20.      Copenhagen Declaration on Social Development and Programme of Action of the World Summit for Social Development (Copenhagen, Denmark, March 6-12, 1995) 

C.        Commitments


Commitment 5. "We commit ourselves to promoting full respect for human dignity and to achieving equality and equity between women and men....we will: (b) Establish structures, policies, objectives and measurable goals to ensure gender balance and equity in decision-making processes at all levels, broaden women's political, economic, social and cultural opportunities and independence, and support the empowerment of women, including through their various organizations, especially those of indigenous women, those at the grass-roots level, and those of poverty-stricken communities, including through affirmative action, where necessary, and also through measures to integrate a gender perspective in the design and implementation of economic and social policies"          

21.      Summit of the Americas Plan of Action, signed by 34 heads of state participating in the Summit of the Americas (Miami, Florida 1994)  

I.          "Preserving and Strengthening the Community of Democracies of the Americas.


2.         Promoting and Protecting Human Rights.  Governments will:... Review and strengthen laws for the protection of the rights of minority groups and indigenous people and communities to ensure freedom from discrimination, to guarantee full and equal protection under the law, and to facilitate active civic participation.


3.         Invigorating Society/Community Participation.  Governments will:... Take steps to improve the participation in social activities and initiatives of groups traditionally marginalized, including women, youth, indigenous people and the extremely poor."  

22.      Advisory Opinion of the Permanent International Court of Justice in 1935 on Minority Schools in Albania (1935).  

"The idea underlying the treaties for the protections of minorities is to secure for certain elements incorporated in a State, the population of which differs from them in race, language or religion, the possibility of living peaceably alongside that population and co-operating amicably with it, while at the same time preserving the characteristics which distinguish them from the majority, and satisfying the ensuing special needs.


In order to attain this object, two things were regarded as particularly necessary, and have formed the subject of provisions in these treaties.


The first to ensure that nationals belonging to racial, religious or linguistic minorities shall be placed in every respect on a footing of perfect quality with the other nationals of the State.


The second is to ensure for the minority elements suitable means for the preservation of their racial peculiarities, their traditions and their national characteristics.


These two requirements are indeed closely interlocked for there would be no true equality between a majority and a minority if the latter were deprived of its own institutions, and were consequently compelled to renounce that which constitutes the very essence of its being as a minority."  

23.      Advisory Opinion on Namibia 1971 Of the International Court of Justice  

"Under the Charter of the United Nations, the former Mandatory had pledge itself to observe and respect, in a territory having an international status, human rights and fundamental freedoms for all without distinction as to race. To establish instead, and to enforce, distinctions, exclusions, restrictions and limitations exclusively based on grounds of race, color, descent or national or ethnic origin which constitute a denial of fundamental human rights is a flagrant violation of the Purposes and Principles of the Charter.”  

24.      Committee on Elimination of Racial Discrimination. Concluding Observations on Report of Chile (1999)  

“The Committee appreciated and commended the Government of Chile for openly recognizing the existence of racial discrimination on its territory and historical links with the conquest and colonialism.  It welcomed the initiatives taken by the State party in order to ensure the rights of its indigenous population. The Committee noted with interest that further steps had been taken towards reform of the domestic legislation, in particular the proposed amendments to the Constitution to strengthen the legal status of the indigenous population.


Concerned was expressed about research showing that a considerable part of the Chilean population demonstrated intolerant and racist tendencies. The Committee also expressed its concern at the absence of specific legislation to enforce some of the provisions of the Convention.  It took note that the 1993 Indigenous Act contained a specific article declaring intentional discrimination against indigenous persons, an offence punishable by law. The Committee was further concerned about land disputes between the Mapuche population and national and multinational private companies, which resulted in tension, violence, clashes with law enforcement officials and allegedly led to arbitrary arrests of members of the indigenous population.”  

25.      Inter-American Commission on Human Rights. Second Report on the Situation of Human Rights in Guatemala (1993)  

Acknowledging the rights and principles set forth in Articles 58 and 66 of the Constitution of Guatemala and further finding that "many actions by the Guatemalan State reflect a cultural stereotype that is discriminatory. One of these is the educational system, where the history, geographic place names, language of instruction, and even the ethical values disdain or ignore those used by the majority of the population, thereby undermining their cultural integrity and their right to dignity. In January 1993, President Serrano announced that the socio-linguistic map had been completed to strengthen bilingual education by means of ambitious programs that would begin this year." 

26.      Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, Report on the Situation of Human Rights of a Segment of the Nicaraguan Population of Miskito Origin and Resolution on the Friendly Settlement Procedure Regarding the Human Rights Situation of a Segment of the Nicaraguan Population of Miskito Origin, Case No. 7964 (Nicaragua 1984) 

"based on the principle of equality: for example, if a child is educated in a language which is not his native language, this can mean that the child is treated on an equal basis with other children who are educated in their native language.  The protection of minorities, therefore, requires affirmative action to safeguard the rights of minorities whenever the people in question...wish to maintain their distinction of language and culture."  


27.       Argentina  

                    Constitución de la Nación Argentina  

Artículo 16:  "La Nación Argentina no admite prerrogativas de sangre, ni de nacimiento: no hay en ella fueros personales ni títulos de nobleza. Todos sus habitantes son iguales antes la ley, y admisibles en los empleos sin otra condición que la idoneidad. La igualdad es la base del impuesto y de las cargas públicas”.  

26.      Bolivia  

                   Constitución Política de Bolivia  

Artículo 6(I): "Todo ser humano tiene personalidad y capacidad jurídica, con arreglo a las leyes. Goza de los derechos, libertades y garantías reconocidos por esta Constitución, sin distinción de raza, sexo, idioma, religión, opinión política o de otra índole, origen, condición económica o social u otra cualquiera”.  

27.      Brazil  

                    Constitución de la República Federativa de Brasil  

Art. 5. Todos são iguais perante a lei, sem distinção de qualquer natureza, garantindo-se aos brasileiros e aos estrangeiros residentes no País a inviolabilidade do direito à vida, à liberdade, à igualdade, à segurança e a propriedade, nos termos seguintes:  

28.      Canada  

                    - Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms (1982)  

Article 15:  

(1) "Every individual is equal before the and under the law and has the right to the equal protection and equal benefit of the law without discrimination and, in particular, without discrimination based on race, national or ethnic origin, colour, religion, sex, age, or mental or physical disability. 


(2) Subsection (1) does not preclude any law, program or activity that has as its object the amelioration of conditions of disadvantaged individuals or groups including those that are disadvantaged because or race, national or ethnic origin, colour, religion, sex, age, or mental or physical disability."  

                    - Canada Constitution Act of 1982  

Part II: "Rights of Aborginial Peoples of Canada


Article 35: ...(4) Notwithstanding any other provision of this Act, the aboriginal and treaty rights referred to in subsection (1) are guaranteed equally to male and female persons."  

29.      Colombia  

                    - Resolución No. 10.013 de 1981  

"Considerando [q]ue la población indígena amerita un tratamiento preferencial por sus condiciones socio-culturales especiales”.  

                    - Constitución Política  

Artículo 13: "Todas las personas nacen libres e iguales ante la ley, recibirán la misma protección y trato de las autoridades y gozarán de los mismos derechos, libertades y oportunidades sin ninguna discriminación por razones de sexo, raza, origen nacional o familiar, lengua, religión, opinión política o filosófica”.  

30.      Costa Rica  

                   Constitución Política de la República de Costa Rica  

Artículo 33: "Todo hombre es igual ante la ley y no podrá hacerse discriminación alguna contraria a la dignidad humana”.  

31.      Chile  

                   - Constitución Política de la República de Chile  

         Artículo 1. "Las personas nacen libres e iguales en dignidad y derechos”.  

                   - Ley 19253 de 1993  

Artículo 8:" Se considerará falta la discriminación manifiesta e intencionada en contra de los indígenas, en razón de su origen y su cultura. El que incurriere en esta conducta será sancionado con multa de uno a cinco ingresos mínimos mensuales”.

32.       Ecuador  

                     Constitución Política de la República de Ecuador  

Artículo 23: "Sin perjuicio de los derechos establecidos en esta Constitución y en los instrumentos internacionales vigentes, el Estado reconocerá y garantizará a las personas los siguientes:  

3. La igualdad ante la ley.  En consecuencia todas las personas serán consideradas iguales y gozarán de los mismos derechos, libertades y oportunidades, sin discriminación en razón de nacimiento, edad, sexo, etnia, color, origen social, idioma; religión, filiación política, posición económica, orientación sexual; estado de salud, discapacidad, o diferencia de cualquier otra índole.


24. El derecho a la identidad, de acuerdo con la ley.  


Artículo 24: Para asegurar el debido proceso deberán observarse las siguientes garantías básicas, sin menoscabo de otras que establezcan la Constitución, los instrumentos internacionales, las leyes o la jurisprudencia.


5. Toda persona tendrá el derecho de ser debida y oportunamente informada de las acciones iniciadas en su contra, en su lengua materna.


11. Nadie podrá ser privado del derecho de defensa en ningún estado o grado del respectivo procedimiento.  El Estado establecerá defensores públicos para el patrocinio de las comunidades indígenas, de los trabajadores, de las mujeres y de los menores de edad abandonados o víctimas de violencia intrafamiliar o sexual, y de toda persona que no disponga de medios económicos.


Artículo 81: El Estado reconocerá y garantizará a los pueblos indígenas, de conformidad con esta Constitución y la ley, el respeto al orden público y a los derechos humanos, los siguientes derechos colectivos a los pueblos indígenas:


1.         Mantener, desarrollar y fortalecer su identidad y tradiciones en lo espiritual, cultural, lingüístico, social, político y económico.


2.         Conservar la propiedad imprescriptible de las tierras comunitarias, que serán inalienables, inembargables e indivisibles, salvo la facultad del Estado para declarar su utilidad pública. Estas tierras estarán exentas del pago del impuesto predial.


3.         Mantener la posesión ancestral de las tierras comunitarias y a obtener su adjudicación gratuita, conforme a la ley.


4.         Participar en el uso, usufructo, administración y conservación de los recursos naturales renovables que se hallen en sus tierras.


5.         Ser consultados sobre planes y programas de prospección y explotación de recursos no renovables que se hallen en sus tierras y que puedan afectarlos ambiental o culturalmente; participar en los beneficios que esos proyectos reporten, en cuanto sea posible y recibir indemnizaciones por los perjuicios socio-ambientales que les causen.


6.         Conservar y promover sus prácticas de manejo de la biodiversidad y de su entorno natural.


7.         Conservar y desarrollar sus formas tradicionales de convivencia y organización social, de generación y ejercicio de la autoridad.


8.         A no ser desplazados, como pueblos, de sus tierras.


9.         A la propiedad intelectual colectiva de sus conocimientos ancestrales; a su valoración, uso y desarrollo conforme a la ley.


10.        Mantener, desarrollar y administrar su patrimonio cultural e histórico.


11.        Acceder a una educación de calidad. Contar con el sistema de educación

intercultural bilingüe.


12.        A sus sistemas, conocimientos y prácticas de medicina tradicional, incluido el derecho a la protección de los lugares rituales y sagrados, plantas, animales, minerales y ecosistemas de interés vital desde el punto de vista de aquella.


13.        Formular prioridades en planes y proyectos para el desarrollo y mejoramiento de sus condiciones económicas y sociales; y a un adecuado financiamiento del Estado.


14.        Participar, mediante representantes, en los organismos oficiales que determine la ley.


15.        Usar símbolos y emblemas que los identifiquen.  

34.      El Salvador  

Constitución de la República de El Salvador  

Artículo 3: Todas las personas son iguales ante la ley. Para el goce de los derechos civiles no podrán establecerse restricciones que se basen en diferencias de nacionalidad, raza, sexo o religión.      

33.      United States  

- Morton v. Mancari, 417 U.S. 535 (1974). Upholding a statutory "Indian preference" for hiring by the Bureau of Indian Affairs ("BIA") and  relying on the fact that the statute's purpose was to assist Indian self-government, the Supreme Court stated that:  

"Literally every piece of legislation dealing with Indian tribes and reservations, and certainly all legislation dealing with the BIA, single out for special treatment a constituency of tribal Indians living on or near reservations. If these laws, derived from historical relationships and explicitly designed to help only Indians, were deemed invidious racial discrimination, an entire Title of the United States Code [25 U.S.C.A.] would be effectively erased and the solemn commitment of the Government toward the Indian would be jeopardized"  

                   - Civil Rights Act of 1964, Title VII  

42 U.S.C. §2000e-2(i)


"Nothing contained in this subchapter shall apply to any business or enterprise on or near an Indian Reservation with respect to any publicly announced employment practice of such business or enterprise under which a preferential treatment is given to any individual because he is an Indian living on or near a reservation."  

34.      Guatemala  

                   Constitución Política de la República de Guatemala  

Artículo 4: "Libertad e igualdad. En Guatemala todos los seres humanos son libres e iguales en dignidad y derechos. El hombre y la mujer, cualquiera que sea su estado civil, tienen iguales oportunidades y responsabilidades. Ninguna persona puede ser sometida a servidumbre ni a otra condición que menoscabe su dignidad. Los seres humanos deben guardar conducta fraternal entre sí”.  

- Agreement on identity and rights of indigenous peoples  

Article II. A. Struggle against de jure and de facto discrimination


1.         To overcome the age-old discrimination against indigenous peoples the assistance of all citizens will be needed in the effort to change thinking, attitudes and behavior. This change must begin with a clear recognition by all Guatemalans of the reality of racial discrimination and of the compelling need to overcome it and achieve true peaceful coexistence.    


2.         For its part, with a view to eradicating discrimination against the indigenous peoples, the Government shall take the following measures:


(a)        Promote in the Guatemalan Congress, the classification of ethnic discrimination as a criminal offence;


(b)        Promote a review by the Guatemalan Congress of existing legislation with a view to abolishing any law or provision that could have discriminatory implications for the indigenous peoples;


(c)        Widely disseminate information on the rights of the indigenous peoples through education, the communications media and through other channels; and


(d)        Promote the effective protection of such rights. To that end, promote the creation of legal offices for the defence of indigenous rights and the installation of popular law offices to provide free legal assistance for persons of limited economic means in municipalities in which indigenous communities are prevalent. Furthermore, the Office of the Counsel for Human Rights and other organizations for the protection of human rights are urged to give special attention to the protection of the rights of the Maya, Garifuna and Xinca peoples.  

35.      Mexico  

                   - Constitución Política de los Estados Unidos Mexicanos  

Artículo 4: "...El varón y la mujer son iguales ante la ley.  Esta protegerá la organización y el desarrollo de la familia”.  

- Código Penal para el Distrito Federal en Materia de Fuero Común, y para toda la República en Materia de Fuero Federal.  

Artículo 149 bis: "Comete el delito de genocidio el que con el propósito de destruir, total o parcialmente a uno o más grupos nacionales o de carácter étnico, racial o religioso, perpetrase por cualquier medio, delitos contra la vida de miembros de aquéllos, o impusiere la esterilización masiva con el fin de impedir la reproducción del grupo.


Por tal delito se impondrán de veinte a cuarenta años de prisión y multa de quince mil a veinte mil pesos.


Si con idéntico propósito se llevaren a cabo ataques a la integridad corporal o a la salud de los miembros de dichas comunidades o se trasladaren de ellas a otros grupos menores de dieciséis años, empleando para ello la violencia física o moral, la sanción será de cinco a veinte años de prisión y multa de  dos mil a siete mil pesos.  


Se aplicarán las mismas sanciones señaladas en el párrafo anterior, a quien con igual propósito someta intencionalmente al grupo a condiciones de existencia que hayan de acarrear su destrucción física, total o parcial.


En caso que los responsables de dichos delitos fueren gobernantes, funcionarios o empleados públicos y las cometieren en ejercicio de sus funciones o con motivo de ellas, además de la sanción establecida en este artículo se les aplicarán las penas señaladas en el artículo 15 de la Ley de Responsabilidades de los Funcionarios y Empleados de la Federación"  

- Ley de Derechos de los Pueblos y Comunidades Indígenas del Estado de Oaxaca  

Artículo 15: "Los pueblos y comunidades indígenas tienen derecho social a vivir dentro de sus tradiciones culturales en libertad, paz y seguridad como culturas distintas y a gozar de plenas garantías contra toda forma de discriminación. "


Artículo 16: "Comete el delito de etnocidio y se sancionará con prisión de tres a seis años y multa de doscientos a quinientos salarios mínimos:


I.          Al que por cualquier medio atente contra el derecho de los pueblos y comunidades indígenas a disfrutar, enriquecer y transmitir su propia cultura y su propia lengua;


II.          Al que atente contra la integridad física, salud o reproducción de los integrantes de los pueblos y comunidades indígenas con el propósito de destruirlos total o parcialmente;


III.         Al que fomente de manera coercitiva y por medio de la violencia o el engaño la asimilación de los integrantes de los pueblos y comunidades indígenas a otras culturas o modos de vida; o motiven su dispersión a través de desplazamientos o separaciones involuntarias de sus familias o de sus territorios”.


Artículo 17: "Al que discrimine culturalmente en forma grave y por cualquier medio a los integrantes de un pueblo o comunidad indígena, se le sancionará con prisión de tres días a un año, o multa de cien a doscientos cincuenta salarios mínimos, o ambas a juicio del juez.


Se entiende por discriminación cultural grave toda acción u omisión que implique deshonra, descrédito o perjuicio al sujeto pasivo en razón de su calidad de indígena"


Artículo 30: "Los pueblos y comunidades indígenas tienen derecho social a vivir en libertad, paz y seguridad como pueblos diferenciados y a gozar de plenas garantías contra actos de discriminación, violencia, reacomodos o desplazamientos forzados, separación de niñas y niños indígenas de sus familias y comunidades bajo ningún pretexto”.  

36.     Nicaragua  

                   Constitution of Nicaragua  

Article 48: “Unconditonal equality among Nicaraguans in the enjoyment of political rights is established.  In the exercise of these rights and in these responsibilities and obligations, there exist absolute equality between men and women.  It is the obligation of the state to remove obstacles that impede effective participation of Nicaraguans in the political, economic, and social life of the country.”


Article 91: “The state is obligated to enact laws promoting that no Nicaraguan shall be the object of discrimination for reasons of language, culture, or origin.” 

37.      Panama  

Constitución Política de la República de Panamá  

Artículo 19: ”No habrá fueros o privilegios penales ni discriminación por razón de raza, nacimiento, clase social, sexo, religión o ideas políticas”.    

Artículo 39: ”... No se otorgará reconocimiento a las asociaciones inspiradas en ideas o teorías basadas en la pretendida superioridad de una raza o de un grupo étnico, o que justifiquen o promuevan la discriminación racial”.  

38.      Paraguay  

                   Constitución de la República de Paraguay  

Artículo 46. "De la igualdad de las personas


Todos los habitantes de la República son iguales en dignidad y derechos. No se admiten discriminaciones. El Estado removerá los obstáculos e impedirá los factores que las mantengan o las propicien.


Las protecciones que se establezcan sobre desigualdades injustas no serán consideradas como factores discriminatorios sino igualitarios.


Artículo 47. "De las garantías de la igualdad


El Estado garantizará a todos los habitantes de la República:


1.         la igualdad para el acceso a la justicia, a cuyo efecto allanará los obstáculos que la impidiesen;


2.         la igualdad ante las leyes;



3.         la igualdad para el acceso a las funciones públicas no electivas, sin más requisitos que la idoneidad, y


4.         la igualdad de oportunidades en la participación de los beneficios de la naturaleza, de los bienes materiales y de la cultura.  

39.      Peru  

                   Constitución Política del Perú  

Artículo 2: "Toda persona tiene su derecho: ... (2) A la igualdad ante la Ley. Nadie debe ser discriminado por motivo de origen, raza, sexo, idioma, religión, opinión, condición económica o de cualquier otra índole... (19) ... Todo peruano tiene derecho a usar su propio idioma ante cualquier autoridad mediante un intérprete... "  

40.      Trinidad and Tobago  

                   Constitution of  the Republic of Trinidad and  Tobago (1980)  

Article 4: "It is hereby recognized and declared that in Trinidad and Tobago there have existed and shall continue to exist without discrimination by reason of race, origin, colour, religion or sex, the following fundamental human rights and freedoms, namely.


b.         the right of the individual to equality before the law and the protection of the law."  

41.      Suriname  

                    Constitution of Suriname  

Article 8: "All who are within the territory of Suriname shall have an equal claim to protection of person and property. No one shall be discriminated against on the grounds of birth, sex, race, language, religious origin, education, political beliefs, economic position or any other status"  

42.      Venezuela  

                   Constitución de la República de Venezuela  

Artículo 21: "El gobierno y la administración de cada Estado corresponden a un Gobernador, quién además de Jefe del Ejecutivo del Estado es agente del Ejecutivo Nacional en su respectiva circunscripción.”  

Para ser Gobernador se requiere ser venezolano por nacimiento, mayor de treinta años y de estado seglar.  


Artículo 61: "No se permitirán discriminaciones fundadas en la raza, el sexo, el credo o la condición social. Los documentos de identificación para los actos de la vida civil no contendrán mención alguna que califique la filiación.  No se dará otro tratamiento oficial sino el de ciudadano y usted, salvo las fórmulas diplomáticas.  No se reconocerán títulos nobiliarios ni distinciones hereditarias”.


Artículo 77: "El Estado propenderá a mejorar las condiciones de vida de la población campesina. La ley establecerá el régimen de excepción que requiera la protección de las comunidades de indígenas y su incorporación progresiva a la vida de la Nación”.  


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