Indigenous peoples: In permanent budget discrimination and poverty

Historically these budgets are highly discriminatory, deficient and unfair for the native communities of Michoacán

By Pável Uliánov Guzmán

*All amounts described below are represented in Mexican pesos

In Michoacán, in the last eight years, all the political parties through the State Congress have systematically and irresponsibly cut the budget allocated for “the integral and sustainable development of indigenous peoples”, going from 114 million assigned in 2014, to 25 million destined for 2021, which deepens the conditions of discrimination, poverty and social exclusion of the communities.

In summary, regardless of the political affiliation of the government in turn, the Executive branch and the Congress of Michoacán have historically cut 80% of the budget dedicated to the care of native communities. At the initiative of the governor, deputies from all political parties have historically approved budgets that are detrimental to indigenous communities.

Historically, the budget for the “integral and sustainable development of indigenous peoples and communities”, either through the defunct Secretariat of Indigenous Peoples (SPI) or the new State Commission for the Development of Indigenous Peoples (CEDPI), has suffered a brutal reduction: during 2014, the Government of Michoacán and the Congress of the State of Michoacán, allocated the amount of $ 114,043,717; in 2015 the budget was $ 108,852,089; for 2016 the amount was reduced to $ 103,627,453; in 2017 the capital decreased to $ 68,465,885; for 2018 the budget was for the amount of $ 22,409,289; for 2019, the capital increased a little, to a total of $ 47,219,815; For 2020, the amount of $ 25,470,102 was allocated and finally for 2021 the budget was reduced to $ 24,110,433 (Source: Expenditure Budget of the Government of the State of Michoacán de Ocampo, for Fiscal Year 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018 , 2019, 2020 and 2021).

In all the years, the budget reserved to meet the needs of indigenous communities has not even reached 0.3% of the total allocated to state agencies, clearly it is a miserable capital. Just as an example, for 2021, the capital of $ 24,110,433 represents 0.03% of the total State Government Expenditure Budget that amounts to $ 75,616,545,244. From a budgetary perspective, the “Benito Juárez Zoological Park” of the city of Morelia, capital of the State of Michoacán, will receive more than the communities and indigenous peoples in Michoacán: a total of $ 47,969,790. In this framework, the CEDPI maintains a budget that only serves to pay an indigenous bureaucracy that is submissive and bows before the governor in turn.

These budgets are highly discriminatory, deficient and unfair for the native communities of Michoacán, because the money does not correspond to the number of inhabitants who speak a mother tongue, which in 2010 amounted to 136 thousand 608 people, which is equivalent to 3.5% of the total population of Michoacán (According to data from the 2010 Population and Housing Census / INEGI). That is, in accordance with their number of inhabitants, the native peoples would correspond to 3.5% of the total State Government Expenditure Budget, which translates to a total of more than 2,646 million for the year 2021 ($ 2,646,579,083) and not the paltry capital of 24 million currently allocated ($ 24,110,433).

At the federal level, the reduction of the budget destined for the “integral development of indigenous peoples and communities”, through the defunct National Commission for the Development of Indigenous Peoples (CDI) or the current National Institute of Indigenous Peoples (INPI ), also maintains a historical involution, the Federal Government in turn and the Chamber of Deputies in collusion with all the political parties have systematically reduced the capital destined to meet the needs of the native communities.

Historically, the highest budget assigned to the institution in charge of serving indigenous peoples was granted during 2015, with a capital of $ 12,129,311,599 (CDI), since then it has steadily decreased; in 2016 they allocated the amount of 11,900,503,450 (CDI); in 2017 they decreased the amount to 5,806,611,235 (CDI); in 2018 they assigned the budget of 6,088,935,816 (CDI); in 2019 they reduced the amount to 5,996,299,349 (INPI); In 2020 they reduced the capital to 4,018,344,867 (INPI) and finally for 2021 they allocate the budget of 3,633,000,009 (INPI), in other words, regardless of the political affiliation of the Federal Government in turn and the respective Federal Legislations, the indigenous budget has been systematically reduced by 70.05% (Expenditure Budget of the Federation 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020 and 2021).

In the State of Michoacán, the decrease in the budget for indigenous communities began with the administration of Fausto Vallejo Figueroa and was exacerbated by the government of Silvano Aureoles Conejo, in complicity with the LXXII, LXXII and LXXIV Legislatures, this despite the fact that a historical debt is maintained with the native peoples who are the most discriminated among the discriminated, the most excluded among the excluded and the poorest of the poor. According to official sources themselves, 77.6% of the population that speaks the indigenous language lives in poverty and 34.8% lives in extreme poverty (According to information from CONEVAL / 2018 Social Development Policy Evaluation Report). Similarly, 8 out of 10 homes in which an indigenous-speaking person lives maintains a housing backwardness, 19.9% lack water services inside the home, 26.6% do not have drainage to the public network, and 13 , 9% maintain homes with dirt floors (According to the INEGI / Intercensal Survey 2015). At the same time, 40.3% of the indigenous population over 12 years of age have suffered acts of discrimination and 29.2% suffered incidents of denial of rights (According to information from the National Survey on Discrimination 2017).

In summary, the Mexican State has not contributed to solving the structural problems of poverty, exclusion and marginalization in which millions of inhabitants of native peoples live.

In perspective, the public policies of the Mexican State for native communities are insufficient, discriminatory, paternalistic and violate rights. They are insufficient because they do not correspond to their number of inhabitants, they are discriminatory because the development of cities is prioritized to the detriment of communities, they are paternalistic because they exclude the indigenous population in the elaboration of public policies and they violate rights because they do not they consult in a prior, free, informed and culturally appropriate manner on administrative or legislative measures that affect these native people.

In this sense, the only path left to indigenous communities is social mobilization to demand their rights and obtain social demands, as well as to continue with their processes of free self-determination, autonomy and self-government.

Pável Ulíánov Guzmán
Twitter: @PavelUlianov


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