Growth as a human right

Materialistas en Juchitan exigen construcción de parque eólico

It is common to hear persons, companies, the mass media and workers talking about the need of growth, refering to megaprojects, the design of infrastructure, cement. The governments and their representatives are promoting “progress”, iniciting big works and progresses de gentrification, that only benefit businessmen and not the majority of the population.

To see growth as a human right offers a hopeful perspective towards the subjugation of indigenous villages and their territory and their population to companies. Adding this perspective to the debate of development is fundamental, precisely for the construction of an appropiate perspective referring to the ways of life of the people and their communities and to prevent the criminalization of those who are oponing against “growth”, reduced to public work or the construction of megaprojects.

The ILO-Convention 169 reveils this perspective in its articles 2 and 7, which is very important in the fight for the recognition of the rights of Indigenous People, and cannot be disengaged from the process of globalization and the recognition of the multi-ethnicity of the nation states. Furthermore it reveils their right to participation “to protect the rights of these peoples and to guarantee respect for their integrity” as stated in Article 2 of this Convention. Article 7 describes development characteristics.

We shouldn’t forget that under Article 1 of the Constitution, international treaties on human rights, as it is the Indigenous and Tribel Peoples Convention 169, form part of our constitution by being incorporated into the constitutional instruments.

The main challenge is clearly to exceed the colonial mind, which persists until today, and the subordination of the logic of the state –and of the public policy- which offers services but no rights.

It should be added that human rights are tools for resuming a dialogue between cultures. They allow us to expose the criminalization that the peoples and their leaders suffer from by defending their rights, territories and ideas.