the treatment of indigenous people in the media and outside of it, essentially both intertwine within each other like cause and effect. The stereotypes and toxic anti-indigenous rhetoric shown in the popular media is drawn out all the way to the current ruling system in Mexico playing off the media’s skewed perception of indigenous people. This system is generating more poor indigenous people by forcing them out their homes and lands to build bigger and shinier places, this takes away the sacredness and value of the land by simply putting price tag on it and disregarding its cultural significance, it’s an ongoing battle that has been happening for centuries. In example, Erica Wortham writes “Historian Emilio H. Kourí recovers how Andrés Molina Enríquez, the principal author of article 27, resurrected the crucial importance of communal land as a solution to Mexico’s ‘Indian problem’. He writes “Given the Indian’s ‘evolutive backwardness’ no other form of organization could have better served their interests” Indigenous people were deemed not ready in a developmental or evolutionary sense to handle the private property that was forced onto them during the nineteenth-century wave of liberal reforms that dismantled communal land protections.
Nearly a century later, President Salinas, it seems, thought they were (61-62).” Though, still in the 21st century, these rhetoric’s that people such as Andres Molina Enriquez had about indigenous people not being capable, still haunt the country in low volume through modern television and still, the current mexican administration. The negative impression in the media and the allowance the Mexican government gives to big money developers and business owners to gentrify and displace, exploits the indigenous people and their land. In example, in early 2016 Mexico moved ahead with a pipeline passing through indigenous territory. The Agua Prieta pipeline would go right through the Yaqui land. The issue worsened on October 21st 2016 when the pipeline’s supporters attacked a group of protesters, killing one and wounding eight. The construction of a pipeline without consultation of the Yaqui community is a violation of the sovereignty of Yaqui land, community leaders say. Though, Mexican authorities have announced that pipeline construction will continue because “one community” cannot stop “a project that will benefit future generations.
” Without the permission of the Yaqui people the construction went ahead, disregarding the Yaqui community leader’s voices and precautions and with no negotiations what so ever. Although, it is not only big money developers exploiting and abusing the indigenous people of Mexico. Indigenous communities in Mexico have also been invaded by cartels and narcos to engage in organized crime. The drug cartels force and recruit the indigenous children and teens to engage in logging and mining and if they refuse they torture and kill them. In Example, Benjamin Sanchez of age 18 was killed February 2015 after he refused to do work for the Sinaloa cartel. Later Sinaloa cartel members came for his father and failed in an attempted murder, it was then that Sanchez’ father decided to leave El Manzano, an indigenous community. The community leaders in the town were also recruited by organized crime and farming was made unattainable for the people of El Manzano where corn had to make way for poppies.
In July of 2016 , government trucks and construction vehicles entered indigenous land unwarranted to build a highway. Activists online wrote posts outraged in solidarity after the attempt to begin construction on a section of the Toluca-Naucalpan highway on the land of the Otomi tribe in the town of Xochicuautla, west of Mexico City.The vehicles entered a day after the President Enrique Peña Nieto signed a presidential decree, removing the 1954 order guaranteeing Otomi tribe land rights in Xochicuautla. This is another example of the government allowing, exploiting and disregarding the indigenous people in exchange for money or what the government called “public interest” and the necessity of “easy transport” between Mexico City and the suburbs.
An Official statement said “the private highway will deliver huge financial returns to the community” which commentators say is false. Community leaders of Otomi saying the act was “plunder” and that they were never advised or asked about the move nor had they given any sort of approval, hence the move violated their rights given to them by the state itself. Furthermore, TelesurTV reports “Residents accuse the government of expropriation and say the plan will destroy the Xochicuautla forests and natural resources.
“An example of carteles exploitation is the tarahumara people. The Tarahumara people created a unique style of running that brought them fame. In huaraches made from tire treads, they were able to run unimaginable lengths. Cartels in Mexico recognized these incredible indigenous people as an opportunity for a new international commerce. The Tarahumara usually kept to themselves, but poverty made them prey for Cartel members looking for running carriers willing to make the run to Texas and New mexico for designated drug drop-offs.Texas Monthly writes “Narcos strolled along the plazas of small Mexican towns and bought blue jeans for those wearing traditional loincloths and paired them with guides to lead them to the border at night.
In the Tarahumara, the cartels found literal drug runners, who not only could cover incredible distances but were desperate enough to do it.” The reason the developers or the narco cartels target the indigenous population is because they seem like an easy target, after mass media consumption and stereotypes taking ahold of the subconsciousness of the people of mexico, it’s suggested easy to target the indigenous population for exploitation and humiliation. But, time after time the indigenous people of mexico show their resilience and strength to beat all odds to ensure their voices be heard now and generations ahead.
The indigenous people of mexico show an undying determination to preserve their land now and years to go.