Mexico is one of the most diverse countries in the world with more than 12 million indigenous people speaking 68 indigenous languages. Despite this enormous cultural wealth, many of Mexico’s indigenous languages are in danger of disappearing.
In Mexico, radio represents a prominent cultural outlet and indigenous media are a powerful means of promoting indigenous languages, identities and stories. Thus, radio stations have naturally become a platform to unite indigenous communities and celebrate their cultural expressions. Through this EU/UNESCO project, Mexico will create a policy that simplifies the granting of licenses to indigenous and community radios. A new regulation to incorporate indigenous content in commercial and public media will also be designed, widely disseminating and promoting diverse cultural expressions throughout the country.
The project responds to the following needs and challenges identified by the Presidency of Mexico:
The project will design a standard regulation aimed at incorporating indigenous content in commercial and public media; it will require future applicants for broadcasting licenses to specify the percentage of indigenous or community programming during their broadcasts.
This regulation will consider indigenous programming as follows:
In order to comply with this regulation and ensure that public and private media have access to indigenous and community content, a digital platform will be created. Consultations between community and indigenous broadcasters will also take place in order to assess their capacity for content generation and contribution towards the platform (internet access, capacity development, etc).
Today, the procedure to request radio licenses can only be completed in Mexico City, which poses economic and logistical challenges to indigenous people and communities that wish to operate their radio stations legally with an active license. This project will support the design of a policy to decentralize the radio license granting process in order to reduce the associated administrative and economic burden and promote the development of indigenous and community radio projects.