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 peoples and celebrate their cultural expressions. Through this EU/UNESCO project, Mexico initially aimed at creating a policy that simplifies and streamlines the granting of licences to indigenous and community radios. Following the first consultations with the national team that took place on the occasion of the public online launch of the project on 16 June 2020, it was decided to broaden the scope of the project to indigenous and community media as a whole, to take into consideration the reality of technological convergence. 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:
One of first results of this project was the creation of the Declaration of Principles for Cultural and Linguistic Diversity in the Media, which has as an aim to encourage public, commercial, community and indigenous media to promote cultural and linguistic diversity in 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 peoples 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.
- June 2020: Launch of the project
- July and August 2020: Consultation process which led to the identification of four key themes:
- the sustainability of indigenous and community radios,
- connectivity and infrastructure,
- inclusion of the indigenous and community radios in the general media landscape
- monitoring of policy actions (through data) targeting these radios
- May 2021: Peer-to-Peer with Brazil, Chile, Colombia, and the United Kingdom
- June 2021: Formulation of a policy paper with actions for each of the themes mentioned above
- Spring 2022 (expected): Public presentation of the policy paper
Follow - up activities:
- Spring 2022 (expected): As a follow-up activity, a virtual school for indigenous and community radios is currently being created which will provide courses on the audiovisual production, gender equality approach and mainstreaming, Media and Information Literacy (MIL), and crowdfunding (collective financing).