Izamal (Agenzia Fides) - "To promote the rights of indigenous peoples and the development of their cultures and communities; recognize, promote and defend their rights to land, their land, their culture, their forms of organization and governance systems", these are the words written by His Exc. Mgr. Guillermo Francisco Escobar Galicia, Bishop de Teotihuacán, in Mexico and responsible for the Indigenous Pastoral of the Episcopal Conference, who contributed to the Christian reflection in the celebration of the International Day of Indigenous Peoples.
In Mexico, the celebration took place in the context of the twentieth anniversary of Pope John Paul II’s meeting with the indigenous peoples of America. The meeting was held on August 11 in Izamal, Yucatan.
Civil society has decided to respect the rights of ethnic groups, and thanks to the example of devotion to Our Lady of Guadalupe on behalf of San Juan Diego, the Catholic community renewed its commitment to living in the service of the most marginalized.
"Both celebrations, continues Mgr. Escobar Galicia’s letter, invite us to make the words of Blessed John Paul II our own, to bring to mind the commitment that we have as a Church with the indigenous peoples of Mexico, to meet the challenges that the indigenous pastoral presents, and thus, eliminate discrimination, intolerance and neglect".
According to data gathered by Fides, the UN estimates that worldwide there are 370 million indigenous people, of whom nearly 7 million live in Mexico. The atlas of indigenous peoples indicates that there are 62 ethnic groups living in Mexico, and the Maya group is one of the largest. The National Council for the Evaluation of Social Development Policy states that 7 out of 10 residents in an indigenous family live in poverty and one in 10 in conditions of extreme poverty. (CE) (Agenzia Fides 13/08/2013)