Nineteen indigenous representatives from an array of political parties have united for a cause: to make sure their peoples receive access to education, healthcare and justice in their native languages.
Julio César Xicay Poz, a district representative for Quetzaltenango who is part of the group, said the legislators want to make sure the bills introduced – and passed – by the 158-member Congress benefit the indigenous, who comprise 51% of the country’s 14 million residents.
“The idea is to launch a specific agenda, to create a common bloc and support initiatives that benefit the vast majority of the Guatemalan population, which is indigenous,” he said.Some issues around which members of congress would like to see progress include women's access to healthcare in her own language, intellectual property rights that would prevent crafts from being reproduced in China and elsewhere, the protection of sacred sites, and the promotion of bilingual, multicultural and intercultural education throughout the country.
The suggestions sound pretty reasonable except for the doubling and then some of the congress' membership from 158 to 356. The idea would be to increase the participation of the indigenous in congress. I would much rather see a strengthening of local governments rather than the suggestion to make each mayoral district and congressional district.