The Struggle for Political Rights and Indigenous Culture Recognition in Mexico Consolidating Democracy in a Divided Nation

Though Mexico is currently undergoing significant internal change, in relation to its position as a globalized economy and in recognizing the rights of its citizens, significant limitations currently plague the process of democratization. Indigenous citizens make up a significant percentage of the total population in Mexico, however, these groups continue to struggle with the achievement of a recognized social status and inclusion into a governmental system which identifies the rights of indigenous cultures. Under the existing Federal Republic structure, powers of the centralized government are limited whereby independent regions of the country maintain some degree of self-government and regulation. total sovereignty, in theory, rests with the voters who are allowed to choose their own leadership (CIA, 2007). With the proposed definition of a federal republic, it would appear that many elements which exist in modern democracies should be thriving in Mexico. However, governmental and regional corruption, elitist objectives, and various ethnic and cultural beliefs provide significant detriment to achieving the ultimate goal of democracy and democratic consolidation in the country (Diamond, 1992. Gilbreth amp. Otero, 2001) Despite the fact that under federal republic systems of government citizens are in control of the election process, the indigenous cultures are far from achieving inclusion into the political system. Their unique cultural beliefs and social identity have been obscured within the progression from Federal Republic to democracy, which continues to allow citizenry division to exist and slow the process of democratic consolidation. Several indigenous groups have appealed to the government, in the form of formal protests or social uprising, however until the government fully adopts the principles of contemporary democracy and works to unify all of its diverse peoples, Mexico will remain a divided nation (Klitgaard, 1991).