DECLARATION OF TEOTIHUACAN
Consejo de Organizaciones y Naciones Indígenas del Continente
Council of Indigenous Organizations and Nations of the Continent
FIRST INTERNATIONAL INDIGENOUS SUMMIT
PRIMERA CUMBRE INTERNACIONAL INDIGENA
Octubre 25-28, 2000
The Continental Indigenous Summit, meeting at the foot of the ceremonial center of Teotihuacan Mexico, upon completion
of the second millennium of the Gregorian Calendar and 508 years of European invasion - the delegates representing the
diverse Original Peoples of the Continent,
DECLARE AND REAFFIRM BEFORE THE WORLD THE FOLLOWING:
The Indigenous Peoples of the Continent Abya Yala, Itzachilatlan (Americas) hereby reaffirm our principles of Community
Spirituality and the inalienable right to Self Determination as Original Peoples of the Continent.
In this present era of economic globalization driven by the great capital interests of transnational corporations and the so
called industrialized nations, which threatens our very existence daily, the Indigenous Peoples of the states where we live in
the continent, have organized and gathered strength in coordination and solidarity to protect the sacred rights of our
Nations and Pueblos for the future generations.
Although there have been some advances in the material arena regarding the rights of Indigenous Peoples at the level of
International Accords, the so-called Latin American States and the states of the Anglo-America bloc of North America
continue to negate our fundamental rights and liberties;
In spite of the fact that Convention 169 of the International Labor Organization, now some eleven years since adoption,
recognizes various rights of Indigenous Peoples, the majority of the government states have not ratified the Convention,
and those who have at the same time continue to implement strategies to weaken Convention 169 in terms of content and
After 16 years of constant struggle and effort by indigenous representatives at the international level, ratification of the
Declaration regarding the Rights of Indigenous Peoples of the United Nations has continued to be blocked by the
colonizing government states of the United Nations;
Although the Organization of American States (OAS) has elaborated a project regarding the American Declaration
Regarding the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, the content of the Declaration does not include recognition of the rights and
fundamental liberties of the Indigenous Peoples. This is a direct consequence of the fact that the proposed declaration is an
instrument elaborated from the point of view of the government states, without full participation of the Indigenous Peoples
Although the International Convention Regarding Biodiversity recognizes certain Indigenous Rights in Article 8, in
practice the international corporate interests with the consent of the government states, have intensified the policy of theft
and expropriation of natural resources and the Biodiversity that is found within the Indigenous Territories, causing
ecological destruction and erosion of the collective rights of our Nations and Pueblos;
Whereas the idea of a Permanent Forum for Indigenous Peoples at the United Nations depended on the support of
legitimate representation of the Indigenous Peoples, nevertheless in the process the mandate for the Permanent Forum has
excluded the concept of Indigenous Peoples. The result is in complete denial of the aspirations of the Indigenous Peoples;
Whereas the financial policies imposed by the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the World Bank, and the InterAmerican
Bank for Development have been complicit with the government states in establishing economic policy that accommodates
the excessive consumerism of the countries in the Northern Hemisphere: This has increased the levels of dependence,
oppression and poverty of the Indigenous Peoples and other popular sectors of society;
Whereas in spite of the installation of so-called democracies in the continent, the colonizing government states continue to
perpetuate the violation of our Human Rights, the denial of the right to a life with Dignity, the denial of liberty itself, and
the right to define our own destiny as different Nations and Pueblos as is recognized in the Universal Declaration of Human
Whereas the Peace Accords in Guatemala and those of San Andres in Chiapas, Mexico have only been promises of justice
for the Indigenous Pueblos, while the repression against indigenous leaders continues in Honduras, Chile, Mexico, Peru,
Bolivia, and Guatemala: The Plan for Columbia supported by the United States, will bring even more repression,
militarization and suffering for the Indigenous Peoples and non-indigenous as well in Columbia;
FOR ALL THESE REASONS:
The Indigenous Delegates united at this Continental Indigenous Summit
1.) We Indigenous Peoples shall continue to be guided by the ancestral spiritual values of our cultures, by our languages
and history, and for this reason we shall continue to be the Indigenous Peoples of the continent with rights undiminished
and inalienable to the Peoples of the World.
2.) As Indigenous Peoples we have developed our cultures in specific territories, where we have established spiritual
relationships and linguistic ties that construct our ancestral millennial identity. Our territories and the web of biodiversity
contained therein form the foundation of our inalienable and undiminished inheritance of rights and obligations.
Nevertheless, we have been dispossessed from our territories in the process of the formation of Nation States.
3.) As Indigenous Peoples we reaffirm the Principle and Right to Self Determination, considering that this constitutes the
basic foundation for all of the other rights which we may process.
THEREFORE WE DEMAND:
1.) We direct the Government States of the World to support and adopt the Declaration of the Rights of Indigenous
Peoples of the United Nations, within the span of the UN Decade of Indigenous Peoples of the World, being that this is a
commitment made by the government states to the International Community.
2.) We call upon the governments that conform the Organization of American States (OAS) to reactivate the dialogue
regarding the Project for the American Declaration of the Rights of the Indigenous Peoples, and that the UN Working
Group convene a special session regarding the same. Simultaneously, the Indigenous Committee should be empowered to
serve as linkage with the interested parties by guaranteeing the most ample participation possible of the Indigenous Peoples
in the process.
3.) We direct the government states who have not signed the Convention 169 of the International Labor Organization to
ratify the convention as a signal of their political will to recognize and protect the rights of the Indigenous Peoples.
4.) We demand that the Government States recognize the Indigenous Peoples and our Rights, within their political
constitutions, guaranteeing participation and protection for lands and territories, and assuring the right to determine our
The assembled delegates at the Continental Indigenous Summit - Teotihuacan hereby declare our commitment to continue
to work towards strenghtening our unity and coordination across the continent, expressing continuity of effort by agreeing
to convene in SUMMIT once again in Ecuador in the year 2001, said SUMMIT to be hosted by the Confederation of
Indigenous Nationalities of Ecuador (CONAIE).
This Continental Indigenous Summit - Teotihuacan 2000 makes a call to All Our Relations to strengthen our continental
organizational processes of communication, so that we may together construct a better future for the generations to come.
FOR THE SELF DETERMINATION OF THE INDIGENOUS PEOPLES AND THE RESTITUTION OF OUR
Signed by Indigenous Delegations representing 36 Indigenous Organizations from throughout the Continent.
Council of Indigenous Organizations and Nations of the Continent
Center for Communications and Coordination - North
Phoenix, AZ 85074
Tel: (602) 254-5230 Fax (602) 252-6094
Contact: Tupac Enrique Acosta
A Z T L A N