Document Type


Publication Date

Winter 2011

Publication Citation

18 Indiana Journal of Global Legal Studies 307 (2011)


In 1992 and 2001, the National Congress of Mexico approved several amendments to the constitution concerning the legal status and rights of indigenous peoples. However, the specific institutional aspects and practical implications of these changes were left to state legislatures, which have responded slowly and unevenly. A particular problem has been the lack of a clear definition of what indigenous political representation means for the different levels of the Mexican government. This article uses ethnographic materials collected in the state of Jalisco to document certain forms of exclusion and violations of citizen rights that relate to voids and ambiguities in legislation. It also contends that efficient representation necessitates an intercultural dialogue that accepts differences without essentializing them.

Human Rights and Legal Systems Across the Global South, Symposium, Indiana University Maurer School of Law, Bloomington, Indiana. 9-10 April 2010.