He declared that through this strategy, more than two million indigenous people will have a better quality of life, well-being and decent lives. ”That is the commitment I have come to make today to the first peoples of our country,” he said.

“We are a country that works and strives to build better conditions for society as a whole. We are a country that recognizes that there are still parts of our population and social sectors facing setbacks, but we cannot allow the highest concentration of poverty and underdevelopment to be found in our first peoples,” he added.

The president said that through various programs, the government now supports the country’s first peoples with more than 80 billion pesos in investment. “This is an extremely important investment. It is virtually the same as the amount assigned to the PROSPERA Program,” he explained.

“We want first peoples to be part of Mexico’s development. We do not want indigenous people to be left behind. We want indigenous peoples to share in the country’s development on an equal basis,” he said.

He announced that in the next legislative period, the Program for Special Economic Zones will be submitted to Congress. This is a, “policy oriented towards defining specific actions for four of the country’s states: Chiapas, Oaxaca, Guerrero and part of Michoacán, which have the greatest social backwardness and we want more productive investment to reach them and create better paid jobs.”

President Peña Nieto said that according to data from the National Council for the Evaluation of Social Development Policy (CONEVAL), “more than 70 percent of our first peoples live in conditions of poverty”.

He said that this, “Forces us to pick up the pace and carry out actions targeting first peoples,” in specific areas such as health, housing, electrification and potable water, among others.

He mentioned that there are 68 first peoples in Mexico who form part of the country’s multiethnic and multicultural mosaic. Not only do we have 68 ethnic groups but more than 360 indigenous languages are spoken in our country,” he explained.

He added that the indigenous peoples of the country “Represent nearly 10 percent of Mexico’s total population of Mexico; that is, one in ten Mexicans are descended from one of our indigenous peoples.”

OVER TWICE AS MUCH AS IN THE PREVIOUS ADMINISTRATION; TWO AND A HALF BILLION PESOS, HAS BEEN INVISTED IN INDIGENOUS PEOPLE IN THE STATE OF MEXICO: ERUVIEL ÁVILA

Governor of the State of Mexico, Eruviel Ávila, said that President Peña Nieto supports indigenous peoples through actions, because so far during his administration, with resources from the State of Mexico, “But mainly with federal funds, today over two and a half billion pesos have been invested, more than twice the amount in the previous administration, to support indigenous peoples”.

He recalled the actions implemented by the president when he was state governor, such as the Sponsor an Indigenous Child Program and the creation of the first Intercultural University in the State of Mexico. He noted that according to data from CONEVAL, the lack of access to health services fell from 30.7 percent in 2010 to 19.7 percent in 2014, in other words, 11 percentage points.”

Eruviel Avila urged, “All the inhabitants of the State of Mexico, all Mexicans, to close ranks for the sake of those who keep traditions alive; who delight us with their handicrafts, their festivals and their native languages.” He said that they are part of Mexico’s important cultural heritage; “We love and respect them, which is why we are here.”

THE GOVERNMENT UNDERSTANDS AND ATTENDS INDIGENOUS PEOPLES: NUVIA MAYORGA

Director General of the National Commission for the Development of Indigenous Peoples Nuvia Mayorga Delgado said that from the beginning of President Peña Nieto’s government, she was instructed to understand and attend indigenous people through social and economic inclusion , boosting cooperation and coordination schemes, crosscutting actions and resources and indigenous social participation, “Which is meeting the legitimate demand of the population of indigenous communities.”

She said that, “There has been an improvement in the quality of the programs and actions undertaken for the indigenous population, whose organized participation has undoubtedly been instrumental in focusing the actions and achieving positive results with a human face, in which more than 50 percent are women.” These results, she said, are making it possible to lay the foundations for their development.

One of the priorities in the goal of creating inclusive development is to provide drinking water, drainage and electrification to indigenous communities, and work will continue on other fronts, such as health, food and education, she explained.

INDIGENOUS PEOPLE APPRECIATE THE GOVERNMENT’S EFFORTS TO FULFILL PRESIDENT EPN’S COMMITMENT TO THEM: JESÚS GUADALUPE FUENTES BLANCO

Jesús Guadalupe Fuentes Blanco, President of the Advisory Board of the National Commission for the Development of Indigenous Peoples, told President Peña Nieto said that, “The indigenous peoples of Mexico appreciate the effort and the work of your government to fulfill the commitment you made to indigenous peoples and communities at the start of your administration.”

He said that, “Worldwide, several events are being held that remind the world of the strength and importance of indigenous peoples. Today, in addition to commemorating this day, we wish to confirm that you can rely on indigenous peoples to continue advancing and implementing programs and actions to promote the development of Mexico and its communities.”

He recalled that a year ago, they asked President Enrique Peña Nieto, “To allow us to be visible,” and in this regard, he said that, “We are achieving this together.”

“Now,” he said, “We respectfully wish to make a new request for us to continue walking together, combining wills, efforts and capacities to strengthen this collaboration, which has been so successful between your government and indigenous peoples based on principles such as trust, mutual respect, the rule of law and the affirmation of culture and the worldview of indigenous peoples”.

He reported that the Council was renewed this year through a democratic election, and explained that its work program is linked to the policies, plans, programs and actions the government implements and promotes for the benefit of indigenous peoples. “The Board shares your government’s vision to continue working in order to eradicate poverty and promote the social inclusion and sustainable development of the indigenous population,” he declared.