COVID-19 in Rural & Marginalized Areas, episode four
“Now are difficult times where the defense, guarantee, protection, promotion, and diffusion of Human Rights are more necessary than ever.”
So says Mr. Javier Jair García Soto, Executive Secretary of the Human Rights Commission of the State of Hidalgo in episode 22 of the magazine ProPersonae. PSYDEH agrees.
Adhering to public health contingency plans as we navigate COVID-19 is not, and should not be used as, a pretext for violating human rights. Still, this is not a simple question. It is even more complicated for indigenous people and their communities, in Mexico and globally. In this same ProPersonae article, page 43, two Hidalgo investigators write, “To appeal to the individual right of free movement in the face of actions decided in benefit of the community is to attack the collective right that communities have to safeguard the health and life of their members.”
MEXICO & HIDALGO
Since March 31st, the Hunger Project’s Urgent Call for Action in rural communities by COVID-19 has inspired 45 Mexican nonprofits across the Republic to join, including PSYDEH.
The Mexican National Institute for Indigenous Areas (INPI) has issued guidelines for how the government should smartly account for cultural and linguistic issues when implementing COVID-19 measures with indigenous and Afro-Mexican peoples and their communities.
For a bit of levity, in Hidalgo’s indigenous areas like el Valle de Mezquital, and the Otomi-Tepehua region in which we primarily work, we see new creative initiatives where craftswomen are producing innovative designs for nose/mouth masks.
Global resources on rural and marginalized and indigenous communities and COVID-19 were uncommon a few weeks back but there are now numerous solid materials available. We suggest these from the last two weeks.
- The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations presents this set of policy recommendations on how to meet the COVID-19 needs and interests of marginalized, rural people.
- The International Fund for Agriculture Development IFAD), the United Nations specialized agency for rural development, has just announced that it has allocated US$554 million to support family farming in Latin America and the Caribbean during the COVID-19 crisis and to contribute to its recovery and modernization once the impact of the pandemic has passed.
- This English language article, reinforced in the aforementioned Spanish-language article in the ProPersona magazine, argues how attention to rhythm, routine, and rituals are key to mental health when self-isolating through.