Balancing tensions between communitarian and individual rights and the challenges they present for multicultural states
This last chapter underscores the complexity of struggles between communitarian politics and individual rights, and relations between minority groups and the state. It considers three cases tried recently in Mexico’s Federal Electoral Court, seeking to add multicultural dimensions to their interpretations of justice. The cases relate to the implementation of citizen rights under Oaxaca’s customary law system but are also relevant to the debate over implementation of multicultural reforms in Latin America. The authors conclude that the minority status of indigenous peoples and communities in Latin America does justify their access to mechanisms which allow them to expand their economic, social, cultural, political and electoral rights. But consistent with this fundamental principle of justice, it is equally important to respect human rights and universal participation, effective representation and inclusion of minorities within communities. Finding this balance may be difficult, but viewing the issue from this perspective offers a sound beginning.
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