Youth for the Right to Know

Within the framework of a collaboration agreement signed between Voces Mesoamericanas and the National Institute of Transparency, Access to Information and Protection of Personal Data (INAI), work has begun on high schools in the municipality of Chenalho, Chiapas, With the aim of forming youth promoters on the Right to Know.

In that sense, we have actively collaborated with the College of Scientific and Technological Studies of Chiapas (CECYT) located in the municipal head of San Pedro, Chenalhó, as well as the Colegio de Bachilleres del Estado de Chiapas (COBACH) located in the town of Miguel Utrilla (Los Chorros).

In both educational institutions, workshops on artistic expression - theater, painting, photography, music and video - have been offered, which combine with citizen reflection to build new channels and forms of political participation and advocacy.

As such, about 40 youth promoters on the right-to-know have been trained, who multiply the skills acquired in their different communities, training the general population on issues such as the procedure for requesting information, as well as the means to raise complaints and request increased spaces for municipal participation.

These young people participated actively during the Second Festival for the International Day of Transparency and the Right to Know, held on September 28, 2016 in the central park of San Pedro Chenalhó. In this event, they presented plays, photographic samples and songs that created awareness in the community about the importance of the right to know. In this festival there was an approximate presence of 500 people, besides several municipal and traditional authorities.

At present, work is being carried out on the consolidation and expansion of these youth groups, who begin to link this right with the exercise of new specific social rights, such as the right to a healthy environment or the right to community security.

In this way, young indigenous people begin to understand the right to know as an element deeply linked to the "right not to migrate" or the right of local roots that, nevertheless, continues to exist and accompanies all those who decide to migrate. It is, therefore, a fundamental right to know, to take ownership of and defend one's territory based in a translocal and transnational vision and practice.