Mexico: critical debates for emerging realties 

Erika Bárcena Arévalo

Germán Medardo Sandoval Trigo

Irán Guerrero Andrade

Lucero Ibarra Rojas

Orlando Aragón Andrade

March 29, 2016, 09h30

Room 1, CES-Coimbra

Session I

Counter-hegemonic uses of intellectual property in Mexico?

The more traditional notions of intellectual property rights have been characterized by models of exclusion that collaborate in processes of dispossession. Indeed, it is a field of law best known for serving multinationals interested in economies of knowledge. However, some experiences intended to invert the traditional logic of intellectual property. My intention is to address some cases that have sought an alternative construction of the intellectual property system, not only to outline their paths of transformation but also its limits.

The counterhegemonic building of Human Rights from practices of activist lawyers who defend legal proceedings in Mexico

My intention is to reflect on the counter-construction of human rights by activists lawyers engaged in defence processes in Mexico. The goal is  to discuss a basic idea, so that human rights can be counterhegemonic they must, besides pointing towards a logic opposing the principles enunciated in state-centric and neoliberal discourses, the defence must break with the hierarchical relationship between lawyer and client, allowing the victims to be major actors in the defence of their rights. To achieve this I shall use the first results of my doctoral research, in which I try to analyse the manner human rights lawyers belonging to non-governmental organisations and victims advocating for the redress of their rights construct their defence. 

Human rights, judicial expertise and elites in the Mexican Supreme Court.

Before 2011 human rights and international law did not exist as such in the Mexican legal system, it was not until this year that they were introduced via constitutional reform. At the judicial level, the implementation of the reform has been a major challenge since it  has sought to displace the centrality of the principle of constitutional supremacy and establish in its place the principles of human rights (pro person, indivisibility, universality, progressiveness).

From an ethnographic observation in the Mexican Supreme Court of Justice, I will discuss the efforts to implement the reform from the highest authority, the Federal Judiciary, the effects that occurred within the Court, and in particular, the building of human rights from the elite that conforms the highest court as a discourse that mingles in a particular way with legal technicalities.

Session II

Life and death struggle for natural resources in the XXI century capitalism

The economic crisis of the twenty-first century has increased several phenomena that show the relationship between different (formal and informal) legal fields towards the extraction of capital and the indiscriminate abuse of natural resources. Its processes are specified in legal and illegal acts that strip land, rights and dignity of the peoples and inhabitants of the third world regions. The use of the discourse of human rights, international justice. Thus, this seminar will establish the relationship between the structure of the crisis in biopolitics with the establishment of necropolitics in the global South.

Another democracy is Possible. Learnings for radical democracy from the political experience of Cheran

In this presentation, I discuss a number of emerging political practices produced from one of the brightest indigenous movements in recent years in Mexico: the Purepecha movement Cheran. I argue, moreover, that these political practices not only have transformative potential for other communities and indigenous peoples in their struggle for autonomy but for Mexican society, as a whole, in the increasingly urgent process of rethinking the electoral and democratic system prevailing in Mexico.