I don’t know what angry god spat into our mouths and cursed us; like Cassandra, who desperately predicts the destruction of Troy without anyone believing or seeming to care, various groups, specialists, universities, indigenous peoples and activists have insisted time and time again: as never before in the history of humanity, the languages of the world are disappearing. The diagnosis is clear, more than half of the world’s languages will die in less than a hundred years. We have gotten tired of repeating it over and over again, we screamed desperately but nothing, an angry god spat out our mouths. If we look at it from the knowledge side, thousands and thousands of entire libraries are disappearing in the fire of linguicidal violence without enough being done to preserve them; If we look at it from the side of the world’s peoples, entire communities are seeing their linguistic rights violated and subjected to physical and psychological violence that has forced them to abandon the languages of their peoples. Without linguistic rights it is not possible to guarantee human rights. If the linguistic rights of the child population are not respected, how can their human right to education be fulfilled? If interpreters are not guaranteed in hospitals for the population that does not speak Spanish, how is the right to health guaranteed? If a budget is not assigned to interpreters in the area of the administration of justice, how can the human right to due process be enjoyed?
In addition to the 365 linguistic systems that correspond to 68 groups of indigenous languages, in Mexico the Roma language has been spoken for more than a hundred years, there are also communities that speak Plattdeutsch, the language of the Mennonite population, and speaks Veneto, a language from the Italian peninsula, in Chipilo, Puebla; It is also important to consider the different sign languages, such as the Mexican Sign Language and the Yucatecan Mayan Sign Language. The reality of this country is multilingual, the government continues to deny this reality in fact.
In this country, the Mexican State has a clear historical responsibility for the disappearance of linguistic diversity, for too many decades it has devoted itself zealously to doing everything possible so that indigenous languages disappear, the process of amestizomiento, so fundamental to the national project , basically went through forced hispanicization and its associated violence. The least expected is that a commensurate effort should now be made to support revitalization initiatives. But no, on the contrary, the Fourth Transformation has exacerbated the lack of interest and budget cuts on the subject.
In January 2022, the Secretary of Culture endorsed the presidential initiative to merge INALI with the National Institute of Indigenous Peoples (INPI), which in turn began the six-year term with a significant budget cut that the incumbent, Adelfo, complained about. Regino, at the time. Criticism rained down and said merger does not seem to have materialized although INALI is increasingly being weakened. In January of this year, during the report that the now ex-director of this institution, Juan Gregorio Regino, rendered before the Senate of the Republic, it was specified that in addition to current expenses, INALI only had 10 million pesos to operate. projects in your area. Ridiculous and outrageous if we consider that the federal government spent 178 million pesos on two baseball stadiums in Sonora for remodeling alone.
The most important project that the current government is proposing in terms of indigenous languages is the University of Indigenous Languages (ULIM), whose creation agreement was signed on February 21, International Mother Language Day. INALI, which still does not have a new director, was not invited to this event. Although creating the ULIM seems, from the outset, a good idea, what is alarming is that this university is not framed in a general project of public policies on the subject and its creation is not articulated with a linguistic planning, without structured planning it seems more like a gatopardista effort to fulfill a requirement within the framework of the International Decade of Indigenous Languages and not the result of a plan genuinely designed for the preservation of the necessary linguistic diversity. Is the creation of the ULIM the most urgent action to prevent the number of speakers of indigenous languages from continuing to decrease dramatically? What is the federal strategy? It is also very disappointing that the main officials who speak indigenous languages who promote the ULIM have not been able to transmit the indigenous language they speak to their own children.
What democracy can be presumed when the means of communication and thought of the multiple nations that inhabit this country are repressed? The future of the indigenous languages of Mexico is not the Fourth Transformation, if there is a future, it is in the resistance of the groups of speakers who, organized, do everything possible to fight against linguicide. Meanwhile, the Cassandras in this fight continue to shout desperately that this Trojan horse called official monolingualism is a trap, but nobody pays attention, they continue in the stadiums applauding exciting baseball games from their recently remodeled boxes.