SOCIETY FOR LATIN
Indigenous Rights in Argentina
Vargas-Cetina, Contributing Editor
lawyer Teodora Zamudio coordinated last February the first National Seminar on
Indigenous Rights and Intellectual Property, at the university of Buenos Aires.
94 participants from several countries and Indigenous regions took part.
At the end of the seminar, they drafted a collective document, asking for
more precise legal definitions of terms used to refer to Indigenous peoples such
as “community,” people,” “population” and “ethnic group.”
Since Indigenous groups are seen as legal subjects who have traditional
knowledge and make use of resources, it is necessary to state clearly the
boundaries of Indigenous groups as owners of their collective resources.
Seminar participants are calling for research on Indigenous
consuetudinary rights, so that they can be written down and later become part of
national legislation. The areas of
research would have to include: rules as to who can be part of each Indigenous
group, traditional decision-making processes, and the extent of obligation
sanctions convey. After signing the
document, several representatives of Indigenous groups made themselves
responsible for research projects pertaining to their own communities.