“From the year 2000 to 2019 we have registered 14 formal complaints from Mayan-speaking people in regard to the lack of translators”, declared Miguel Óscar Sabido Santana, head of the Human Rights Commission of the State of Yucatán (Codhey).
He indicated that it is foreseen that the institutions have to provide a translator and if they do not have one at hand, they must look for certified translators that can prove their knowledge of the Mayan language. “In case there is no accredited one, they would have to seek the help of an expert,” he said.
“Law enforcement dependencies can ask help from the Indemaya. Maya is another language, totally different from Spanish, amd if it is necessary, municipal governments must seek help from state or federal agencies such as the Institute of Indigenous Peoples INPI, or the Autonomous University of Yucatan UADY, but the Maya speaking people in our state have the right to a certified translator”, Sabido Santana said.
He recalled the case of a woman detained in Tekax, who suffered an abortion, she followed a legal process, went to jail, and she was never assisted by a Maya speaking translator, since she does not speak Spanish. This woman needed an expert and did not have one at the time.
“At the Codhey we are currently dealing with the complaint of a person from another state, who speaks an indigenous language (not Maya) and there is no translator here in Yucatán. There’s also a formal complaint issued by a foreigner who only speaks English”, Miguel Óscar Sabido Santana, head of the Human Rights Commission of the State of Yucatán concluded.
The Yucatan Times Newsroom