Friday, May 29, 2009

Law on National Languages Still not Enforced

Six years after being adopted, the Law on National Languages is still not enforced, several organizations reported today.

During a forum organized by the Human Rights Ombudsman (PDH) it was pointed out that since May 23, 2003 no government has shown any willingness to put the law into practice.

The law requires, among other things, that services be provided in the Mayan, Garifuna and Xinca languages, and encourages and promotes the use of those languages. In addition, Article 26 states that the president is responsible for issuing regulations for enforcing the law 90 days after the law took effect.

Martín Sacalxot, an indigenous attorney with the PDH said that "the current president has had four drafts of regulations in his hands and all have been discarded."

Presidential spokesman Fernando Barillas said that he had no knowledge of the subject but stated that the Ministry of Culture would decide the matter.

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