Proposed Changes to Mexican Law Threaten Records Access and Use

This post provides information about the work that SAA’s Latin American and Caribbean Cultural Heritage Section has been doing regarding proposed changes to a Mexican records law. If you have an issue you would like to write about for this blog, please email archivesissues@gmail.com.

Last year, a records law was proposed in Mexico that, although it was introduced in an attempt to improve recordkeeping transparency, is not in keeping with democratic practices nor does it provide appropriate accountability. As such, archivists, historians, scholars, and other interested parties have raised concerns that these changes to the current system will likely limit access to records and not improve the transfer of records. Nearly 4300 people signed a letter in late November presenting their concerns to legislators and the National Archive’s director.

Thanks to the work of the Latin American and Caribbean Cultural Heritage Section, particularly former co-chair Margarita Vargas-Betancourt and current co-chairs George Apodaca and Ana Rodriguez, archivists without Spanish language skills can read up on the issue on LACCHA’s microsite and blog. The posts are brief but illuminating and provide links to the activism conducted by concerned parties.

Mexican achivist Enrique Chmelnik, president of the Association of Mexican Private Archives and Libraries and director of the Center for Documentation and Jewish Research in Mexico, spoke at LACCHA’s annual meeting about this legislative issue. Chmelnik also presented at the Diversity Forum about the history of Mexican Jews and the work of the Center of Documentation and Research of the Jewish Communities in Mexico.

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