13 easy pieces that NM can teach the rest of the country
Se me hace sumamente extraño la intensidad del debate sobre el problema de
la lengua por parte de las elites de los medios de comunicación
anglosajones. Resulta sorprendente que los derechos lingüísticos varien
según de qué lengua estemos hablando. Si no recuerdo mal en la declaración
de independencia de Texas una de las causas que se invoca es el el derecho
a no depender de un gobierno de "unkown tongue." Si la comunidad hispana
hubiera planteado las cosas en esos términos probablemente ambos partidos
estarían pidiendo a grito pelado el envío de la Guardia nacional para
poner las cosas en su sitio. Sin embargo, no parece ser este el caso. Es
más mientras asistimos a una campaña de acoso y derribo contra la
principal minoría del país la comunidad hispana debe asistir callada al
agravio compartivo que supone el reconocimiento de la oficialidad del
hawaiano por parte de los Estados Unidos sin que nadie se tire de los
pelos y, con todo el respeto por el hawaiano, una lengua hablada por más
de 30 millones de ciudadanos americanos desde antes de la creación de los
Estados Unidos y cuya legitimidad Constitucional deriva de los acuerdos
internacionales suscritos por la palabra y el honor de los representantes
del Pueblo americano en los Tratados de Guadlupe Hidalgo, sin embargo, se
ve forzada a vivir en la ilegalidad juridica y en el ostracismo mediatico.
Creo que los adalides del Only English deberían considerar que el respeto
de los derechos, lingüísticos o de cualquier tipo, se basa en el principio
de reciprocidad y si ellos creen que las mayorías tienen derecho a
preocuparse por la lengua vehicular de las minorías que procuren recordar
esto en el momento no tan lejano en el que la comunidad angla empiece a
ser minoría. La obligatoriedad de la lengua oficial no puede hacerse a
expensas de las lenguas vernaculas. Da la impresión de que algunos
promotores del Only English esten más preocupados por la eliminación del
español que por la promoción del inglés.
Muchas Gracias Vicente
Dear New Mexican, With all the discussion about immigrants, the English
language and the national anthem it is obvious that New Mexico - for a
change - has a few things to teach the rest of the country. The
information below relates to the NM Constitution (1911 and revisions) and
NM Statutes. The material is exactly as it appears. Enjoy! Nelson Valdés
1. N.M. Const. art. XII, § 8 (2006) Section 8. [Teachers to learn English
and Spanish.] The legislature shall provide for the training of teachers
in the normal schools or otherwise so that they may become proficient in
both the English and Spanish languages, to qualify them to teach Spanish-
speaking pupils and students in the public schools and educational
institutions of the state, and shall provide proper means and methods to
facilitate the teaching of the English language and other branches of
learning to such pupils and students.
2. N.M. Const. art. XII, § 10 (2006) Section 10. [Educational rights of
children of Spanish descent.] Children of Spanish descent in the state of
New Mexico shall never be denied the right and privilege of admission and
attendance in the public schools or other public educational institutions
of the state, and they shall never be classed in separate schools, but
shall forever enjoy perfect equality with other children in all public
schools and educational institutions of the state, and the legislature
shall provide penalties for the violation of this section. This section
shall never be amended except upon a vote of the people of this state, in
an election at which at least three-fourths of the electors voting in the
whole state and at least two-thirds of those voting in each county in the
state shall vote for such amendment.
3. N.M. Const. art. VII, § 3 (2006) Section 3. [Religious and racial
equality protected; restrictions on amendments.] The right of any citizen
of the state to vote, hold office or sit upon juries, shall never be
restricted, abridged or impaired on account of religion, race, language or
color, or inability to speak, read or write the English or Spanish
languages except as may be otherwise provided in this constitution; and
the provisions of this section and of Section One of this article shall
never be amended except upon a vote of the people of this state in an
election at which at least three-fourths of the electors voting in the
whole state, and at least two-thirds of those voting in each county of the
state, shall vote for such amendment.
4. N.M. Const. art. XIX, § 1 (2006) Section 1. [Proposing and ratifying
amendments.] An amendment or amendments to this constitution may be
proposed in either house of the legislature at a regular session; and if a
majority of all members elected to each of the two houses voting
separately votes in favor thereof, the proposed amendment or amendments
shall be entered on their respective journals with the yeas and nays
thereon. An amendment or amendments may also be proposed by an independent
commission established by law for that purpose, and the amendment or
amendments shall be submitted to the legislature for its review in
accordance with the provisions of this section. The secretary of state
shall cause any such amendment or amendments to be published in at least
one newspaper in every county of the state, where a newspaper is published
once each week, for four consecutive weeks, in English and Spanish when
newspapers in both of said languages are published in such counties, the
last publication to be not more than two weeks prior to the election at
which time said amendment or amendments shall be submitted to the electors
of the state for their approval or rejection; and shall further provide
notice of the content and purpose of legislatively approved constitutional
amendments in both English and Spanish to inform electors about the
amendments in the time and manner provided by law. The secretary of state
shall also make reasonable efforts to provide notice of the content and
purpose of legislatively approved constitutional amendments in indigenous
languages and to minority language groups to inform electors about the
amendments. Amendments approved by the legislature shall be voted upon at
the next regular election held after the adjournment of that legislature
or at a special election to be held not less than six months after the
adjournment of that legislature, at such time and in such manner as the
legislature may by law provide. An amendment that is ratified by a
majority of the electors voting on the amendment shall become part of this
6. N.M. Const. art. XX, § 12 (2006) Section 12. [Publication of laws in
English and Spanish.] For the first twenty years after this constitution
goes into effect all laws passed by the legislature shall be published in
both the English and Spanish languages and thereafter such publication
shall be made as the legislature may provide.
7. N.M. Const. art. XXII, § 14 (2006) Section 14. [Ballots for ratifying
constitution.] The ballots cast at said election in favor of the
ratification of this constitution shall have printed or written thereon in
both English and Spanish the words "For the Constitution"; and those
against the ratification of the constitution shall have written or printed
thereon in both English and Spanish the words "Against the Constitution";
and shall be counted and returned accordingly.
8. N.M. Stat. Ann. § 1-2-3 (2006) § 1-2-3. Secretary of state;
instructions; forms; certificates B. All registration or voting notices,
forms, instructions, assistance or other information relating to the
electoral process shall be printed in both English and Spanish.
9. N.M. Stat. Ann. § 1-2-3.1 (2006) § 1-2-3.1.
Secretary of state; multipurpose registration form The secretary of state
shall prescribe the form of a multipurpose certificate of registration,
which shall be printed in English and Spanish. The certificate of
registration form shall be clear and understandable to the average person
and shall include brief but sufficient instructions to enable the
qualified elector to complete the form. The certificate of registration
form shall replace the affidavit of registration.
10. N.M. Stat. Ann. § 1-2-19 (2006) § 1-2-19. Oral assistance for
language minority voters A. In those polling places designated by the
secretary of state as being subject to the provisions of the 1975
amendments to the federal Voting Rights Act of 1965, oral assistance shall
be made available to assist language minority voters who cannot read
sufficiently well to exercise the elective franchise. As used in the
Election Code [Chapter 1 NMSA 1978], "language minority" means a person
who is an American Indian or of Spanish heritage and "inability to read
well enough to exercise the elective franchise" means inability to read
the languages in which the ballot is printed or the inability to
understand instructions for operating the voting machine. B. In those
precincts where oral assistance is required, the position of election
translator is created. The election translator shall be an additional
member of the regular precinct board unless oral assistance to language
minorities can otherwise be rendered by a member of the regular precinct
board. The election translator shall be appointed by the county clerk in
the same manner as other precinct board members are appointed, except that
the county clerk in appointing American Indian election translators shall
seek the advice of the pueblo or tribal officials residing in that county.
The election translator shall take the oath required of precinct board
members and shall meet the same qualifications as other precinct board
members. In precincts where election translators are required, an election
translator shall represent each political party as required by law for
precinct boards. C. Each county clerk shall compile and maintain a list of
standby election translators to serve in those precincts on election day
when the appointed election translator is unavailable for such service. D.
Each county clerk shall provide to the secretary of state no later than
thirty days before any election a list of appointed election translators
and a list of appointed standby election translators, together with the
precinct numbers to which each election translator has been appointed.
11. N.M. Stat. Ann. § 1-10-10 (2006) § 1-10-10. Ballots; sample A. At the
time of printing the official ballots, the county clerk shall cause to be
printed in both English and Spanish a number of sample ballots in a
quantity equal to ten percent of the number of voters in each precinct.
12. N. M. Stat. Title 12, Article 3, Section 12-3-12. CHAPTER 12.
MISCELLANEOUS PUBLIC AFFAIRS MATTERS ARTICLE 3. STATE SEAL, SONG AND
SYMBOLS SECTION 12-3-12. STATE BILINGUAL SONG 12-3-12. State bilingual
song. A. The words and music of "New Mexico -- Mi Lindo Nuevo Mexico",
written by Pablo Mares, are declared to be the state bilingual song. The
I'm singing a song of my homeland
Most wonderful place that I've seen.
My song cannot fully describe it
I call it land of my dreams.
Land of the sun
Where yucca blooms
The sunset sighs.
Your starry nights,
Your music sweet as daylight dies.
My heart returns
It ever yearns
To hear the desert breezes blow,
Your snow, your rain, your rainbows' blend,
I'm proud of my New México.
Yo canto de un país lindo
Más bello no he visto yo,
Mi canción no puede decirlo,
Como mi corazón.
País del sol
Palmillas floreciendo alli.
Tus noches lindas
Traen recuerdos para mi.
Llora por ti me dice a mi
Te quiero yo.
Tus sierras y tus valles
Son mi lindo Nuevo México.
B. A copy of the state bilingual song exhibited with this bill shall be
filed with the secretary of state to be lodged in the archives of his
13. N.M. Stat. Ann. § 12-3-7 (2006) § 12-3-7. Spanish language salute to
the state flag The official Spanish language salute to the state flag is:
Saludo la bandera del estado de Nuevo Méjico, el símbolo zia de amistad
perfecta, entre culturas unidas.