Indigenous Peoples’ struggle to be acknowledged as autonomous groups has found international legal support in the ILO Convention 169, which many Latin American countries have ratified. The way by which regional constitutional jurisprudence has reconstructed the foundations and scope of this right to self-determination seems, however, quite controversial. Firstly, taking Colombian constitutional jurisprudence as an example, I discuss both the acceptability of the restrictions the Constitutional Court has fixed to groups’ self-determination and the acceptability of defining them as collective subjects. Having in mind a better understanding of group-differentiated rights, I examine, secondly, how the conditions of the ILO Convention regarding the informed consent from indigenous groups should be satisfied when group-based genetic research is to be developed.
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