Mexico's Sheinbaum says Indigenous rights a priority for constitutional reforms

Mexican President-elect Claudia Sheinbaum holds a meeting with elected federal legislators in Mexico City

MEXICO CITY (Reuters) -Mexican President-elect Claudia Sheinbaum on Tuesday said she considers constitutional reforms for social programs concerning the rights and recognition of Indigenous people as a key priority for upcoming talks.

"There's one priority I think is fundamental that be approved in September, and that is the respect and recognition of Indigenous and Afro-Mexican peoples," Sheinbaum said.

Sheinbaum spoke at a conference with lawmakers who were elected on June 2, when the ruling Morena party won a landslide election which also secured her mandate as the country's first female president when she comes into power in October.

The newly elected Congress, however, will serve from September when they will begin to discuss reforms put forward by the outgoing government of President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, Sheinbaum's mentor.

These include a controversial judicial reform that could see Supreme Court judges appointed by popular election.

Mexico is home to 68 Indigenous peoples, according to a 2020 census by the national statistics office, representing close to 17 million people and some 15% of the population at the time.

They speak hundreds of dialects of more than 60 languages - mainly Nahuatl and Mayan.

(Reporting by Lizbeth Diaz, Ana Isabel Martinez and Sarah Morland in Mexico City; Editing by Kylie Madry)