Mexican culture manifests itself in Spanish and in sixty languages of prehispanic origin. In this paper I examine the contradictions within which government policies have operated when confronted with the diversity of languages spoken in the nation. I am particularly interested in addressing the linguistic homogeneization tendencies that sprung from the belief that a strong and vigorous state must be monolingual. This line of thought does not negate however within the official discourse, the existence of a relevant proportion of the population having a mother tongue other than Spanish. From the time Mexico became independent fron Spain, early in the XIX century, I distinguish between three different linguistic policies based in a common paradox: Recognition and neglect. To start with, recognition of indigenous languages as building blocks of a own national history coexisting with a policy assigning inferiority to its speakers. Following this, at the beginning of XXth century, the recognition of the mestizo condition of mexicans  resulting of the interbreeding of Spanish and Indigenous people  accompanied by a policy that aims to integrate, at all cost, the later group to the Spanish speaking society. Finally, at the end of the century  1994  the constitutional recognition of the indigenous populations cultural rights escorted by a neoliberal economic policy that has provided no clear path out of economic stagnation; thus indirectly promoting the segregation of indigenous languages. I analize at the end the lack of a clear direction concerning the linguistic rights in the most recent 1995 mexican indigenous rights proposal, and I suggest a new conception concerning educational linguistic rights. As signaled by Martel (1996) I assume the concept of diversity in its global dimenssion that allows for the necessary interaction amongst the various linguistic groups.