Hundreds of Indigenous representatives at the National Indigenous Congress from all across Mexico elected a prominent Indigenous leader Sunday as their independent candidate for the upcoming presidential elections in Mexico due in 2018.
Marichui is a traditional doctor in her community and a long-time leader in the Indigenous movement. | Photo: @mujeresCDMCh
Maria de Jesus Patricio “Marichui” Martinez will be backed by the Zapatista Army of National Liberation in a break from more than two decades of the revolutionary group’s rejecting the Mexican state and its electoral politics. Among the EZLN delegates present were Subcommandantes Mosies and Galeano — formerly known as Marcos — and Comandante Tacho.
Coming from the Nahua community of Tuxpan, in the state of Jalisco, Patricio Martinez is a traditional doctor in her community, founder of the health center Calli Tecolhuacateca Tochan in 1992 and a long-time leader in the Indigenous movement.
The convention and consultations, which began Friday and concluded Sunday, also included delegates from 32 states, for a total of 848 delegates from 58 Mexican Indigenous communities and was held in San Cristobal de las Casas in the southeastern state of Chiapas.
The assembly formed and also appointed counselors to its Indigenous Government Council, with Patricio Martinez as their spokesperson. The goals of the presidential campaign include organizing in every corner of the country and making the Indigenous Government Council a self-governing body.
The members debated proposals and strategies of the council, as well as its organization and networking with other sectors of the civil society, with the participation of 296 international observers, including representatives of the Apache community from the United States and the Mam community from Guatemala.
The Zapatistas came into the international scene after attacking several military installations in Mexico on Jan. 1, 1994, launching an Indigenous struggle against NAFTA and conditions in Mexico. The movement has seen victories, but also considerable challenges, including intense repression and criminalization of the struggle at the hands of the Mexican state, private landowners, and paramilitary forces.
Indigenous Council of Government:“We are not going for votes, our fight is for life”
More than a thousand representatives of some 58 indigenous peoples chose Nahua woman of Tuxpan, Jalisco, Maria de Jesus Patricio Martínez , as spokeswoman of the Indigenous Council of Government (CIG) and independent candidate to the presidency of the Republic in 2018. Participants and conveners of the National Indigenous Congress (CNI) and the Zapatista Army of National Liberation (EZLN) gave their support to the indigenous Jalisco in which they said they trust to have their name appear on the ballot of the federal elections of July 2018.
After a ceremony and prayer of the O’otham people, Patricio Martínez received, at the hands of Commander Miriam, a statue with the image of Commander Ramona that impregnates the struggle of the women and men of the EZLN.
” Our fight is for life. This step we take is difficult but necessary. We have to give it if we want to continue to exist as peoples. We also open the invitation to all civil society organized and unorganized to join this struggle for life, “said the spokeswoman.
The Indigenous Council of Government is made up of Indians from various states of the country such as Yaquis, Choles, Mayos, O’otham, Wirrarikas, Zoques, Mayas and others.
First message from María de Jesús Patricio Martínez, spokesperson of the Indigenous Council of Government (4 min.) And Press Conference of the Constituent Assembly of the Indigenous Council of Government for Mexico (60 min.). Read also: “We are waiting for a long day’s work”: María de Jesús Patricio , listen to the interview here (11 min.) The indigenous peoples of Mexico choose their spokesperson and break into the political scene (NYT).