Maria de Jesus Patricio Martinez, spokesperson for the Indigenous Council of Government (Photo@: Colectivo Tragameluz)
From May 26th to 28th, the assembly of the National Indigenous Congress (CNI) was held to form its Indigenous Council of Government (ICG in its Spanish acronym) and to appoint its spokesperson who will be an independent candidate to the presidency of the Republic in 2018. The meeting that took place in San Cristobal de Las Casas included 858 representatives of 58 indigenous peoples, guests, observers, as well as the general command of the Zapatista Army of National Liberation (EZLN) headed by Subcommandantes Moises and Galeano.
On the 27th, three working groups were opened to discuss the aims and strategies of the ICG, its operation and organization, and its links with other sectors of civil society.
On the 28th, the CNI delegates elected the 71 councilors who will form the ICG: two councilors, one woman and one man, were appointed for each of the indigenous regions participating in the CNI, with the exception of resident peoples in the metropolitan areas of Mexico and Guadalajara, in which cases a single councilor was named for each people. Maria de Jesus Patricio Martinez, 57, an indigenous Nahua from Tuxpan in Jalisco and a traditional doctor was appointed spokesperson of the CIG and will be the independent candidate to the presidency of the Republic in 2018. The EZLN gave its support to the decision of the CIG.
The spokesperson confirmed that the process they are undertaking as indigenous peoples is for life and not for power, and declared that it is not exclusive, that is to say only for indigenous peoples, but that all sectors of society are called on to participate: “Our fight is for life. This step we take is difficult but necessary. We have to take it if we want to continue to exist as peoples. We also open the invitation to all [members of] organized and unorganized civil society to join this struggle for life”, Maria de Jesus Patricio Martinez stated.
For more information in Spanish:
Hoy anuncian quién será la candidata indígena independiente para 2018 (La Jornada, 28 de mayo de 2017)
Pronunciamiento de la Asemblea Constitutiva del Concejo Indigena de Gobierno (Congreso Nacional inigena, Ejercito Zapatista de Liberación Nacional, 28 de mayo de 2017)
¿Qué es el EZLN y por qué respalda a una mujer indígena como presidenta de México?(News Vice, 28 de mayo de 2018)
“No vamos por votos, nuestra pelea es por la vida”: Concejo Indígena de Gobierno (Educa, 29 de mayo de 2017)
For more information from SIPAZ:
Chiapas/Nacional : Candidata presidencial “no es decisión de una persona” (Subcomandante Moíses) (15 de noviembre de 2016)