The indigenous organizations that proposed an indigenous, revolutionary woman as a candidate for the past Mexican presidential elections have called for a new national assembly to decide on the next steps for their struggle.
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The aim of the assembly will be to address and evaluate the processes and outcomes of their last months of activities, taking into account the comments that resulted from a consultation campaign among their own support networks across the Mexican territory.
In 2016, the National Indigenous Congress (CNI), an anti-capitalist discussion board for the indigenous peoples of Mexico backed by the Zapatista Army of National Liberation (EZLN), proposed the formation of an Indigenous Council of Government (CIG).
The CIG would address collectively the problematics of the participant indigenous people, always based on grassroots, collective organization and avoiding traditional hierarchies. They chose Maria de Jesus ‘Marichuy’ Patricio Martinez, an indigenous Nahuatl woman, as their spokeswoman to represent them in the ballot for the presidential elections, as the council wouldn’t be legally eligible as a whole.
Sympathizers organized themselves in support networks to gather almost one million signatures required by law to include Marichuy in the ballot.
In the end, they didn’t succeed and Marichuy didn’t earn a place on national debates or in mass media coverage, but the independent campaign and the tour they did visit different indigenous communities across the country attracting some media attention and forming grassroots networks that are still working on the project.
“Our path continues, and the main difference with previous phases is that now we’re more original peoples walking together,” says the statement issued by the CNI on Thursday, “AND MOST IMPORTANT, we’re now more people, groups, collectives and organizations aiming to look in ourselves for the solutions that we know won’t come from up there.”
On August 26, 2018, the CIG held an internal discussion session and agreed to call for a next national assembly between the council and the indigenous peoples that make up the CNI.
The assembly will take place between October 12 and 14 at the Indigenous Center for Integral Training-Earth University (Cideci-Unitierra) in San Cristobal de las Casas, Chiapas, south-east Mexico.
Only CNI delegates, CIG counselors, and those explicitly invited as observers will be able to participate. On the last day, members of support networks and registered sympathizers will also be welcomed to the plenary session.