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News > Latin America

Zapatistas Won't Back Any Mexican Presidential Candidate

  • Maria de Jesus Patricio Martinez, known as

    Maria de Jesus Patricio Martinez, known as "Marichuy," said the Mexican elections were a "dirty mess" and rejected to ally with any of the candidates. Mexico City, May 2, 2018. | Photo: EFE

Published 3 May 2018

The Indigenous government Council called for popular organization regardless of the vote intention.

The National Indigenous Congress (CNI) and the Indigenous Government Council (CIG) announced Wednesday they won't support any of the presidential candidates for the upcoming elections in Mexico, which will take place next July 1, and called on their supporters and sympathizers to keep building popular resistance and organization from below.


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“Neither the CIG nor our spokeswoman will look for or accept any alliance with any political party or candidate, nor call for voting or abstention, but we will keep on looking for everything at the bottom to dismantle the rancid upstairs power. Whether you vote or not, organize yourselves,” says the press release, read by CIG spokeswoman Maria de Jesus Patricio Martinez "Marichuy" and other counselors in a small house downtown in Mexico City, commonly used for their conferences and activities in the capital.

The counselors met in Mexico City on April 28 and 29 to decide on the elections issue, after the spokesperson for the National Liberation Zapatista Army (EZLN) told Marichuy they would support her and the CIG if they decided to go with any of the candidates, presumably knowing they wouldn't.

The CIG and its spokeswoman “Marichuy,” a Nahuatl indigenous woman and healer, registered as an aspiring independent candidate for the 2018 elections, even though they didn't have a real intention to win them but to use the electoral system and media coverage as a platform to spread their ideas and call for popular organization.

In order to become a presidential candidate without the support of a political party, the CIG had to gather 866,593 signatures from registered voters. To do so, they called supporters all over the country to organize voluntary support networks to collect the signatures using a smart phone app provided by the electoral authorities.

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But Marichuy fell 600,000 signatures short, despite the electoral authorities declaring that more than 94 percent of them were legitimate. Other independent candidates, like the conservatives Jaime Rodriguez “El Bronco” and Margarita Zavala, will appear in the ballots, despite the electoral authorities declaring they both presented almost a million fake signatures.

“With the great mobilization of thousands and thousands of comrades from the support networks all over the country, we realized that -and it was shamelessly evident- that to appear in the ballot we need to guarantee that we're like them or worst, that if we get signatures they must be fake or they won't count, that if we spend money it must come from obscure sources, that if we say something it must be a lie, that if we agree on something serious it must be with corrupt politicians, with the extractivits companies, with bankers, with drug cartels, but never, ever, with the people of Mexico,” says the press release.

At the end, the CIG called on support networks and other social organizations across the country to organize and walk through new paths, regardless if they vote or not.

Mexico will hold presidential election on July 1st, and the center-left candidate Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador is leading all polls by a wide margin, spanning between 40 and 48 percent of vote intention.

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