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News > Latin America

Mexico: Zapatistas Celebrate 24 Years of Resistance

  • The National Indigenous Congress elects Marichuy as a candidate for the 2018 elections.

    The National Indigenous Congress elects Marichuy as a candidate for the 2018 elections. | Photo: EFE

Published 2 January 2018

Commander Moises called for support for Maria de Jesus Patricio Martinez Marichuy, a Nahua shaman and their 2018 presidential candidate.  

Mexico's Zapatista Army of National Liberation, EZLN, marked its 24th anniversary of armed struggle on Monday, evaluating past accomplishments and future endeavors.

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"Our struggle is for life, a dignified life. And capitalism is a system of violent death, of destruction, of exploitation, of plunder and contempt," EZLN commander Moises said in a statement.

"We have built our autonomy, developed our different working areas, consolidated our three instances of autonomous government, formalized our own health and education systems ... showing that we, the originary peoples, have the capacity to rule ourselves."

The EZLN also reiterated its support for 2018 presidential candidate Maria de Jesus Patricio Martinez Marichuy, who is "not looking for power or a position, but whose work is to carry the message of the need to organize for life." The statement also made a call for unity between the countryside and cities among Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples. 

Marichuy was announced as a presidential candidate on May 28, 2017 during the National Indigenous Congress. Since then, she has been touring the country along with the Indigenous Council for Government in a bid to get the necessary signatures to enroll her candidacy. The EZLN recognizes the tour as an opportunity to deepen ties with grassroots organizations.

Marichuy is slated to be the first Indigenous woman to run for Mexico's presidency.   

The EZLN also warned against the recently-passed Internal Security Law, which it said signals the "militarization of our streets, our roads and our peoples across the country."

"They want to make us believe that it is to fight organized crime when in reality the idea is to keep us controlled, quiet, divided, threatened with more violence and impunity."

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