Another candidate has been announced for the ballot in the 2018 presidential election but the name remains unknown. What is known is that the candidate will be female and indigenous.
The Zapatista National Liberation Army (EZLN) and the National Indigenous Congress (CNI) announced yesterday that they intend to nominate an indigenous and female independent candidate to run for president of Mexico.
The announcement came at the fifth National Indigenous Congress, held this past week in San Cristóbal de las Casas, Chiapas, in the form of a communiqué entitled “The Earth to its center shall tremble,” a line taken from the Mexican national anthem.
Both movements emphasized they won’t be competing for power, but to put a stop to “destruction and spoliation” instead. The document lists a series of abuses, painting a “panorama of death and violence” left by the Mexican state to the detriment of indigenous communities.
There are an estimated 25.6 million indigenous people in Mexico, about 21.5% of the population.
EZLN Subcomandante Galeano, formerly known as Marcos,attended the congress, where he declared that now is “the moment to attack, to take the offensive.”
The Zapatista leader made an open call to native peoples and civil society to organize and put a stop to “the destruction.”
The CNI has declared itself in permanent assembly, and along with the Zapatistas will consult with its membership to identify the person who will represent them in the upcoming election.
“We’ll consult throughout our territories in order to create an indigenous government council.”
“The words of all will materialize in an indigenous woman, who shall be a CNI delegate, that will become an independent candidate. She shall contend in the name of the CNI and the EZLN in the presidential electoral process of 2018.”
The agreements reached during the fifth congress, said the communiqué, are aimed at defending the indigenous and farming peoples from the “unstoppable and tempestuous capitalist offensive, which every day becomes more aggressive and has turned into a civilizing threat.”
“This is the time for rebellious dignity, to build a new nation by and for all, to strengthen the power from the bottom and to the anticapitalist left, time for those guilty of the pain of the multicolored peoples of Mexico to pay,” concluded the message.
An indigenous candidate for president could be joining at least four other independents, including Nuevo León Governor Jaime “El Bronco” Rodríguez Calderón, television and radio news anchor Pedro Ferriz de Con, politician and academic Jorge Castañeda Gutman and politician Gerardo Fernández Noroña.
Two of Mexico’s best known presidents were indigenous. Benito Juárez served five terms in the late 19th century; Porfirio Díaz was president for seven terms between 1876 and 1911.