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Nahua Woman to Represent Indigenous Communities in Mexico’s 2018 Presidential Race

LADB Article ID: 80309
Category/Department: Mexico
Date: 2017-06-07
By: Carlos Navarro

A council of the Congreso Nacional Indígena (National Indigenous Congress, CNI) supported by the Ejército Zapatista de Liberación Nacional (Zapatista National Liberation Army, EZLN) selected María de Jesús Patricio Martínez to represent the indigenous movement during Mexico’s 2018 presidential elections. The assembly that elected Patricio Martínez in late May was composed of 848 delegates from 32 states, representing 58 indigenous communities. The decision to run an indigenous woman as a presidential candidate was made nearly a year ago, on the 20th anniversary of the formation of the CNI . Patricio Martínez, of Nahua descent, is known as “Marichuy” and is an expert on herbs and natural medicines. For the past 22 years, she has collaborated with a program at the Universidad de Guadalajara to promote and preserve important aspects of indigenous culture, particularly native medicine. Through the program, known as Unidad de Apoyo a Comunidades Indígenas (Support Unit for Indigenous Communities, UACI), she created a pharmacy that dispenses traditional medications for a wide variety of ailments. In nominating Patricio Martínez, the council called for a government that is anti-capitalist and free of corruption. “We don't seek to administer power; we seek to dismantle it,” the council said shortly after nominating her.

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