Maria de Jesus Patricio Martinez will be Mexico’s first ever indigenous candidate to run for president of Mexico.
The recently-formed National Indigenous Congress (CNI), which is supported by the Ejército Zapatista de Liberación Nacional (EZLN), selected Martinez as their independent candidate on Sunday, for the upcoming July 2018 presidential election.
“Mary Chuy,” a 57-year-old Nahua woman, has been an important member of her community for several decades.
In 1992, TeleSur reported, Martinez formed the community healing center La Casa de Salud Calli Tecolhuacateca Tochan, which provides traditional health care methods to those in need around the Tuxpan, Jalisco, area. In her Nahua community, Martinez, a mother of three, works as a traditional doctor who specializes in herbal medicines.
The Zapatista Army of National Liberation (EZLN), which normally boycotts Mexico’s politics, supported the nomination of Martinez.
The Zapatistas gained national attention in Mexico in 1994, when nearly 3,000 rebels seized control of several towns in the state of Chiapas, Mexico. Since then, the Zapatistas have had a long, turbulent political relationship with the Mexican government. The group has traditionally fought for the values of the indigenous people, especially in the Chiapas region.
By supporting Martinez, the group is breaking with their long-standing tradition of boycotting Mexican politics.
As TeleSur reported, the National Indigenous Congress is looking to “organize the struggle” of all Mexicans and to turn the Congress into a “self-governing body” by the 2018 Presidental elections.