Maria de Jesus Patricio Martinez will be Mexico’s first ever indigenous candidate to run for president of Mexico.
— Expansión CNN (@ExpansionMx) May 31, 2017
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.
— Andalalucha (@Andalalucha) May 28, 2017
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.
— teleSUR English (@telesurenglish) May 28, 2017
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.
— Marcos Antonio Limol (@marklymoli) May 30, 2017
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.