CNI announces an autonomous parallel government for Mexico


Zapatistas - Photo: Janet Schwartz

Zapatistas at anniversary celebration – Photo: Janet Schwartz

 By: Isaín Mandujano

OVENTIK, Chiapas. ( – Some 3,000 participating delegates of the National Indigenous Congress (Congreso Nacional Indígena, CNI), with support from the Zapatista National Liberation Army (Ejército Zapatista de Liberación Nacional, EZLN), announced the constitution of an Indigenous Government Council (Consejo de Gobierno Indígena, CGI) as an autonomous parallel government for the country.

Today, they also delineated the profile that the candidate will have that they will postulate in the 2018 elections for the presidency of the Republic.

Within the framework of the 23rd anniversary of the EZLN’s armed uprising in Caracol II at Oventik, the CNI today called: “to all the original peoples throughout the country, to all persons with a good heart to close ranks and go on the offensive,” in this new stage of struggle, to reconstruct ourselves no longer just as people but also as a nation.

After two days of closed-door sessions, this Sunday January 1, the CNI and the EZLN held an open-door plenary meeting to which the communications media had access. In it they announced the report of the results of the consultation held during October, November and December of 2016 in at least 43 different indigenous towns throughout the country.

The work group in which Comandante David was present, as the host in the EZLN’s Los Altos of Chiapas bastion, and with Subcomandante Insurgente Moisés, military commander of the armed group, were half a dozen delegate participants from the CNI who announced the details of how the CGI will be created and how they will present themselves heading towards 2018 with an independent woman candidate.

“Indignation, resistance and rebellion will figure in the 2018 electoral ballots, said the women that read the results of the consultation in that extensive auditorium gathered together in a big wooden structure with a sheet metal roof.

They indicated that some 43 different original peoples of 25 of the country’s states were consulted.

The indigenous agreed to construct paths of resistance in which the struggle will be collective and above all they proposed eliminating from their communities everything that divides the indigenous peoples, like the political parties and the governmental assistance programs.

They proposed expanding communication and making it permanent among the peoples throughout the country; in the same way, creating commissions at the community, regional, state and national level.

They indicated that after the consultation during the three prior months, the CNI came out strengthened and doubled the number of attendees in its plenary meetings, but that above all they expanded their presence in more communities that participated in the consultation and that were not considered previously.

While they demonstrated the need for respecting the peoples that are not in agreement with this process of struggle that the CNI and the EZLN propose, they recognized that in many communities they were not able to carry out the consultation because of the violent situation that exists or because of the change of authorities in those communities.

The women said that after the two-day closed-door meeting, they agreed to continue the consultation, which will be permanent, as is traditionally done among the original peoples and communities. Besides the fact that Afro-Americans and immigrants lack being consulted.

As one of the principal agreements, they ratified the creation of an Indigenous Government Council (CGI) as the representative of all the peoples and tribes of this country. This Council, they specified, will be collective; it will not do what occurs to it, but rather what all the original peoples represented there mandate.

It was also agreed that this CGI would have as its spokesperson and indigenous woman from the CNI. This same woman will be the candidate in the 2018 elections.

They said that the CGI will be formally constituted next May 18, and that the spokesperson of that body will be a woman that has permanence in the CNI, who belongs to one of the original peoples of Mexico, who speaks that indigenous language, who must proposed and legitimized in assembly, who is distinguished as a person that has accompanied the peoples in their struggles.

She will also practice the principles of govern by obeying (mandar obedeciendo, she will know that making agreements will be by consensus and that those who make up the Council of which she is the spokesperson, and they must be aware that the CNI’s Assembly will be the only one able to take away that position when it is so considered.

The CGI will have several commissions, such as security, finances, communication, culture, elders councils, health, environment and a commission charged with Mother Earth and territory.

Said council that would govern for all the original peoples of the country was defined as an anticapitalist collective, from below and from the left, that will respect the decisions of the people and decisions of the CNI, and that above all will have the ability to create alliances with other peoples that are not from the CNI.

They said that the woman candidate will be on the ballot in 2018, but they warned:

“Don’t get confused thinking that we seek to compete with them because we are not the same. We are the collective word of below and to the left.”

They indicated that while the country is submerged in fear and terror, the peoples have created conditions for security and real justice. And only from below is it possible to construct autonomy.

Before this scenario what’s necessary, they insisted, is the creation of the CGI that is being proposed to govern this country and that will impel its own candidate to do that; and, this project is not exclusive, because all the original peoples of the country fit.

Subcomandante Moisés said that the time for the peoples has come, for all the peoples that are in the countryside and in the city. And he said that what the CNI now proposes is a “¡Ya Basta!” (Enough!) of hope that others will tell us what to do and how to do it.

He said that it has been sought to deceive the peoples of Mexico “with promises and brazen lies,” and that what the CNI now proposes is what the peoples themselves will direct.

Moisés outlined fighting for truth and justice, fighting for democracy, but where the people govern and the government obeys. He called to fight for freedom, and for that it’s necessary to rescue the history of the original peoples that have centuries resisting for life.

He said that they EZLN and the CNI already have many years of knowing each other. He ratified that the EZLN is now and will always be with the CNI on the path that has been outlined.

“We’re with you, we’re definitely going with the National Indigenous Congress (…) Listen to the pain and rage that there is in every corner of this country. May the Earth shake at its core with your step. May they look at you with surprise and admiration, may the peoples of the world admire you in your decisions and goals. And above all, it’s not important that they will use everything they have against you, that they attack you in every way, don’t surrender, don’t sell out, don’t give in,” Moisés concluded.


Originally Published in Spanish by

Sunday, January 1, 2017

Re-Published with English interpretation by the Chiapas Support Committee

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