Marichuy, the independent candidate always close to the EZLN since 1994 and one of the founders of the CNI
By: Isaín Mandujano
“Even with all our contradictions, this movement goes on, because to the peoples to whom we are not obliged, because while we want to be on the electoral ballots in 2018, our struggle will be for life, for organization, to continue existing,” members of the Indigenous Government Council (CIG, its initials in Spanish) said upon presenting and supporting María de Jesús Patricio Martínez as the spokesperson and independent candidate to the presidency of the republic.
A Nahua of Tuxpan, in southern Jalisco, where she was born on December 23, 1963, the indigenous woman who completed high school to dedicate herself to the preservation of traditional and herbal medicine, was the one elected as the spokesperson of the Indigenous Government Council by the National Indigenous Congress and by the General Command of the Indigenous Revolutionary Clandestine Committee (CCRI-CG) of the EZLN.
“We think that compañera Marichuy, doesn’t sell out, doesn’t give up and doesn’t surrender, as she was trained inside the CNI, we believe that,” said one of the women of the CIG al leer the pronouncement of the Constitutive Assembly.
Marichuy, as everyone in the CNI and the Zapatistas know her, received the unanimous support of everyone present in that big hall in which were more than 1,400 delegates of some 58 indigenous peoples and some 250 more EZLN representatives.
In May 2015, for preserving traditional and herbal medicine, as well as for her linkage with the country’s indigenous communities, the Tuxpan Municipal Government Council delivered the Tuxpan Award of Merit to María de Jesús Patricio Martínez (Marichuy), allotted by the Unit of Support to the Indigenous Communities of the Coordination of Linkage and Social Service of the University of Guadalajara.
The award was given to her in the area of Science and Culture, for her work in the House of Health with traditional and herbal medicine.
Today Marichuy directs the Calli Tecolhuacateca Tochan Clinic, a place for the exercise and development of the traditional indigenous medicine of the Nahua community of Tuxpan. The Indigenous Communities Support Unit (UACI) of the University of Guadalajara (UdeG) has supported this project for 22 years, for the purpose of attending to the sick with an integral community health scheme that serves as a space for the training of the region’s indigenous health promoters.
Currently, the Calli Tecolhuacateca Tochan Clinic is located on Abasolo Street, number 57-A, in the El Cóbano neighborhood. It’s open Monday through Friday from 9:00 am to 2:00 pm and from 4:00 pm to 6:00 pm. On Saturdays it’s open from 9:00 am to 2:00 pm. Until today, she has personally attended to people.
But her life has taken a radical turn by now being named spokesperson of the CIG and an independent candidate to the presidency of the republic on the part of the indigenous peoples.
Although neither she or her husband Carlos González, who is also a figure and stands out inside the CNI, have said so, their children will remain under the care of the EZLN support bases and commanders in Chiapas, who will take care of them and give them protection, but above all give them education.
Prior to her name being known, some already predicted that it she would be the one elected, because few women like Marichuy have stood out inside the CNI. Since the EZLN’s 1994 armed uprising, she was already supporting the Zapatista cause. She participated in every one of the events that the armed group has convoked.
She was chosen to take the microphone on the platform, together with the Zapatista commanders and sub-commanders, after the first departure of the Zapatistas from the Lacandón Jungle and their big march to Mexico City. It was on that occasion that Comandanta Esther of the EZLN stood out.
Recognized as one of the founders of the CNI, in her speech on March 29, 2001 before the Congress of the Union, Marichuy spoke in the name of the indigenous women of Mexico.
That tiny little woman that was always going from one side to another in each and every one of the gatherings and forums that the EZLN celebrated in the CIDECI-Unitierra of San Cristóbal de Las Casas, in Oventik, or in any other Zapatista Territory or Caracol.
It wasn’t difficult for experts in Zapatismo to know that the EZLN and the CNI would anoint Marichuy on Sunday the 28th, when around three o’clock in the afternoon white smoke came out of that big auditorium.
Absent in that auditorium, but present in another room nearby, following every detail of the Constitutive Assembly, were Subcomandante Galeano and other commanders like Tacho, and other individuals that have always supported the civilian path, Jorge Javier Elorriaga and Sergio Rodríguez Lazcano.
Subcomandante Insurgente Moisés headed the plenary of the Constitutive Assembly together with Bettina Cruz Velazquez, of the indigenous Zapotec people and a member of the Assembly of the Indigenous Peoples of the Isthmus of Tehuantepec in Defense of Land and Territory, Santa María Xadani, Oaxaca.
The CIG members introduced Marichuy and pointed out that more than an electoral campaign it will be a campaign for la organization, for life, for defense of territory. Its mission will be the articulation of all the country’s indigenous peoples and movements.
Although they did not say it, it could be something similar to the “Other campaign” that then Subcomandante Marcos (Comandante Zero) made through the whole country, but the difference is that this time they seek to appear on the 2018 electoral ballots.
Marichuy said that she will take this “great responsibility” that the CNI and the EZLN have given her, but she is not alone in that, but rather she counts on all the support of the members of the CIG that are around 50 men and women, all from different states of the country and from different indigenous peoples.
The next meeting for everyone to get together will be October 12 in Zapatista Territory. Marichuy, as well as the new council members, made a call to all the indigenous peoples of Mexico to add themselves to this struggle before capitalism levels and disappears all the original peoples.
Originally Published in Spanish by Chiapas Parallel
Monday, May 29, 2017
Re-Published with English interpretation by the Chiapas Support Committee