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Mexico's Indigenous Candidate to Address Latin American Inequality, Exploitation

Isabella Grullon - The Ithacan
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October 31, 2016

The Zapatista Army of National Liberation (EZLN) was born in 1994. It is a left-wing militia group that aims to protect the rights of the indigenous populations of Mexico and fight against Western imperialism. It began its political career by planning attacks all across Mexico on Jan. 1, 1994.

Since then, EZLN has become more and more prevalent by leading away from military strikes and working on political equality for the indigenous people. For example, EZLN has aided in creating the National Indigenous Congress of Mexico (CNI). It is a space where the marginalized indigenous tribes of Mexico work to achieve unity and equality and to be recognized by the government.

This year, the CNI and EZLN decided to nominate an indigenous woman to run in the 2018 presidential campaign. It has not been decided who the candidate will be, but it will be defined after negotiations between EZLN and the members of the CNI. It is the first time Mexico has allowed presidential candidates to run without being affiliated to an official political party, and EZLN is taking advantage of the situation.

EZLN had a reputation of using force to get its points across in the past. Its reason for using “unconventional” tactics for change was that it has never believed that the “official” channels for change in Mexico — politics — would bring equality to the indigenous populace. EZLN is a group that, in 2006, asked people not to vote but that 10 years later is presenting an independent candidate.

...Whoever EZLN decides to nominate has a long road ahead of her, and a heavy history behind her.

Read the rest at The Ithacan

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