CNI-EZLN, the Mexican State and the registration of an independent candidate
The CNI-EZLN and the Mexican state face the registration of an indigenous woman as an independent candidate for 2018
By: Gaspar Morquecho
It’s probable that on January 1, 2017 the CNI-EZLN will announce the strategic agreements, “if there are any,” facing “the offensive against the peoples” (…) and the steps that they are going to take: “to dismantle from below the power that those from above impose on us and that offers us nothing but a panorama of death, violence, dispossession and destruction.”
It’s also probable that they will make public the results and evaluation of the Consultation around the proposal to create: “an indigenous government council whose word will be materialized by an indigenous woman, a delegate from the CNI as an independent candidate who contests in the name of the National Indigenous Congress and the Zapatista National Liberation Army in the 2018 electoral process for the presidency of this country.” (Joint Comunicado from the CNI-EZLN. October 14, 2016.)
Perhaps the most important debates can be presented around the proposal for the participation “in the 2018 electoral process;” even more in the debate as to whether the indigenous woman is registered or not as an independent candidate. It’s very clear that the EZLN is in favour of entering the 2018 contest and in favour of the registration of the independent candidate. In that way they will be able to measure the acceptance of the proposal and its incidence in the indigenous population and in the non-indigenous population. If they don’t register the candidate in the 2018 campaign it will be difficult to go beyond the ambit of the adherents to the Sexta, of the close allies and sympathizers. Without registration, the day’s work would be something like the Other Campaign but now with an indigenous candidate.
Going for the Yes to the 2018 political electoral contest and for the registration of the candidate can require:
- 1. – The mobilization of the EZLN and the CNI in their regional and national ambits.
- 2. – The mobilization of their national and international allies.
The Electoral Law requires the following for the registry of the indigenous candidate:
- 1. – Getting 820,000 signatures within 120 days from voters of at least 17 federative states.
- 2. – Forming a civil association, presenting it to the Tributary Administration System and opening a bank account for that purpose.
- 3. – In that way, in this case, the independent presidential standard bearer would have the same rights as her competitors, like access to time on radio and television, public and private financing, and designating representatives to the INE.
In other words, the CNI and the EZLN would have to organize and mobilize a network in at least 17 states to get at least one million signatures. Upon achieving that, they would have a first indication of the indigenous and non-indigenous population that supports their initiative in this conservative, racist and patriarchal country.
Those million signatures would also be an indicator of the minimum number of votes they could obtain in the contest and to design a campaign to add at least 5 million votes. The initial platform of the Indigenous Government Council and the strength of the indigenous woman’s voice that would set the struggle for life and against violence, dispossession and the destruction that it is submitting to the peoples.
It’s very probable that the Mexican State and its electoral political apparatus are following up the CNI-EZLN proposal and defining their strategy towards it. Surely they are also making their evaluations, in other words, the convenience or not of granting registration to the independent candidate of the CNI-EZLN.
If the Mexican State and its apparatus evaluate that giving registry to the independent candidate oxygenates the electoral contest obliging the political parties and their candidates to give quality and competition to their electoral offer so as to exceed previous contests and as a result increase voter turnout, the Mexican State would not hesitate in giving registration to the candidate of the CNI-EZLN.
In that scenario the CNI-EZLN would have the space to strengthen its presence in the country, to contribute to the cohesion and strengthening of the movements in resistance versus the “panorama of death, violence, dispossession and destruction.”
Nevertheless, it’s necessary to take into account that the scenarios are adverse to the objectives of the CNI and EZLN campaign around their independent candidate:
- 1. It is very clear that it (the campaign) will travel through territories where the Capitalist Beast has planned or carried out investments in so-called mega-projects: highways, dams, mining and wind parks. (It will also travel) through territories under the control of Radical Companies dedicated to the cultivation, shipment and commercialization of drugs, and trafficking of undocumented persons. Both businesses have their own armed forces.
- 2. The presence of those Companies has fragmented the social fabric of the peoples and has done violence or confronted them not just a few times.
- 3. The national State at the service of Multinational Capital has used its armed forces not just a few times to undermine the resistance of the peoples that defend the land and territory.
In the logic of the Counterinsurgency Strategy that the Mexican State has designed for annihilating the EZLN and that others call the Integral Campaign of Exhaustion, the CNI and the rebels would be permitted to mobilize and carry out a preliminary campaign to raise one million signatures in 17 states in accordance with Law, a not so easy job, and later… denying them registration and leaving the CNI and the EZLN navigating in a marginal campaign that can be exhausting and frustrating.
Anyway, on January 1, 2017, we will find out what the delegates resolved at the Second Stage of the 5th National Indigenous Congress during December 30 and 31, 2016.
Originally Published in Spanish by Chiapas Paralelo
Monday, December 26, 2016
Re-Published with English interpretation by the Chiapas Support Committee
Posted by Dorset Chiapas Solidarity