CNI announces an autonomous parallel government for Mexico
The EZLN Extends the Consultation to Determine its Presidential Candidate
Zapatistas at anniversary celebration – Photo: Janet Schwartz
By: Isaín Mandujano
OVENTIK, Chiapas (proceso.com.mx). – 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 of the candidate they will propose in the 2018 elections for the presidency of the Republic.
As part 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 a 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 results of the consultation held during October, November and December of 2016 among at least 43 different indigenous peoples throughout the country.
The working group, in which Comandante David was present as the host in this bastion of the EZLN in Los Altos of Chiapas, and with Subcomandante Insurgente Moisés, military commander of the armed group, were half a dozen participating delegates 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 who 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 from 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 programmes.
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 last three 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 which participated in the consultation and which 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. In addition to this, Afro-Americans and immigrants have not yet been 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 is mandated by all the original peoples represented there.
It was also agreed that this CGI would have as its spokesperson an 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 18th, and that the spokesperson of that body will be a woman who has permanence in the CNI, who belongs to one of the original peoples of Mexico, who speaks that indigenous language, who must be proposed and legitimized in assembly, who is distinguished as a person who has accompanied the peoples in their struggles.
She will also practice the principles of governing 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 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, a council of elders, health, environment and a commission charged with Mother Earth and territory.
This council, which will govern for all the original peoples of the whole country, was defined as an anti-capitalist collective, from below and from the left, it will respect the decisions of the people and the decisions of the CNI, and above all will have the ability to create alliances with other peoples who 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 of security and true justice. It is only from below that it is possible to construct autonomy.
They insisted that, faced with this scenario, what is necessary is the creation of the CGI that is being proposed to govern this country, and that for this reason they will promote their own candidate; and they said that this project does not exclude anyone, because all the original peoples of the country will fit in it.
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 the “¡Ya Basta!” (Enough!) of that 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 is now proposing is that the peoples themselves will tell themselves what to do.
Moisés outlined fighting for truth and justice, fighting for democracy, but where the people command and the government obeys. He called to fight for freedom. To do this it is necessary to rescue the history of the original peoples who have spent centuries resisting for life.
He said that the EZLN and the CNI already have already known each other for many years.
He confirmed that the EZLN is now and always will be with the CNI on the path that has been proposed.
“We are with you, we are definitely going with the National Indigenous Congress (…) Let them listen to the pain and rage that is in every corner of this country. May the Earth tremble at its core with your step. May they look at you with surprise and admiration, may the peoples of the world admire your decisions and goals. And above all, never mind that they use everything they have against you, that they attack you in every way, don’t surrender, don’t sell out, and don’t give in,” Moisés concluded.
Originally Published in Spanish by Proceso.com
Sunday, January 1, 2017
Re-Published with English interpretation by the Chiapas Support Committee