Prison Radio
Mumia Abu-Jamal

In Mexico, the existing political structure is a dizzying patchwork of corruption. Government is sometimes indistinguishable from the notorious drug cartels (if you think this is mere rhetoric, consider the recent massacre of students in Ayotzinapa!)

Perhaps that’s why indigenous candidates are now emerging, to give voice to the millions of people who were there before the Spanish came, to try to right the ship of state.

Today, a woman called MariChuy is crossing the country, seeking formal registration for office, but she calls herself a ‘non-candidate’; a woman content to be called an indigenous spokesperson.

MariChuy, born to a Nahuatl family and named Marla de Jesus Patricio Martinez, is part of a campaign enthusiastically supported by the country’s indigenous (and others hungry for change), but also backed by the influential Zapatista liberation movement, which has historically had a close relationship with indigenous people.

When MariChuy visited autonomous Zapatista communities like Chiapas recently, she was greeted by thousands of men, women and children, who encouraged her to run for the 2018 national presidential elections.

MariChuy is indeed spokeswoman of the Conseil Indigena Gobierno (Indigenous Governing Council); representing people across some 17 states (Mexico has 31 states, including a federal district).

This non-candidate, emerging from the first peoples of this land, may be just what Mexico needs.