Noticias: Mexico’s Indigenous Congress

In the article I chose for this week, Mexico’s Indigenous Congress: Decolonizing Politics, the authors discuss The First Nations of Mexico’s attempt at a political campaign, and the response it has received. The political initiative is putting forward a candidate, Maria de Jesus Patricio Martinez, in the next election for president.

There was outcry from the already established political parties, including racist and misogynist attacks on Martinez, to calls for including their proposals in already existing political processes. The ideas behind the Indigenous Council of Government (CIG) are not Western in practice according the the authors, and have drawn a lot of criticism.

The criticisms are largely due to two main misunderstandings according to the authors. The first is the fact that one of the groups that make up the National Indigenous Congress (CNI), has refused to participate in the electoral process and national government system for the past twenty three years. The second misunderstanding is that Maria de Jesus Patricio Martinez is like any other candidate representing any other political party. According to the authors, these are fundamental misunderstandings about the First Nations. Their political ideologies aren’t based on the Greek style we’re familiar with, or even other European styles we typically think of. The authors argue that the CNI is “[appropriating] the tools of the modern/colonial state to advance their own project” to form a government modeled on their seven principles listed in the article, which are primarily based on being public servants and serving the interests of the people rather than furthering their own political goals. This seeks to decolonize the political process and put the needs of disenfranchised people first, primarily people of indigenous descent and women. The authors argue that the fact that Maria de Jesus Patricio Martinez is not accepted shows how underrepresented groups are not listened to or supported in the current political climate of Mexico. The CNI seeks to unite disenfranchised groups across Mexico as their base of support and markets itself as a political platform for the people.

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