(Nahuatzén, Michoacán) Press Release: We Will Not Permit the Imposition of Political Parties

(Editor’s Note: This communique comes from the Indigenous Citizen Council of Nahuatzén. On July 1st, the people of Nahuatzén refused to permit the installation of voting booths in their town, demanding recognition of their movement for Indigenous self-government and autonomy. Regardless of their rejection of the political party electoral spectacle, and the formation of an Indigenous Citizen Council in the town, the Electoral Institute of Michoacán has authorized the legitimacy of an election that didn’t take place, and a political party municipal president that isn’t supported by the people. This communique denounces this political theater and solicits better organization amongst the Indigenous communities that make up the municipality of Nahuatzén and surrounding areas).

Nahuatzén, Michoacán
July 13th, 2018

To the People of Nahuatzén
To the People of the P’urhépecha Plateau
To the People of Michoacán and México
To the National and International Media

THE COMMUNITY OF NAHUATZÉN SUPPORTS AT ALL TIMES THE WORK OF THE INDIGENOUS CITIZEN COUNCIL TO CONTINUE WITH OUR SELF-GOVERNMENT. THAT IS TO SAY, A FORM OF SOCIAL ORGANIZATION WHERE THE PEOPLE COMMAND AND THE GOVERNMENT OBEYS.

Brothers and sisters; let these words show our support of the work of the women and men that, without regard to age, social condition or religious beliefs, daily carry out collective work in the Communal House. This collective work seeks to recuperate the building in its entirety and provide better services based in principles of honesty, transparency and humanism. In the following week, we will continue with the collective work projects in the neighborhoods and the surrounding areas.

These FAENAS are work days that are carried out collectively and voluntarily as a service to the community. With these collective work days, we will get rid of the political trash from our streets and neighborhoods.

The Communal House, that is to say the house of everyone, is not a house of bandits, traitors or wolves in sheep’s clothing. Political parties do not have a place here.

They will not govern again, nor will they steal and enrich themselves with the resources of the people. For more than forty years they have occupied the municipal offices by handing down power in a hereditary manner.

We denounce and make clear that the Electoral Institute of Michoacán, in complicity with Martín García Avilés (president of the State Executive Committee of the Party of the Democratic Revolution) again seeks to violate the will and peace of our community. Their intention is to impose by public force, David Eduardo Otlíca Avilés, as municipal president. What they seek is to carry out a fraud disguised as legality.

The system of elections based in political parties has never benefited Indigenous peoples. How can there be democracy when the bad government threatens to impose a municipal president in a community where there weren’t even elections? What type of democracy is it when in a municipality with nearly 30,000 inhabitants, a “president” is elected by only 1,606 votes? The Electoral Institute of Michoacán authorized this farce election demonstrating that the official institutions represent the interests of groups of power and money.

Davis Otlíca is a person who is not welcome in our town. We will continually denounce that he is illegitimate because he does not have the will of the people to govern. In the municipality we are nearly 30,000 inhabitants and he obtained only 1606 votes that he bought in a humiliating and mocking manner with gifts of tarps, umbrellas, hats, and other crumbs that he gave to the people for their vote. We know that the bad government supports him, but we have the reason and the right. Justice is on our side and we will not permit this imposition.

The capitalist state, through the Electoral Institute of Michoacán, searches in every way to impose their will, violating their own laws. In a unilateral and deceitful manner, the past January 30th, they decided to suspend the citizen consultation ordered by the Supreme Chamber of the Federal Electoral Court, located in the City of Toluca, Mexico State. This citizen consultation was meant to determine the election system of our authorities and to transition our town from the system of political parties to one of our normative system of Uses and Customs. Instead of following through with the consultation, they waited for the election date to pass to afterwards have the consultation.

NOW, WE DO NOT NEED THE CONSULTATION. ON JULY 1ST, THE WILL OF OUR COMMUNITY ALREADY DEMONSTRATED THEIR REJECTION OF THE ELECTORAL FARSE. OUR PEOPLE HAVE ALREADY WOKEN UP AND NOBODY IS GOING TO STOP US.

We will continue exercising our autonomy through our self-government supported by Article 2 of the Mexican Political Constitution that, “recognizes and guarantees the right of the Indigenous peoples and community to free determination and autonomy”; and the San Andrés Accords regarding Indigenous rights and culture.

We invite our sisters and brothers of the communities that form part of the municipality of Nahuatzén to unite with us and not allow the puppets of the bad government to install their municipal offices in your communities to rob the people. Do not allow them to violate your dignity. Enough already of the humiliation!

The united people will never be defeated!
Council yes, political parties no!
Always until the victory!

SINCERELY,
COMMUNITY OF NAHUATZÉN
INDIGENOUS CITIZEN COUNCIL OF NAHUATZÉN

JUACHI HUINAPEKUA