Statement From the Supreme Indigenous Council of Michoacán: Long Live the Self-Determination of the Indigenous Communities

(This communique comes from the Supreme Indigenous Council of Michoacán, expressing its support for its communities who have refused to participate in the electoral process).

July 1st, 2018

The Supreme Indigenous Council of Michoacán (CSIM) is autonomous and independent of governments, political parties and religious orders. We are made up of civil, communal and traditional authorities of the Indigenous communities of Santa Fe de la Laguna, Caltzontzin, San Felipe de los Herreros, Cocucho, Zirahuén, Apo del Rosario, Capácuaro, Huecorio, San Ángel Zurumucapio. Jicalán, Tahuejo, Zopoco, Pamatácuaro, Sicuicho, Cuanajo, Sevina, San Andrés Tziróndaro, Jucutacato, Corupo, Angahuan, Carapan, Rancho Seco, Comachuén, Paracho, Santa Ana, Cheranástico, Naranja de Tapia, San Benito, San Antonio, Aranza, Tirindaro, Agua Verde, Quinceo, Tomendan, Nuevo Zirosto, Condembaro, La Tinaja, Urapicho, Turián Bajo, Santa Rosa, Arato, Pomacuarán, Ahuirán, Sirimicuaro and Etúcuaro. As a Council we present the following:

We commend the Indigenous communities of the CSIM who, as a concrete expression of their self-determination, have not allowed the installation of electoral voting booths in their communities. We celebrate the struggle for self-government and autonomy, with decisions made in the general assembly of each community. From here we express our admiration and recognition of the P’urhépecha towns of Santa Fe de Laguna, Aranza, Zopoco, San Felipe de los Herreros, Nahuatzén, Cocucho and San Benito. Their struggle forms part of a long history of more than 500 years of resistance and dignity of the P’urhépecha people.

We publicly denounce the National Electoral Institute (INE) and the Electoral Institute of Michoacán (IEM) for not respecting agreements made and for violating the right of the free self-determination of Sevina. They did so by irresponsibly installing voting booths, in spite of the decision made in the community against participating in the electoral process. Furthermore, the IEM and the INE have both been informed of this decision since February 28th of this year. For that, we hold directly responsible these two electoral institutions for whatever confrontation that occurs in the community.

We firmly declare to the INE and the IEM that against whatever criminal complaint that you present in response to not being able to install your electoral voting booths, we will quickly convoke a 2nd Indigenous Congress of Michoacán, to carry out peaceful and orderly mobilizations in the entire state. We demand that you not criminalize the free self-determination of the Indigenous communities of the state.

Finally, we make clear that we respect the decision of the Indigenous communities and towns that are participating in the electoral process. We reaffirm that regardless of whether you vote or don’t vote, we will continue organizing ourselves, resisting and struggling.

Long Live Zapata, The Struggle Continues!
¡Irékaxatiteru kuájpekua Nitámaxatiteru!

CSIM