A version of this article originally appeared on VICE Mexico. Leer en Español.
On a six-day tour through the Free and Sovereign State of Chiapas last month, María de Jesús Patricio Martínez Marichuy transgressed traditional Mexican politics by making her struggle against machismo apparent—and indigenous girls and women visible.
In a country that registers an average of seven femicides per day and is governed by a male political class in crisis over high levels of corruption and impunity, the message of the first indigenous woman candidate seeking the presidency in the history of Mexico is reverberating.
In the closing event in Oventic, Chiapa—home of the Zapatista Army of the National Liberation (EZLN) rebel group—covered by mist and intermittent drizzle, Marichuy, a representative of the Mexican government’s Indigenous Council (ICG), said that women are the ones who feel the deepest pain due to the murders, disappearances, and imprisonments arbitrarily committed in the country.
“But it’s precisely because we are the ones who feel the deepest pain, because we [experience] the greatest oppressions, that we women are also capable of feeling the deepest rage,” she said. “And we must be able to transform that rage in an organized way in order to go on the offensive to dismantle the power from above, building with determination and without fear, the power from below.”