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Mexico’s First Female Indigenous Candidate Holds First Campaign Rally

News Americas, NEW YORK, NY, Fri. Feb. 16, 2018: The first indigenous female running for Mexico’s presidential election held her first campaign rally at Mexico City’s Ibero-Americana University on Monday.

For the first time, an indigenous woman, Maria de Jesus Patricio Martinez is running for the election. The 53-year-old, known to most as “Marichuy,” is a traditional Nahua (a group of indigenous people of Mexico and El Salvador) healer from southern Jalisco. She could become the first indigenous woman elected to Mexico’s highest office.

Marichuy is a leading figure in the Mexican Indigenous Council, a political body representing the rights of those it calls Mexico’s “original people.” Indigenous people make up nearly one-fifth of Mexico’s population, yet many say they feel invisible.

Espousing socialist principles, Marichuy chose Ibero-Americana University, one of the country’s top universities for her first Mexico City campaign rally, seeking the approval of students, many of whom are first-time voters.

Hector Cervantes, one of the students, said, “For many years, there have been problems that have not been raised by any party candidate in any proposal and that the indigenous people have been capitalized.”

Yet Marichuy still has a long way to go before she can compete against the country’s political heavyweights. As one of at least eighty-six independent candidates for the presidency, she’s required to gather more than 850,000 signatures in order to secure a spot in July’s ballot.

“She only has twenty percent amount of signatures that are required to be an independent presidential candidate from Mexico. The requirements to secure the candidacy are extremely high – 800,000 signatures are required across 22 entities of the Republic,” remarked Raul Ceperajil, a political analyst. (Source: CCTV)

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