María de Jesús Patricio Martínez could have been the first indigenous presidential candidate in Mexico. She did what other political candidates dreamed of but failed at. It was announced this week that María de Jesús also known as Marichuy did not have enough signatures to make it on the ballot, however, the numbers she did get surpassed other, more established candidates.
According to several reports Marichuy, from Jalisco, Mexico, was verified by the electoral board (INE) to have gotten 94.5 percent legit signatures. Her total count was almost 300,000 signatures, which surpassed people’s expectations for Marichuy who had no previous political background.
#YoFirméPorMarichuy y fuimos auxiliares. Por Dignidad, por memoria, por justicia, por un mundo mejor.
Gracias #Marichuy #CIG #FaltaLoQueFalta https://t.co/w5vwH47d8w by@criptopozol @CNI_Mexico @infrarreal @suvozesmivoz https://t.co/TBqIRPMM0H pic.twitter.com/Vfl6OEgdF0
— retiemblaBJ (@retiemblaBJ) March 18, 2018
One of the most extraordinary aspects to this election process is that other candidates — with the financial backing couldn’t accomplish what Marichuy did. It was reported that at least two candidates, Jaime Rodriguez “El Bronco” and Armando Rios Piter, had a little over of 50 percent of their signatures verified. That means millions of their signatures were fake.
María de Jesús Patricio Martínez #Marichuy
94.5 % de sus firmas fueron validadas por el INE.
Marichuy no hizo trampa, no se burló del ciudadano, pero no estará en la boleta electoral. pic.twitter.com/vv8CdVqeTa
— Enea Salgado (@Enea_Salgado) March 17, 2018
“Aspiring candidates without a political party had to get at least 866,593 signatures from supporting citizens in order to be on the voting ballots, which should have been handed in by Feb. 19,” Telesur reports.
But after candidates turned in their signatures, INE reported that two candidates had submitted fake signatures. And, while Marichuy had almost 100 percent of her signatures verified as legit, she still didn’t have enough to continue on.
So how did Marichuy gain so much support? She had more than 8,000 volunteers and ran a grassroots campaign. Another incredible accomplishment by Marichuy and her volunteers didn’t bow down to savvy tech methods. Many of her supporters are indigenous just like her and do not have accessibility to smartphones, which is how many candidates submitted signatures. She got honest signatures by submitting them on paper.
“We never intended to take over power, but it always was and will always be the self-administration, autonomy, rebellion and resistance,” the Government Indigenous Council (CIG), which registered Marichuy in the presidential race, said in a press release. “The most important thing is that now we’re more people, groups, collectives and organizations looking for solutions in ourselves that we know will never come from the top.”