Think From The Heart: Mexico’s Indigenous Congress

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Above Photo: The move of the National Indigenous Congress is a move towards the decolonisation of politics, of political life, write Mignolo and Vazquez [Reuters]

Delegates at the fifth gathering of the CNI in Oventic describe their ideologies, mission and struggles — and the Zapatistas throw a party.

Dispatches from Resistant Mexico is a series of short documentaries from southern Mexico, each depicting one of the thousands of pockets of resistance throughout Latin America that are in struggle against what the Zapatistas call “the capitalist hydra”.

These individuals and communities affirm a way life in opposition to capitalist economics and values. They fight the devastating neoliberal “development” and “mega-projects” that loot resources and land from indigenous communities and threaten forms of life that have survived despite 500 years of colonization.

The resistance shares many of the principles and goals of the Zapatistas: autonomy from the capitalist economy, communalist self-government rooted in indigenous collective traditions, an end to the subordination of women and a respectful, life-affirming, non-dominating relation to nature. Indigenous women are at the forefront of many of these ongoing struggles.

Think from the Heart: the National Indigenous Congress in Mexico — the first dispatch of the series — covers the twentieth anniversary gathering of the Zapatista-aligned National Indigenous Congress, an organization of indigenous groups fighting to protect their territories and communal forms of life. Delegates explain the principles of their organization, set against a celebration hosted in autonomous Zapatista territory.