The all-male town council in an Oaxaca village in Mexico tore up ballots in favor of the first woman to run for mayor. Eufrosina Cruz, 27, broke with her village”s traditions, which do not allow women to even attend town assemblies, to run for the office. Cruz told the Associated Press that she was winning before the town council tore up the ballots.
Valerino Lopez, the town”s deputy mayor, justified the decision to tear up the ballots to the Associated Press, saying,”That is the custom here, that only citizens vote, not the women.” Not only is Cruz not allowed to vote or run for office because she is a woman, but she is not even defined as a citizen by the local government.
Cruz filed a complaint with the National Human Rights Commission in Mexico in December, but the appeals process has been long. Women have the right to vote in Mexico, but under the Mexican constitution, Indian villages can retain traditional laws as long as they follow the ideals of the Constitution. However, many Indian towns still do not allow women a place in the community as full voting citizens.
“I am not asking anything for myself,” said Cruz in the Associated Press. “I am asking on behalf of Indian women, so that never again will the laws allow political segregation.”