This house belongs to everyone:
Otomí community occupation of the National Indigenous Peoples’ Institute (INPI) in Mexico City as a struggle for dignified housing and the right to the city
Representatives of the Otomí community occupation of the INPI in conversation with Ana Vilenica and Felipe Guerra Arjona
Keywords: Indigenous struggles, Evictions, Occupation, Organising, Autonomy
The Otomí community, that migrated to Mexico City due to dire living conditions from their place of origin, has been demanding the right to housing, education, health, and work for over twenty years. However, they have continuously been denied dignified living conditions. On October 12, more then 150 people from the community took over the National Institute of Indigenous Peoples (INPI), a government institution that has implemented development projects aimed at purportedly enhancing the lives of indigenous communities and moved in making the offices their new home. They used the occupation to voice their demands for improved living conditions of the Otomí people in the capital as well as pueblos originarios across Mexico and to put an end to harmful mega projects and war against EZLIN. Otomí women have played a crucial role in occupying the INPI premises, engaging with government representatives, and acting as key intermediaries. In this conversation compañeras shared about the struggles of pueblos originarios that have led to their occupation. They discussed the reasons behind choosing this specific building for occupation, their approach to organizing inspired by the Zapatistas, and how they manage everyday life in the ex-office building they now occupy.