Chiapas on the Verge of Civil War

Enlace Zapatista

Communique from the Indigenous Revolutionary Clandestine Committee-General Command of the Zapatista Army for National Liberation

September 19, 2021

To the people of Mexico:
To the peoples of the world:
To the Sixth in Mexico and abroad:
To the Networks of Resistance and Rebellion:

First: On September 11, 2021, in the early morning, while the Zapatista air delegation was in Mexico City, members of ORCAO – a paramilitary organization serving the Chiapas state government – kidnapped the compañeros Sebastián Nuñez Pérez and José Antonio Sánchez Juárez, autonomous authorities from the Good Government Council of Patria Nueva [New Homeland], Chiapas.

The ORCAO is a political-military organization with paramilitary characteristics: they have uniforms, equipment, weapons, and ammunition purchased with money they receive from [government-sponsored] “social programs”. They keep part of the money for themselves and use part of it to pay off government officials for reporting that they [the ORCAO] are complying with the terms of the social programs. They fire on the Zapatista community of Moisés y Gandhi every night with these weapons.

The EZLN has waited patiently as all avenues toward a solution were attempted and exhausted. While the Chiapas state government tried to sabotage and impede freedom for our compañeros, it was human rights organizations and the progressive Catholic church who made an objective assessment of what might happen.

Second: The compañeros were deprived of their liberty for eight days and then freed today, September 19, 2021, thanks to the parish priests of San Cristóbal de las Casas and Oxchuc, of the San Cristóbal diocese. The compañeros were robbed of a walkie-talkie and six thousand pesos in cash belonging to the Good Government Council.

Third: Kidnapping is a crime under both the bad government’s laws and Zapatista law. While the Chiapas state government has supported and covered up these crimes, the Zapatista Army of National Liberation took the necessary steps to free those who were kidnapped and to detain and sanction those who committed the crime.

Fourth: The only reason the conflict did not escalate into a tragedy was due to the intervention of the parishes mentioned above, human rights organizations, and the mobilizations and denunciations carried out in Mexico and, above all, Europe.

Fifth: The misgovernment of Rutilio Escandón is doing everything possible to destabilize the southeastern Mexican state of Chiapas:

It violently represses the normalistas [1].

It sabotages the agreements made between the organized teachers and the federal government, forcing the teachers to take more radical action to demand the agreements be complied with.

Its alliance with narcotraffickers forces indigenous communities to create their own self-defense groups, as the government does nothing to protect the life, liberty, and property of the population. It not only protects the narcotrafficking gangs, but also encourages, promotes, and finances paramilitary groups like those that are constantly attacking communities in Aldama and Santa Martha.

Its vaccination campaign is purposefully slow and disorganized, creating unrest in rural communities that it will no doubt exploit. Meanwhile, the rising covid deaths in these communities are ignored.

Its officials are stealing everything they can from the state treasury, perhaps preparing for a federal government collapse or betting on a new party coming into power.

And now they want to sabotage the departure of the Zapatista delegation participating in the European chapter of the Journey for Life. They ordered their ORCAO paramilitaries to kidnap our compañeros, leaving the crime unpunished, and trying to provoke a reaction from the EZLN, all in a state where governability hangs by a thread.

Sixth: If what the Ecologist Green Party of Mexico (PVEM) wants is to provoke a crisis with international repercussions so that it can destabilize the regime currently in power, they should call a referendum to revoke the presidential mandate.

The PVEM is one of the names used around here by the same old PRI. Sometimes they say it’s the PAN, sometimes the PRD, and now it’s the PVEM badly disguised as the Movement for National Regeneration [MORENA]. But it’s the same criminals as ever, and now they’re part of the misnamed “opposition” movement, a “fifth column” within the 4T [2].

Those responsible are: Rutilio Escandón and Victoria Cecilia Flores Pérez.

If what they want is to topple the federal government, or to cause problems in retaliation for the current federal criminal investigations against them, or to support one of the factions competing for power in 2024, then they should use the available legal channels and stop playing with the life, liberty, and property of the people of Chiapas. They should call for a vote to revoke the presidential mandate and stop playing with fire because they’re going to get burned.

Seventh: We call on Europe below and to the left and on the Sixth in Mexico and abroad to protest in front of Mexican embassies and consulates and at the government offices of the state of Chiapas, demanding an end their provocations and renunciation of their death cult. The date is Friday, September 24, 2021.

Given the actions and omissions of the state and federal governments regarding these crimes and previous ones, we will take the necessary measures to bring justice to the criminals in the ORCAO and the government officials who sponsor them.

That is all. Next time there won’t be a communique. That is, there won’t be words, only actions.

From the mountains of southeastern Mexico,
In the name of the Indigenous Revolutionary Clandestine Committee-General Command of the EZLN

Subcomandante Insurgente Galeano.
Mexico, September 19, 2021.

[1] Students at the Escuelas Normales, or rural teachers’ colleges.

[2] The López Obrador campaign deemed its governing project the “Fourth Transformation” (4T), supposedly on par with historic events such as Mexican Independence (1810), a period of reform in the mid-19th century, and the Mexican Revolution (1910).

Communique from the AJMAQ Network of Resistances and Rebellions denouncing the disappearance of two Zapatistas in Ocosingo, Chiapas, and the ongoing counter-insurgent war against Zapatista communities.

To the People of the World

To the National Indigenous Congress

To the Indigenous Governing Council

To the National and International Sixth

To the Networks of Resistance and Rebellion

Sisters, brothers, compañeras and compañeroas, we denounce the hypocritical, deceitful, and corrupt discourse of the federal government of Andrés Manuel López Obrador, and the Chiapas state government of Rutilio Escandón Cadenas. They claim to respect the autonomies of Indigenous peoples when in reality they have implemented a series of counterinsurgency actions against the pathways of autonomy taken by the communities of the Zapatista Army of National Liberation and their Support Bases.

Today we want to share that with the permission of the three levels of bad government—municipal, state and federal—two Zapatistas have been kidnapped. The two are members of the Good Government Council “Nuevo Amanecer en Resistencia y Rebeldia por la Vida y la Humanidad” in Caracol 10 “Floreciendo la Semilla Rebelde.”

The two members of the Good Government Council, José Antonio Sánchez Juárez and Sebastián Nuñez Pérez, left at 8am on September 11 from the headquarters of the council in a truck with plate number CW-0001-C. They were in route to another place to carry out a task for the council. When the council didn’t receive any information from the two, they began searching for them, finding their truck in the community of 7 de Febrero, in the municipality of Ocosingo, Chiapas. It is important to mention that 7 de Febrero is the base of the Regional Organization of Coffee Growers of Ocosingo (ORCAO). According to information, the two members of the Good Government Council were detained in what is legitimate EZLN territory, where the Rainbow Cooperative Store is, an expression of the autonomous Zapatista economy. Until now, Tuesday September 14, the Good Government Council has not been able to see the detained, verify their state of health nor their location, for which reason they are disappeared.

For several months now, ORCAO has perpetrated a series of criminal actions against the Support Bases of the EZLN of the autonomous community of Moisés-Gandhi. The most despicable acts took place in August 2020, when they looted, robbed, and burned down the Rainbow Cooperative Autonomous Store, and on November 8, 2020, when they kidnapped the compa Félix López Hernández. On April 12 of this year they also kidnapped two human rights defenders of the Fray Bartolomé de Las Cases Human Rights Center. Again, in September of this year, they continue with their criminal actions. This scale of violence orchestrated from the high levels of the federal government takes place within the context of the EZLN initiative “Travesia por la Vida Capitulo Europa,” an organizing initiative that seeks to expand, in a creative and peaceful manner, the seed of resistance and rebellion for humanity and Mother Earth. That is to say, for life.

We demand the live presentation of the EZLN Support Bases, José Antonio Sánchez Juárez and Sebastián Nuñez Pérez.

End the harassment against the autonomy and life being constructed by the EZLN!

Compañeros, Support Bases: You are not alone! If they touch one, they touch us all!

We call on the compañeros of the Networks of Resistance and Rebellion, adherents of the National and International Sixth, to demand the appearance of the compañeros, members of the Good Government Council.

Red de Resistencias y Rebeldías AJMAQ

The Extemporaneous and a National Initiative

Enlace Zapatista.

ZAPATISTA SIXTH COMMISSION.
Mexico.

July 2021.

To the adherents of the Declaration for Life:
To the Europe from Below and to the Left:
To the National and International Sixth:
To the National Indigenous Congress-Indigenous Governing Council:
To the Networks of Resistance and Rebellion:
To the Collective «Llegó la Hora de los Pueblos«:

 

From: Subcomandante Insurgente Moisés.

Compañeras, compañeroas, compañeros:

Sisters, brothers, and hermanoas:

I greet you in the name of the children, women, them, elders and men of the Zapatista communities, and I communicate to you the following:

First.- We already have a strong Zapatista airborne company of 177 Zapatistas ready. It is made up in its totality by natives of Mayan roots, from the Cho’ol, Tzotzil, Tzeltal, Tojolabal and Castilian languages. We were born in the geography called Mexico. Our ancestors were born and died in these lands. As the Mexican State does not recognize our identity and origin, and tells us that we are “extemporaneous” (so says the Secretary of Foreign Affairs, that we are “extemporaneous” Mexicans), we have decided to baptize  this unit of Listening and Word [Escucha y Palabra] as “The Extemporaneous.”

As we saw in the dictionaries, “extemporaneous” means “that it is  inopportune, inconvenient”, or “that it is inappropriate for the time in which it happens.” In other words, that we are inopportune, inconvenient and inappropriate.

Never before have we been so adequately defined. We are happy that at last

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But We Have To So We Do It Real Slow…

pura acraciaINTRODUCTION

I wrote this short essay 5 years ago at a time when anti-work was not as popular a position, or sentiment, within the radical milieu. My intention with this piece was to highlights elements of anti-work / refusal of labor that already exist among Mexican(-American)s in the so-called United States. And by doing this extend the critique of work beyond the white radical milieu of the North American Anglosphere. The critique of work is now (thankfully) more widespread, and I hope that others take up the task of extending the critique of work because the pandemic has verily cleared the fog of pro-work propaganda: most of us learned first-hand that our work, deemed essential or not, has always been activity which exists for the immediate benefit of others and not ourselves. We barely float by, physically & mentally, while capitalists retreat further into their well-protected bubbles of wealth (even into space). It’s time we reclaim our time, energy & activity. Time for communism & anarchy…which always also means the abolition of work.

Noche Tovaangar, so-called Los Angeles

July, 2021

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Zapatista delegation to meet with women, trans, inter and non-binary people at The ZAD in France

Voices in Movement
June 23, 2021. Written by Ñaní Pinto at Avispa Midia, translated by Shantal Montserrat Lopez Victoria.

The “Squadron 421”, the maritime brigade of the Zapatista Army of National Liberation (EZLN), composed of four women, two men and a non-binary person, left Isla Mujeres, Mexico on May 3 in an old sailboat named “La Montaña”. At 6:10 p.m. (European time) on June 22, they landed in Vigo, one of the main ports of Galicia.

The delegation from La Montaña were greeted by representatives of the so-called “Xira pola Vida” (Tour for Life), made up of several groups from Spain and other delegations from Italy, Germany, Greece, Switzerland, Portugal, Euskalerria, Catalonia, Andalusia, France, Belgium and Mexico.

A welcoming ceremony was held, which included a collective greeting to the rhythm of traditional Galician music. At this event, Marijose, the non-binary member of this brigade, renamed Europe. “On behalf of the women, children, men, elders and, of course, other Zapatistas, I declare that the name of this land, which its natives now call “Europe”, will henceforth be called: SLUMIL K’AJXEMK’OP”, said Marijose, which means, “Tierra Insumisa”, or “Insubordinate Lands” or “Land that does not surrender or falter. ”

The delegation tried to disembark on the Galician coast last Sunday,

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Subcomandante Moisés:”The Zapatista children are going over there to share”

Voices in Movement

Subcomandante Moisés:The Zapatista children are going over there to share.” Orginally published by Pozol.org on May 2, 2021, translated by Shantal Montserrat Lopez Victoria.

As spokesman for the EZLN Subcomandante Moises stands on the dock watching the Squadron 421 sail away from the horizon in the turquoise waters of Cancun, Mexico, he makes the following comment to the independent media, “we should have asked them what they are going to share with the Europeans … and whether or not it is important for us to share.”

“We’re following the route that (the Spanish) came from 500 years ago,” Subcomandante Moisés, told the Mexican media at the departure ceremony. “In this case, we’re following the route to sow life, not like 500 years ago. It’s completely the opposite. Men, women, people of all genders, all the Caracoles, all the Boards of Good Government will participate, but that is just the starting point of the journey.”

What are we going to say to the men and women of Europe? “We are going to share with them that life is at risk, as much for those in the city as for those in the countryside. It is time to wake up. Without life, there is nothing.”

In addition, the spokesman commented that it is necessary to “fight against capitalism because it destroys Mother Nature. The fact is that in 500 years we have not destroyed nature but capitalism has. It has polluted it, and it’s getting worse and worse, which is why we always warn that it will collapse one day, and that is when all hell will break loose.”

He also commented that collaboration efforts with the European compas “are moving forward, but we still have a long way to go.  We are heading over there to see how’s it going and how much organizational power there is.”

Subcomandante Insurgente Moisés confirmed that Zapatista children will participate as delegates. “We are fighting for their passports, all of them. They are going to play with European children, and are going to paint cayucos like the ones we are sending over. The Zapatista children are going over there to share.“

Amongst lots of love and support for the Zapatista voyage, Subcomandante Moisés bids farewell to the crew.  He has helped maritime delegation preparation efforts such as taking care of the four cayucos from Chiapas but more specifically with the Squadron 421, which is currently sailing to Europe.

We wish you a safe trip, and look forward to the next reports from Tercios Compas.

Marcelino Ruíz, fighting for freedom for 19 years in Chiapas, Mexico

Voices in Movement
Marcelino Ruíz, fighting for freedom for 19 years in Chiapas, Mexico. Orginally published by Pozol.org on April 7, 2021, translated by Shantal Montserrat Lopez Victoria.

Transferring prisoners is another way of repressing the struggle for those wrongfully imprisoned.

Marcelino Ruiz Gómez is wrongfully imprisoned in CERSS No. 10 in the city of Comitán de Domínguez, Chiapas, Mexico and has been fighting for his freedom for 19 years against his arbitrary detention, torture and serious violations of due process of law. The Tsotsil indigenous man is founder of the Vineketik Organization in Resistance and adherent to the Sixth Declaration of the Lacandon Jungle of the EZLN.

Marcelino is originally from the municipality of San Juan Chamula; he and his family cultivated vegetables on their land and sold them in the San Cristóbal de Las Casas market. On February 5, 2002, he was arbitrarily arrested and tortured.

After several years in prison, Marcelino became aware of the discrimination and violence suffered by indigenous people inside the prisons: “by police, guards, administrative staff and all court personnel, from the judge to those who make copies of criminal files based on illicit evidence,” said the Sexta adherent.

For this reason, Marcelino decided in 2015 to assert his human rights and speak out; he demanded the director of the CERSS of San Cristobal de Las Casas to improve the deteriorating conditions under which the inmates were kept: poor food, unsanitary cells, lack of adequate medical, psychological and dental health services. Not only did the director not listen to his request but retaliated by transferring him to CERSS No. 12 in the municipality of Yajalón, Chiapas. It was there where he staged two hunger strikes to demand his immediate transfer and to be closer to his family. The first strike lasted three days and two months passed without response. The second strike lasted eight days: “with the support of Frayba (Fray Bartolome de las Casas Center for Human Rights) and other collectives, I achieved my transfer closer to home. I was transferred to CERSS No. 10, here in Comitán in April 7, 2015,” recalls the indigenous Chiapaneco.

Marcelino has been taken away from his family and children as a means of repression for protesting. His mother has found it difficult to make long trips to visit him, in addition she is a widow and lacks resources. “The effects on prison aren’t only on me but also on my family. Due to the lack of access to justice, they suffer with me every moment of repression. They feel scared and terrified. It is clear to us that the real criminals are in power and they make laws the way they want and the jails are full of indigenous people,” Ruíz Gómez denounces.

“Inside the prison I have learned many skills: I weave hammocks, bags and wooden crafts so i can support my family. Now I’m drawing, which is something that allows me to feel free and gives me strength to keep fighting,” says Marcelino, who on April 1 launched a virtual graphic exhibition called “For Life and Freedom”.

On March 15, 2019, the indigenous Tsotsil founded the Vineketik Organization in Resistance to fight for his freedom and to highlight the serious human rights violations within the criminal proceedings carried out with the use of torture. “We are innocent, we are paying for a crime we did not commit and we demand our freedom from the government,” he reported.

“They serve us very little and rotten food, which are strategies to intimidate me to stop resisting and fighting. You need everyone’s support to fight, otherwise the repression increases. Thanks to the support of collectives, Frayba and the media, my voice has been heard all over,” Marcelino said.

“Only the people can save the people”- O.C.S.S.

Voices in movement

This is a communiqué from the Southern Sierra Peasant Organization (Organización Campesina de la Sierra del Sur (O.C.S.S.) released on February 24, 2021, from Tepetixtla, Coyuca de Benítez, Guerrero, Mexico. Translation by Shantal Monserrat Lopez Victoria from Pozol.org.

“The new Mexican government is an effort to revitalize capitalism,” O.C.S.S. Guerrero, Mexico

O.C.S.S. TO THE CIPOG-EZ, CIN-CIG AND THE CRAC-PC-PF.

To the Zapatista Army of National Liberation (Ejercito Zapatista de Liberación Nacional)
To the National Indigenous Congress
To the Indigenous Council of Government
To the people of Mexico and the world

We men and women of the rural towns of the Costa Grande of the state of Guerrero, were raised and taught the history of dignity by Generals Morelos, Guerrero, Zapata and our unforgettable compas and teachers Lucio Cabañas Barrientos and Professor Genaro Vázquez.

Twenty-six years after

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Clashes on the Occasion of International Women’s Day in Mexico and Colombia

AWM english

Mexico

In Mexico, clashes took place in Mexico City, Oaxaca, Puebla and Cuernavaca (Morelos). In the capital, at least 20,000 demonstrators protested against femicides (endemic phenomenon in the country) and against the insecurity experienced by women in the public space. 1700 police officers had been deployed to contain them.

Some protesters managed to knock down the metal fences protecting the national palace. The anti-riot police then used their shields to prevent protesters from entering the palace. Militant feminists set fire to police shields guarding the National Palace.

In Cuernavaca, capital of the state of Morelos, groups of hooded militants attacked public buildings. The headquarters of the judiciary was attacked with Molotov cocktail, while the windows of the government’s palace were broken. A church has also been attacked. Clashes have also been reported in the city of Xalapa located in the state of Veracruz. The anti-riot police attempted to split the procession but did not reach it.

In the city of Oaxaca de Juárez, the feminists attacked a church, as well as a building of the Ministry of Health. Finally clashes have been reported in the city of Puebla, capital of the state of Puebla.

Colombia

On the afternoon of March 8, a group of feminists set fire to the church of San Francisco de Asís during protests organized for Women’s Day (8M) in Bogotá (Colombia). The main door of the temple was set in flames.

The local newspaper Noticias Caracol, two Transmilenio buses, the Las Nieves and San Diego stations, a SITP bus and the Palace of Justice were also vandalized during the demonstration.

Collectives prepare for historical visit of Zapatista movement in Madrid

Voices in Movement

Written by Miguel Muñoz on February 1, 2021, translated by Shantal Montserrat Lopez Victoria.

On February 2, 2001, a march called La Marcha del Color de la Tierra set out from Chiapas, Mexico. On March 11 after thousands of kilometers it arrived to the capital Mexico City. The mobilization of the  Zapatista delegation proved symbolic and had a strong resonance with a whole generation of social movements throughout Europe. After two decades, another historic event will take place. Several Zapatista delegations will visit the European continent in July, August and September. In Madrid and other territories, different social movements are already preparing for the meeting.

“We have decided: That it is time for hearts to dance again, and that neither their song nor their steps should be those of lamentation or resignation. Diverse Zapatista delegations, men, women and other colored people of our land, shall go out to travel the world, we shall walk or sail to remote lands, seas and skies, seeking not the differences, nor superiority, nor offense, much less apologies and pity”. This is one of the paragraphs from  A Mountain on the High Seas communique announced last October by the Zapatista National Liberation Army (EZLN-Ejército Zapatista de Liberación Nacional) and endorsed by its current spokesperson, Subcomandante Insurgente Moisés.

“After 20 years we set sail and march to tell the planet that, in the world that we perceive within our collective hearts, there is room for all of us, everyone, all of them. Simply and sincerely because this world is only attainable if all of us, all women and men, all together, fight to build it”, says another part of the text.

As a result of this declaration, the entire movement began organizing to receive the Zapatista delegation, which will not only be made up of the EZLN but also members of the National Indigenous Council and the Peoples’ Front in Defense of the Land (Consejo Nacional Indígena o y del Frente de los Pueblos en Defensa de la Tierra) . This past week the first assembly was held among the collectives that will be participating in the preparations.

“There have been collectives supporting Zapatismo all over Europe for years,” Danaé, a member of the Y Retiemble collective, created in 2017, tells Cuartopoder. In addition, coordination and networks have taken place all over Europe. “People in Madrid were already getting organized through a network called Europa Zapatista in order to join together and connect with Mexico,” he adds.

A member of Y Retiembre explains that one of the messages that has been very clear from the Zapatista movement is that they have to “mobilize and organize”. The first date for activities are August 13, with a gathering in Madrid for the anniversary of the arrival of Hernán Cortés to Tenochtitlán. This is a proposal of the Zapatista community itself. Next, the “Meeting of Struggles for Life” (Encuentro de Luchas por la Vida) is scheduled for September 6-19.

“It is a meeting in the traditional Zapatista style. We are using the term meeting in the context used by the Zapatistas. It’s not the usual forum type format but rather a meeting about all the struggles that are going on. To meet each other as people,” explains Danaé.

To achieve this, a framework of 7 main themes of struggles has been devised: social rights, feminist and gender identities; anti-racist struggles, internationalist and decolonial struggles; defense of  land and territory; historical memory and freedom of expression; work and migration; art, culture and media. In addition, more activities will be held between now and September to the extent it is possible due to the health situation.

“The Zapatistas come to listen to us and narrate their struggles,” explains Danaé. For that reason, it is also intended that through specific visits, they get to know different collectives and specific struggles in the city of Madrid. From now on, groups will be created by topic and planned activities will be announced. Some initiatives are already underway, such as the distribution of a board game on Zapatismo, which can be purchased online. The collected funds will be used to finance activities. More than 2,000 copies have already been sold. For support groups this is a “historic meeting”. “Normally the Zapatistas have received many people in Mexico, but a tour at this level has never happened before,” says Danaé.

However, there is a gap in the memory of a whole generation within the Zapatista movement. For many years the main figure of the EZLN was Subcomandante Marcos who was very present in the social and political struggles of our country. “There is a generation that is very aware of what Zapatismo is. That is exactly why we are having this meeting. The goal is to organize here, we want to say that we are fighting for life.  We are setting up this meeting hoping to restore these messages because we are aware many people don’t know about the Zapatista proposal. It is very important that these messages resonate with the struggles here because there are many things that coincide”, concludes Danaé.