The EZLN renders homage to Luis Villoro and to teacher Galeano
By: Isaín Mandujano
OVENTIK, Chiapas (proceso.com.mx) – This Saturday, the Zapatista National Liberation Army (EZLN, its initials in Spanish) rendered homage to the Mexican philosopher Luis Villoro Toranzo and to the Indigenous Zapatista teacher Galeano, assassinated precisely one year ago in La Realidad, by an anti-Zapatista shock group.
More than five thousand people, between indigenous EZLN support bases and adherents and sympathizers of the movement, gathered in the esplanade to see on the stage the families of Don Luis Villoro, teacher Galeano, the parents of a youth disappeared from Ayotzinapa seven months ago, the General Command of the armed group and the surprising public appearance of Subcomandante Galeano.
Before the event, six columns of Zapatista milicianos with green pants and brown shirts guarded the family members of those being paid homage to from the principal entrance to Oventik for a kilometer until arriving at the enclosure where the ceremony would take place.
Among the fog that covered the development of the entire event, the words of Don Pablo González Casanova were read first. He remembered many of the political differences that he always maintained with Luis Villoro.
On one occasion he dared to say to him: “Do you agree, Luis? We have always had theoretical differences and discussions, but we always find ourselves in the same battle as now with the Zapatistas,” to which Villoro responded: “The solution is not logical, but rather ethical.”
González Casanova eulogized Villoro’s contribution to critical thought in his text sent for the homage, as Adolfo Gilly would do, upon a reading after an extensive speech in which he rescued extracts from his books and essays in which he brought up the domination and liberation of the peoples.
It was Silvia Fernanda Navarro Solares, Villoro’s life-long compañera, who talked about the love and commitment the philosopher had for the Zapatista struggle and cause, for whom he dedicated much of his analysis of social and political theory.
Navarro said that she, as much as Villoro, were always assiduous visitors of the Zapatistas and their communities, so much so that he contributed resources for the construction of the Zapatista School in Oventik.
And that throughout these 21 years they have accompanied the indigenous Zapatista communities in their advances and achievements that since August 2003 made theirs full autonomy to work in matters of education and the development of all of the rebel autonomous peoples.
She eulogized the level of organization and discipline of the Zapatistas that have walked these two decades accompanied above all with other peoples of Mexico and the world that have been in solidarity with the Zapatista cause.
Juan Villoro at his turn pointed out that it was the Zapatistas that put into the national public arena the fraternal struggle of the masked ones that is not annihilating, but rather transforming.
In the name of his three absent siblings, Miguel, Carmen and Renata, he thanked the Zapatistas for the homage to his father that they organized in this Caracol, one of the seats of the five Good Government Juntas.
He said that his father hated homages and with all certainty would have been opposed to this event that the rebels organized, but in his absence he can’t do anything now, he said, to the complicit laugh from the crowd.
After Juan Villoro’s speech, Subcomandante Galeano suddenly appeared from among the masked indigenous peoples, where he had remained camouflaged the whole time, to read an extensive discourse that the “dead Marcos” wrote after his death in March 2014, a homage that he would have made in the middle of last year, but that had to be suspended because of the attack and the death of Galeano.
Galeano, who “buried” Marcos on May 25, 2014 after taking the name of the fallen Zapatista teacher, he revealed today to the family members present, that the philosopher Luis Villoro Toranzo was “a Zapatista compañero” that after a night and early morning in May many years ago he came out as a member of the EZLN with the condition that no one, not even his own family, would know about it.
He indicated that UNAM’s professor of philosophy, Don Luis Villoro was a Zapatista not only until his death but also as of now that he is remembered for his commitment as a sentinel that fulfilled the mission with which he was charged.
When they asked him then what his clandestine name would be, Don Luis Villoro elected his real name, which surprised the Zapatistas, but he assured what that would precisely do: it would hide the Zapatista with the role of a philosopher that the whole world already knew. Well then, nobody would know that Villoro would have really been an EZLN member.
He says that instead of a mask, Don Luis Villoro would always wear a black beret, to camouflage his identity. The first mission to which he was assigned was like that of everyone when they started in the ranks of the EZLN; he did the “post,” standing guard, because of which he was always a “Zapatista Sentinel,” which mission he knew how to fulfill until his last days.
Galeano reviewed that meeting with the Zapatista philosopher that even left his chestnut brown jacket hanging in the EZLN Barracks at which he presented himself to leave as one more in the ranks of the armed group.
After thanking the presence of the family members of Don Luis Villoro, he reviewed the life and trajectory of teacher Galeano in the ranks of the EZLN, who got to know the Zapatista guerillas in 1989. Little by little he was enrolled to be a miliciano that participated in the January 1, 1994 feat under the command of Insurgent Captain Zeta, in the taking of Las Margaritas, where the most affectionate Subcomandante Pedro would be killed with bullets.
Galeano said that the Zapatista teacher from whom he took his new name was a rebel, and that he also fulfilled all the missions to which he was assigned. Because of that and nothing less than that they have presented this deserved homage.
His daughter Lizbeth was there, as well as his son Mariano, his wife Selena and his father Manolo, who talked about Galeano, the teacher at the Escuelitas Zapatistas that the EZLN had organized months before to the thousands of adherents that came from diverse communities of the five autonomous regions where they have a presence.
Upon the event ending, those with ski masks sung the Zapatista Hymn and the milicianos broke ranks in order to protect the exit of the EZLN’s general command and SupGaleano.
Fernanda Navarro was moved; she thanked the homage with tears. Juan Villoro also said that his father would not have imagined this multitude of masked indigenous rebels that today rendered homage to him today for his support to critical thinking and for his unconditional support to the EZLN’s cause.
This Sunday, the family of Villoro Toranzo will deliver the philosopher’s ashes to the Zapatistas so that he may be buried in the shade of a luxuriant tree as was his wish, to finally rest in the territory to which he dedicated his last 20 years of life.
Originally Published in Spanish by Proceso.com.mx
Translation: Chiapas Support Committee
Sunday, May 3, 2015
En español: http://www.proceso.com.mx/?p=403142