ZAPATISTA NATIONAL LIBERATION ARMY
To the compañer@s of the Sixth
To whom it may concern
Compas and non-compas:
What we tell you comes from the very own voice of indigenous partisans that live in the different zones of the southeastern Mexican state of Chiapas. Although these partisans belong to, sympathize with or collaborate in the different institutional political parties (PRI, PAN, PRD, PVEM, PMRN, PANAL, PT, PES, PFH… and others that will be added from here to 2018), they have in common having received aid programs from the bad government and being human material for votes and earthly and celestial acarreos (carries) , besides, clearly, being indigenous and Mexican.
What you will now read not only has not appeared, does not appear, nor will appear in the local, national and international paid press; it also contradicts point by point government propaganda and the praises that its media sing (very bad, of course).
In synthesis, they are demonstrations of a crime: the “legal” dispossession of lands, history and culture of indigenous communities that believe that the bad governments and the partisan organizations are to help them. We have omitted the real names of communities and persons at the express request of the speakers, who, in some cases, fear reprisals; and in other cases because of the shame and mocking that they suffer because of the offense suffered.
The protagonists are only a small part of the victims of a war, the most brutal, terrible, bloody and destructive in world history: a war against Humanity.
We only give some examples because there are many, although the lie and the suffering are equal partners in all of them. Here goes then:
What is written is what is happening in the partisan communities.
It’s apparently not believed but now what we tell you is a fact, as the support base compañer@s tell us and say to us, and as the non-Zapatistas say in the communities, what is now being suffered in their towns. This is apart from what they are suffering in the other towns of the compañeros and compañeras of the National Indigenous Congress in our country, which is not well known because there are no communications media that get the information out, because the majority of the media are paid-off.
This that we write about is a thing of less than a year ago.
We see as if we were in an underground Drone to see how the partisans of below are, far from the governmental statistics and paid insertions in the media.
On the one side of La Realidad, in a community -good, it will continue being a community if they are going to defend themselves, because you will see what happened there-. They are not Zapatistas, but partisans.
A cattle project arrived there from the bad government. It gave cattle to all those that are ejido owners, not in common, but rather individually; individually their cows, their horse, it mounting, its corral, wire for enclosing it, salt and in common it gave them a veterinary medicine chest.
And then the people are very happy. They even have their posters and T-shirts that the government supplies. And the rulers had their photo taken and paid the media-for-pay so that they put it in big headlines: “Yes, the partisan communities advance, the Zapatista (communities) are the same or worse than in 1994.” The functionaries noted in their story that they spent a lot to hide what they stole: so much for them, so much for the governments, and another so much for the media-for-pay.
But it turns out that news travels around like a blind “Chicken Little” that doesn’t know where to go: that El Chapo already escaped for the second time, that they already grabbed him for a third time, that the Pope already came, that the Pope already left, and meanwhile in any corner of Mexico or of the world, they beat up-raped-incarcerated-murdered-disappeared-someone-unimportant. And so the news is part of the system, in other words it’s also merchandise. And it sells out if it tells, and it sells out if it’s quiet. And so the media receive more money for telling… and much more money for keeping quiet.
But not much time passed: as for one of those ejido owners in the town that receives government support, need took hold of him and he sold a cow. When we say “need or necessity” we mean that he had an emergency, like a grave illness. Then the project inspector came and started to count the cows, one-by-one, which he had given them, and well one of the cows he had given them was missing, in other words one of the ejido owner’s cows was missing. Then the inspector asked where the other cow is and the man answered: “I sold it out of necessity.” And the inspector told him: “you cannot sell it, why didn’t you ask permission? You have to buy one of the same value and the same size and breed.” And the ejido owner told the inspector: “but how, Señor, if I already exhausted the money due to necessity, where do I find the money to buy the similar one?” And the inspector responds: “that’s not my problem, it’s your problem, buy a similar one, that’s all, and if you don’t then we’re going to take away all the others.”
Not even a month passed and the bad little inspector came back and meets with the ejido owners and there is where he says to everyone dice, takes out the bunch of papers and shows the people and says, in other words the inspector says to the people: “all these papers are ready, the receipts, invoices for everything that you have received from the government, therefore the land is no longer yours, you must leave and better be good, because if not it’s going to be bad for you. If you leave in a good way it’s now ready where you are going to live: in Escárcega, on other words in the state of Campeche, or you leave for the Chimalapas.”
In other words, in all that time in which they were happy for the bad government’s support, in reality they were taking care of cattle that were not even theirs, like peons. And all the papers that they signed, with their ejido acts and their voting credentials, were in reality that they were wrongly selling their lands without knowing it.
That’s where the smiles ended, and then came pain, sadness, grief and rage.
Because in that place is a tourist zone. It’s where the Jataté River leaves a few islands that are very beautiful. That’s what the rich men that live off of other people’s money want. That is happening in the X community, official municipio of Maravilla Tenejapa, by the border with Guatemala.
Do you know where Los Chimalapas are? Yes, on the border with the state of Oaxaca. Do you know that there are frequently conflicts there, because of land problems, between Oaxacan and Chiapan campesinos? Good, because they are going to increase. The federal and state governments are using that place to relocate those who are displaced from their lands. That is what government populism does: it doesn’t resolve problems, it is making them bigger and moving them to other geographies so that they break out again in other calendars.
The people’s needs don’t matter to the bad governments and the party members of above. All their campaigns and social programs are not only a big lie and a source of money for enriching themselves, they are also a means for dispossession.
But let’s continue hearing and watching the partisans:
In the zone of the Caracol of Garrucha (but also in other zones) we relate what happened: in the W, X and Y communities they have received the “Pro Árbol” projects, there are more towns, but they don’t tell us about them. They HAVE told about those three communities, therefore we tell you. All three are about party members in the official municipio of Ocosingo, Chiapas.
The government has now prohibited all those communities from cutting trees for their needs, like firewood for cooking leña, and wood for the construction of their homes. The people now say that they now fear what is going to happen to them and that it only gave them a piece to make their milpas from low-growth woods and if they cut medium-growth woods they are fined. Then if they need to change a board on their champas,  they have to buy the board at the sawmills. The sawmills are those of big companies and they can cut all the trees they want, where the campesinos can’t cut. If they need firewood for cooking, well the campesinos have to buy it in another place and carry the thirds of firewood to their homes, walking with their load along the same road where the big trucks circulate with gigantic trunks from trees cut on the lands of the comunidad where their inhabitants cannot cut firewood “to take care of the ecology.”
Where does the campesino get the money to buy that board that he needs for his house or that firewood for cooking? Well from the governmental programs. What does one need to receive the government’s alms? Well, presenting minutes from the assembly, the credential, the CURP  and all those papers that mark persons just like the cattle and the trees are marked. Marks that are accordingly to give identity to individuals and what they do is take it away from them: no longer are they so and so, but rather the number such and so.
And for what do the bad governments want those papers? Well, to show that the campesinos legally sold their lands, and to be able to evict them, and legally displace them to other lands legally invaded. And so on.
But, how are the women in the partisan families? Well we’re going to tell you what the partisans say:
In 2 communities, X and Y, the women left to receive their projects, but the government told the young (unmarried) women to leave too and that the appointment is in Tuxtla Gutiérrez, which is the capital of the Mexican state of Chiapas, where the governor and his functionaries live. Well it turns out that, arriving in Tuxtla, they took the young women to one side and left the married women on another side. But it turned out that among the young women that they took was a married woman by mistake. And she communicated with her husband and told him that they have them enclosed in a house for 3 hours. And the unmarried women tell that they were obliged to have sexual relations. And right now it is being told in the community what it is that the functionaries are doing: they oblige them to have sexual relations in exchange for distributing the project. For example a young woman, was had problems because they obliged her to have sexual relations, and she asked her mother what it’s like the first time, if it’s painful to have sexual relations de por. And her mother asked her daughter: “why, daughter, what is it, why do you ask about that?” And the young woman had to tell her mother what happened in Tuxtla.
In other words the bad government is again imposing the right of pernada (when a young woman was going to get married, the finquero or estate owner had the right to rape the young woman) on the partisan communities. They govern per se and are seen like the finqueros and estate owners of before. And, like before, they receive the blessings of the High Clergy, which opens the doors of the cathedrals to them so that, through money, they receive the sacraments, forgive their crimes and rapes, and again pose, pure and smiling, in the photos of the paid press and on television. That is what the governors and functionaries do that pray with devotion and are first in line to receive the church’s blessings.
Hell on earth is blessed that way.
And the young party members?
What we’re telling you now we cannot tell of what town or towns, but it turns out that 2 mestizo men saying that they work with impresarios and that are looking for workers and that they know that there are those who want to go to work in the North and that it’s difficult to get there, and that they are positioned to take them and right away to the job. It turns out that those two recruited 9 youths. Months later, one achieved communicating with his family and it’s then that he tells them that he was wounded by a bullet, because he fled the place where they have them enclosed, and that the job is to grow marijuana and poppies, which they can’t leave, and that they were told clearly: “now you don’t leave here,” and because of that who knows if the others were able to leave, but at least their families know where they took them.
And in another partisan town: a family had dealings with the narco. Something happened, because the message to the father arrives: “if you don’t pay, your family pays,” they told him. And yes a cell phone arrived with the image of how they cut their daughter’s head off and if they want to bury her that she will be in such and so place. Other family members went to pick up the young woman’s body. But in the face of that disgrace the family is content that she makes good money and without much work.
And in another town, in the Northern Zone of Chiapas, government people came to offer coffee, milpa, school, clinic, church and road projects, and the people accepted. All the people are happy because they live well. Later, the government functionaries come again to tell them that they have to leave because there is uranium there, and that they are going to extract it and it’s very toxic, and thus they have to leave willingly or unwillingly. If they leave willingly they can go to Escárcega or in the Chimalapas.
And they showed them the invoices and receipts for all the expenses that they have received from the project. And their names are right there, their photos, the ejido assembly’s minutes, everything that demonstrates legally that they were not receiving support, but rather selling their land.
In another zone, in a town in the municipio of Simojovel, where there is amber and the people work those places to extract the amber in order to survive. Okay, because now they see that it was privatization of the ejido and that some towns fell into the trap. And it turns out that the one that was the owner of the [ejido] land was selling it piece-by-piece, in other words by the meter, and the people from there bought it to see if there is amber and they took some out, but then they ran them off because a Chinese investor came to extract the amber. The foreign capitalist had all the legal papers, which he had obtained thanks to the papers that the people signed to receive the governmental support and the projects.
In other towns of partisans foreign people have appeared and they have seized and charged them a fine for entering their lands without permission. In one community they charged 300,000 pesos and the strangers paid it; and they even said another time: “this is the first stage that we came, it’s going to have a second and third stage, and you are going to have a lot of work, in other words you are going to have a good example with the new owner of the land.” In another community, they also grabbed the strangers that came in a boat and charged them 100,000 pesos and the strangers paid and said that they come to investigate the place because there are sulfur mines there, among other things, and also that it’s the first stage and there’s going to be a second and third stage.
In another community, near Lake Miramar, a partisan from there commented that the number of governmental programs that they received at the beginning of December (2015) is the last one because with that payment for the land is complete and that the owner of the hill is going to occupy their land. The owner of the hill is Japanese. The issue is that in this community they are living with everything that they need to live, they are well taken case of, they even have an incubator for chickens. They received all the governmental support and it turns out that, without knowing it, they sold their lands to a foreigner.
Another governmental program is called PROSPERA, which used to be called Opportunities. The women that are inside of this program receive support for their children that are in school. But this program has its conditions; what is known about the conditions is: they oblige the women to consult frequently with a doctor and to get a pap smear by force and if they don’t do it they take the support (money) away from them, they are also prohibiting that the community practice some communal health services that are traditionally done in the communities, like the use of a midwife. Now, the women have to go into the city to give birth in hospitals. Clearly, that’s if they (the hospitals) accept them.
Another issue is that of digital television, the government is delivering televisions to all the partisan people. On December 22 and 23, 2015, all the people in all the communities of Las Margaritas municipio were gathered on the sports unit of Comitán. Since midnight the people were making a line to receive their television and it turned out that it got crowded there. What happened is that 2 people died, a little boy and a woman: the little boy died because he was trampled from the people’s pushing, and his mother wasn’t able to defend him; the woman was murdered when, upon arriving home, the husband took out his pistol and killed her for not having taken care of their son. A partisan gave this information.
A few days after they received the TVs, the partisan women commented that many TVs arrived broken and that upon connecting many others made a short and were burned; other, upon turning them on, nothing appeared; now they have to buy an apparatus in order to see anything, and the partisans comment that it’s a deal that Peña Nieto made with a Japanese company.
Well, those were just a few examples. There are many more, and they are equally or more chilling and infuriating as the ones we recounted here.
We are not lying or inventing things.
These are the words of the partisans who, in their shame and rage, have come to us, as Zapatistas, to ask for advice and support.
We Zapatistas listen respectfully.
We don’t scold them for their betrayals, attacks, and slander.
We don’t throw in their faces the fact that they have aided our persecutors in the past and many times helped those above attack us.
We don’t mock their tragedies and shame.
We do not take joy from their pain.
Nor do we tell them that they should become Zapatistas, because we know well that it is difficult to be a Zapatista.
This has been, is, and will be our life and death: as Zapatistas.
This is what we told them:
“We Zapatistas have nothing to offer, not paid projects, not money, not earthly or heavenly promises. We only have our example. Organize yourselves, don’t let anyone tell you what to do or how or when to do it, defend what is yours. Resist, struggle, live.”
Now perhaps you are asking yourselves what the partidistas do in the face of these aggressions, evictions, and impositions. And the answer is very simple: they pass themselves off as Zapatistas.
One partisan said: “That’s the only way we are respected. So we hide our papers and we change our names. Because of the ignorance imposed upon us by the government, we thought that the Zapatistas were bad people. We see now that’s not the case.
We hope that the same thing does not happen again, that we will no longer be spies and traitors. We see now that one who betrays will be betrayed. And the truth is that we are very ashamed and enraged that we have been mocked once again, as always.
We thought that we were doing well, and we were only awaiting the worst.
We thought that we had so much, and now we have nothing.
We were blind and now we are naked.
We made fun of you, calling you “fucking Indians,” and it turns out that you are much better off than we are because you have your organization that does not abandon you, that does not detour from its path, that does not sell out, does not give up.
That’s what they told us.
The Zapatista that was listening to the partisan responded:
“Changing course, selling out, surrendering? Never!
From the mountains of the Mexican Southeast,
Subcomandante Insurgente Moisés. Subcomandante Insurgente Galeano.
Mexico, February 2016
NOTICE FOR THE SIXTH AND THE NATIONAL INDIGENOUS CONGRESS:
In the next few days we will convoke a series of activities. Be alert.
Note: this text was produced in its entirely with a word processor using free and open code software, with a GNU/Linux operating system, distro UBUNTO 14.04 LTS. “UBUNTU” in the Zulu language means: “A person is a person through other people.” Say “yes” to free software.
 acarreos – transporting party members to a party’s political event or to the polls in order to swell increase the size of the crowd or the vote
 Champas are wooden huts.
 The CURP is an identification number for each Mexican citizen.
Originally Published in Spanish by Enlace Zapatista