After 15 years of the Caracoles and JBGs, “Zapatista Hope” continues

Zapatistas at the 3rd Annual CompArte Festival in the Caracol of Morelia.

Altamirano, Chiapas, August 9, 2018

The smiles of the grandparents, the reflection of the women, the curious looks of the children are images that stand out at the Zapatista CompArte Festival 2018. “Our Caracoles are flourishing.” “Our struggle is not going to end,” and “democracy, justice and freedom,” were heard in the melodies that indigenous Chiapanecos interpret in this also XV Anniversary in which they celebrate their decision to organize into The Caracoles and The Good Government Juntas (Juntas de Buen Gobierno, JBG).

From the Caracol de “Morelia,” with songs and theater pieces about daily situations are recreated by children, youth and adult Zapatistas Support Bases, to exemplify what the families that have decided to be in “resistance and rebellion” experience.

The assistance programs of the federal and state governments are a constant in the rebel dramatizations, about how the State “demobilizes resistance.” Faced with government harassment the indigenous peoples of Chiapas have responded with organization and proposals in areas that range from health to education, justice, food and security, among others.

In a playful and profound way, the Zapatistas expose in their theatrical works problems in which children, adolescents, youths, women, elders and men of the community see themselves reflected are reflected. Such situations have to do with consumerism and its repercussions on health, economic, social and cultural problems.

In one of the CompArte 2018 presentations, the line that the capitalist system follows to affect the communities is clearly dramatized: bad food sickens the population, which has to ask for expensive medical attention, which leads women and men to sell their few properties and even their land to pay off their debts. In the other face that the indigenous peoples in resistance act out in their presentations, health is for the entire population and large sums are not needed to be cared for in their autonomous clinics and hospitals. And collective work is also summoned to support the sick person.

History also becomes present inside of Zapatista CompArte, and passages from the Revolution to last July’s presidential elections are brought up. Social problems like unemployment, exploitation, repression, criminalizing of social protest are exposed in the gathering of the indigenous Chiapanecos with national and international attendees.

The children Amado, Defensa Zapatista, together with the Cat Dog (Gato Perro), Zapatista Hope together with his Bear (Oso) and Pablito all participated in the principal message of the EZLN Comandancia. Subcomandantes Moisés and Galeano were also found at the table, as well as the zone’s commander, Comandante Zebedeo. Sup Galeano exemplifies the current process of Zapatismo with the story: “The last slice of sweet bread (mantecada) in the Mexican southeast,” which is forthcoming.

“Caring for Zapatista hope” is the message that the EZLN emphasized, to the Comandant@s and thousands of Zapatista support bases, as well as national and international attendees. The Chiapaneco rebels indicated that if their “dreams and aspirations” don’t fit in one world, they would create another. “The world is not one,” they emphasized and they added that you can’t follow a single scheme or concept. The principal message to the “overseers (capitalist governments) past, present and future,” at the end of the participation of the insurgents, was the hand in the form of the Caracol.


PHOTOS: POZOL COLECTIVO, in collaboration with


Originally Published in Spanish by: POZOL COLECTIVO

Friday, August 10, 2018

Re-Published with English interpretation by the Chiapas Support Committee


One Comment on “After 15 years of the Caracoles and JBGs, “Zapatista Hope” continues

  1. Pingback: Zapatista News & Analysis | Blog of Zapatista Support Group Wellington, Aotearoa/New Zealand

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