Zapatistas and Indigenous peoples mark distance from López Obrador

The EZLN and Indigenous organizations accused López Obrador of continuing neoliberal policy. Photo: Enlace Zapatista.

By: Isaín Mandujano


The Zapatista National Liberation Army (EZLN), the National Indigenous Congress (CNI) and the Indigenous Government Council (CIG) agreed this weekend to realize a consultation with each and every one of the support base communities where they have a presence, to discuss “the incorporation in something larger, which will be capable of incorporating all struggles, thoughts and identities,” in order to confront the continuity of neoliberal policy in which, they accused, the government of Andrés Manuel López Obrador outlines.

They pointed out that the continuity not only is reflected in his intention to ratify the Free Trade Agreement (FTA) and not only that he won’t remove the armed forces from the streets and return them to their barracks, but that he also has “the intention of recruiting 50,000 young people to the armed ranks that have been used to repress, dispossess and sow terror in the entire nation.”

The original peoples represented in the Second National Assembly of the Indigenous Government Council and the peoples that make up the National Indigenous Congress celebrated in San Cristóbal de las Casas from October 11 to 14, marked their distance from the government of López Obrador upon warning that from today they have no doubt and that they will not be part “of any capitalist exponential transformation,” which with its corrupt practices, has set its sights on their territories.

“We will not be part of your thirsty lie for our blood and our extermination,” they specified.

In the joint pronouncement signed by the EZLN, the CNI and the CIG, after a four-day meeting at CIDECI-Unitierra, they announced that they met to see each other, consult and undertake new steps for the construction of the new world that they need.

“We say it with urgency, because we who are original peoples, in our struggle against the profound disease caused by capitalism, we weave life, because it is the charge we received from our ancestors.

“That, for us is to construct life and make it grow in every corner, with a hope that bets on memory and for the times to come. We weave collectively as people and in that work we also weave as persons,” they say in the letter published on Sunday.

They remembered that by agreement of the Fifth National Indigenous Congress they decided to form an Indigenous Government Congress (CIG), to tell the world that it is not true that government should be for destroying, but rather for constructing.

“It isn’t true that government should be to serve itself, but rather to serve [those it represents]. It ought to be a mirror of what we are when we dream about deciding our destiny, and not the lie that supplants us to say in our name that it wants to see everything around it dead.”

They pointed out that what they weave, what they call organization and the territory that they defend, is the language that they speak and refuse to lose, it’s the identity that they don’t forget and that they magnify with struggle.

“Therefore, exercising autonomy with our ancestral ways of walking asking ourselves, is the only door to being able to continue making life our irrevocable path, because outside everything was accommodated to guaranty the terror and profit of the powerful,” they said in the statement.

They indicated that the Indigenous Government Council is the way to honor all their differences, to find there the word on which we reflect, and that is a true government.

“The other [government], that which those above call the Mexican State, is only a lie made to impose, repress and hide the death that is now overflowing, making the deception evident. In other words, they are nothing more than a gang of thieves that pretend to be an institution of the right or of the left. In any case, they bring war with them and although the makeup is also overflowing on them, well the boss is the boss,” they mention.

Against the Maya Train (Tren Maya)

They indicated that they will now have to defend life from the threats that hover over the Binniza, Chontal, Ikoots, Mixe, Zoque, Nahua and Popoluca peoples of the Isthmus of Tehuantepec with the trans-Isthmus projects and the expansion of the Special Economic Zones, and over the Mayas with the capitalist train project that dispossesses and destroys the land on its pass.

“Lies abound in the face of the announced sowing of a million hectares with fruit and timber trees in the country’s south, the illegal and rigged consultation for the construction of Mexico City’s New Airport, or the offer to continue investing in the mining companies that have been granted concessions on large extensions of indigenous territory.

“Lies abound when without consulting our peoples the future government imposes the creation, in the style of the old indigenism, of the National Institute of Indigenous Peoples, commanded by deserters of our long resistance struggle,” the indigenous people represented in this Second Assembly specify.

“Lies abound when we see the cynicism with which the peoples of Mexico are delivered to US interests through the Free Trade Agreement, the same one that the future government of López Obrador promises to ratify, the one who in one of his first political speeches didn’t doubt in ratifying continuity in current monetary and fiscal policy.

“In other words, continuity in neoliberal policy, which will be guaranteed with the announcement that the military corporations will continue in the streets and with the intention of recruiting 50,000 young people into the ranks of the armed forces that have been used to repress, dispossess and sow terror in the whole nation,” they say.

In the communiqué they pointed out that when their call was to stop this war and that the rights of the indigenous peoples are recognized in the Mexican Constitution, translated into the San Andrés Accords, were betrayed “because the boss who they don’t see and who is the one those that govern serve, ordered extend over them many laws that make it legal to steal land from them with violence, programs to divide them and to make them fight among themselves, sowing the contempt and the racism in all directions.”

They indicated that approving the San Andrés Accords in the current context, “the successive reforms to constitutional Article 27 being in effect, which have transformed land into merchandise and have put the subsoil’s riches in the hands of the big companies, without ending the concessions for water, mining, national wealth and hydrocarbons, without imposing limits on the imperial power repealing the current Free Trade Agreement and severely limiting the big transnational corporations, without destroying the control that the big crime cartels exercise, supported by military corporations, over their territories, will be living, in the best of cases, a vulgar illusion, which hides from them the onslaught of money against the original peoples.

“We, in the National Indigenous Congress-Indigenous Governing Council, have no doubt and we will not be part of any exponential capitalist transformation, which with its corrupt practices, has its sights set on our territories,” the organizations asserted. “We will not be part of their lie that thirsts for our blood and our extermination.”

And it’s because of that they agreed to continue constructing the organization that becomes self-government, autonomous and rebellious, with compañeras and compañeros from other geographies, to break the collective inertia imposed on them.

“We agree to consult in our communities, peoples, nations, tribes and barrios the ways and means of constructing together with networks of networks, small and large, a coordination that enriches us in support and solidarity, that makes our differences our strength, in networks of resistance and rebellion with the word that makes us be only one, in a respectful and horizontal way,” the letter says.

“If it’s your decision, from below and autonomous, we call on you to consult in a serious and committed way within your organizations and collectives if it is necessary or not for you to form your Government Council,” the communiqué says.

And they conclude that, at their moment and in accordance with the consultation that they will hold in all their communities, the CNI and CIG will discuss incorporation into something bigger, which is capable of incorporating all their struggles, thoughts and identities.

“Something bigger that becomes stronger with the visions, modes, forms and times of each one.”


Originally Published in Spanish by

Monday, October 15, 2018

Re-Published with English interpretation by the Chiapas Support Committee



2 Comments on “Zapatistas and Indigenous peoples mark distance from López Obrador

  1. Reblogged this on The Most Revolutionary Act and commented:
    Zapatistas and indigenous peoples oppose Mexico president Obrador’s continuation of neoliberal policies – eg ratification of Trump’s one-sided Free Trade agreement and continuing use of Mexican military to “respress, dispossess and sow terror.”

  2. Pingback: EZLN warns Zapatistas will not permit ‘Maya Train’ mega Rail project – The Free

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