The anticapitalist struggle of the EZLN and the CNI-CIG

Art from the Zapatista communities. Note the building with a vegetable garden next to it. On the side of the building it says: “autonomous school” and below that: “without education there is no revolution.” A Casa de Salud (House of health) is in the background.

By: Gilberto López y Rivas

The Second National Assembly of the National Indigenous Congress-Indigenous Governing Council-Zapatista National Liberation Army held from October 11 to 14 at the Cideci-Unitierra, in San Cristóbal de las Casas, Chiapas, constituted a historic event. The extraordinary organizational ability, is shown in an ascending spiral (dialectic) methodology of axes of work-operative-resolving commissions and positioning; the democratic forms of reaching consensus; the coherence and political awareness of delegates and councilors, refer to a movement characterized by its anti-capitalism and the strengthening of autonomies unfold as an invaluable instrument of struggle against the re-colonization of the capitalist corporations and the bad government’s repressive groups, both “legal” and clandestine.

The meeting revealed the polychromatic richness of a movement that with its operational commissions and its now 10 axes of work: 1) Land and territory, dispossession and defense; 2) Autonomy; 3) Women; 4) Youth; 5) Sexual diversity; 6) Justice; 7) People with disabilities; 8) Migrants; 9) Work and exploitation; and 10) Education, art and culture, is disposed to “undertake new steps for the construction of the new world that we need.” (

The Second National Assembly ratifies a political subject, –that cannot be made invisible by the racism of the political class–, ”and that defines itself as original peoples that in the “struggle against the profound disease caused by capitalism, we weave life, because it is the charge we received from our ancestors… What we weave, we call organization, and it is the territory that we defend, it is the language that we speak and refuse to lose, it is the identity that we don’t forget and that we magnify with struggle. But it turns out that it’s also what the owners of money need to destroy and convert into more money, in order to make merchandise with exploitation, with poverty, disease and with the death of many other millions of people that are not from our peoples and that live in the cities and in the countryside. In other words, it’s not true that death, repression, dispossession and contempt are only for we original peoples.”

The Second National Assembly endorsed autonomy as the “only door to continue making life our unwavering path.” The manner in which the EZLN-CNI-CIG has assumed the autonomic process is extraordinary. The diverse and stimulating speeches of the participants in the Assembly, including those of the Zapatista comandantes, testify that the so-called “autonomic subject” is a predominant reality in national territory, and those who seek to continue considering the original peoples as victims and passive subjects of the “events of history” commit a grave political error.

The political position that the EZLN-CNI-CIG signed in relation to the incoming government is clear and unambiguous: “Lies abound when the Binniza, Chontal, Ikoots, Mixe, Zoque, Nahua and Popoluca peoples of the Isthmus of Tehuantepec are threatened with its trans-isthmus projects and the expansion of the Special Economic Zones, and the Maya peoples with its project of the capitalist train that dispossesses and destroys the land in its pass. Lies abound faced with the announced planting of a million hectares with fruit and timber trees in the country’s south, faced with the illegal and rigged consultation for the construction of the New Mexico City Airport, or the offer for the mining companies that have been granted large extensions of indigenous territories to continue investing. Lies abound when without consulting our peoples the future government imposes the creation, in the style of the old indigenismo, of the National Institute of Indigenous Peoples, commanded by deserters from our long resistance struggle. Lies abound when we see the cynicism with which the peoples of Mexico are delivered to the interests of the United States through the Free Trade Agreement, which the future government of López Obrador promises to ratify. In one of his first speeches López Obrador did not hesitate to confirm continuity in the current monetary and fiscal policy, in other words, continuity in neoliberal policy, which will be guaranteed with the announcement that the military corporations will stay in the streets and with his intention to recruit 50,000 young people into the ranks of the armed forces that have served to repress, dispossess and sow terror throughout the nation.”

The CNI-CIG-EZLN proposes to continue constructing “the organization that becomes a self-government, autonomous and rebellious, with compañeras and compañeros of other geographies …until our fabric is joined with others that sprout up in all corners of Mexico and the world so that councils are made…”

So be it.


Originally Published in Spanish by La Jornada

Friday, October 19, 2018

Re-Published with English interpretation by the Chiapas



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