They broke the siege and extended their autonomous territory!

Zapatista community life.

 By: Gilberto López y Rivas

On August 17, 2019, the insurgent subcomandante Moisés, spokesman of the Zapatista Army of National Liberation (EZLN), published a historic communique in which this organization is accountable to the CNI-CIG, its spokeswoman, organizations, collective groups and people from Mexico and the world, “who care about the Zapatista peoples and continue with their hearts beating next to ours”.

In this document -ignored, minimized or misrepresented by the mainstream media and the political class as usual – it is recalled that three years ago, the peoples organized in the National Indigenous Congress, together with the EZLN, faced with recolonization and the humanitarian catastrophe of capitalist corporations and bad governments, pledged to go on the offensive in defense of territory and Mother Earth, and to spread the word and action of resistance and rebellion.

In fulfillment of the committed word, an ethical practice that characterizes the Zapatistas, he communicates that, like the CNI-CIG, the EZLN “went on the offensive in its fight for the word, the idea and the organization,” announcing extraordinary news for the emancipatory movements in the planetary sphere: the rupture of the counter-insurgency siege and the establishment of “new caracoles and more autonomous Zapatista rebel municipalities, in new areas of the Mexican southeast.”

These new rebel self-governments do not constitute a coup or media shows such as those frequently observed in the honorable Congress of the Union or in presidential morning press conferences, but the product of “years of silent work, despite the siege, despite the campaigns of lies, in spite of the defamations, in spite of the military patrols, in spite of the National Guard, in spite of the counterinsurgency campaigns disguised as social programs, in spite of the oblivion and contempt (…) Although slowly, as it should be according to their name, the five original caracoles were reproduced after 15 years of political and organizational work; the MAREZ (Municipios Autónomos Rebeldes Zapatistas) and their Good Government Juntas also had to raise and watch them grow. Now there will be 12 caracoles with Good Government Juntas.”

 With this transcendent step, the Zapatista Mayas endorse the essential principle of the autonomous strategy: “We knew and we know that our freedom will only be the work of ourselves, the original peoples”, and, in that direction, they identify as a crucial factor in this exponential growth the political organizational work and the example of women, men, children and elderly Zapatista support bases, in an outstanding way, of the women and young Zapatistas. In the other equidistant pole of the passive subject who receives individualized and clientelist governmental help, in the Zapatista experience: The compañeras of all ages mobilized to talk with other sisters with or without organization. The young Zapatistas, without abandoning their wishes and desires, learned about science and the arts, and spread it to more and more young people. Thus, the EZLN can affirm, without sorrow and with pride, that the Zapatista women not only go forward to, like the Pujuy bird, mark the way for us and not get lost; they also go on the sides so that we do not deviate; and in the back so we don’t delay.

In their communique they ratify the critical position against the policy of the Fourth Transformation, which they describe as destructive of the community and nature, and point out that: “traditionally partisan communities have been hurt by the contempt, racism and voracity of the current government, and have gone into open or hidden rebellion. The one who thought that, with his counterinsurgency alms policy, he would divide Zapatismo and buy the loyalty of non-Zapatistas, encouraging confrontation and discouragement, actually gave the missing arguments to convince those brothers and sisters that the land and nature must be defended. The bad government thought and thinks that what people expect and need are monetary alms.

This prolonged process of reflection and search, with thousands of community assemblies, in which politicized and motivated autonomous subjects are forged in “govern by obeying” (mandar obedeciendo), is really constituted in a transformation of revolutionary scopes to which, again, without avant-garde or hegemonism, the Zapatista Mayas summon us with their example. Let Caracoles and Autonomous Resistance Centers sprout throughout the national and world geography!, with autonomous processes from below and to the left, anti-capitalist and anti-patriarchal, to make possible, in our realities, that concrete utopia built by the Zapatista brothers and sisters. It is time to break our sieges, to be another of the mallets that will tear down the walls, of the many winds that will sweep the earth, another of the many seeds from which other worlds will be born!


Originally Published in Spanish by La Jornada

Friday, September 13, 2019

Re-Published with English interpretation by the Chiapas Support Committee


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