By: Angeles Mariscal
In the Jungle zone of Chiapas, the Zapatista National Liberation Army (EZLN, its initials in Spanish) inaugurated with a celebration that their leaders attended, among them Subcomandante Insurgente Galeano -before Marcos-, two of the seven new “Caracoles” and their regional government structures that it created in recent months, which demonstrates the growth of their presence in the indigenous regions of Chiapas.
The government centers that were inaugurated are: Caracol 8 “The light that shines on the world,” in Dolores Hidalgo community  and Caracol 10 “Flowering the Rebel Seed,” in Patria Nueva community, both in the [official] municipality of Ocosingo.
We’re talking about places where they have schools, auditoriums, esplanades for mass meeting places, and offices where the autonomous authorities perform official business.
Just in August 2019, the EZLN announced that the new Caracoles, or Centers of Autonomous Resistance and Rebellion Zapatista (Crarez), have in their structures Good Government Juntas, which are institutions of self-government parallel to the official government. In the inauguration that took place over the weekend, there was a deployment of its military forces –known as milicianas- that thousands of men and women make up and that have military structure and formation. They marched and made representations.
Members of the Clandestine Committee and the EZLN’s General Command, which is made up of indigenous representatives of various Chiapas regions, witnessed this deployment. Among them one stands out for having been the spokesperson and a political-military operator of the insurgent group, Subcomandante Insurgente Galeano, before known as Marcos.
For two days, the Zapatistas celebrate with the deployment of their forces in the interior of the Caracol, and also with cultural and sports activities.
According to people who attended, the EZLN leaders pointed out in the inauguration speech: “Today it was our responsibility to be witnesses to this event. Some were also witnesses to other events just like this one in other places. There will also be the opening of other new caracoles in other places; and thus demonstrating that every time, that every day, we are here and that we exist as the Zapatista Army.”
“As the EZLN’s bases, we are working on autonomy, and this is the creation of Caracoles as will happen in other places and not only here. All the Zapatista peoples are celebrating, we are happy, we are celebrating this birth. Here will be the offices where the compañeros will be working during the next three years,” they said in relation to the process that they have formed ever since they announced their creation in January 1994.
Until a few months ago, the EZLN had five Caracoles – Oventic, La Realidad, La Garrucha, Roberto Barrios and Morelia- that were created in the first 15 years of political and organizational work. Now they have 12, all of them in indigenous regions of Chiapas.
 Dolores Hidalgo is in the autonomous Zapatista municipality of San Manuel. Back in the days of hermanamientos (partnering), the Chiapas Support Committee was partnered with San Manuel and had the amazing experience of watching the compas grow the municipality.
Originally Published in Spanish by La Jornada
Monday, February 3, 2020
Re-Published with English interpretation by the Chiapas Support Committee