[Admin’s intro: Mexico’s president, Andrés Manuel López Obrador (AMLO), has consistently referred to the Zapatistas, indigenous territory defenders, as well as supporters of the EZLN and the CNI-CIG as “conservatives” for opposing the Maya Train and the Trans-Isthmus Corridor, claiming that these anti-capitalists are conservative because they oppose progress and development.]
By: Gilberto López Y Rivas
President Andrés Manuel López Obrador seeks to impose a dichotomous perspective in the political debate about the complex reality that the country is experiencing. He limits that: “there’s nowhere to do it,” calls for “no half measures” and demands definitions: “either we are conservatives or we are liberals,” “or you’re with the 4T or against it.” This disjunctive, in addition to the equivocally overlapping terms that defined the oligarchic groups confronted in the 19th century by divergent nation-State projects, leaves out political forces and worldviews that have resisted the exploitation and domination of capitalism, in its different stages of accumulation.
The governing group attempts to deny the existence of various leftist currents in national life that, for more than a century, have boldly contributed to seeking structural transformations, beyond the mere rotation of political elites, with a cost of innumerable deaths, forced disappearances, torture, prison and the exile of men and women who were committed to the cause of “national liberation” and “socialist revolution,” regardless of their meanings to each group.
Also, the complaints, denunciations and statements of the broad and representative strip that below and to the left converge with the Zapatista National Liberation Army, the National Indigenous Congress and the Indigenous Government Council are ignored. Also, critical positions of movements and organizations anchored in community territories in which megaprojects are implanted are not taken into account; nor are the protests of civil society in the face of ongoing militarization, the daily organized crime violence, femicides and police brutality, or in the face of unjustifiable cuts in the ambit of culture and defense of cultural heritage, which have been seriously affected in their substantive functions.
The effort to make the lefts invisible or publicly defame them reaches the presidential cabinet. The Secretary of the Semarnat, Víctor Toledo, classifies the EZLN’s political positions as “extreme and outdated” and “a set of vulgar expressions, offenses that reveal the intolerance of the 4T’s spokespersons in the face of criticism and, in particular, the derogatory treatment towards a movement of historical significance and scope, such as that of the Zapatista Mayas, who, for some years, had warned about the “storm” that was coming, and who, in their last communiqué, on March 16 of this year, announced the closure of the Caracoles and Centers of Resistance and Rebellion because of Covid-19, and called to: “not drop the fight against femicidal violence, continue the fight in defense of territory and Mother Earth, keep up the fight for [email protected] [email protected], [email protected] and [email protected], and raise the banner of the fight for humanity high (…) We call to not lose human contact, but rather to temporarily change the ways of knowing our compañeras, compañeros, sisters and brothers. The word and the ear, with the heart, have many ways, paths, calendars and geographies for meeting with each other. And this struggle for life can be one of them.”
The movements of indigenous peoples in particular, which originate in the depths of the earth, refuse to accept and support a transformation based on megaprojects that, in the midst of a health emergency, are underway in spite of numerous denunciations, statements, calls, open letters, research studies, expert opinions, recommendations from international organisms, legal filings, protest demonstrations, etcetera, unnoticed by the 4T government.
From ethnocentric concepts of “progress and development“ the megaprojects are forced on subjects considered, as in the past, passive agents of State action, without recognizing their contributions to a project of nation and society that arises from a constituent power of the peoples. If we’re dealing with transformations, the original peoples contribute the collectivist sense of their socio-political and cultural structures; they have a strategy as a socio-political subject, autonomy, for resisting capitalist re-colonization, from a class and gender perspective, egalitarian and emancipatory, which is expressed in “govern obeying” (“mandar obedeciendo“), the seven principles and the EZLN’s Women’s Revolutionary Law. It’s a strategy that establishes a relationship of respect for Mother Earth and one of collective responsibility towards the coming generations. The autonomic processes pose a step towards a post-pandemic world that avoids the disappearance of the human species and, even of life on Earth.
But these don’t seem to be themes that interest either “liberals“ or “conservatives.“
Originally Published in Spanish by La Jornada
Friday, June 12, 2020
Re-Published with English interpretation by the Chiapas Support Committee