A Zapatista mountain on the high seas

By: Gilberto López y Rivas

The communiqué of the Zapatista National Liberation Army (Ejército Zapatista de Liberación Nacional, EZLN), entitled A mountain on the high seas, released by its spokesperson Subcomandante Moisés last October 5, contains long-range reflections about the national and global reality, as well as the announcement of a forthcoming departure of Zapatista delegations to the five continents, starting with Europe, and planning to arrive in Madrid, the Spanish capital, on August 13, 2021, “500 years after the supposed conquest of what is now Mexico.” [1] In that world that the Zapatista Mayas observe “sick and fragmented into millions of people, committed to their individual survival, but united under the oppression of a system that goes against the existence of Planet Earth,” with “nature wounded to death, and that, in its agony, warns humanity that the worst is yet to come,” their delegations will go to find, they maintain, “what makes them the same.”

They specifically want to speak with the Spanish people: “not to threaten, reproach, insult or demand. Not to demand that you ask us for forgiveness. Not to serve you or to serve us. We will go to tell the Spanish people two simple things: one, that they did not conquer us, that we continue in resistance and rebellion, and two, that they don’t have to ask us to forgive them for anything. Enough of playing with the distant past to justify, with demagoguery and hypocrisy, the current and ongoing crimes, like the case of brother Samir Flores Soberanes; the genocides hidden behind megaprojects, conceived and carried out to the joy of the powerful –the same one that whips all corners of the planet; the monetary encouragement of impunity for the paramilitaries; the purchase of consciences and dignities for 30 coins.” Given the manipulations of history from the presidential power, the severe criticisms of Zapatismo are expressed about what it considers “outdated nationalism,” which “wants sow racial rancor (…) with the supposed splendor of an empire, the Aztec, which grew at the expense of the blood of their fellow man, and that wants to convince us that, with the fall of that empire, the original peoples of these lands were defeated. Neither the Spanish State nor the Catholic Church has to ask us for forgiveness for anything. We will not echo the phonies who ride on our blood and thus hide the fact that their hands are stained with it.”

They point out that the powerful hide and retreat into the so-called national states and their walls, “and, in that impossible leap back, they revive fascist nationalisms, ridiculous chauvinisms and deafening verbiage” and, at this point, they warn of wars to come: “Those that feed on false, hollow, lying stories and that translate nationalities and races into supremacies that will impose themselves on the path of death and destruction.” And in that darkness and confusion that precedes those wars, Zapatismo denounces: “the attack, siege and persecution of any hint of creativity, intelligence and rationality. Faced with critical thinking, the powerful demand, demand and impose their fanaticism.”

This audacious planetary travel initiative corresponds to its persistent political will to break the sieges that the Mexican State has imposed upon the EZLN on multiple fronts of the counterinsurgency war –military, paramilitary, media, social networks, patronizing programs, delusional defamatory campaigns –, ever since the historic multiplication from 5 to 12 Good Government Juntas, which took place in 2019; the international meetings in their territory of thousands of women from more than 40 countries in 2018 and 2019; the seminar on critical thought versus the capitalist hydra in 2015, in which it called for the formation of the collective intellectual that the struggle of the peoples requires; the Escuelita courses in 2013, in which they shared their autonomous process; the mass marches through municipal capitals in 2012, on the occasion of the “end of the world,” and their tours, now memorable, through the country, like the march of the 1,111 in 1997, or the March of the Color of the Earth in 2001, the Intergalactic Encuentro in 1996, the first meeting against neoliberalism in the world arena, after the implosion of the USSR and the supposed “end of history.” That infusion of an isolated, essentialist, corporate movement, propagated by the intelligence services of the Mexican State and their spokespersons in the paid communications media, and which is now taken up by the staunch defenders of the 4T, has no trace of credibility or support.

Faced with neoliberals and neoconservatives, the EZLN represents the critical conscience of the country, made invisible by both. Nevertheless, its message of resistance, rebellion and life will undoubtedly find receptive ears in that new world that will be constructed from below.

[1] http://enlacezapatista.ezln.org.mx/2020/10/09/quinta-parte-la-mirada-y-la-distancia-a-la-puerta/


Originally Published in Spanish by La Jornada

Friday, October 16, 2020


Re-Published with English interpretation by the Chiapas Support Committee







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