With dances and slogans, members of the EZLN ratified their struggle that began on January 1, 1994 and called on the new generations of rebels not to forget those who gave them their lives.
By: Isaín Mandujano
SAN CRISTÓBAL DE LAS CASAS, Chis (proceso.com.mx)
Between dances and slogans, milicianxs and support bases of the Zapatista National Liberation Army (EZLN) ratified their struggle that began on January 1, 1994 and called on the new generations of rebels not to forget the dead who gave their lives since “the organization” was conceived in the deepest recesses of the Lacandón Jungle.
In the interior of Caracol VII Jacinto Canek, located in the Fray Bartolomé de Las Casas Indigenous Center for Integral Training AC-Universidad de la Tierra Chiapas (Cideci-Unitierra Chiapas) north of San Cristóbal de Las Casas, some two thousand masked members of the EZLN gathered.
After honoring the Mexican flag and the EZLN fighting flag, a black flag with a red five-pointed star in the center, one of the commanders of the armed group took the floor to recall what happened that night between December 31, 1993 and January 1, 1994. as well as the days of war that came afterwards, in which there were many dead, wounded and missing.
While they allowed access to journalists, they did not allow photographs, videos, much less record audio of the speech given only in Tsotsil. Except for the slogans that were in Castile, as they refer to the Spanish language.
The spokesman of the event thanked everyone for their presence to remember this date of the armed uprising “against the bad government.” But above all, he said, remembering the men and women who lost their lives “in those difficult days.”
“Let’s remember that this fight is a fight against the bad government, so let’s remember that we must be and continue to be organized, developing what we are doing. Let us all continue to work in unity, let us all continue in the organization because this is a long journey that has been made. It is a job that those who have already died left and we must continue, to continue remembering it,” the rebel commander said.
He pointed out that they continue to demand justice for their dead and disappeared, and that they did not stop shouting it because each and every one of those crimes that remain unpunished must be clarified.
He asked those present not to forget the dead, because thanks to them they have been able to continue fighting for a better quality of life and outlined that their levels of government are now determined by three hierarchies, by groups, by zones, and in each of them each of the men and women have an important role.
“I ask the new generations to learn the form of organization, to learn to work within their towns and communities so that they do not have to migrate to other countries or states to get work, because within organizations there are also jobs that are very important. That is why it’s relevant that the new generations learn all that, so that the organization can continue,” he added.
“Don’t change your way of thinking, keep it up, let’s keep thinking like this because so far the organization has walked well and we follow the legacy and the thinking of those who have already died. And while it has been transformed, this has been in the community, so it’s important that we continue to learn all this, “he said.
“¡Viva el EZLN! ¡viva the 29th anniversary of the armed uprising!, ¡vivan the insurgentas!, ¡vivan the insurgentes!, ¡vivan las milicianas!, ¡vivan los milicianos!, ¡viva Subcomandante Insurgente Pedro!, ¡vivan all of the fallen!, ¡viva the resistance and rebellion!, ¡viva subcomandante insurgente Moisés!, ¡viva subcomandante Insurgente Galeano!, ¡viva Chiapas!, ¡viva Chiapas!, ¡Viva México!, ¡Viva México, ¡Viva México!”, were the chants at the end of the political event.
Then it gives way to the musical group that enlivened the dance, where men and women filled the sports field.
They were first born as the National Liberation Forces (FLN, Fuerzas de Liberación Nacional) on November 17, 1983 in the heart of the Lacandón Jungle. Later, in 1992, to attend the march on October 12, 1992, to celebrate 500 years of indigenous resistance, they called themselves the Emiliano Zapata National Campesino Alliance (ANCIEZ, Alianza Nacional Campesina Emiliano Zapata). But on January 1, 1994, the whole world knew them as the EZLN.
Originally Published in Spanish by Proceso, Sunday, January 1, 2023, https://www.proceso.com.mx/nacional/estados/2023/1/1/el-ezln-conmemora-29-anos-de-lucha-con-un-llamado-las-nuevas-generaciones-de-rebeldes-299540.html and Re-Published with English interpretation by the Chiapas Support Committee