Chiapas Support Committee

The historical meanings of the Kurdish revolution

Women’s Self-Defense Forces in Rojava

By: Gilberto López Y Rivas

The revolutionary experience of the Kurdish people, who have implemented, particularly in Rojava (northern Syria), what is called Democratic Confederalism, together with the autonomic governments of the Zapatista Mayas of the EZLN in Chiapas, constitute highly advanced alternative emancipatory processes worldwide. Democratic Confederalism is based on community autonomies of various levels, on participatory democracies of sectors, peoples and cultural groups of society, on ecological sustainability and on the woman as the subject of transformation with decision-making ability in all political, military, social and economic ambits.

The Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), which encourages this cause and comes from an orthodox Marxism and a struggle of more than 40 years, abandons the idea of a national State, criticizes both real socialism and all the existing governments. The PKK maintain that the State holds the seed of capitalism and that freedom and State can never coexist, since it develops the power of a minority over the rest of the population.

Just like in the EZLN’s project of multiethnic and religious tolerance, in the Democratic Confederalism of northern Syria, the Kurds coexist with Arabs, Assyrians, Turkmens, Chechens, Circassians, Muslims, Christians, Yazidis and other doctrines and sects, beginning with a mutual coexistence and fraternity among peoples. In the Social Contract of the Democratic Federation of Northern Syria, it “guarantees the equality of all peoples in matters of rights and duties, respect for human rights statutes and preservation of national and international peace.”

This founding document institutes that the Democratic Federation is based on the collectivization of land, water and energy resources; it adopts a social economy and ecological industry; the wealth and natural resources are public property; it does not permit exploitation, monopoly, or reification of women; it supports social and health coverage for all individuals. It reiterates that women will enjoy their free will in the democratic family, constructed on the basis of a common egalitarian life and that young people are the driving force of society and their participation in all areas must be guaranteed. Cultural oppression and assimilation, extermination and occupation are considered a crime against humanity and resistance to these practices is legitimate. Within the Federation education is free at all levels, with primary and secondary education being compulsory; while the rights to work, health and housing are insured.

The politico-social system of the Federation is based on the formation of communes, social institutions, unions and assemblies being the common fundamental organizational form of direct democracy, the instances for management and decision-making, while the assemblies are the social units that represent the people, in which they debate and decide at the level of towns, neighborhoods, cities, districts, regions and cantons.

In Turkey, Democratic Confederalism operates through the Democratic Party of the Peoples and the Democratic Society Party, both of which participated victoriously in the elections of more than 100 municipalities, until the Turkish government declared them terrorists with an emergency law and occupied governmental apparatuses with their delegates. This State coup produced a great repression that imprisoned more than 10,000 men and women, who today are part of the numerous political prisoners of Kurdish origin. Since 2016, Turkish aviation and artillery bombed nine Kurdish cities, and its army occupied the city of Afrin, in northern Syria by blood and fire. As of this date, they are preparing for an offensive against two other Rojava cantons.

In Iraq, the Kurds maintain a relative autonomy, with self-governments and parties that support the idea of establishing a national state. However, the influence of Democratic Confederalism in Iraqi cities is felt in the Democratic Solution Party, while in the liberated mountainous regions that cover territories in Iraq, Turkey and Iran, Democratic Confederalism is established, and guarded by guerilla self-defense groups.

In Iran, people are organized through the Free East Kurdistan Party, the Democratic Society Party and the Free Life Party, brutally repressed by the confessional government of the ayatollahs. Here in Iran, guerilla self-defense forces of men and, separately, women also operate.

The Kurdish revolution seeks above all else the inner transformation of individuals. It’s about eradicating patriarchal, classist and racist ideology in order to achieve the liberation of society and the end of capitalism and imperialism.


Originally Published in Spanish by La Jornada

Friday, November 30, 2018

Re-Published with English interpretation by the Chiapas Support Committee



A qualitative leap in the storms

35th Anniversary of the EZLN’s Founding.

By: Raúl Zibechi.

“We are entering a new normal. Things are not like they were 10 years ago.” Phrases don’t belong to any intellectual, but rather to someone really important: the chief of a California county’s firefighters. They integrate the reporting of the Hispanic-American journalist Gustavo Arellano about the most recent and devastating fires, which can serve as an introduction to the chaotic world into which we are entering

The most experienced firefighters of that state assure that they had never seen anything like it. Some 10,000 buildings burned in the small city of Paradise, there were nearly 1,000 disappeared and the dead approached 100. Specialists assure that there is no longer a fire season, as there has been until now, because they happen throughout the year.

To climate change is added the disastrous urbanization of rural areas. One hundred million dead trees in California in only four years of draught (2011-2015), to which is added the brutal real estate speculation that has urbanized rural areas, an impressive “colonization of the countryside”.

Can we imagine what it would be like if hurricanes and tsunamis would stop being something exceptional or temporary to become “a new normal?” Add that most of the big cities of the southern world don’t have safe drinking water and their inhabitants have to buy it, when they can, so as not to get sick. The 20 million inhabitants of Delhi live 10 years less because of air pollution, 11 times higher than that permitted by the World Health Organization.

We are entering the moment in which the storm becomes daily, aggravated by a new political conjuncture in which the Trumps and the Bolsonaros form part of the new decoration. Even the mediocre French president Emmanuel Macron, declared that the world will be “doomed to chaos” if the decadent European Union doesn’t find a proper direction.

If it’s true, as the Brazilian philosopher Marcos Nobre says, that Bolsonaro was the candidate of the collapse and “needs the collapse to maintain himself,” we must reflect on this argument. In my view, the new conservatism (some call it “fascism”) as well as progressivism, are the bitter fruit of the collapse and have broad futures ahead. As was evident in Brazil, Lula and Bolsonaro are complementary and everyone will be able to reach similar conclusions in their own country. I believe it’s necessary to reflect on what we understand by collapse, those whom it will affect and how we could get out of it.

In the first place, making it clear that the collapse underway is a creation of those above, the dominant class or the richest one percent, to overcome a situation of extreme weakness due to a lack of legitimacy with respect to the rest of humanity. The collapse is a policy of above to control and discipline those below and, eventually, enclose them in real concentration camps, without wire fences but surrounded by fields with glyphosate, mono-crops, mega-projects and open pit mining.

I vehemently reject the idea that the collapse is a natural process or one of nature, and I insist on its character as a political project that reduces the planet’s population in order to stabilize the domination. This plan is also externalized in natural phenomena, but its starting point is the dominant class.

The second question is that it principally affects the popular sectors, native peoples, Africans liberated from slavery, rural families and the urban peripheries. Those of us below are superfluous in this world of accumulation by theft, because as has already been said we are the major obstacle to converting la nature into merchandise.

Those above attack us, but not because of ideological reasons, because of racism or femicidal machismo, but they use these instruments of domination and control to lubricate their illegitimate and often illegal enrichment. They turned violent to accumulate.

The third thing is that it doesn’t matter if these processes occur under conservative or progressive governments, since they cannot control accumulation by theft, which certainly does not convert them into innocents. South American progressivism has drowned because of the violence and corruption that the big megaprojects generated, more than because of the actions of the right.

As the leftist journalist Leonardo Sakamoto points out, the aberration of building a hydroelectric dam such as Belo Monte (in the middle of the Amazon), with its inevitable sequel of “violence against the indigenous populations, slave labor and human trafficking,” was the fruit of Lula’s developmental arrogance. Megaprojects are not “errors” but the core of progressivism.

Finally, this new reality disables our old strategies and forces us to build “arks” (or however each one wants to call the spaces of autonomy and self-defense) that we need to not shipwreck and die in the storm.


Originally Published in Spanish by La Jornada

Friday, November 23, 2018

Re-Published with English interpretation by the Chiapas Support Committee






Displaced return to Chavajebal

Residents of Chavajebal flee violence.

By: Elio Henríquez

San Cristóbal de las Casas, Chiapas

The more than 1,700 indigenous people displaced from the community of Chavajebal, El Bosque municipality, for fear of being attacked by an armed group, returned to their homes this Saturday, after leaving on November 7, residents of the municipal capital reported.

They said that the return came after Friday, the two groups –one of Zapatistas and the other of militants of political parties– reached an agreement during a 10-hour meeting held in Simojovel, with the mediation of parish priests of Simojovel and El Bosque, Marcelo Pérez Pérez and Elder López Velasco, respectively, as well as the Fray Bartolomé de Las Casas Human Rights Center.

“At 7 o’clock in the morning this Saturday the first groups that were in the municipal capital of El Bosque”, located in the north of Chiapas, began to return to Chavajebal, residents reported. “At 11 o’clock all those who were in that capital had already left in trucks.”

They said that the only ones that by agreement of the parties did not return are some 30 residents pointed to as having participated in the October 24 ambush in which were murdered Miguel Pérez López, president of the ejido commission of Chavajebal and the comunero Carmelino de Jesús Ruiz Álvarez, as well as in the murder of Mateo Jiménez Sánchez, which occurred on November 7 and provoked the displacement.

“The return took place this Saturday in an atmosphere of tranquility, and it is therefore expected that there will be no problems,” said the residents consulted.

One hundred decide not to return

Other people, separately, assured that a group of around 100 residents who are sheltered in the community of San Pedro Nixtalucum decided not to return to the community because security conditions do not exist, and because neither the state authorities or the municipal authorities of El Bosque participated in the negotiations.

“This group disagrees with the agreement that was signed and therefore would remain displaced,” they said.


Originally Published in Spanish by La Jornada

Sunday, November 25, 2018

Re-Published with English interpretation by the Chiapas Support Committee



Indigenous groups reject Maya Train (Tren Maya) plan and vote

This map shows Tren Maya’s stations in Chiapas, Tabasco and on the Yucatán Peninsula.

By: Luis A. Boffil Gómez

Mérida, Yucatán

More than 80 indigenous groupings are opposed to the Tren Maya (Maya Train) that president-elect Andrés Manuel López Obrador promotes, because they consider that it will not bring and benefits for the zone’s natives, and the rejected the national “consulta” (vote) regarding it.

In a communiqué, they repudiated the vote foreseen for November 24 and 25 [1] about the Maya Train and other initiatives of the next government. “That no person outside the Yucatán Peninsula may seek to decide what can be done or not be done in our territories, just as we will never attempt to decide what will be done with their property, rights and possessions. A real consultation for the indigenous peoples must comply with the guiding principles: prior, free, informed, in good faith and culturally adequate,” they indicated.

They emphasized that during the Enrique Peña Nieto government they followed the Maya Train megaproject “and from that moment we disapproved of it, disliked it, because it violates the indigenous rights of which we are subjects and are consecrated in our Political Constitution.”

They hoped, they added, “that with the change of administration the indigenous communities would be visible to the Federation and that it would reconsider the ways for attempting to put the Maya Train megaproject into effect, but we realize with displeasure that in the new administration the story will not change and the justice expected will not come to the indigenous peoples of Mexico.”

They assured that the work has already started, “and proof of that is that they already have budgets, bids, designs and even a start date, and no one has agreed to absolutely anything with us.

“The Maya Train mega-project will not bring us benefits of regional development, it is not planned for us, the common people; it’s a tourist project that will only benefit the rich and the foreigners. We, owners of the lands, will only see it pass since stations are not contemplated in most of our towns, and are only considered for points of tourist interest that big capital has already captured.”

Among the signers are the Regional Indigenous and Popular Council of Xpujil, Collective of Maya Communities of Los Chenes, Muuch Kambal, Conhuas Ejido, Calakmul and the Indigenous Collective of Halachó.

[1] The results of the Consulta will be announced later today, November 26, 2018.


Originally Published in Spanish by La Jornada

Thursday, November 22, 2018

-*- -*-  -*-

And, check out this article below!

Despite rejection, López Obrador announces that construction of the Maya Train (Tren Maya) will begin on December 16

Published by Chiapas Paralelo

*This project has an estimated completion of four years.

President elect Andrés Manuel López Obrador declared that construction will begin December 16 with a public budget of 6 billion pesos, but before that, they will hold a consultation to know the opinion of the citizenry, according to what Animal Político published.

López Obrador visited Mérida, Yucatán at a meeting with governors involved in the Maya Train’s trajectory. Among those present were the governor-elect of Chiapas, Rutilio Escandón Cadenas, and the ex-governor, interim governor and senator for Chiapas, Manuel Velasco Coello.

The work will start on December 16 with an inaugural ceremony in Palenque, Chiapas.

Said train would have a route in Cancún-Tulum-Bacalar-Xpuilt-Escárcega-Candelaria-Palenque. On the other hand, with the extension the new route would be Palenque-Candelaria-Escárcega-Campeche-Mérida-Valladolid-Cancún.

However, López Obrador announced that on November 24 and 25 a vote will be held about the project in order to know the citizens’ opinion, although, he didn’t explain if the result would influence continuing the project.

“This month we are going to carry out a wide-ranging citizen consultation (vote) to ask Mexicans, not only inhabitants of the southeast, but all Mexicans for their opinion on this Maya Train project,” López Obrador said.

 The consultation

Rogelio Jiménez Pons, AMLO’s designee as the next director of the National Fund for Tourism Promotion (Fonatur), detailed that the first work on the Maya Train would be to open the passage for fauna and complementary infrastructure.

Pons explained that the project would try not to displace people from their communities, to the contrary, they will seek that they participate in the project.

He also affirmed that the vote would be held in the native languages of the zones involved. With respect to the national vote, he did not give more details, the news outlet reported.

The Maya Train could travel up to a speed of 150 kilometers per hour, according to Rogelio Jiménez Pons’ predictions.

The supposed “acceptance” of the peoples 

The president-elect declared in September that communities, ejidos and small property owners accepted the execution of the Maya-Peninsular Train project; however, he did not say which ones, or how and when they were consulted.

According to information from the newspaper Reforma, AMLO would have assured: “there are already consultations, the people want this for the southeast, because, if we look at the map, in the last 30 years development has centered on the Riviera Maya and the rest of the southeast remained abandoned.” He said this without delving into the way in which citizens close to the project were informed.

In August, Subcomandante Galeano (formerly Marcos) of the Zapatista National Liberation Army (EZLN) said that the principal projects of López Obrador are going to destroy the territories of the original peoples: the million hectares in the Lacandón, the Maya Train, or the corridor on the Isthmus that they want to make, among others.

In that regard, the National Network of Civilian and Human Rights Organizations “All Rights for All” (RedTDT), which carries out projects in the zone without a process of free, prior and informed consent and consultation said that the Maya Train project repeats the same model of imposition and discrimination.

The Civil Society Organization Las Abejas of Acteal communicated that in the Andrés Manuel López Obrador government, the policy of looting and destruction of territories will continue, because the Maya Train project represents a project that destroys Mother Earth.

The Maya Train has an estimated route of 2400 kilometers in the Mexican southeast, 42 kilometers of them through Chiapas. AMLO said that the road that is already built on the limits between Chiapas and Tabasco would be enabled. This stretch is also used by thousands of migrants seeking to reach the United States.


Originally Published in Spanish by Chiapas Paralelo

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Re-Published with English interpretation by the Chiapas Support Committee


EZLN, CNI-CIG Communiqué to the Mapuche people

Funeral for the young Mapuche Camilo Catrillanca, murdered by the Chilean military’s Jungle Command. Photo: Desinformémonos.


To the Mapuche people

To the Chilean people

To the original peoples of America

To the International Sixth

Brothers and sisters of the dignified Mapuche people,

The pueblos, nations, tribes and neighborhoods that make up the National Indigenous Congress (CNI), the Indigenous Government Council (CIG) and the EZLN jointly embrace with solidarity the family of the Mapuche compañero Camilo Catrillanca, who was murdered during an operation of a tactical group of Chilean Carabineers that occurred on November 14, 2018 in the community of Temucuicui in the Araucanía region. We are familiar with the century-long struggle that the dignified Mapuche people have made to defend their forests and rivers, as well as the repression and assemblies that the police forces of the bad Chilean government effectuate on Mapuche territories to end the defense of life.

The peoples, nations, tribes and neighborhoods of the CNI, the CIG and the EZLN condemn the cowardly attack of the bad Chilean government and its Chilean police forces. We demand that the repression and criminalization against the Mapuche peoples that defend their territories cease. We also demand that the death of the Mapuche comunero Camilo Catrillanca not go unpunished. We reiterate our respect and solidarity to the Mapuche people. We salute your dignified struggle for the defense of life and territory.



November 2018

For the integral reconstitution of our peoples!

Never more a Mexico without us!

National Indigenous Congress – Indigenous Government Council

Zapatista National Liberation Army

En español:





Invitation to the celebration of the 25th Anniversary of the Zapatista Uprising and to a Gathering of Networks



November 17, 2018

To the individuals, groups, collectives and organizations of the CIG Support Networks:

To the Networks of Resistance and Rebellion or whatever they’re called:

To the National and International Sixth:

Considering that:

It’s early morning.

Considering that:

It’s cold.

Considering that:

In that hinge of time, where it’s neither day or night, neither inside or outside, neither shadow or light, you find yourself without sleep, in that uncomfortable vigil that makes you vulnerable to memories, the piercing memory of what was done and undone, the long count of omissions and the short count of what was realized.

Considering that

You ask yourself, no without reason, what comes of all that…

Because you are still trying to assimilate that “Everything is impossible the day before” that listens-reads in that disconcerting nano-mini-micro footage of the self-styled “cinema for reading.”  A film (?) 30 years canned (literally: in a can of sardines) and presented in that impossible cinema, signed by an equally disconcerting beetle with knight-errant airs, and whose title (of the film, it’s understood): “The 69th law of dialectics” is not very rational either.  A film without image or sound, and composed by a single phrase.  Leaving all the weight to the imagination of the one who attends its projection?

In the end, everything seems absurd here… here? Where the hell is it?  But he doesn’t have much time to locate himself, because they hurry him:

Come on then,” the little girl says to him.

You have no idea what to expect—it could be anything at this point—but you’re guided out of the absurd movie theater, once again by the little girl leading you by 
the hand, though now you’re surrounded by a whole band of kids, mostly little girls in their wool skirts and colorful blouses, barrettes fruitlessly pinned into unruly hair. You begin to walk with them up the natural
slope of the mountain, through the mud, rocks, and fog, picking out the path, always the path.

At the foot of the wall, where there is just a smattering of old, worn posters and graffiti, you intuit a kind of spiral, like a pathway leading toward the inside of a caracol1…or toward the outside. Every step is like a station: the fake happiness of the fake happy family; the
Grand Finale as simulation; the screen’s provocation as an impossible bridge.

The omnipresent, indestructible, unquestionable wall continues to insist that thinking is not allowed, that everything is as it is and that’s it—the only thing left to
do is settle in wherever and however you can. Eternity is just that, after all: eternal. The present moment may change, but its frivolous and superficial logic is permanent and anything else is impossible. What’s more,
 it’s impossible that you would think, imagine, or dream that anything else is possible.

You walk. You remember.

The little girl had asked if the films that nobody watches cry, which is just another way of asking about all the pain and rage in the world that is ignored and unknown—because
 of the blindness and deafness imposed by the wall. I mean, who asks a question like that? She does, that and many other questions, including questioning the very existence of the wall. The wall…you look at it more closely
 now: it’s taller than you can see, taller even than what you can see through your binoculars, so enormous it’s not even worth measuring. Measure for what? Its construction is solid, its appearance impeccable—well,
 not quite.

If you step back a bit you can see that the wall is full of both cracks and graffiti, so many that you can’t really tell them apart. Only up close, from a shortsighted perspective,
 does the wall seem solid. From up close you can’t even read the gigantic graffiti scrawled across the rough surface:

Though the path will be long, we’ll continue on”: the little girl reads the graffiti on the wall that doesn’t say anything itself, mutely resigned to the successive administrations who send work crew after work crew to erase or cover over that
writing, to silence and exterminate it.

I hadn’t even seen it,” you apologize.

Understandably,” the little girl responds, and adds, “but here we still are, keeping on.”

How far from the wall do you have to be to be able to see it? You think you just thought this to yourself, but the little girl responds, “Far.”

But how far?” you insist.

Like 500 years away,” she answers, smiling maliciously.

As if by coincidence, the words of a rap begin to keep pace with the footsteps of the kid gang who walk with you:

“We came from so far, far in every possible sense 
In silence, we came with strength 
From afar, each of us carrying the weight of our walk 
light amidst the ruins of a burned-out world.*

Is that sound coming from inside or outside? Is that the soundtrack of your anachronic, absurd, and irremediable trip?


Partly out of shame and partly out of curiosity, you now examine the graffiti more closely. A recent tag, with small, hurried letters, reads:

“Basic Lessons of Political Economy:

One: Capital does not know how to read. It does not pay attention to social networks, media, polls, votes, referendum, videos,
 government programs, good or bad intentions, moral lessons, laws, or reason. Capital only knows how to add, subtract, multiply, divide, and calculate percentages, interest rates, and probabilities.

Two: Capital 
only cares about profit, the highest and the fastest profit possible. Like all predators, capital has a good nose for blood and destruction, because these imply money, lots of money. War is a business, the best business.

 Capital has its own judges, police, and executioners. In the world of the wall, these inquisitors are called “markets.”

Four: The markets are the bloodhounds of the great hunter: capital. In the world
 of the wall, capital is god and the markets are his disciples. The police, armies, prisons, mass graves and forced disappearances are his faithful followers.

Five: One cannot tame, educate, reform, or subordinate
 capital. One can only obey it…or destroy it.

Six: Ergo, what this world needs are heretics, scarlet witches, magicians, and sorcerers. With the heavy load of their original sin, rebellion, the wall will be destroyed.

Seven: Even so, what happens next has yet to be seen: if what comes after capital will put up another wall, or instead open doors and windows, the bridges this world needs and deserves.

The graffiti and cracks continue, up and down over hills, valleys, and ravines. The caracol retracts into its own shell, with a few very small communities and scattered houses peeking out over the highway. A sign alerts you: “You are now in Zapatista territory. Here the people rule and the government obeys.”

You ask yourself: What is it that keeps these people alive, against all odds? Are they not the eternal losers, always on their knees while others build governments, museums, status 
and “historical triumphs”? Are they not the victims of every possible catastrophe, the cannon fodder of every revolution staged to save them from themselves? Are they not strangers in their own land, the object
of mockery, disdain, handouts, charity, government programs, “sustainable” projects, and revolutionary programs, proclamations, and directives? Are they not the irremediably illiterate who must be educated, led,
 ordered, ruled over, subjugated, subordinated, dominated, and c-i-v-i-l-i-z-e-d?

Why don’t they obey when they are told what to say and how to say it, where to look and how, what to think and not think, what to be and cease to be? Why don’t they lower their
gaze in the face of all these threats, both those that promise annihilation and those that promise salvation (which is really the same thing)? Why are they smiling?

And why did they assign you a whole kid gang as guide while you’re here? In fact, where are they taking you now, after that torturous walk along the wall? Are they taking you to what
made possible that childish laughter, that is, those children’s lives? The response is a few words: “Look how things are: we had to cover our faces in order to be seen, cease to have names in order to be named, gamble the present in order to have a future, and in order to live…we had to die.”

What is being built here? Where is their unease, anxiety, sense of defeat? Where is their bitterness at their own inferiority? Why the obsession over land, their insistence on defending 
it, taking care of it, keeping it? And why so much dance, music, color, noise, so many visits and exchanges, such effort and determination in the sciences and arts? Why do they do things their way and shrug at the rest? Don’t 
they realize they lost?

Wait a second. Lost? Who? Clearly not these people!

We’re still here, continuing on,” reality scrawls across the wall.


 And here you are, with one foot in one reality and the other in another: that which is being built in the mountains of southeastern Mexico under the disquieting flag of freedom by 
people so small, so normal, so common, so like any other [otro, otra, otroa], so priceless and so without price.

“Zapatista communities” they are called and they call themselves.

Without realizing it you find yourself in front of another sign. This one looks old, or maybe new, or maybe timeless:

Welcome to Reality (La Realidad)


 Considering the foregoing (that is, during the last 25 years), the National and International Sixth, the National Indigenous Congress, the Indigenous Government Council, and those who supported, support and will support the CNI and the CIG, are invited to:

First – A Gathering of Networks of Resistance and Rebellion, of Support for the CIG, or however they’re called. It is to be held at the “Footprints of Memory. Subcomandante Insurgente Pedro fulfilled” Center, (on recuperated land near the town of Guadalupe Tepeyac, MAREZ San Pedro de Michoacán”) to be celebrated from December 26 to 30, 2018, with the following agenda:

– Results of the internal consultation derived from the meeting in August 2018
. – Analysis and evaluation of the current situation of their worlds
. – What’s next?

Arrival and registration, December 26, 2018: 
Analysis and discussion tables on December 27, 28 and 29, 2018. 
Closing: December 30, 2018.

The email for registration as a participant in the gathering is:

Second – The celebration of the 25th anniversary of the start of the war against oblivion: December 31, 2018 and January 1, 2019, in Zapatista La Realidad, headquarters of the Caracol “Mother of the seashells of our dreams,” Border Jungle Zone.

The email to register as an attendee in the celebration of the 25th anniversary of the Zapatista Uprising is:

We await you because, although the path will be long, here we will continue.

From the mountains of the Mexican southeast,

        Subcomandante Insurgente Moisés | Subcomandante Insurgente Galeano

Mexico, November 17, 2018.

(*) Keny Arkana. “Lejos”, en L’esquisse 3.




Join us for a screening of Corazón del tiempo (Heart of Time)

Corazón del Tiempo | Heart of Time

Thursday, December 6, 2018 – 7-10 PM (Doors open at 6:30 pm

Omni Commons Ballroom, 4799 Shattuck Ave., Oakland, CA  94609

Requested Donation: $5-$15 (Sliding Scale, No one turned away for lack of funds)

Corazón del Tiempo | Heart of Time is an award-winning feature film about love in the time of Zapatista Resistance. Things get complicated when Sonia, a Zapatista civilian supporter living in an autonomous community, falls in love with Julio, an insurgente (rebel fighter), because she is already promised to Miguel, a young community leader. The film shows how the community deals with this romantic dilemma. Spanish with English subtitles. It was filmed in a Zapatista community in the heart of the Lacandón Jungle of Chiapas, Mexico. The actors are all non-professional Zapatista actors who uncovered their faces and opened their communities for the world to see.

This event celebrates 25 years of Zapatista resistance and is a fundraiser for the La Garrucha Education Project that is building 4 autonomous middle schools in the Zapatista Caracol of La Garrucha. You can help Zapatista children receive an autonomous and decolonized education by attending this event! Food, Art and Zapatista artesanía (crafts) available. Artesanía from Zapatista women’s cooperatives make great Holiday gifts!

JUST CONFIRMED: Emory Douglas, long-time Minister of Culture of the Black Panther Party will speak on Art and Politics!

For more information, please contact the Chiapas Support Committee at and/or visit the Facebook page: 


EZLN bases of support are in forced displacement


Photo from Frayba Human Rights Center.

Organizations and civil society collectives denounce escalation of generalized violence provoked in the Highlands (los Altos) of Chiapas. Faced with the indifference and inability at all levels of government, the situation becomes more acute and the armed actions of paramilitary groups are permitted. The development of violence is linked to partisan interests in collusion with the State, without forgetting the presence of organized crime in the zone.

Around 7 o’clock at night on November 7, almost the entire population of Chavajebal, El Bosque municipio, began a forced displacement. This happened after the series of events reported below.

Last October 24, four people from this community were ambushed while returning from the municipal capital of El Bosque by car. The ambush resulted in result left two people dead, Miguel Pérez López, the Ejido Commissioner, and comunero Carmelino de Jesús Ruiz Álvarez; one person injured, Manuel Ruiz Jiménez, a municipal agent; and Andrés Méndez Hernández was injured and remained unconscious for 4 days. The two survivors are from the Alianza (Alliance) group, linked to the Morena political party.

In the absence of investigation by the government agencies that are supposed to administer justice in Chiapas, the Alliance group detained 18 members of the PRI and 3 civilian members of the Zapatista National Liberation Army (EZLN) in a community jail.

On November 7, 2018, when approximately 300 people were participating in a community meeting, they heard a detonation and then bursts of gunfire. A woman was injured and a man was killed. The gathering dispersed to seek shelter.

Faced with rumors of armed aggressions, during that night 1,764 people forcedly displaced themselves, looking for paths to the municipal capital, other communities and towards the mountain, among them, all the community’s Zapatista support bases (civilian EZLN members) forcedly displaced into the mountains. Some 50 PRI members locked themselves in their houses but also displaced later. The Morena and PRI partisans mostly gathered in the municipal capital of El Bosque.

The municipal and state governments only provided humanitarian aid in the municipal capital, leaving vulnerable the rest of the people displaced and dispersed in the mountain and in other communities in different municipios. In communities like Tierra Caliente the population itself offered them food, shelter and protection.

No one se dares to return to Chavajebal for fear of aggressions from armed groups that have acted in the region. They abandoned their houses and the animals are starting to die due to a lack of food. It is also the season to harvest the coffee, at risk of being lost, which could cause famine for the next year if the problem is not resolved soon.

The administration of conflicts by the State in the Altos region has resulted in human rights violations against the population of original peoples, in neighboring municipios like Chalchihuitán, Chenalhó, Aldama, Simojovel and Bochil, among others, close to autonomous Zapatista territories. Because of the risk of continued deepening and expanding of generalized violence, the resolution of the problem must be based on dialogue and not on militarization.

Therefore, organizations and collectives of civil society urge: 1) Implementing conditions for dialogue between the parties; 2) Adopting effective measures for guarantying the life and personal integrity of the displaced population personal of the Chavajebal community; 3) Urgently implementing the necessary and pertinent precautionary measures for the purpose of respecting, guarantying and protecting the life and integrity of the families from the Chavajebal community, municipio of El Bosque, upon their return; 4) Guaranty free and social peace in their communities; 5) Generating an independent, autonomous, efficient research process, for truth and justice linked to the criminal acts related to the murders that happened on October 24 and November 7, 2018 in the community of Chavajebal, municipio of El Bosque.

Those organizations and collectives that signed the Urgent Action are listed on the following Fray Bartolomé de las Casas Human Rights Center A.C (Frayba) website:

[1] Chavajebal is also known by its Spanish spelling, Chavajeval, and for the massacre that took place there and in the neighbor community of Unión Progreso on June 10, 1998.


Originally Published in Spanish by Pozol Colectivo

Saturday, November 17, 2018

Re-Published with English interpretation by the Chiapas Support Committee



The “drug trafficking economy” in Mexico generates $600 billion per year

Personnel from Mexico’s Defense Ministry (Sedena) take custody of 26 million dollars confiscated from a drug cartel in Sinaloa. Photo: Notimex.

By: Roberto González Amador

 A “drug trafficking economy” has been consolidated in Mexico. Each year it generates a gross income on the order of 600 billion pesos, a number that doubles sales of the pharmaceutical industry. The data are part of an investigation into a new development strategy for the country, in which 477 university professors and researchers all over the country participate, promoted by José Luis Calva, of the National Autonomous University of Mexico.

“The resources that organized crime moves through trafficking drugs represent an amount that adds up to the sales of several industries that operate legally in the country,” José Luis Calva explains in an interview with La Jornada.

This week the manifesto “We reconstruct our nation” (Reconstruyamos nuestra nación) was presented, with which con the National Council of University Students (CNU) presents 20 volumes of the collection Mexico 2018-2024: New development strategy. One of those volumes addresses the issue of the drug trafficking economy, as professor Calva calls it.

In a chain that goes from the plants to the local market in the streets, he explains, this “narco economy” generates income to between 800,000 and one million Mexicans that work in that kind of activity. The numbers, because of the very criminal nature of the activity, move in a range that can seem broad, but which is close to reality and that show the magnitude that this activity has reached in the economy, he says.

He cites figures from the US State Department Estado to assert that in the sphere of organized crime: “the sale of illegal drugs generates a gross annual income on the order of 600 billion pesos for Mexican cartels.”

The same source references, Calva explains, that the Mexican drug cartels receive between 19 and 39 billion dollars annually coming from the United States.

To put the number in perspective, family remittances represent an income from foreign currency on the order of 22 billion dollars a year for Mexico, according to numbers from the Bank of Mexico.

“But these cartels also sell drugs in Europe and in Asia, in addition to trafficking in Canada and different Latin American countries. Their trans-nationalization has reached such a dimension that Europol found that Mexican organized crime groups have become global market coordinators in cocaine trafficking in European and US markets and in the production and trafficking of synthetic drugs for the US, European and Asian markets,” José Luis Calva adds.

Hence, he says, the enormous financial ability of the Mexican drug cartels, not only for their accelerated process of capital accumulation, but rather for corrupting officials and infiltrating the structure of all three levels of government.

The first volumes of the Mexico 2018-2024; New development strategy collection were presented Wednesday and Friday of this week in the University House of Books, in the Roma district. On the same days of the following weeks new deliveries will be announced. Information is available at:


Originally Published in Spanish by La Jornada

Sunday, November 11, 2018

Re-Published with English interpretation by the Chiapas Support Committee



Autonomy, insubordination and the radical Mapuche movement in Chile

By: Gilberto López y Rivas

César Enrique Pineda’s book, The Wallmapu [1] burns: autonomy, insubordination and the radical Mapuche movement in Chile, UNAM-CIALC-Bajo Tierra editions (2018), [2] is singularly relevant within the ambit of research about social movements, original peoples and autonomic processes. It constitutes a rigorous, founded, committed and achieved theoretical-empirical effort to penetrate one of the continent’s most congruent experiences of indigenous struggle: the Arauco-Malleco Coordinator (CAM, its initials in Spanish), the movement of the Mapuche people that, between 1997 and 2003, promoted a process of disputing ancestral lands and the vindication of self-determination and autonomy, in an intense confrontation with the Chilean State, big landowners and transnational corporations.

The work, Pineda points out, proposes to “recuperate, systematize and narrate the history… [of] an extremely controversial collective actor for the Mapuche movement itself, as well as for the Chilean intelligentsia; a subject demonized in the communications media, categorized as terrorist, a radical or subversive group by the State and Chile’s dominant groups.” It attempts to “understand the complex processes of the production of rebelliousness and insubordination, as well as its subsequent stabilization and discipline,” since the Chilean State, responds to this movement “with an aggressive and sophisticated process of disarticulation, containment, social and repressive counterinsurgency that, between 2003 and 2009, would provoke the contraction and weakening of the Mapuche mobilization and, subsequently, the close of the cycle of struggle for land and autonomy.”

The book begins with a prologue from our colleague Raúl Zibechi, which is, in itself, a recognition of Pineda’s valuable contribution: “a work of years,” he says, “in which direct experience, knowledge of the people, communities and geographies, is one of the more notable aspects of a committed and absolutely neutral investigation.”

Pineda clarifies the testimonial component of his work, “which is explained from a socio-historical approach constructed from long and numerous interviews carried out with Mapuches in prison and with activists interviewed in their communities, which is contrasted and put in dialogue with that expressed by various Chilean historians and specialists.” To that is added extensive research in newspapers and the corresponding theoretical interpretations that provide the analytical basis of what was investigated, “from within, from the social struggle, from the perspective of those below.”

Starting with different autonomic processes in Latin America, we agree in the sense that: “the dispute for land, territory and the natural wealth, as well as for self-determination, social self-regulation and autonomy, are the decisive struggles of our time.” At the same time, in that “the original peoples are the heart of numerous anti-systemic alternatives and that, in the last 20 years, have demonstrated an enormous capacity as subjects for construction of an alternative project and resistance in the face of dispossession, contempt and internal colonialism.” Proof in our country is that which constitutes the political process that the Zapatista National Liberation Army initiated, beginning in 1994, and its permanent proposals for the articulation of anticapitalist struggles.

Likewise, the final reflections are very proper in the sense that: “the frameworks of kinship, relationships, affective, ethno-productive, spiritual, symbolic and material, based on the ‘community’ social form, are being activated and updated with indigenous political projects, like resistance and stoppage of invasive expansive relations of the social form of ‘capital’, but also as emancipatory aspiration and practice.” There is total agreement that, in contemporary autonomic processes, the subjects that champion them suffer “true metamorphoses” in their social relations, which empower them, as subjects of change, like “other” political subjects.

As a parallel, his warning about not idealizing these processes is beneficial. “Many times, the author points out, the organizational fabric of these movements is crossed by ideological colonialism, by numerous subaltern contradictions, by dangerous limits and errors; and on occasions, by sectarianisms, essentialisms and fundamentalist millenarianisms; by a profound fragility of their structures versus war, repression or cooptation.” Regarding the latter, it’s possible to observe, also in our country, organizations and intellectuals that have opted for supporting the neo-indigenist policy of the next government, which will be concretized with the National Institute of Indigenous Peoples.

In an academic environment dominated by pointillist and extractivist production, it’s gratifying that books are published for the struggle below and to the left.

[1] The Wallmapu is the name given to the territory the Mapuches have historically inhabited in parts of Chile and Argentina.

[2] Arde el Wallmapu: autonomía, insubordinación y movimiento radical mapuche en Chile,


Originally Published in Spanish by La Jornada

Friday, November 2, 2018

Re-Published with English Interpretation by the Chiapas Support Committee