Chiapas Support Committee

CompArte: Art, Culture, Music, Poetry, Zapatismo August 21, Oakland

The Chiapas Support Committee in partnership with the Peralta Hacienda presents:
CompArte 2021 The Emiliano Zapata Community Festival  “Travies@s por la Vida” 
In support of the Zapatistas and “La travesía por la vida” | Sat. August 21, 2021, 12:00-4:00pm in Oakland.

The Chiapas Support Committee invites you to the sixth annual CompArte Zapatista, The Emiliano Zapata Community Festival, being held on Saturday, August 21, 2021, 12:00-4:00 p.m. at the Peralta Hacienda Historical Park, 2465 34th Avenue, Oakland, California.

Haz click aquí para leer esta invitación a CompArte en ESPAÑOL.

Join us for an afternoon of Zapatismo on August 21st at the Peralta Hacienda! We will come together with revolutionary spirits to share art with each other, to dance with each other, to share stories with each other and to listen to each other’s heart[beat] as we celebrate our collective struggles for social justice.

We will gather holding the rebel spirit in our hearts, and in our togetherness we will dance in support of the Zapatista communities and their ongoing struggles for autonomy and self-determination. 

We will also come together to express our support for the historic journey the Zapatistas have embarked on, known as “ La travesía por la vida” where the Escuadrón 421 along with other Zapatistas are journeying to the European continent. However, unlike the Spanish who 500 years ago stood at the door of Tenochtitlan and burned it down for the love of gold, the Zapatistas will meet with the European people to share stories, learn from their struggles, and to stand at the door of a capitalist empire and conquer it, not for the love of gold but for the love for life and humanity.

We will come together to show our solidarity as the Zapatistas let the world know that we were never conquered, that indigenous knowledge is alive and thriving, and that together with our shared struggles we will build a better world. 

Traviesos por la vida | Mischief for Life

The name of this year’s Comparte: The Emiliano Zapata Festival will be “Travies@s por la Vida.” As the Zapatistas traverse the world, on their “Travesia por la Vida”, we, here in Oakland will participate in our travesuras por la vida, or for the english speakers, we will participate in Mischief for Life!

We will participate in good mischief! Artistic mischief! Revolutionary mischief! Zapatista mischief! Mischief in solidarity with the Zapatista takeover of Europe! Our travesuras will take the form of artistic interventions, of dance, of poetry, of painting, of listening, of sharing art, and of continuing the struggle. 

Join us at the Peralta Hacienda as we transform our own relic of colonialism here in Huichin in unceded territory of the Ohlone peoples and collectively create a space where we can share our travesuras and share our “travies@” mischievous dreams of a different and more just world, with each other. 

Comparte 2021: Traviesos por la Vida will be a space for community, for families, for all of us in the struggle to come together and celebrate our movements and the spirit of Zapatismo. Join us for an afternoon of revolutionary zapatista art, music, and dance! 

We will have vendors selling art, food and other crafts. We will listen to music, poetry and  speakers. We will create art installations and participate in other travesuras! Join us! 

Invitation to Artists:

We invite artists of all kinds to join us in sharing your art. We are asking artists to create and submit art that speaks to community, activism, indigenous struggles, zapatismo, anti racists and social justice, or any kind of art that celebrates life or better yet, that supports our mischief for life! 

We invite you to reach out to us at and share some artwork with us and we will get back to you with more information on how to participate on the day of Comparte on August 21st. 

Additionally, you are invited to share your art work and art-activism through our CompArte Zapatista instagram. Email us to and we will post your poem, screenprint, song, painting, performance, photograph, anything on our IG account. Tag us @compartezapatista in your IG posts and use the hashtags: #comparte #zapatistart 

Visit CompArte Zapatista instagram

Comparte/comrades share art. 

Use the hashtags: #comparte #zapatistart

For more information, visit the blog of the Chiapas Support Committee:

Chiapas Support Committee Social Media


Website: www.chiapas-support


Instagram: CompArte Zapatista instagram

From the EZLN: First Results of the Popular Consultation

Zapatista Sixth Commission

July 31, 2021.

To the victims and the relatives of victims in Mexico:

To the organizations, groups, collectives and individuals that support the victims:

Here we present the first results of the Popular Consultation that have reached us:

1.- Until 1300 hours on July 31, 2021, the twelve Zapatista caracol centers and their respective Good Government Juntas have received the minutes of 756 towns, communities, places and ranches, from speakers of the Zoque Mayan languages, tojolabal, mame, tzeltal, tzotzil, cho´ol. They are from Zapatistas, CNI [Congreso Nacional Indígena, National Indigenous Congress] and supporters of political parties who gathered in community assemblies and who are “extemporaneous,” that is, they do not exist legally.

2.- The 756 communities of indigenous peoples declared “YES” in response to the question of whether or not they agree that everything should be done to support the fulfillment of the rights of the victims and their next of kin and of truth and justice.

3.- What we have noticed so far is that the INE [Instituto Nacional Electoral, National Electoral Institute] did not comply in many places with translating the question into the Mayan root languages. Nor did they explain what the consultation was about and, in several places, they only left the boxes strewn about, without explaining to the residents what they were for.

4.- The Zapatista peoples did the job of explaining the importance of participating in the Consultation and what was being asked. They did the same with members of parties and the CNI. And they did it in their mother tongue.

To our surprise, some communities who support political parties and where there are no Zapatistas, held and are holding assemblies, and they sent and are sending their results to the Good Government Juntas.

The political party supporters have also thanked the Good Government Juntas for the explanations and that they will go to polling stations tomorrow. And then they will tell us how many participated with their voter credentials.

The lack of representatives of the Mexican State and its institutions is being remedied by the extemporaneous ones, who translate in their native languages explaining the importance of the consultation and what is being asked.

Not only did no one from the INE come forward to explain. Neither did anyone from the ruling party step up—which is supposed to be the interested party in the Consultation because their overseer said so and didn’t even deign to try going to a community.

The only thing that the ruling party officials have done is to threaten the people saying that, if they do not “vote” in the Consultation, they are going to “cut off” their government support programs. This was the message they sent: if you don’t want to lose your paid support, go and vote “yes.”

In addition, the ruling party is lying because they tell them to just go and vote yes, because this is just about prosecuting former presidents.

Instead of explaining to people, they resort to threats and lying to them.

A minimum of self-love, respect and political work would have been enough.

And then they wonder why things are the way they are.

5.- Although we do not exist legally for the Mexican State, the thousands of indigenous families that are “extemporaneous” embrace in this way the thousands of families of the victims from the decisions made by the different levels of government all these years.

6.- Although we do not legally exist for the Mexican State, we ask you—victims, family members and organizations that support them—to accept this embrace from those who have been for centuries—Including current times—victims of “the decisions of the political actors” from all governments across the political spectrum.

When we have the full results, we will reach out to those who fight for truth and justice for the victims and their families.

With this action that we report to you now, the Zapatista peoples begin, on July 31, 2021, their participation in the National Campaign for Truth and Justice.

That’s all.

From the mountains of the Mexican Southeast.

Subcomandante insurgente Galeano.

Zapatista Sixth Commission for the National Campaign for Truth and Justice.

Mexico, July 2021.


This communique was published in Spanish by Enlace Zapatista on July 31, 2021 and translated into English by the Chiapas Support Committee.

Haz clic aquí para leer el comunicado en español.

Click here to read the original in Spanish.

The Consultation, the past that is the present


Squadron 421 on stage in Spain

By: Luis Hernández Navarro

The geography of Mexican horror had, at the end of the 20th century, a peak moment. Atrocity became a form of daily government. The terror established a new nomenclature. It was called Acteal and the Northern Zone of Chiapas, Aguas Blancas and El Charco, the Loxichas.

Atrocities were also baptized with names of victims, like the name of the teacher Magencio Abad Zeferino, an indigenous Nahua of the Olinalá region. Soldiers tortured him in the last days of 1996. “You will remember. We’re going to do the same thing to your son,” they told him, while they savagely beat him and gave him electric shocks. For that and other cases, the CNDH issued recommendation 100/97, about torture, disappearance, and arbitrary detentions by the Army in Guerrero (

Massacres, militarization, prison, extrajudicial executions, torture, forced sterilizations and police persecution were the constant of the last president to leave the ranks of the PRI in the last century, the prophet of neoliberal globalization: Ernesto Zedillo. Canal 6 de Julio ( and Hermann Bellinghausen ( baptized it “the invisible genocide.”

Chiapas, Oaxaca and Guerrero, among other states, were transformed into counterinsurgent hunting territory. Promoted by the State, paramilitaries flourished like mushrooms in the rainy season.

Dozens of military barracks were constructed in the most remote regions of the country. Overwhelmed, the soldiers irrupted in indigenous communities. Women became the spoils of war.

Decent people, public officials, armed forces and members of the Nacional Human Rights Commission, denied the existence of the war that didn’t have a name and that was executed through paramilitaries. Overall, they didn’t have to be held accountable to anyone for their atrocities ( They called them “civilian armed groups.” In Chiapas, they were baptized with the most diverse names: Paz y Justicia, Opddic, Chinchulines, Primera Fuerza, Máscara Roja and MIRA.

Between 1995 and 2000, Paz y Justicia (Peace and Justice) in the Northern Zone of Chiapas murdered more than 100 indigenous Chols, expelled 2,000 campesinos and their families from their communities, closed 45 Catholic churches, and attacked Bishops Samuel Ruiz and Raúl Vera, stole more than 3,000 head of cattle and raped 30 women (

The high point of this offensive was the Acteal Massacre, a crime of State. On December 22 1997, paramilitaries savagely murdered 45 displaced persons belonging to the Las Abejas group, who were praying for peace in a chapel (

Outrage upon outrage, the massacres of Aguas Blancas, in June 1995, at the hands of police, and of El Charco, in June 1998, by the Army, were very painful moments for the people of Guerrero. Mourning, helplessness and anger prevailed. The mafia-like power linked to the soldiers, ministerial police and caciques showed its most bloodthirsty face. 17 campesinos were murdered in Aguas Blancas, 10 indigenous and an UNAM student in El Charco. Things didn’t stop there. The communities were harassed, and not just a few leaders of both movements were later disappeared or murdered.

Years later, now during the government of Felipe Calderón, after the disappearance and execution of the Mixtecos Raúl Lucas and Manuel Ponce, in 2009, the list of regional indigenous leaders murdered, mostly by criminal groups increased insanely, in what is a counterinsurgency of subrogation (

The entire weight of the State (Zedillo said it) fell on the Zapotecs of San Agustín Loxicha, starting at the end of August 1996. An army of occupation was turned on the entire region. One after another, illegal arrests, torture, 22 forced disappearances, clandestine executions and illegal searches took place. Soldiers and police initially arrested more than 250 people, starting with the municipal authorities, accusing them of belonging to or collaborating with the EPR. Hundreds of judicial files were fabricated against indigenous people.

Despite this carnage, the intellectuals who benefitted during the six-year term of Zedillo with juicy contracts and who enjoyed privileged treatment with the president have wanted to present him as an apostle of democracy.

No authority was tried for those crimes. At most, it cost Rubén Figueroa and Emilio Chuayfett their jobs. Impunity was the name of the game. Even worse, the past wasn’t left behind. Without self-criticism, prominent figures in the Zedillo administration, like Esteban Moctezuma (Secretary of the Interior and of Social Development) and Olga Sánchez Cordero, in the Supreme Court of Justice of the Nation, who was appointed as a result of the presidential coup to reform the Judicial Power and appoint new ministers (, occupy prominent positions today.

Due to the horror of the Zedillo years, and for all the other horrors that have been experienced over the last half century, it’s important to participate in the August 1 Consultation [1] looking at the victims. Convert it into a mobilization in favor of a truth and justice commission that clarifies the multitude of offenses committed by the figures with power against those who struggle and resist.

[1] The August 1 national consultation is a national referendum in Mexico on whether or not past presidents can be tried for crimes committed in office after they leave office.


Originally Published in Spanish by La Jornada

Tuesday, July 27, 2021

Re-Published with English interpretation by the Chiapas Support Committee

EZLN: Why Yes to the Consultation and Yes to the question


July 2021

Summary: A call to participate in the Consultation with the victims in mind.  Going to the polls.  It is suggested that if you dislike or distrust the Supreme, and rightly so, and think that your participation would be used to legitimize those from above, or that that it is a rehearsal for a later consultation which would extend the mandate of the executive, or that is a waste (yet one more) of pay, or that what the Supreme wants is to negotiate with the exes to bring down the bad vibes a notch, or it’s demagoguery pure and simple, then don’t go to the polls.

Instead of this, it is proposed that you write a letter, either individual or collective and that you send it off to an organization of victims, telling them that you honor their pain and that you support them in their demands for truth and justice. Or, a newspaper column, a tweet, a comment on your blog, in your newsletter, on your Facebook, Instagram, or wherever. Or a painting, a song, a mural, a poem, a speech, a sonata, a pirouette, a figure, a play, some art. Or an article of analysis, a colloquium, a lecture, a conference, a seedbed. Or whatever occurs to you. And even more, to make your non-conformity clear, do it extemporaneously, say one or several days after August 1st, and continue it for the rest of the year and the following years. It is stressed that you must get organized because, without even knowing it, you make up part of the future and probable victims of “the political decisions made in the present and coming years by political actors” of the Mexican State. It is that or resign yourself to the fact that when you are the victim, the “political actor” responsible for preventing this from happening to you, of investigating, pursuing, and punishing the guilty parties, declares the you “asked for it,” that he condemns the act and of course, it will be investigated “to the ultimate consequences, regardless of who falls” — as your name, and your personal story, pass into a number and a statistic.


First: The Zapatista communities will participate extemporaneously in the so-called “Popular Consultation,” following the usos y costumbres of the indigenous peoples, with community assemblies. The results will be sent to the organizations of victims of violence, the search for the disappeared, and prisoners of conscience. Those who have the INE (National Electoral Institute) credential (in fact there are very few), will go to the polls. We ESPECIALLY call upon our indigenous sisters and brothers, organized in the National Indigenous Congress-Indigenous Governing Council to participate also, according to their times and ways, without losing sight of the victims, and holding present all of the murdered brothers and sisters and communities that have been victims of the decisions of those from above before and now, like the long history of plunder, of deceit, of mockery and of contempt, of destruction of territories and disappearance of indigenous languages and cultures.

Second: The question to be asked is not about the former presidents, or… not that alone. But rather all of the political actors — federal executives and their legal and extended cabinets; state and municipal governments; federal and local deputies, senators; judges and the entire justice apparatus; decentralized agencies, autonomous agencies (formerly the IFE and now the INE, the National Electoral Institute); the Army, Air Force and Navy; federal, state and municipal police.

Nor is it about judging or condemning anyone. It is about the rights of the victims, the right to justice and to truth.

The right to know why such actions and omissions were decided upon, which laws provided them with legal support. And, who were or are those responsible or irresponsible, from the highest to the lowest level. That would be the truth, and its consequence would be justice.

Neither one or the other are in question. The question is whether we are in agreement with supporting the victims who demand to know what happened, why, and by whom; and to demand justice.

When one puts a time period of “years past” it can be deduced that it includes up until the 31st of December 2020. And if the months of January to July of 2021 are “past,” well, that also.

Whether anything more than a simulation follows from these demands for Truth and Justice, will depend on the victims, their families and those that support them.

Third: the Risks. Yes, it is more than likely that both the government as well as the “opposition,” use the participation in the consultation and the result, either as a way of legitimizing its government policy, or as a plot to hide their guilt and evade justice. The number of “contemporary” participants, as well as the responses can be hijacked by either side. But that will only last for a while.

What matters to us is that the victims feel accompanied and encouraged in their painful journey. But their pace, their rhythm, their speed, their company and their destiny, is up to them and only for them to decide.

Yes, there is also the risk that the government uses this popular consultation to support those false “consultas” with which it has covered up the predatory nature of its megaprojects in the indigenous territories. Well, “consultations” those were not. They were shameless rides, with ridiculous results. Agreement was blackmailed and paid for, and even then, they failed in terms of participation. They were not prior, nor informed, nor free, nor according to the ways and times of the indigenous peoples. But in the event that someday indigenous peoples were consulted, they were well-informed of the pros and cons, BEFORE the megaprojects were implemented, ALL of those affected participated, etc. and the proposal for destruction of nature and the annihilation of the indigenous people as such won, then the conclusion would be that the work of explanation and convincing was lacking and we would have to continue insisting. In the meantime? Resistance and Rebellion.

Of course, this consultation could also be a sham…if we don’t turn it into something inopportune, unseemly, inconvenient, “extemporaneous.” That is, if we do not turn it into something more. Although you would first have to pull away what they are saying and arguing up above; and then later, continue with gatherings, forums, festivals, and support for the victims. A National Campaign for Truth and Justice: In short, “accompaniment,” not “direction.”

Fourth: Wouldn’t it be good if the Mothers Seeking the Disappeared in Sonora, the Trackers of El Fuente, Sinaloa, the mothers of the kidnapped Yaquis, the displaced of Pantelhó, the families of the disappeared in Guerrero, Guanajuato, Veracruz, Baja California Sur, Querétaro, Jalisco, Coahuila, Morelos and almost every state of the Mexican Republic, as well as the family members of the immolated migrants in México, the family members of the disappeared of Ayotzinapa, could meet with ….

… the families of the victims of the dirty war, with the families of infants with cancer and without medicine, with the women who were assaulted in Atenco, with the feminist movements that struggle against femicide and violence against women, with the defenders of  the LGBTQ+, with the families of the ABC Nursery, with the family members of the deceased in line 12 of the Metro in Mexico City….

…with the family of Samir Flores Soberanes and those who organize to resist the Thermoelectric Plant in Morelos, with the communities that resist the plunder and destruction that are meant by the poorly-named “Mayan Train,”  TransIsthmian Corridor, Santa Lucía Airport, open-pit and underground mining, with the organizations for political prisoners and disappeared persons, with the Abejas de Acteal, with the survivors of El Charco, with those close to Tomás Rojo and Simón Pedro, with so many organized and unorganized sorrows?

Think about that person that finds herself alone, looking for a loved one without any more strength than those of her womb and her heart, and in addition, she should suffer the mockery and the contempt of others, others that say that “she deserved it,” or “she had bad habits,” “you complain because you are part of the mafia of power,” or it is your fault for not educating her well.”

And they don’t even let her respond: “my daughter went on an errand to the corner and didn’t come back,” or “she went to a party,” or “my daughter is less than 10 years old,” or “my husband was coming from work and they killed him twice — once with bullets, and again with lies that he was a criminal,” or “instead of receiving a photo of my daughter/son graduating, they gave me the results of a DNA test and a bone fragment in a shred of clothing he wore that day, that afternoon, that night that since then, never ends.”

Or not even that:  in no place, neither alive nor dead –disappeared.

Could it be that this is how she knows that she is not alone? Could it be that this is how she discovers that not only is she not the only one in pain, but that there are others who seek truth and justice?

Won’t she discover, in this way, the same that we, the Zapatista communities have? Namely: sorrows do not add up, but rather multiply when they meet.

The danger will not be that the government or the opposition uses these meetings to their advantage. Rather, it will be if this already organized pain is not respected and that they try to direct it in a way other than to achieve the truth and justice that every human being, independent of their race, color, culture, creed, gender, sexual orientation or preference, political affiliation or ideology, or social class, deserves and needs.

Because it is not enough to settle for mourning a new murder, a new disappearance, a new mass grave with bones and shreds of clothing. Public complaints suffocated by the scandal of the day are not enough. A statistic, a number, an omission is not enough.

That woman deserves to know the truth: What happened to her child and why. And she deserves not only to be accompanied in this search for truth, but also in the demand that those responsible for those crimes receive their punishment.

This geography called “Mexico” deserves to know the truth about what happened and is happening. And it deserves justice. Whether they be “chairos[1]or “fifis[2],” neoliberals or neoconservatives, Pro-4T or anti-4T, or whatever dichotomy you can think of.

But nevertheless: if you decide that it doesn’t do any good to participate in this other consultation, well maybe it means that you are doing something more and better.

Fifth: The Middle Class and the Consultation. 

As the native that I am of the middle class, I know that we are classified and pigeonholed according to interests from above. They classify us so much as middle class that we look like Spanish keys: there are fifteen sixteenths, a quarter, three eighths, nineteen twenty-seconds, a quarter-til-six-oh-my-god-how-late-it-is, and half middle-middle class — which is the last straw, and so on. “Did you see that one who thinks she is so thirteen sixteenths when she doesn’t even get to three eighths, poor thing?… and that other one, that overnight climbed almost fifty seventy-seconds,  he’s probably a drug dealer… or worse, a politician.”

Or as the orthodox classify us — petit bourgeoisie. And here a similar system comes in, the nano bourgeoisie, micro bourgeoisie, quasi-petit bourgeoisie, self-proclaimed petit bourgeoisie, bourgeoisie in process, and bourgeoisie between blue and the middle of the night…yeah, the hot dog without mayonnaise, please. I, for example, don’t even get that. I am barely a “pequebú” (baby bourgeoisie). But as the deceased would say, “It all depends on the make and model of the phone with which you take your selfie.”

We also get blamed for the failures and deviations of the various political choices of the ideological spectrum, and none of their achievements.

I understand, and not infrequently, I share the irritation and indignation for the bickering that comes out of the latrine up there, for the thinly veiled insults, and for the attacks of people that being from the middle class, now call themselves the “vanguard” of the people or “enlightened” who guide and lead the flock. And who, as such, despise knowledge, intelligence, creativity, genius…and sense of humor. In addition to pretending that the sciences and art are militant in their political choice…or they are neither sciences or arts. In fact, my first reaction was to summarize our position like this: «From the government that holds raffles that are not raffles and Mayan trains that are not Mayan, now — the consultation that is not a consultation. You’d better get organized!»

But the idiotic and cynical opposition is also lurking. The sudden “realizations” of the former ruling criminals who, disparaging memory, now are champions of defense of human rights, of the indigenous communities, of the environment, and who criticize the government economic policies after they have had their fill of pillage and plunder. The supposed “opposition,” incapable of boasting any achievement, bets it all on the mistakes and follies of the government, which are not few. And of course, they bet on oblivion, on memory buried by the screaming on social media, the opinion columns, and the perverse management of information. Because the misnamed “fake news” is not only false news, it is  the manipulation of information. The alchemy that makes them not credible, but digestible. And more than anything, into ammunition for the “heroic” combat on the social networks and the media.

And it could be that out of desperation, you elect one side or another.

But, if you manage to escape from that curse, even for a moment, direct your gaze at the victims.

If you are not one of the victims, just one more, and you haven’t formed a community police force, well, the odds are stacked against you and you would do well to prepare yourself.

If you don’t do it out of empathy and human sensitivity, at least do it for the sake of “today for you, tomorrow for me.”

Crime statistics might serve, certainly, to criticize a government policy; but more than anything they are a warning: “you’re next.”

Get organized. In this geography called Mexico, there could well be an organization of future and probable victims of “political decisions made by political actors” that is born.

Sixth: Participate in the so-called Popular Consultation. If you don’t want your feelings to be used by one or another, don’t go to the polls. Shout, scratch, paint, sing, make gestures, be silent, walk, run, stand still. You decide what and let the victims know. And do it after the 1st of August…all year long and for the years to come.

Or get together with others, and analize, discuss, and debate. If you want, write down in some kind of minutes or common letter, your unanimous or divided decision, and send it to an organization of families of victims. (I doubt that you don’t have one in your geography.) Remember that the INE does not count feelings, solidarities, brotherhoods or demands for truth and justice.

And your age doesn’t matter, whether you are extemporaneous or contemporary, if you are above, below, or in the middle, if you are “chairo” or “fifi,” if you like cumbia or rock, if you watch anime or westerns, if you are hetero o “ultimately what does it matter to you what I am or am not.”

Don’t do it because you support the government or because you oppose it. Do it if only to tell that woman that cries in the absence of her partner, her child, her sister, her mother, her family member, her acquaintance, her friend, her compañera, her love, that her tenacious search for truth and justice, her determination, her pain, her nightmare, do not go unnoticed by you.

Do it because maybe, under all of the classifications, flags, emblems and slogans, you are a human being.

From the mountains of the Mexican Southeast,


Sans Papiers (Without Papers)

Neither contemporary nor extemporaneous!

[1] A pejorative word used to describe a stereotypical adherent of the left who holds leftist values and uncritically follows candidates or political personalities with a religious zeal. The expression has numerous twists in its etymology in Mexico, and came to refer to an AMLO voter in the 2005 election.

[2] Originally used to describe a person of the upper class who supported Porfirio Diaz, then came to mean an effeminate man who held the latest style.  In AMLO’s usage the term has come to refer to the “conservative, two-faced puppets” of his opposition.

En español:

Pantelhó residents take over municipal council headquarters


Control. In the early hours of this Tuesday, residents took control of the municipal council’s offices. Above Photo: Isaín Mandujano

By: Isaín Mandujano

PANTELHÓ Chiapas (apro)

In plain view of the Mexican Army and National Guard (NG), thousands of indigenous peoples from diverse communities came down from the mountains and together with residents of the municipal seat took over the plaza and headquarters of the municipal council, from where they said they would not permit the return of the Herreras nor entry into the town of the acting mayor and her husband, the mayor elect.

This Tuesday, without weapons, without the characteristic uniform, masked, with machetes or sticks in their hands, indigenous Tsotsils and Tseltals, many of them members of the El Machete autodefensas (self-defense group), started to arrive in the early morning to burn the houses of those who they consider make up a part or have links to the Herrera family and the “narco county council,” as they call it.

Pantelhó is made up of 86 communities in the entire municipality and 18 barrios on the municipal seat, where today residents of the communities demonstrated their exhaustion against the political group that for almost 20 years maintained political control of the municipal council, election after election.

Residents went to the homes of Austreberto Herrera and his sons, Dayli de los Santos and Rubén Estanislao, which were vandalized and burned. They proceeded in the same way against other houses of civilian men and municipal police who they say have links to the Herreras, whom they accuse of murders and forced disappearances.

No. 2

Photo: Isaín Mandujano

Yesterday, residents captured around 14 people were and keep them retained, people who they accuse of being “accomplices” of the Los Herrera clan and of the PRD municipal council. Faced with the crowd, members of the Mexican Army and the National Guard hat to retreat again to avoid a clash with the civilian population.

This is the second day in which residents of the communities they took over the municipal headquarters where they were not able to go down to protest for many years, because the Herreras and their civilian armed group, intimidated them, threatened them so that they would not demand public works or demand accountability from their municipal authorities.

No. 3

Photo: Isaín Mandujano

Today, the indigenous Tsotsil and Tseltal residents who rebelled against the Ladinos who controlled the town, said that they will not allow the current mayor, Delia Yaneth Velasco Flores, to return to her position and that nor will they allow the mayor elect, her husband Raquel Trujillo Morales, to take the oath of office as mayor.

They demanded that the resources of the municipal council that were diverted in the last three years be audited and that from now on the residents, who without threats, vote buying or vote coercion, will be the ones who elect their new authorities.

No. 4

Photo: Isaín Mandujano


Originally Published in Spanish by

Tuesday, July 27, 2021

Re-Published with English interpretation by the Chiapas Support Committee

CompArte: arte, cultura, música, poesía, zapatismo. 21 de agosto, Oakland

El Comité de Apoyo a Chiapas en colaboración con Peralta Hacienda presenta
CompArte 2021: El Festival Comunitario Emiliano Zapata “Travies@s por la Vida”
En apoyo a los Zapatistas y “La travesía por la vida”

El Comité de Apoyo a Chiapas los invita al sexto festival anual CompArte Zapatista, El Festival Comunitario Emiliano Zapata. Se llevará a cabo el sábado 21 de agosto, 2021, en el parque de Peralta Hacienda, 2465 34th Avenue, Oakland, California.

To read this invitation to CompArte in ENGLISH, click here.

¡Conviva con nosotras, nosotros y nosotroas en una tarde de zapatismo el 21 de agosto en Peralta Hacienda! Nos reuniremos con espíritus revolucionarios para compartir arte y bailar entre nosotros, compartir historias y escuchar los latidos del corazón de los demás mientras celebramos nuestras luchas colectivas por la justicia social.

Nos reuniremos con el espíritu rebelde en nuestros corazones y, en nuestra unión, bailaremos en apoyo de las comunidades Zapatistas y sus luchas continuas por la autonomía y la autodeterminación.

También nos reuniremos para expresar nuestro apoyo al histórico viaje que han emprendido los Zapatistas, conocido como “La travesía por la vida”, donde el Escuadrón 421 junto con otros Zapatistas estarán recorriendo el continente europeo. Sin embargo, a diferencia de los españoles que hace 500 años llegaron a la puerta de Tenochtitlán y la quemaron por el amor al oro, las, los y loas Zapatistas se reunirán con los europeos de abajo para compartir historias, aprender de sus luchas y parar en la puerta de un imperio capitalista y conquistarlo, no por el amor al oro sino por el amor a la vida y la humanidad.

Nos uniremos para mostrar nuestra solidaridad, mientras las, los y loas Zapatistas le hacen saber al mundo que nunca fuimos conquistados, que el conocimiento indígena está vivo y floreciente, y que junto con nuestras luchas mutuas construiremos un mundo mejor.

Travies@s por la vida

Este año el nombre de CompArte: El Festival Comunitario Emiliano Zapata será “Travies@s por la Vida”. Mientras las, los y loas Zapatistas atraviesan el mundo, en su “Travesía por la Vida”, aquí en Oakland participaremos en nuestras travesuras por la vida.

¡Participaremos en buenas travesuras! ¡Travesura artística! ¡Travesura revolucionaria! ¡Travesura zapatista! ¡Travesura solidaria con la toma zapatista de Europa! Nuestras travesuras se concretarán en intervenciones artísticas, de danza, de poesía, de pintura, de escuchar, de compartir arte y de continuar la lucha.

Acompáñenos en la Peralta Hacienda mientras transformamos nuestra propia reliquia del colonialismo aquí en Huichin, en el territorio no cedido de los pueblos Ohlone, y creemos colectivamente un espacio en el que podamos compartir nuestras travesuras y compartir nuestros sueños “travies@s” de una vida diferente y un mundo más justo, entre nosotros.

CompArte 2021: Travies@s por la Vida será un espacio de comunidad, de familias, de todos en la lucha por unirnos y celebrar nuestros movimientos y el espíritu del Zapatismo. ¡Únase a nosotros para una tarde de arte, música y danza revolucionaria Zapatista!

Tendremos vendedores que ofrecerán arte, comida y otras artesanías. Escucharemos música, poesía y oradores. ¡Crearemos instalaciones de arte y participaremos en otras travesuras! ¡Participa!

Invitación a artistas:

Invitamos a artistas de todo tipo a que se animen a compartir su arte. Pedimos a los artistas que creen y presenten arte que hable de la comunidad, activismo, las luchas indígenas, Zapatismo, antirracistas y justicia social, o cualquier tipo de arte que celebre la vida o mejor aún, que apoye nuestras travesuras por la vida.

Los invitamos a comunicarse con nosotros en y compartir algunas obras de arte con nosotros y nos comunicaremos contigo con más información sobre cómo participar en el día de CompArte el 21 de agosto.

Adicionalmente estás invitado a compartir tu obra de arte y arte-activismo a través de nuestro Instagram CompArte Zapatista. Envíenos un correo electrónico a y publicaremos su poema, serigrafía, canción, pintura, actuación, fotografía, cualquier cosa en nuestra cuenta de IG. Etiquétanos @compartezapatista en tus publicaciones de IG y usa los hashtags: #comparte #zapatistart

Visita CompArte Zapatista Instagram

Comparte/camaradas compartan arte.

Usa los hashtags: #comparte #zapatistart

Para más información, visite el blog del Comité de Apoyo a Chiapas:

Redes sociales del Comité de Apoyo a Chiapas (CSC)

Correo electrónico:

Sitio web: www.chiapas-support


Instagram:CompArte Zapatista instagram

Most of those displaced returned to Chenalhó, authorities indicate

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Indigenous people displaced from various communities in the municipality of Chenalhó, Chiapas, were transported back to their communities of origin, after spending two weeks in several shelters located in Acteal Centro. Photo: La Jornada

By: Elio Henríquez

San Cristóbal De Las Casas, Chiapas

Between 2,500 and 3,000 indigenous people displaced from communities in the municipality of Chenalhó that border on Pantelhó municipality returned to their homes, reported Alfredo Pérez López, director de civil protection for Chenalhó.

In an interview he said that the Tsotsils who were refugees in different parts of Chenalhó returned on Friday to the localities of La Esperanza, Quextic Centro y Poblado, Acteal Alto, Acteal Centro, Jabaltón and Canolal Centro, in the area bordering on Pantelhó.

He added that municipal authorities hired 60 to 65 vehicles to transport the indigenous people to their communities of origin, accompanied by agents of the National Guard and state police, as well as by members of the Mexican Army and officials of the municipal council.

Pérez López pointed out that after a call from Mayor Abraham Cruz Gómez, municipal agents from other localities collected corn, beans and other products to deliver to the returnees. “Everyone brought aid,” he emphasized.

He said that some people had already returned on their own, because they considered that there was security in their communities, in such a way that: “the majority of those displaced already returned to their homes.”

Pérez López said that several Pantelhó residents already returned, but at least 35 families remain refugees in Yabteclum community, in Chenalhó.

Sources from the Civil Society Las Abejas organization reported that members of that grouping who left places bordering on Pantelhó have not returned to their houses because they are afraid and are still refugees in Acteal, Chenalhó.

The Cáritas group of the Diocese of San Cristóbal de Las Casas reported that it continues delivering humanitarian aid to displaced persons who have not returned to the towns they left.

Data from civil organisms indicate that around 3,200 people from Chenalhó and Pantelhó abandoned their homes on July 7 and 8, after the El Machete People’s Self-defense group irrupted in the municipal seat of Pantelhó.


El Machete later reported that it intends “to expel the sicarios (hit men), drug traffickers and organized crime” from Pantelhó. In addition, it demanded the annulment of the June 6 elections in that municipality, which Raquel Trujillo Morales, of the Partido de la Revolución Democrática (PRD), won by a difference of more than 3,000 votes over the Partido Revolucionario Institucional (PRI). The group announced that it would elect its municipal authorities through the system of uses and customs.

Residents of the Pantelhó municipal seat, which has been occupied by police and soldiers since July 7, reported that activities started to normalize last week because several stores reopened and a lot of people started selling fruits and vegetables in booths on the street.


Originally Published in Spanish by La Jornada

Monday, July 26, 2021

Re-Published with English interpretation by the Chiapas Support Committee

San Cristóbal officials promote the plunder of Zapatista Huitepec Reserve


By: Ángeles Mariscal

On Sunday, July 4, a group of individuals that call themselves “Guardians of the Huitepec Alcanfores Reserve,” entered into the zone of Huitepec, in San Cristóbal de Las Casas, where support bases of the Zapatista Army of National Liberation (EZLN) live. They intend to take possession of the site, with the argument that it will protect the ecosystem, even though the Zapatista communities have had these as conservation areas for 15 years.

The person promoting this initiative is mayor-elect Mariano Diaz Ochoa, who will occupy the municipal presidency for the third time, starting in October. He was mayor before from 1999 to 2001 and from 2008 to 2010.

Díaz Ochoa has been a vocal advocate of movements against the EZLN; in 1994, he headed the group called the the “Authentic Coletos[1] that tried to expel Bishop Samuel Ruiz García, who was a mediator in the armed conflict.

The mayor-elect also participated in the expulsion of human rights activists that arrived in San Cristóbal de las Casas, and when he was mayor in 1990, he along with his council declared actress Ofelia Medina persona non grata, for carrying out activities in defense of indigenous peoples in Chiapas.

Now, Díaz Ochoa is pushing the creation of the association “Guardians of the Huitepec Alcanfores Reserve,” and last Sunday called upon the population to enter the Zapatista reserve. When they arrived, they destroyed a building that the indigenous people have on site. The damage can be seen in this YouTube video:

It is important to remember that the 102 hectares have been under the care of individuals from the EZLN that have lived there since 2006, who since then have taken actions to preserve the ecosystem.

The government wanted to declare this region a governmental protected natural area with the name “Huitepec-Los Alcanfores,” but the then UN Special Rapporteur on Indigenous Peoples, Rodolfo Stavenhagen, pointed out that this action violates the rights of indigenous peoples, which establishes that the creation of new ecological reserves in indigenous regions should only be done after consultation with the affected communities, and the government should respect and support the decision and the right of the indigenous peoples to establish community ecological reserves in their territories.

Now that he is back in office, Mariano Díaz Ochoa once again intends to initiate actions against the EZLN’s support base communities, the residents accuse.

[1] “Authentic coleto” is a term used in Chiapas to describe the families of status in San Cristóbal de Las Casas; it’s used with different connotations among those who “belong” and those who do not belong (in other words, the indigenous peoples).


Originally Published in Spanish by Chiapas Paralelo

Wednesday, July 7, 2021

Translation: Schools for Chiapas

Re-Published in English by the Chiapas Support Committee

Thousands of indigenous people show support for self-defense group in Pantelhó, Chiapas


Above Photo by Ángeles Mariscal – “Our struggle is not political, but rather for life,” people of Pantelhó.

By: Ángeles Mariscal

Pantelhó, Chiapas

The San José Buenavista Tercero community, located in the cañadas (canyons) of Pantelhó, became the meeting place for indigenous Tsotsil and Tseltal peoples who decided to arm themselves in order to stop the siege of organized crime, which they have experienced for years.

“It was a little while ago that we were thinking about getting together to talk about what we suffered,” explained Jeremías Pérez. He and his family were among the more than 3,500 people who, on the morning of Sunday, July 18, traveled on foot, and some in small trucks, the footpaths and roads of this fertile and paradise-like land, which had become a land beset by organized crime.

Hundreds tell about the horror stories they experienced. One of the commanders of the self-defense group explained that their assailants, people who still occupy positions in the Pantelhó municipal presidency, kidnapped his daughter when she was only 4 years old.

Dressed in olive green camouflage print clothing, with a squad-type pistol that hangs at his waist, and a radio through which he communicates, the commander cannot avoid that through the ski mask it is noticed how his eyes cloud up when recalling that event.

The assassination of the ex director of the Las Abejas de Acteal organization, Simón Pedro Pérez, last July 5, was what made them decide to try to expel their assailants from Pantelhó’s municipal seat, the place where they had found refuge. But the history of the formation of what are now known as the El Machete Self-Defense Forces of the People (“Autodefensas del Pueblo El Machete”), dates back many months.

They analyzed their situation, made visits to state government authorities, and delivered different documents asking for state government intervention to arrest their aggressors; the last letter asking for help was dated last June 26.

They wanted to solve the organized crime siege peacefully, because people like Simón Pedro and others, resisted the armed path as a solution. But they didn’t obtain an answer from the authorities that indicated to them they should abandon the path of self-defense groups.

Quite the opposite! Organized crime members were killing various community authorities and other leaders in the region. One of them was Enrique Pérez Pérez, who was ambushed at the beginning of this year when he was on his parcel of land. He was one of the founders of the self-defense forces and in his honor they placed a canvas with his image in the center of the meeting this Sunday.

So, little by little, in silence, they cooperated in donating the money they were getting from the sale of coffee; they bought weapons, uniforms, trained, designed the logo of their organization, which is now stamped on the black shirts they wear, on the canvas they placed at the entrance to San José Buenavista Tercero, and in the center of the town where the meeting was held that representatives of the Pantelhó communities attended to show their support for the self defense forces.


Residents of Pantelhó, Chiapas – Photo: Ángeles Mariscal

They began arriving in San José Buenavista Tercero in the first hours of this Sunday, July 18. Women with their traditional clothes of the Tseltal and Tsotsil ethnicities, men with calloused hands and leathery skin, tanned from working in the field, were positioned around the basketball court that occupies the center of town. There were more than 3,500 people coming from the 86 communities in Pantelhó.

Never had so many people met in the center of this small town, this day they only fit by placing themselves on roofs of the school and on some nearby buildings. It was important that they publicly show their support for the El Machete Self-Defense Forces. At the meeting, they also reiterated their decision to expel their own people who have besieged them, people involved with organized crime.

They invited journalists as witnesses and so that there was no doubt about the fact that their fight is not against the Mexican government, that it is not political, but ratherfor life.” They also called on federal government authorities, who were represented at the meeting by Josefina Bravo, head of the Commission for Dialogue with the Indigenous Peoples of Mexico in the Interior Ministry.

After settling in and introducing themselves, their first action was to say a prayer in their maternal languages. The sound of prayers and supplications flooded the place and became an energy that vibrated.

Translation wasn’t needed to understand some words related to their petition to “God the Father,” “God the Mother,” that the violence ends and that the drug traffickers abandon this activity and find the path of life. The voice of the elderly man who guided the prayer broke, and tears came from some of the eyes of those present.

This region is strongly influenced by the teachings of Bishop Samuel Ruiz García, who formed what is known as the “native church,” recognized the knowledge and beliefs of the native peoples, and created an emancipatory doctrine that allowed them to question the Church and the situations of injustice in which they live, and to struggle “for the construction of the kingdom of God on earth.”

There are now people of different religious faiths in the region, but who retain the guidance of the emancipatory doctrines, which allowed them to organize to form self-defense forces, regardless of the religion they profess. Today all the people who were gathered together prayed together.

Later, one of the women leaders read the petition of the 86 communities of people of Pantelhó. They identified with first and last names those who they locate as their aggressors; many of them embedded in the municipal government apparatus. “Under the coordination of the mayor’s office, the municipal and sectorial police count on the participation of organized crime, which is the reason it has been of no use to demand justice,” they pointed out.

“During these years all the communities have been afraid, without the right to live in peace, without security, without justice (…) that’s why the indigenous peoples’ self-defense group rose up, for the purpose of defending the life and the rights of our brothers,” their communiqué points out.

They reported that they don’t recognize the authorities elected last June 6, because they also accuse them of belonging to organized crime. They announced that they will elect their new authorities next October 1 through the system of uses and customs and that the self-defense forces will be maintained until the siege and presence of the criminal groups is over.

After giving their word, they turned it over to Josefina Bravo. The official recognized that the Pantelhó region is part of an organized crime corridor that operates in Chiapas. She said that she would promote dialogue, that complaints will be investigated, and that she respects the decisions of the communities that organized their self-defense group.


Originally Published in Spanish by Chiapas Paralelo

Sunday, July 18, 2021

Re-Published with English interpretation by the Chiapas Support Committee

Chiapas, from paramilitaries to organized crime

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Above photo from a protest reads: “Pueblo Nuevo rises up and marches. No more armed groups, No more criminals, No more deaths and rapes… No more theft of municipal resources!”

By: Luis Hernández Navarro

In 2013, the successful businessman from Guerrero, Antonio Laredo Donjuán and his wife Mercedes Barrios Hernández, moved to the modest municipality of Pueblo Nuevo Solistahuacán, known as Pueblo Nuevo in Chiapas. They came from Cuernavaca. They acquired an enormous residence, established prosperous businesses and made friends with politicians and state police.

Solistahuacán means in the Náhuatl language: place of those who have weapons of steel. It is nestled in the mountains of northern Chiapas. Its terrain is rugged. The Señor de Esquipulas [1] is honored and members of the Seventh Day Adventist Church abound. Some 30,000 people live there, almost half of them indigenous. More than 50 percent of the villagers live in extreme poverty.

In spite of that, Don Toño and Doña Meche started a luxury car business and acquired multiple ranches, regardless of their price. He became good friends with the region’s mayors. He financed electoral campaigns in the municipalities of Rayón, Tapilula, Jitotol, Solusuchiapa, Juárez, Pueblo Nuevo and Rincón Chamula, in exchange for letting him appoint the police commanders. Politicians and those responsible for municipal and state public security would walk around his home to “say hello” (

But, five years after they settled in that corner of Chiapas, they were arrested. Interpol had been looking for them since 2008. The request came from the United States. The Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) of the US Treasury Department designated the Laredos as members of organized crime, dedicated to the production and distribution of heroine from Mexico to the United States. They placed it in batteries and vehicle bumpers, as well as in cans of fruits and vegetables, and transported it to Philadelphia, Chicago, New York and Camden, New Jersey. Antonio, according to the Americans, was the main coordinator of the group. His wife Mercedes was accused of sending proceeds from the sales to Mexico.

Between 2013 and 2018 the Laredo Barrios couple operated a powerful drug trafficking network from a humble Chiapas municipality with impunity. Their wealth and power were inexplicable to the eyes of everyone. But that didn’t matter. They flourished under the protection of a vast network of impunity and protection, and of operators who plundered and subjected the region’s indigenous communities. They were arrested at the request of the United States, which also requested their extradition (

One of Don Toño’s great friends was the mayor of Pueblo Nuevo Solistahuacán when the couple came to live in the municipality, the then PRD member (and now a member of the Solidarity Encounter Party (Partido Encuentro Solidario, PES) Enoc Díaz Pérez (shown in photo below).


Enoc’s trajectory seems to be taken from a manual of exemplary lives. On two occasions he was held in El Amate, a Chiapas prison. In 2008, he was pointed out as the head of Los Cacheros, a criminal gang, accused of murdering three state and one federal police agents. The agents dared to capture the Díaz Pérez brothers, accusing them of raping a young woman from the town. Hours later, an armed group rescued them from the prison. The agents paid for their dare with their lives. Four years later, Los Cacheros became Los Diablos. They were dedicated to subduing rebel populations with firearms and irrupting in patron saint or Catholic fiestas (

Despite his relationships, the state’s Congress disqualified Enoc in January 2015, when he and his men beat up and took several businessmen out of a restaurant. To his misfortune, he fell into disgrace with the powerful Secretary of Government of those years. The mayor was accused of torture, illegal deprivation of freedom, abuse of authority and criminal association. By then, an enormous house had already been built.

The story of the businessmen’s arrest could be part of a horror story. It reached Enoc’s ears that the businessmen had accused him of dealing in “chocolate” vehicles. [2] Angered, he ordered them to stop. Their captors announced to them that they would be executed and their bodies burned. Later, they were taken to an auditorium where, before 300 people, the mayor accused them of being “enemies of the people” and “hindering the development of the municipality.” (

Along the way, Díaz Pérez created a paramilitary-style movement, which he named “Proyecto Amigo Revolucionario No. 7” (Revolutionary Friend Project No. 7) and tried to expand it into neighboring municipalities. He imposed control over the communities with executions and silent forced displacements. It happened like that, for example, in 2019, in the displacement of the residents of San Pedro Hidalgo, in the municipality of San Pedro Duraznal. The following day, the paramilitary group burned houses, looted belongings and occupied the lands of San Pedro Hidalgo and San Pedro la Grandeza communities. ( These cases are just part of many more.

Although he remained in violent control of the communities, Enoc reappeared in the last election as a candidate for mayor with the PES. With just a few days to go, a commando murdered 5 members of the PRD who were transporting electoral packets. According to a witness, members of the armed group said that this had happened because of not following orders from Díaz Pérez (

Curiously, the criminal group that violently controls the Pantelhó municipal government named Enoc as an advisor.

Stories like those of the Laredos and Enoc Díaz Pérez demonstrate the mutation and association of paramilitaries and organized crime with governmental protection in Chiapas; it advances against the organized peoples who defend their autonomy. Their weapons are made with much more than flint.

[1] The Señor of Esquipulas is also known as the Black Christ of Esquipulas, a large statue carved from wood depicting a Black Christ on the cross. It is located in a basilica in Esquipulas, Guatemala.

[2] Typically, these are cars bought in the US, driven to Mexico, but not registered there because it costs a lot of money to register such a vehicle in Mexico.


Originally Published in Spanish by La Jornada

Tuesday, July 13, 2021

Re-Published with English interpretation by the Chiapas Support Committee