Chiapas Support Committee

Chenalhó armed group murders a member of the EZLN

Domingo's Home

By: Angeles Mariscal

Above Photo by Ángeles Mariscal: Xuxch´en, Aldama, the hometown of Domingo, the Zapatista murdered by armed civilians from Chenalhó.

Domingo was returning from San Andrés Larráinzar, with his family and other members of the communities that make up the support base of the Zapatista National Liberation Army (Ejército Zapatista de Liberación Nacional, EZLN), when members of the armed group that operates in Santa Martha, Chenalhó, ambushed him.

The armed group fired at them from area adjacent to the Xuxch’en community, where Domingo is from, a town in the municipality of Aldama, where for several years its residents have experienced harassment to evict them from 60 hectares of land that inhabitants of Santa Martha claim by way of arms.

Shooting towards Aldama communities intensified since last August. On the night of September 15, when Domingo and his family, who were aboard a truck, were returning to their town, “waited for the fire from the intense attack to cease and stayed by the Tabac bridge in Aldama. A shot hit the truck and the compañero threw himself over the side but the river was high and dragged him away,” his compañeros reported.

They had to wait for the shooting to stop and for the light of day to help them to look for Domingo’s body. They found him several hours later on a riverbank. He had a gunshot wound from a high-caliber weapon in his face.

That day, while the body of the EZLN member was taken to his community, the attacks on different Aldama towns continued. “The body was moved to the home of the deceased in the community of Xuxch’en, in Aldama. Upon leaving the highway that leads to Xuxchen, with police corporations (National Guard and state police) present, we were attacked with multiple shots with different caliber firearms from the Tok’oy parapet in the Santa Martha sector. Fortunately, no one was injured,” Adolfo Victorio López Gómez municipal president of Aldama explained.

The attacks against other communities in the municipality also continued. These are the reports: “At 6:56 pm, armed groups fired high-caliber weapons from the Santa Martha Volcán attack point in Chenalhó, in the direction of the Tabac community in Aldama.”

“There were shots from high-caliber weapons at 6:59 pm, coming from Chenalhó towards the community of Xuxch’en Aldama. At 7:01 pm, armed groups fired shots from high-caliber weapons from Tok’oy Saclum, Chenalhó, in the direction of Coco’ community in Aldama. The shooting was directed at homes, in both Xuxch’en, Coco’ and Tabac Aldama from different points on Thursday, September 16.”

When Domingo’s body was still waked in his home, the armed groups from Santa Martha, Chenalhó, continued shooting at his town.  “The armed attack intensified on the community of Xuxch’, in Aldama, from points in Chenalhó at 07:21 pm on September 16, 2021.”


Originally Published in Spanish by Chiapas Paralelo

Friday, September 17, 2021

Re-Published with English interpretation by the Chiapas Support Committee

Urgent action: ORCAO disappears two members of Patria Nueva Good Government Council, Caracol 10, “Cultivating the Rebel Seed”

Caracol 10
At the entrance to Caracol 10. (Photo: Pozol Colectivo)

Jobel, Chiapas, Mexico

As of September 14, 2021

To the peoples of the world

To the National Indigenous Congress (CNI)

To the Indigenous Governing Council (CIG)

To the Sixth National and International

To the Networks of Resistance and Rebellions

Sisters, brothers, compañeras, compañeros and two-spirited-compañeroas:

We denounce the hypocritical, lying and devious discourse of the federal government of Andrés Manuel López Obrador, of the governor of the state of Chiapas Rutilio Escandón Cadenas, to respect the autonomies of the Indigenous Peoples, when in fact it has implemented a series of counterinsurgency actions against the Autonomies that the peoples of the Zapatista Army of National Liberation and its Support Bases walk.

Today we announce, with the permissibility of the three levels of bad government: the municipal, state and federal, the kidnapping of two members of the Council of Good Government (JBG, Junta de Buen Gobierno), “New Dawn in Resistance and Rebellion for Life and Humanity,” in Caracol 10 “Blooming the Rebellious Seed.”

Two members of the Council of Good Government (JBG), José Antonio Sánchez Juárez and Sebastián Núñez Pérez, left on September 11 of this year, at around 8:00 in the morning, from the headquarters of the Council in a truck with rear-boards with license plates CW-0001-C to perform a Council task elsewhere.

When other Council members did not receive information on their whereabouts, a search was organized, locating the truck in the community of 7 de Febrero, in the municipality of Ocosingo, Chiapas. Please remember that this town is the headquarters of the Regional Organization of Coffee Growers of Ocosingo (ORCAO)—where, according to information received, the two Council members were detained in what is legitimate EZLN territory and where the store-cooperative, El Arco Iris (The Rainbow), was created as part of the expression of the autonomous Zapatista economy.

To date and time, Tuesday, September 14, the JBG has not been able to see the detainees, verify their state of health, or verify the place where they are, so they are as disappeared.

The ORCAO has perpetrated a series of criminal actions against the EZLN Support Bases of the Moisés-Gandhi autonomous community for several months. The most despicable acts being, those taking place since August 2020, the looting, robbery, destruction and burning of the autonomous cooperative store El Arco Iris, the kidnapping of the EZLN Support Base Félix López Hernández carried out on the day November 8, 2020, and the kidnapping of two Human Rights defenders from the Fray Bartolomé de Las Casas Human Rights Center on April 12 of this year.

Once again this year, in the month of September, they persist again with their criminal actions. This scale of violence orchestrated from the highest levels of the federal government takes place against the backdrop of the EZLN initiative “Travesía por la Vida Capitulo Europa” (Journey for Life Europe Chapter). The EZLN’s organizational initiative seeks to expand, in a peaceful and creative way, the seed of resistance-rebellion for humanity and Mother Earth, that is; for Life.

Due to these facts, we demand the presentation with life of the EZLN Bases of Support’s José Antonio Sánchez Juárez and Sebastián Núñez Pérez.

Stop the harassment of Autonomy and Life that the EZLN builds

Support Base Comrades: You are not alone! If they touch one by one they touch us all!

We call on the comrades of the Resistance and Rebellion Networks, the adherents to the National and International Sixth, to express their demand for the appearance alive of the fellow members of the Good Government Board

Red de Resistencias y Rebeldías AJMAQ.
Grupo de Trabajo No Estamos Todos y Todas
Espacio de Lucha contra el Olvido y la Represión (ELCOR)
Consejo Autónomo de la Costa
Centro de Derechos de la Mujer de Chiapas AC (CDMCH)
El Puente
Promedios de Comunicación Comunitaria
Proyecto Videoasta a indígenas de la frontera sur (PVIFS), Chiapas.
Salud y Desarrollo Comunitario A. C. (SADEC)
Mujeres y la Sexta
Colectivo Caracol de la Vida Morelos – Red de Resistencia y Rebeldía
Casa de Armonización Ancestral Maya NA CH’UL CHAN.
Diana Itzu Luna
Elena Morúa
Karela Contreras
Barbara Riviello
Gustavo Bárcenas
Alma Sánchez – México
Maria Matilde Salazar Rodríguez- Chihuahua, Chih.

If you want to add your name and signature write to:

(Photo: Pozol Colectivo)

Patria Nueva


First published in Spanish on September 14, 2021, by Red de Resistencias y Rebeldías AJMAQ (Network of Resistances and Rebellions AJMAQ) on their blog:

Translation into Englsih provided by the Chiapas Support Committee, Sept. 15, 2021

177 delegates of the Zapatista National Liberation Army left for Vienna, Austria


By: Nestor Jiménez

Before the departure of the “Zapatista Airborne Company” called La Extemporánea, the Mexico City International Airport stopped its activities for a moment. Travelers and workers attentively observed the contingent with whom some would share a flight moments later.

Without their customary ski masks to comply with the air terminal’s security requirements, they used face-masks, health shields and caps.

We’re talking about the 177 delegates who traveled yesterday on a first flight at noon and another at night to Vienna, Austria, prior to a stopover in Madrid, for the purpose of “dialoguing, listening, and proposing” with different organizations that invited them to the old continent.

The first group, made up of men, women and some children from the “play and mischief” collective, crossed the security filter slowly at 8 o’clock in the morning in front of the personnel who delayed the review of more than 80 Zapatistas with passports in hand, among them Subcomandante Moisés.

Later on the process was more agile, it only took 10 minutes for the whole group to pass the first filter and reach the security lines. [See photo below in the Mexico City Airport.]

In the Mexio City Airport

Otomís who are occupying the building belonging to the National Institute of Indigenous Pueblos organized the farewell with signs and banners on which they wished the travelers luck.

“They come to listen to them, and to us also; they carry our seed to continue in this struggle for life, it’s to defend our Mother Earth, it’s to go to share struggles and share our pains and also to see that there is another possible world. Unfortunately, we also have a lot of violence; compañeros have gone missing for defending life, our Mother Earth,” explained Isabel, a delegate of the Otomi community.

It’s not the first group to travel to Europe. Just last Saturday the maritime delegation called Squadron 421 returned from traveling in a ship and spending two and a half months on that continent.


Originally Published in Spanish by La Jornada

Tuesday, September 14, 2021

Re-Published with English interpretation by the Chiapas Support Committee

Zapatista Squadron 421 arrived in Mexico City

007n1pol-1 (1)

Subcomandante Moisés and other indigenous people welcomed the Zapatista retinue that ended the journey started last May. Photo: Jair Cabrera Torres

By: Fernando Camacho Servín

Amid great expectation and a chaotic welcome, members of the Squadron 421 Zapatista delegation arrived last night at Terminal 1 of the Mexico City International Airport, after visiting some thirty European countries, where they exposed their struggle and got to know the different collectives of that continent.

Although Lufthansa Airlines Flight LH498, coming from the German city of Frankfurt, appeared “on time” on the airport screens and was programmed to arrive at 7 pm; in reality, however, it was almost 9 pm when the eight representatives of the Zapatista National Liberation Army (Ejército Zapatista de Liberación Nacional, EZLN) arrived.

From 6 pm, various groups gathered in front of Gate E3, among them members of the Otomí community residing in Mexico City, as well as students, activists and sexual diversity groups, who waited for the Squadron 421 delegates amid slogans, shouts of support and resonances of the batucada. [1]

Due to the lateness of the arrival, Subcomandante Moisés –one of the Zapatista leaders who will travel to Europe next Monday, as part of the delegation called La Extemporánea– tried to dialogue with the police that guarded the gate for international arrivals in order to ease the exit of his compañeros.

Despite that, the EZLN representatives were taken through a different door than the one announced and immediately began to be followed by the civilian groups that were waiting for them and by the media, which generated shouts and shoves, in the midst of which the Zapatistas were escorted to get into an elevator and quickly leave the place.

As we reported in this daily newspaper, members of Squadron 421 set sail last May 3 from Isla Mujeres with the goal of reaching Europe across the Atlantic Ocean and touring Germany, Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Catalonia, Sardinia, Cyprus, Croatia, Denmark, Slovenia, the Spanish State, Finland, France, Greece, Holland, Hungary, Italy, Luxembourg, Norway, Basque Country, Poland, Portugal, the United Kingdom, Romania, Russia, Serbia, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey and Ukraine.

[1] Batucada is a sub-style of samba and refers to an African-influenced percussive style and is characterized by its repetitive style and fast pace.


Originally Published in Spanish by La Jornada

Sunday, September 12, 2021

Re-Published with English interpretation by the Chiapas Support Committee

The Zapatista delegation La Extemporánea arrives in the capital of the country


▲ Civilian organizations formed a security wall so that the EZLN delegates could enter the place. In the center, Subcomandante Moisés. Photo: Jair Cabrera

By: Fernando Camacho and Elio Henríquez

Members of La Extemporánea, the delegation of the Zapatista National Liberation Army (Ejército Zapatista de Liberación Nacional, EZLN) that will depart on Monday for Europe to meet with diverse social collectives on that continent, arrived in Mexico City last night, where the Otomí community residing in the country’s capital received them.

Amid incessant vivas and cries of support from those who went to welcome them, the 177 delegates of the Zapatista commission arrived a little after 10 o’clock at night at the local space of the Uníos collective, located at number 32 Carmona y Valle Street, Doctores District.

The EZLN representatives traveled in four passenger buses, accompanied by a group of observers and activists from civil organizations that formed a security wall so that the delegates could enter the building without mishap, which they entered without making statements.

Marisela Mejía, a member of the Otomí community, underscored the importance of La Extemporánea’s journey, so that the indigenous people of the Cho’ol, Tsotsil, Tseltal and Tojolabal languages that comprise it –among them Subcomandante Moisés– can strengthen ties with the old continent’s civil and popular organizations.

This activity “has a very important meaning because we’re going to visit that Europe of below, those communities and peoples just like us. They are mirrors and we are going to make that exchange of struggles, in which it’s necessary that they listen to us, as well as to listen to them. We are going to raise awareness and look at ourselves in those mirrors,” she defined.

The Zapatista delegation had left yesterday morning from Jacinto Canek Zapatista Caracol located in the Indigenous Center of Integral Training-University of the Earth Chiapas, with headquarters in San Cristóbal de las Casas.

The Fray Bartolomé de las Casas Human Rights Center reported that some of it’s members accompanied the caravan as observers, for the purpose of “dissuading and monitoring that no human rights violations are committed during the transfer.”

The organization asked national and international civil society “to be aware of this initiative that reaches more than 30 countries of Europe. La Extemporánea will continue the work started by the Zapatista Squadron 421 maritime delegation that last June began with a series of activities in part of the European territory and that since its arrival the EZLN re-named Tierra Insumisa or Slumil K’ajxemk’op” (Un-submissive Land).

Today, according to the Enlace Zapatista web page, members of the EZLN’s representation will take PCR tests for detection of Covid-19.

Also today, at 6:30 pm the Squadron 421 delegation will arrive in Terminal 1 of the Mexico City International Airport.

On Monday, September 13, La Extemporánea will leave the Uníos space for the capital’s air terminal, bound for the city of Vienna, Austria, after making a stop in Madrid, Spain.


Originally Published in Spanish by La Jornada

Saturday, September 11, 2021

Re-Published with English interpretation by the Chiapas Support Committee

EZLN: Itinerary of La Extemporánea


September 10, 2021: The airborne delegation [La Extemporánea] will depart the Jacinto Canek caracol early in the morning.

September 10, 2021: At an unspecified time after 18:00hrs, La Extemporánea [i] will arrive at the location on Carmona y Valle Street in Mexico City.

September 11, 2021: PCR testing of La Extemporánea.

The Squadron 421 will arrive from Europe at 18:30hrs on Lufthansa flight LH498 at the Mexico City airport, Terminal 1.

We invite everyone to come to welcome Squadron 421.

September 12, 2021: Preparations.

September 13, 2021: The first airborne group will leave for the airport from the Carmona y Valle Street location at 08:00hrs. They will depart Mexico at 12:10hrs and have a layover in Madrid, Spain, after which they will take Iberia flight IB6400 to their destination of Vienna, Austria.

The second group will leave for the airport from the Carmona y Valle Street location at 16:00hrs. They will depart Mexico at 20:45hrs and have a layover in Madrid, Spain, after which they will take Iberia flight IB6402 to their destination of Vienna, Austria.

September 14, 2021. La Extemporánea will arrive in Vienna, Austria, in that geography called Europe.

That’s all.

[i] See the EZLN’s August 17, 2021 communiqué for an explanation of the use of “La Extemporánea” [the extemporaneous]:

En español:

Women’s Victory


Mexico Decriminalizes Abortion

A La Jornada Editorial

In a historic and unanimous vote, [Mexico’s] Supreme Court of Justice of the Nation (SCJN) declared unconstitutional Article 196 of the Coahuila Penal Code, which punishes with imprisonment for one to three years women who abort voluntarily and those who assist them. As presiding minister Arturo Zaldívar reported, this decision established a mandatory criterion for all the country’s judges, so that similar cases pending resolution in any court in the country, must rule in the same sense.

In simple terms the foregoing means that: “from now on it will not be possible, without violating the criteria of the Court and the Constitution, to prosecute any woman who aborts” in the cases considered valid by the constitutional court. The decriminalization of the right of women to decide about their bodies is nothing less than a civilizing conquest that puts Mexico in the vanguard of the issue by making it the first nation in Latin America where a constitutional court rules on the human right of the woman to determine if she wants to be a mother or not.

Members of the Supreme Court have the merit of putting an end to a deplorable institutional inertia that maintained a fundamental right in limbo, left to the arbitrariness of local congresses and rulers. But, the victory belongs to all the women who for decades have fought in defense of their dignity, their sovereignty and their rights until achieving legal recognition of the inalienable power they have over their own bodies.

Now that abortion is decriminalized, the task of regulating it lies ahead. Now it’s up to the Legislative Power to approve regulations that establish terms and procedures, as well as arrange for the creation of infrastructure and assign the resources necessary to guarantee access to the voluntary interruption of pregnancy for women who require it. In that regard, it’s clear that it’s not enough to provide facilities and personnel, but that it must be legislated broadly and with a careful adherence to the perspective of gender, so that the services provided are medically, ethically and psychologically adequate. It cannot be forgotten that for many women the termination of a pregnancy is a difficult decision, still charged with guilt and social stigmatization, and therefore the health personnel must be prepared to accompany them with total respect for their autonomy and dignity.

Faced with such a challenge, federal legislators would do well to observe the example of Mexico City, where, far from leaving the exercise of this right to the discretion of the market, mechanisms were created to ensure the gratuity, security and decorum of the services public institutions provide.

In conclusion, this transcendental advance on the road to dismantling the regime of oppression that women have suffered must be greeted in the most effusive terms, but without losing sight of how much remains to be achieved, both a life free of gender-based violence, and substantive equality at all levels of public and private activity.


Originally Published in Spanish by La Jornada

Wednesday, September 8, 2021

Re-Published with English interpretation by the Chiapas Support Committee

“We can’t take it anymore, we are migrants, not animals”

This article further describes why the Zapatistas issued the “Against Xenophobia and Racism” communiqué.


Text by: Ángeles Mariscal

Photos by Ángeles Mariscal 

With torn feet, under sun and rain, hundreds of migrants from Haiti, Venezuela, Cuba, Central America and other nations continued the caravan that left last Saturday from the city of Tapachula, Chiapas, a place where some have stayed for more than a year, without work and awaiting the Mexican government’s response to their requests for asylum. They say the Mexican immigration system has collapsed.

Tapachula became a prison for them, because immigration authorities impose a ban on leaving the city, even though their appointments to attend to their requests are not until January.

“I can’t take care of my family there in Tapachula, the only work that I can find there is unloading truckloads of goods in the market, from 2 in the morning to 4 in the afternoon, for 100 pesos a day. This only gives me enough to buy some tortillas and vegetables for my children,” explained Alexandro Rodríguez Valera, from the Dominican Republic, who has been in the city for seven months.

This situation is compounded by racism, discrimination and abuse by some some settlers, who see in others competition for jobs, because in Chiapas, 7 out of 10 people live in poverty.

On their second day of walking, they survived a violent detention attempt by immigration agents, military and elements of the National Guard. Some were detained and taken to the immigration station.

Among those who continue, the fatigue is already felt. Every few minutes they make stops, trying to shield themselves from the sun or the rain, under the trees of the coastal highway that runs from the city of Tapachula to the center of the country.

Only two municipal ambulances came close to look them over and give fluids to those who showed signs of dehydration, to bandage the legs of those whose pain will prevent them from continuing.

“There is still so far, so very far left to go.”


On their second day, they have only advanced 74 kilometers. A solidarity trailer tried to give them a ride, hundreds got on in the first moment, but then distrust made them get off. They decided to continue walking together, as a measure of protection.

Along the migratory route, adding to the threat of deportation are threats of organized crime, which also has made a business of kidnapping migrants.

Some organizations brought water and food, but as of now there is no more humanitarian aid. “We can’t take anymore, there are children, men whose feet are so torn up that they can’t walk,” says Filomena Martín, one of the few Haitian women who speaks Spanish.

“There are children who have not had any bread since yesterday, and only drink water. You can’t do that, those people (Mexican authorities) have hearts of stone; they are mothers and fathers too. They have to have compassion, to have mercy. If we are making the decision to go on foot in a caravan, it is because the situation is truly very difficult, very hard for us,” the woman explained.

“In Tapachula,” she said, “there’s no room for more migrants and thousands more are still coming. And now there are Hondurans, Guatemalans, Venezuelans. There are Haitians, Cubans, Africans, from everywhere. We can’t take anymore. We have asked the President of Mexico and the organizations to have mercy on us, to look at the situation. Today is the second day and there is so far, so far to go.”

Brien –young, strong, athletic– cannot hold back his tears as he speaks with the staff of the National Commission for Human Rights (CNDH) that came to observe the caravan. He immigrated from Haiti, crossed the jungle of the Darien Gap in Colombia, and now feels vulnerable in the face of his situation in Mexico.

“Please do something, I ask you from the bottom of my heart, please, we truly can’t take anymore. Please, in the streets there are pregnant women, children. The only thing we want is to be at peace, to get somewhere where we can work, and live as immigrants, and live free. Peace! Peace! We don’t want to go to the United States, we want to get to a place in Mexico where there is work, where there is a life for us. We are migrants, not animals.”

Migrants 3

A Collapsed Immigration System

Enrique Vidal, from the Fray Matías de Córdova, explained that the Mexican immigration system on the southern border has collapsed, without a budget or staffing to attend to the requests of the thousands of people entering the country.

“There is a historical arrival of immigrants in Mexico, a product of the systemic crisis that their countries of origin are experiencing, and the Mexican government has not reinforced the immigration system with either budget or personnel in order to respond to the migrants’ requests.”

In the case of those who decided to embark on the caravan to leave the city of Tapachula, he explained that they had waited several months for a response to their applications, but the majority could not get an appointment until January.

This forces them to stay in Tapachula, “which is experiencing a serious humanitarian crisis due to overcrowding, lack of basic services, and the gradual but widespread deterioration of the physical and emotional well-being of migrants living in precarious health conditions.”

Vidal revealed that the Mexican immigration system must be modified, and provide options for migrants who so desire to remain in the country safely, to have options for employment, and to integrate into society without racism and discrimination. And so those who want to reach the border of the United States can do so, and begin their applications for that country.


Originally Published in Spanish by Chiapas Paralelo

Monday, August 30, 2021

English Translation: Schools for Chiapas

Re-Published by the Chiapas Support Committee

Against Xenophobia and Racism, the Struggle for Life

Screenshot 2021-09-06 at 11.15.46 AM



September 4, 2021

To whom it may concern:

In accordance with the Zapatista Good Government Councils, the CCRI-CG of the EZLN and the indigenous Zapatista communities, we declare the following:

First: In recent days we have witnessed the inhumane treatment by the Mexican State of migrants trying to leave the silent and invisible trap in which they find themselves in the city of Tapachula, Chiapas, Mexico.

Second, as in previous governments, the Mexican government promises sanctions for the “excesses”committed by agents of the National Institute of Immigration (INM, its initials in Spanish) in response to citizen complaints and claims of these cruelties. This promise is nothing but another lie. The agents are told that this will be said publicly, to avoid pressure from so-called public opinion, but that they should continue with their manhunting methods without fearing the consequences. No migrant should go beyond Chiapas.

Third: Even among the elements of the so-called National Guard there is discontent. Because they were told that their mission was going to be to fight organized crime, and now they have them as dogs of prey hunting dark-skinned people. Because that is the instruction: hunt down anyone with dark skin color: “Stop any fucking black person you come across,” is the order. It is a foreign policy statement.

Fourth: The indoctrination of the agents of the National Institute of Immigration borders on the ridiculous. They are told that they are defending Mexico from an invasion, as an INM official brazenly declared. It would not hurt for the National Institute of Immigration to take some basic history classes — now that classes are back in session– to understand that those who are invading are from the United States government, which is imposing this migratory policy that contradicts the entire history of the Mexican State’s foreign policy.

Fifth: The maneuvers carried out by the INM to keep human rights organizations and the press from documenting its actions remind us of what the Salinas de Gortari government did in the first days of 1994, when it closed all access to the Lacandón jungle to prevent people from knowing what it was doing. And the manhunt for migrants reminds us of the Zedillo government that, in 1995, sent dogs after us.

Sixth: It is embarrassing enough for a government that calls itself progressive to bow to the foreign policy of the U.S. government, without adding its imitation of how Chiapas landowners, just a few years ago, used to subjugate their peons. According to the religious references that are so dear up there [in government], it is preached: “may your left foot not know who you are kicking with your right foot.”

Seventh: We call upon every honest and sensitive person to demand that this situation be stopped now. And that, to the extent of everyone’s possibilities, humanitarian aid be provided to the migrants.

For our part, the Zapatista indigenous communities, through their 12 Good Government Councils and the Zapatista Sixth Commission, have collected a modest amount of money, which will be sent to some of the shelters or organizations that do humanitarian work with migrants in Chiapas.

We call on the Sexta Nacional, the Networks in Resistance and Rebellion, the collective “The Hour of the Peoples has Come,” the Non-Governmental Organizations and people of good will throughout the world to do what they can to, first, stop the hunt perpetrated by the INM with the National Guard’s support and, second, to improve the living conditions of the migrant population present in this geography called Mexico.

Just like these migrant brothers and sisters and those of us who are extemporaneous, the day will come when we will all be migrants and extemporaneous on this planet. And whoever does not have the color of money, will be persecuted, hunted, confined, disappeared, eliminated.

Hence, against xenophobia and racism, the struggle for life.

From the mountains of the Mexican Southeast,

Subcomandante Insurgente Moisés | Subcomandante Insurgente Galeano.

Mexico, September 4, 2021.


Originally Published in Spanish by Enlace Zapatista

Saturday, September 4, 2021

English Translation: Schools for Chiapas

Re-Published by the Chiapas Support Committee

From Kabul to Tegucigalpa: refugee or immigrant?


▲ Some 640 Afghans crammed into a US Air Force plane to be moved from Kabul to Qatar.

By: Miguel Tinker Salas* and Víctor Silverman*

Although separated by almost 14,000 kilometers, the disasters in Afghanistan and in Honduras have a common denominator: US policies that victimize both countries. In the first case the failed war against terrorism, which ultimately expanded the radius of action of these groups, and in the second case the failed war against drug trafficking, which ultimately increased the number of criminal groups, extended their penetration of State institutions and increased the violence that the population faced, particularly women.

In both cases, thousands of individuals and families are now displaced, converting them into refugees or exiles, as a result of policies promoted by Washington. Sadly, this story has been repeated in every country where the US or its NATO allies have intervened, be it Cuba, Vietnam, Haiti, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Sudan, Libya, Syria, and now Afghanistan and Honduras.

After 20 years of war and occupation, the US now abandons Afghanistan. Images from the Kabul airport, where thousands of people were trying to escape the Taliban are terrifying. Families, women and even young people scaling the walls that surrounded the airport to get on the planes generated sympathy around the world, but in particular among the Western media that for years had perpetuated the myth that US actions in Afghanistan had achieved their objective. These same media outlets highlight the treatment women will receive as a result of the Taliban victory. The US and its European allies organized an unparalleled evacuation to extract more than 120,000 people who allegedly cooperated with the occupying army, or with the old corrupt regime that the US financed.

Although they don’t generate the same international attention and sympathy, similar images emerge in Honduras. Hundreds of people, not in airplanes, but in trucks, buses, and on foot a leave their country every day. Their numbers include hundreds of minors and women, refugees from femicide, who are forced to leave Honduras, where the corrupt government, which has the de facto support of the United States, is incapable of meeting the most basic needs required for daily survival. Even when they don’t flee from a political force like the Taliban, these people are victims of an economic and military project that makes it impossible to remain in their own country. Without international aid and facing a situation of poverty and violence, these people are forced to form caravans in order to escape from organized crime or government forces that try to profit from their precarious situation.

Like in Afghanistan, where the US maintained corrupt, sectarian and unpopular governments in power, as was the case with Hamid Karzai or Ashraf Ghani, in Honduras the US supported the coup against Manuel Zelaya in 2009. Afterwards, the State Department did what it could to prevent his return. Washington recognized the victory of the current president Juan Orlando Hernández (JOH), even when international observers from the very same United States concluded that his victory was due to electoral fraud. To stay in power, JOH, whose government operates like a kleptocracy, represses social movements and sectors that criticize his government. Although federal courts in the US have pointed to him as a participant in drug trafficking, Washington continues supporting him to avoid a possible triumph of the left. Just like Afghan President Ghani, who fled from his country with four cars and a helicopter full of money, according to the Afghan ambassador in Tajikistan, the reality is that, without US support, Hernández would not be the president of Honduras today.

More than half a million Afghans have been displaced in the last months of the conflict. Those who weren’t able to leave by plane (or helicopter, like their president), now head toward the border with Pakistan from where they hope to march to Europe. Despite the sympathy that their situation generated, their future is uncertain. The European Union (EU) has already indicated that it will not give them refuge, they are “migrants.” Emmanuel Macron, president of France, declared that his country: “has to protect itself from Afghan immigrants.”

As in the US, the same sectors of the right that promoted the intervention in Afghanistan, and that reject Central American and Haitian immigrants, criticize the possible arrival of Afghans in the US. Some sectors of the left and the right propose granting asylum, but only to the Afghans who were loyal allies of the US army. Among the Afghans, as well as the Central Americans, without considering their responsibility in both cases, the US and the European countries distinguish between those who deserve help and those who they leave to their fate.

According to the UN’s Agency for Refugees, there are more than 82 million displaced persons, the highest number in history. To that number are added 272 million migrants. Jointly, almost 5 percent of the world’s population has been expelled from their homes as a consequence of economic, political, social and environmental disasters. In moral terms, and in practice, it’s not possible to distinguish between migrants and refugees.

How should the world respond to this humanitarian crisis? Confronting a more uncertain future in which the world is in danger as a result of permanent wars, impoverishment and global warming, a new human right must be established: the right to emigrate.

* History Professors, Pomona College

@mtinkersalas y @victorsilverman


Originally Published in Spanish by La Jornada

Wednesday, September 1, 2021

Re-Published with English interpretation by the Chiapas Support Committee