“If the Sup Doesn’t Speak, the EZLN Doesn’t Exist for the Media or the Politicians”
** In a new communiqué Marcos attempts “to throw fuel on the fire” from his graphic letter
** He also criticizes those who accuse the Zapatistas of being an invention of Carlos Salinas de Gortari
By: Hermann Bellinghausen
In a series of 16 “post-scripts to the graphic letter” published Thursday, Subcomandante Marcos now appears “throwing fuel on the fire.” And he proves, with data, in the new communiqué, that if he doesn’t speak, the EZLN and the rebel communities “don’t exist” to the media, the political class and public opinion (come in a tweet or in whatever). He also continue responding to his critics with soccer information, tips for navigating in the seas of piracy in Mexico City, ironies about television, print media, social networks and the partisan left.
One of these PS “gives advice to those who go to the IFE to ask for registry:” “Perhaps it would go better for you in the elections if instead of judging ‘the deaths from hunger’ (it is more tender than what you told them in the case of the pre-paid gift cards) that didn’t vote for you, you try to understand them. But okay, millions of Mexicans who did vote for you, can explain who are each one of the mentioned characters or series” (in the cartoon published by La Jornada, 01/10/13).
Further on, the Subcomandante “does a little bit from memory:” “When a part of the learned left still juggled to try to give a theoretical foundation to the unfortunate occurrence of the ‘beloved republic,’ and a torrid honeymoon was lived with the big communications media (and large quantities of money were dedicated to publicity in electronic and print media), the students of what later would be known as #YoSoy132 were already denouncing the role of the big communications media in Mexican ‘democracy.’ After what happened and that same learned left wanted to establish itself as the tutor of the young rebels (or ‘rioters’, as they say now). As they are no longer in fashion, they forgot about them and tell them ‘you lost your opportunity,’ ‘much noise and you didn’t get anything,’ ‘Starbucks revolutionaries (or however you say it),’ ‘you can’t change the world with a Smartphone (or however you say it).’ The calendar will continue losing blood and, suddenly, they will re-emerge, better, stronger. And those that now forget about them or criticize them will say ‘sure, I knew that they had not disappeared’ or ‘now I am going to say tell them what it is that they must do,’ but others will say ‘there is a lot of suspicion in that you appear every time that something happens.’”
Lesson in racism
In one more PS in his communiqué, the Zapatista spokesperson “gives lessons about racism with the following commentaries: “I read in various directions that ‘EZLN yes, Marcos no’ and that they want to hear the indigenous Zapatistas, not the egomaniacal Sup. Ok, go: The last time that el Sup wrote a communiqué in the name of the EZLN: May 2011, on the occasion of the march in support of the just and dignified movement headed by Javier Sicilia. In the communiqué of the CCRI-CG of the EZLN it greeted the Movement for Peace with Justice and Dignity and its struggle for the victims of the absurd war of Felipe Calderón.”
And he adds: “Between May 7, 2011 and December 21, 2012 there are 27 denunciations from the Good Government Juntas, in other words, from indigenous Zapatistas WITHOUT INTERMEDIARIES mestizos, white and bearded (and the common places that they like to gather), all tweeted and facebooked (or however you say it) by the enlace Zapatista web page. On an average, the 27 denunciations were visited-read 1500 times each and all of them were several days on the principal heading of that web page.”
Marcos gives an “example,” the denunciation of the La Realidad Junta, August 15, 2012: “For 24 days it was posted as the principal note on the Zapatista web page and it received 1,080 visits-readers. The number of tweets (or however you say it) that it provoked: zero. The number of journalists that ‘made note of’ the denunciation: one. The number of comments from intellectuals in their writings: zero. The number of re-tweets (or however you say it): zero. The number of comments accusing the EZLN of being an invention of Salinas de Gortari: zero. The number of unfounded imaginations about why the EZLN only appears in electoral times: zero. The number of newspapers that published the denunciation in their print edition: zero. For sure, the text of the Junta denounced the alliance between the state and municipal government with the PVEM and the PRD to attack Zapatista communities.”
And next he points out: “The number of visits to the Sup’s cartoon that so offended the cultured people: more than 5 thousand in less than 48 hours (mostly twitters –or however you say it–, more the pingbacks –or however you say it–, the cut and pastes, etcetera). Now, review the period that goes from August 2003, the year in which the Juntas were formed and in which they became the direct spokespersons of the Zapatista peoples, and you will see how many time they made official statements, in their own words and without intermediaries. Count how many times you even knew that that word existed. Ok, now yes, they will write about the ‘suspicious’ silence of the Zapatistas and will question why the Zapatistas and Marcos ‘appear’ only when the PRI, that never went away, returns.”
Upon reviewing “the ‘suspicious’ affirmations about the EZLN,” Marcos indicates: “A good part of the arguments that they use when they criticize us are the same ones that the big television networks, commercial radio and the misnamed ‘sellout press’ used, from 1994-95 to this date.” And next “it suggests, insinuates, proposes” a “suppository:”
“A possible route that the ‘caricaturized debate’ (for sure, without the young female aide that so impressed Señor Quadri) could have followed: those alluded to answer with a caricature wherein the Sup is sprawled out, scratching what are very dear, bulging out and choking on junk food, watching television (probably with the Televisa logo, because best that they are careful not to glue themselves to Tv Azteca –ah, and we don’t accuse them of being paid for by Salinas Pliego or Carlos Slim, or that their campaign against the Soriana workers was paid for by Walmart–), the title or a dialogue globe with something just like ‘I am preparing my next communiqué.’
“El Sup counterattacks with another caricature, titled ‘The Recent Past,’ where he is in his wheelchair and an Indigenous in front says to him: ‘The compas say that they are ready, that it falls to you and that you already know what to do.’ The Sup responds: ‘Ok, I need to speak with Elías Contreras to order some DVDs from him.’ The media and friends that accompany them no longer would reproduce the caricature, but rather would start with unfounded kind of imaginations ‘Is the Sup an invalid and therefore does not appear publically?’ followed by ‘very serious’ investigations about the possible diseases that they could have as a consequence of being in a wheelchair.”
Low intellectual coefficient
Trying to submit oneself to the limits of Twitter, in a sudden appearance Durito suggests: “The Zapatistas are like Doctor House: the diagnosis and treatment almost always hit the mark, but the mode of the majority disgusts him. Of the patient, not speaking.”
Always in reference to reactions and responses that have stirred up his recent communications, the Zapatista military commander “clarifies:” “We have read them attentively. We see how, when one dissents from another, they are accused as a Pejezombie  or as a Televisa fan and their derivatives. We don’t thin that disparities necessarily have a political affiliation. For example, when someone says ‘the EZLN is an invention of Salinas de Gortari’ we don’t think that he is necessarily a troll, a Pejezombie, a Televisa fan or a Tv Azteca fan (or however they mutually say it). It can be, we think, that we’re just dealing with someone with a low intellectual coefficient, too lazy to read more than 140 characters, or that he is trying to link up with someone that already said that.”
Challenging geometry, he writes: “The world is round, it turns, it changes. But in the world imposed by those above it doesn’t matter how many turns it takes, we are always below. The world that we want is also round, also turns, also changes, but no one is above at the expense of those below.”
Finally, the Zapatista commander gives his opinion “about the millions against the thousands, the hundreds, the dozens or the few,” a theme also present in the latest reactions of his critics: “The argument of the majority against the minority makes us lazy and makes me remember an old graffiti (or how do you say it) on an old wall that I saw when it was old. With a fiesta of colors, it sentenced: Eat shit. Millions of flies cannot be wrong.”
 Pejezombie – Peje is the nickname for Andrés Manuel López Obrador (AMLO), twice the presidential candidate of the Party of the Democratic Revolution (PRD) in Mexico, who has since left the PRD to start a new party whose acronym is Morena. Saying Pejezombie is like saying AMLO zombie.
Originally Published in Spanish by La Jornada
Sunday, January 13, 2013
DICIEMBRE DE 2012 RESUMEN DE NOTICIAS SOBRE LOS ZAPATISTAS
1. Mas de 40,000 zapatistas marchan en Chiapas – El 21 de diciembre, al final de la cuenta larga del calendario maya (13 Baktun) y del inicio de un nuevo calendario, más de 40,000 bases de apoyo Zapatista marcharon en silencio en cinco ciudades chiapanecas (Ocosingo, Palenque, San Cristóbal, Las Margaritas y Altamirano). Construyeron plataformas en las plazas principales de cada ciudad y cada uno subió a la plataforma con los puños en alto, luego bajaron y en silencio regresaron a los Caracoles de donde vinieron. Los comandantes zapatistas (el CCRI-CG) publicaron un comunicado firmado por el Subcomandante Insurgente Marcos dirigido a los medios de comunicación. Decía en parte: “ESCUCHARON? Es el sonido de su mundo derrumbándose. Es el del nuestro resurgiendo…” Era un mensaje breve pero directo al nuevo gobierno: Todavía estamos aquí. Hemos resistido la contrainsurgencia y estamos más fuertes por haber aprendido cómo resistir y construir nuestra autonomía. Nuestro mundo está resurgiendo. Esta muestra de fuerza sacudió a los de arriba y provocó olas de esperanza en l@s de abajo. Vea el video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5K_z_ceSlwE&feature=youtu.be
2. El EZLN emite 3 comunicados – El 30 de diciembre, el EZLN emitió un nuevo comunicado y dos cartas. El comunicado habla de los próximos pasos del EZLN. Una de las cartas va dirigida a miembros del nuevo gobierno (“los de arriba”) y la otra carta a Luis H. Alvarez, el ex-Comisionado para Pueblos Indígenas que anduvo por Chiapas dando dinero a no-zapatistas y anti-zapatistas para comprar sus conciencias. Pronto publicaremos mas información sobre estos comunicados.
3. Las Abejas conmemoran el 15 aniversario de la Masacre de Acteal – Del 20 al 22 de diciembre, Las Abejas realizaron ceremonias para conmemorar el 15 aniversario de la Masacre de Acteal. Entre los discursos que se dieron, las Abejas criticaron al nuevo gobierno por la violenta represión en la Ciudad de México el 1ro. de diciembre y por incluir en su gabinete a Emilio Chuayffet como Secretario de Educación. Él ocupaba el cargo de Secretario de Gobernación cuando ocurrió la masacre, y Las Abejas lo consideran como uno de los autores intelectuales de la misma que aun no ha sido llevado a la justicia. Las Abejas también señalaron que ahora son más fuertes en su lucha y resistencia. La Comisión Indígena del Movimiento por la Paz con Justicia y Dignidad asistió a las ceremonias en Acteal y, mientras estaban en Chiapas, visitaron a los presos zapatistas y de la Otra Campaña en el penal de San Cristóbal.
4. Nuevo gobernador toma posesión en Chiapas – El día 8 de diciembre de 2012, Manuel Velasco Coello empezó su cargo como nuevo gobernador de Chiapas. Es integrante del Partido Verde Ecologista de México (PVEM). Al inicio de su administración, Velasco Coello saludó al EZLN y a las Juntas de Buen Gobierno, indicando que reconocía sus aportaciones y que él quería tener buenas relaciones con ellos. También enfatizó que quería reducir las tensiones. ¡Ya veremos! El nuevo gobernador puso en libertad a los dos hermanos López Monzon, bases de apoyo zapatistas, y sus dos hermanos no-zapatistas quienes estaban presos en la cárcel de Motozintla, además de retirar las órdenes de aprehensión en contra de Alfonso Cruz Espinoza, un base de apoyo zapatista propietario del terreno pegado al sitio arqueológico de Toniná. Después de que un colectivo del caracol zapatista de Morelia construyera un kiosko zapatista de artesanía, el gobierno anterior libró órdenes de aprehensión en contra de Cruz Espinosa. Al parecer, el gobierno saliente de Sabines esperaba mucho turismo alrededor de la fecha del inicio del Baktún (a fines de diciembre 2012), y quería ocultar la presencia zapatista para l@s extranjer@s.
Por otras partes de México
1. Heridos y detenciones en las protestas del 1 de diciembre – Como reportamos el mes pasado, Enrique Peña Nieto pronunció su juramento como presidente de México el 1 diciembre, en medio de protestas que se se volvieron violentas y en las cuáles hubo muchos heridos, aparentemente por balas de goma disparadas por la policía o por gas lacrimógeno. Varias personas sufrieron heridas graves. Un joven miembro de #YoSoy132 perdió un ojo. Otro hombre, adherente de La Otra campaña del EZLN, sufrió heridas severas en el cerebro y permanece en estado de coma inducido. Algunos de los manifestantes fueron arbitrariamente detenidos, muchos de ellos jóvenes y del movimiento #YoSoy132. La policía puso en prisión a 70. La mayor parte de ellos fueron liberados poco después. Sin embargo, 14 permanecieron encarcelados enfrentando cargos y sin derecho a la libertad bajo fianza. Existen vídeos que prueban la arbitrariedad policiaca en varias de las detenciones y que demuestran la falsedad de las acusaciones. Hubo también varias manifestaciones exigiendo la libertad de los 14. Las últimas noticias sobre este tema fueron que la Asamblea Legislativa de la Ciudad de México aprobó modificaciones a la ley, que disminuyen la severidad del castigo en el delito de “ataques a la paz pública” para que los 14 pudieran alcanzar la libertad bajo fianza. Y, el 27 de diciembre, inmediatamente después de que fue oficialmente publicada la nueva legislación, todos los 14 fueron puestos en libertad. Todavía tendrán que continuar con los procesos judiciales en las cortes, pero continúan también los actos de protesta exigiendo que todos los cargos les sean disueltos. A pesar de la legislación de la Ciudad de México, la represión violenta y las detenciones han solidificado la oposición al nuevo gobierno PRIista de Enrique Peña Nieto.
2. Cifra de muertos debido a la guerra contra las drogas alcanza 116,100! -Una organización civil Italiana, Libera, informó que calcula en aproximadamente 136,000 las muertes malintencionadas entre 2006 y Diciembre de 2012. De estas, 116,000 son atribuibles a la “guerra contra las drogas”. Libera es una agrupación de más de mil organizaciones de derechos humanos y activistas de Europa y América. Sus cifras fueron recopiladas del Inegi (Agencia de estadísticas del Gobierno de México) y de defensores de derechos humanos. Antes de este informe, el Comité de Apoyo a Chiapas había confirmado un número similar con algunos fuentes en Chiapas.
Compilación mensual hecha por el Comité de Apoyo a Chiapas.
Nuestras principales fuentes de información son: La Jornada, Enlace Zapatista y el Centro de Derechos Humanos Fray Bartolomé de las Casas (Frayba).
Chiapas Support Committee/Comité de Apoyo a Chiapas
P.O. Box 3421, Oakland, CA 94609
Tel: (510) 654-9587
México D.F. on January 3, 2013.
Our struggle is for life, and the evil government offers death as the future.
Our struggle is for justice, and the evil government is filled with criminals and assassins.
Our struggle is for peace, and the evil government announces war and destruction.
CCRI-CG of the EZLN
To the Zapatista Army of National Liberation
Brothers and sisters
First, we send you a fraternal embrace for your 29 years as EZLN and for the 19 years since you appeared publically. We congratulate you because we, in our short existence as a movement, know full well how difficult it is to build and sustain an organization. And above all, for your steadfastness, for showing us that morals, ethics and truth are the most powerful tools to build a world with peace, justice, dignity and democracy.
We also use this letter to thank you for the many lessons you have given to Mexican society and the solidarity you gave to the victims of May 7, 2011, when, making our cry yours, We’ve Had It Up to Here! [¡Estamos hasta la madre!], you came out to march in silence to demand an end to the war and justice for the victims. We will never forget that great mobilization and message as well as the fraternal reception that the Good Government of Oventic gave to the Caravan to the South.
Since then, the Movement for Peace with Justice and Dignity diagnosed the national emergency that you had already foreseen. With our walk in sorrow, we confirmed that this world is indeed crumbling and, facing this, we recuperated the fundamental elements of our humanness and life to begin building another world.
Just like you, we have taken on the struggle in the terrain of the symbolic to show the breadth of the transcendence of our causes. That’s why we have put the testimony of the victims before the discourse of politics. However, the deafening system – in which the political class and organized crime have satiated their ambition for power and wealth, imposing a criminal economy where life and death are interchangeable products – has blocked all understanding of the gravity of the situation in which we are submerged: 80,000 dead, 20,000 disappeared, hundreds of thousands displaced and families and bodies destroyed. This new face of war is nothing more than the extension of the long night of the 500 years, which the dictatorship of the State party has taken charge of redressing in paramilitarism and repression against the people and social movements.
In spite of the foregoing, we walked to raise up the voice and testimony of the victims throughout the width and breadth of the country, as well as across the United States of North America, publically calling for accountability from those above, all political parties and all the powers that be, exposing the ethical and moral degradation of the political class, the criminals and the institutions. In our walk we have also seen dignified peoples and persons who are confronting this reality, breaking with the dynamics of the system and putting down the bases for the construction of other worlds, almost always with youth, victims and indigenous peoples as the main social subjects. We also identify as the indigenous peoples those who can be found heading up the construction of alternatives: Cherán, Santa María Ostula and Tiripetío in Michoacán; the peoples of the mountain and coast of Guerrero who bringing to life the Community Police; the defense of the sacred lands of the Wirrárikas and hundreds of communities that resist the megaprojects, the extraction economy and the accumulation of wealth by plunder.
Since May 8, 2011, before thousands of people in main plaza of Mexico City, we proposed the necessity of setting the minimum bases needed to begin the reconstruction of the country. In that sense, we believe that one of the first necessary minimum measures is the signing and fulfillment of the San Andrés Larráinzar Accords, a project that would be the first step, not only to begin to pay off the historic debt that the Mexican nation has with her first peoples but so that the State keeps its word and, above all, to begin the construction of a model of democracy and justice through which true peace with dignity can be consolidated. That’s why, and responding to your most recent communiqués, we want to let you know that we are ready to begin walking at your side and at the side of all Mexicans who are committed to this demand. That we believe that a Mexico with Peace, Justice and Dignity is only possible with Democracy and Liberty. That Mexico cannot be a complete nation with her peoples.
Dear Zapatista sisters and brothers,
We say from our hearts, which have been hurt by war and that struggle so that other families don’t have to live the sorrow of losing or having a family member disappeared: we embrace your struggle the way you have embraced ours. We will struggle for a Mexico for all, a country that truly includes and recognizes her indigenous peoples, for a country where there are no dead or disappeared due to the ambition and opulence of a few and one in which, as your communities have already begun doing so, life that has been violently taken away can begin to flower again.
In the construction of a Mexico with Peace, Justice, Democracy and Dignity. All together!
Movimiento por la Paz con Justicia y Dignidad
(Movement for Peace with Justice and Dignity)
WE DON’T KNOW YOU? ***
Zapatista National Liberation Army
December 29, 2012.
To Whom It May Concern Up There Above:
They think that they are in the winning party… so that, besides being traitors, they are idiots. Tyrion Lannister in A Song of Ice and Fire. Volume II: “Clash of Kings.” George R.R. Martin.
” —A reader lives a thousand lives before dying —John said—; one who never reads lives only one,” Jojen Reed in A Song of Ice and Fire. Volume V: “Dance of Dragons.” George R.R. Martin. (Jojen Reed will appear in the third season of the HBO series “Game of Thrones.” Thomas Brodie-Sangster will interpret the character. Note contributed by Marquitos Spoil).
—If anyone draws a bull’s eye on their chest —Tyrion said after sitting down and drinking a sip of wine— he has to be conscious of the fact that sooner or later they are going to launch arrows at him.
—We all need to make fun of ourselves from time to time, Lord Mormont —Tyrion replied shrugging his shoulders—. Otherwise, we start to take ourselves too seriously. Tyrion Lannister with the commanders of the Night’s Watch. In “A Song of Ice and Fire,” Volume I: “Game of Thrones.”
“An end to the handsome men / it’s better being ugly but tasty / than being handsome and driveling” Botellita de Jerez.
Ladies and Gentlemen?
When we saw the note we thought that it was a December 28 joke, but we saw that it is dated the 24th of the same month.
So, we don’t know you? Hmm… hmm… let’s see:
Enrique Peña Nieto. Wasn’t he born in Atlacomulco, State of Mexico? Is he not related to Alfredo Del Mazo and Arturo “long hands” Montiel?
Is he not the one who decided, colluded with the PRD municipal government of Texcoco, the dislodging of the flower vendors and the apprehension of the leader of the Peoples Front in Defense of Land, Ignacio del Valle, in May 2006?
Is he not the one who launched his bulldog and criminal, Wilfrido Robledo Madrid, to attack the town of San Salvador Atenco and ordered his police to sexually assault women? Is he not the intellectual murderer of Javier Cortés and Alexis Benhumea? Was it not the Supreme Court of Justice of the Nation that determined that the 3 levels of government (note: federal government: PAN; state government: PRI; municipal government: PRD) did indeed incur grave violations of the population’s individual rights?
Is he not the one who tragically ridiculed the case of the little girl Paulette, better known as “the case of the mattress murderer?”
Is he not the one who bragged about the police violence in San Salvador Atenco with an arrogant attitude, forgetting that he was in front of critical youth and not a television set, from his command post located in the Ibero’s bathroom, ordered slandering dissenters and thus detonated the student/youth movement later known as #yosoy132?
Is he not the one who, as his first act of government, now collusion with the PRD government of Mexico City (DF), ordered the repression against the December 1, 2012 demonstrations, which resulted in the arrest, torture and incarceration of innocent people?
Is he not the one who does not read well, even with the teleprompter that still accompanies him, even with the July 1, 2012 media coup?
Is he not the one that now wants to hide behind the skirts of alleged kin of the repeatedly deceased, as if from he’s dealing with crummy telenovela (soap opera)?
Hey, and now that we’re talking about the telenovelas, what will the fashion be for the next six years? I mean, with Echeverría it was the guayabera; with López Portillo, aguas frescas; with De la Madrid, the grey rat; with Salinas de Gortari, Prozac; with Zedillo, the bad jokes; with Fox, the wisecracks; with Calderón, the blood… and with Peña Nieto? ”True love?” Wooo… for sure!
Okay, sorry, we continue with our ignorance:
Emilio Chuayffet Chemor. Was he not Enrique Peña Nieto’s boss and “teacher?” Was he not Secretary of the Interior (Gobernación) with Ernesto Zedillo? Is he not the drunkard that, in 1996, told the Cocopa that the federal government accepted its legal initiative and later withdrew it while hung over? Was he not one of those intellectual authors responsible for the Acteal Massacre in December 1997? Was he not the one that wanted to impose the “flirty pompadours” fashion among PRI members and the only one that seconded him was his then pupil Enrique Peña Nieto?
Pedro Joaquin Coldwell. Was he not the government’s peace commissioner in Chiapas when the Acteal Massacre occurred who remained silent and continued to get paid by doing nothing?
Rosario Robles Berlanga. Was she not the head of the Mexico City government for the PRD? Did she not boast about the repression that her police undertook several times against young students during the UNAM strike in 1999-2000? Is she not the one, while presiding over the PRD, who sold out her party in every way? Is she not the one now in charge of the fight against the corporatism of the Bejaranos in Mexico City and throughout the republic?
Alfonso Navarrete Prida – Was he not the first who covered up the organized crime score-settling that resulted in the murder of Enrique Salinas de Gortari (psss, you guys don’t really get along, do you?) and then exonerated Arturo “long hands” Montiel?
Miguel Angel Osorio Chong. Was he not accused of diverting government funds to the PRI? Didn’t the PGR [Attorney General’s Office] open the criminal investigation PGR/SIEDO/UEIDORPIFAM/185/2010 to investigate his ties to the “Los Zetas” criminal organization? (Ah, a change of strategy in the fight against drug trafficking?)
(Oops, I see now that one of the brothers of the undersecretary of Migration, Population, and Religious Affairs in the Interior Ministry, which Mr. Osorio Chong heads, has not one but several criminal investigations (pending). Several of them have the stamp “closed due to death of the accused,” then another stamp “was never dead,” and then another “well it turns out he is really dead” and so … um … 18 times. The last stamp “there goes the condemned” is dated on December 21, 2012, and a handwritten note says: “pending activation, await instructions from CSG.” … hmm … what would those initials stand for? Did they change the abbreviation for the Attorney General’s Office from PGR? Anyway, let the guy from Tampico know, ok?).
Ok sure, you all will tell me that these people are not in charge, but in reality it is Carlos Salinas de Gortari who dictates what Enrique Peña Nieto does (ah, what would become of this country if the teleprompter were not invented?).
Ok, ok, ok. Carlos Salinas de Gortari. Is he not the one who plundered like no other the national wealth during his administration? (Yes, I know they are all thieves, but let’s say there are amateurs and professionals). Is he not the one who devastated the Mexican countryside with the reforms to the Constitution’s Article 27? Is he not the one whose New Years toast we ruined in the dawn of 1994? Is he not the one who saw his dictatorial dreams shattered by wooden rifles? Is he not the one who ordered the assassination of Luis Donaldo Colosio Murrieta? Is he not the one who looked ridiculous with his hunger strike in 1995? Or the one who, on December 21, frantically asked for the red phone: “What did they say, what did they say?” And who felt a chill in his back when they told him: “nothing, they are in absolute silence?”
Are you all not the ones who have always chosen violence over dialogue?
The ones who always use force when there is no reason?
The ones who pioneered corruption and contempt in all the political parties?
Are you all not those who have refused to comply with the San Andrés Accords that would mean the constitutional recognition of indigenous rights and culture, and an end to evictions disguised as mining, water, dams, resorts, roads, and subdivisions?
Are you not the ones who, along with your friends in the political class, resemble those security advisers in large buildings, trying to convince the tenants of the middle floors, and high penthouse, that there is no danger while you dynamite the lower floors, the ground floor and the basement? By the way, does anyone believe them?
You, who have killed me so many times, declared me dead, extinct, defunct, deceased, disappeared, beaten, defeated, surrendered, bought, annihilated, do you think anyone will believe you when I truly, like in love, am delivered body and soul to death and am just a little bit more earth on this globe?
If you have answered “no” to any of the questions, then you are right: we do not know you.***
From the mountains of the Mexican Southeast,
Mexico, December 2012.
P.S. To reiterate – I know you already know, but it’s convenient that you remember: we’re not afraid. Oh, and we’re not the only ones.
P.S. WHO GENEROUSLY OFFERS THE BAD GOVERNMENTS A 10 STEP MANUAL (note: easy read, do not be frightened), ON HOW TO IDENTIFY A ZAPATISTA AND TO KNOW IF THEY CAN SAY OR NOT THAT “THEY HAVE CONTACTS WITH THE EZLN:”
1. – If he asks for money or projects from any of the 3 levels of government, HE IS NOT ZAPATISTA.
2. – If he establishes a direct line of communication without announcing it publicly beforehand, HE IS NOT ZAPATISTA.
3. – If he asks to speak or speak directly with any of the three levels of government without announcing it publicly beforehand, HE IS NOT ZAPATISTA.
4. – If he wants an elevated position, appointment, honors, awards, etc., HE IS NOT ZAPATISTA.
5. – If he is afraid, HE IS NOT ZAPATISTA.
6. – If he sells out, surrenders or gives up, HE IS NOT ZAPATISTA.
7. – If he takes himself very seriously, HE IS NOT ZAPATISTA.
8. – If he does not cause chills when being seen, HE IS NOT ZAPATISTA
9. – If he does not give the impression that he says more with silence then HE IS NOT ZAPATISTA.
10. – If he is a ghost of those that vanish, HE IS NOT ZAPATISTA.
P.S. APOLOGIES. – Oh, I know you expected something more serious and formal. But isn’t the style and tone of this “proof of life” letter better than a photo or video? And it’s even signed.
P.P.S. I LEAVE YOU WITH A HAIKU WRITTEN BY MARIO BENEDETTI TO SUPMARCOS: “I do not want to see you / for the rest of the year / or till Tuesday.”
Originally Published in Spanish by Enlace Zapatista
English Translation: Chiapas Support Committee
December 29, 2012
*** Translator’s Note: The title of this letter is a response to the federal government’s statement: “You don’t know us yet; don’t anticipate.” That statement was made by Interior Minister Osorio Chong in response to the December 21, 2012 communiqué directed at the new (PRI) federal government.
A Letter to Luis Hector Alvarez Alvarez*
ZAPATISTA NATIONAL LIBERATION ARMY
November – December 2012
“Almost all men prefer to deny the truth before confronting it,” Tyrion Lannister to Jon Snow.
“If he has nothing to fear, a coward doesn’t distinguish himself in anything brave. And we all fulfill our duty when it costs us nothing. At those moments, following the path of honor seems very simple to us. But in the life of all man, sooner or later, a day arrives in which it’s not so simple, on which one must choose,” Maestre Aemon Targaryen to Jon Snow.
For: Luis Hector Alvarez Alvarez, someplace in Mexico (I hope).
From: Subcomandante Insurgente Marcos. Chiapas, México.
Errr… Permit me a moment, Señor Alvarez, this part is to explain a little about where the epigraphs come from: The quotes are from the book: A Song of Ice and Fire. Volume I: Game of Thrones. 1996. George R.R. Martin. The television series Games of Thrones, which takes its name from the first volume of the saga, no está nada mal (Peter Hayden Dinklage, who gives image and voice to Tyrion Lannister, stands out, paradoxically, above the other actors and actresses; Jon Snow is interpreted by Kit Harington, and Maestre Aemon Targaryen by Peter Vaughan) and the first 2 seasons can be had a moderate price with your favorite film seller (say yes to piracy).
The DVD that I saw was an involuntary gift of the informal commerce on Eje Central, México D.F., (in other words, someone bought it there and sent it to me)… oops, the DF’s government of the “left” is going to apply Article 362 to me, because, accepting it, it applies to everything (they would be the envy of Gustavo Díaz Ordaz… oh, oh, that Article was proposed in 2002 by the then head of the DF’s government, Andrés Manuel López Obrador, and approved by the ALDF with a PRD majority… hmm… don’t put in this part… they are not going to say that I am at the service of the right… they already see that it has always worried me in the extreme what is said about me.)
The image has a lot of pixels, but you can see and hear it well. A good price, they tell me; anyhow, cheaper than paying for HBO, and without the anxiety of having to wait for the following week to know what happened with little Bran (Isaac Hempstead Wright), or with the dazzling Daenerys Targaryen (Emilia Clarke).
Nevertheless, I would also recommend reading the books -yes, I already know that the six-year fashion is not to read books and that hair gel is cheaper-, but an advantage is that one can take a course in practical philosophy (ah, las paradoxes) with the dialogues of Tyrion Lannister (according to what they tell me, is a literary projection of Mr. George R. R. Martin). Another advantage is that you can “spoilear”  (or how do you say it) without risk on his favorite blogs. Although the enmity of many will be earned, your points (although negative) for postear  will go up appreciably. That so, do not abuse, because if it occurs to them to say that in “Dance of Dragons”… ok… ok…ok… l shut up… say no to spoil.
Sincerely: Marquitos Spoil.
Señor Alvarez Alvarez:
This is not only to reaffirm what the multitudinous silence of December 21 ought to have made clear to you, to the political class and to the National Action government, in general, and to Felipe Calderón Hinojosa in particular: You failed.
Oh, there is no drama. Other governments had already attempted it before… and they will continue attempting it.
But, Señor Alvarez, you should not look for your failure in us, not even in the little professionalism of your not intelligent intelligence service (although now you know that they were and are shameless). To whom does it occur that a Zapatista, any of us, would go to a government of criminals to ask for help if he were sick? Who can rationally think that the Zapatistas rose up for money?
Only the mentality of a passé conquistador (whose best example is Diego Fernández de Cevallos) that you implant in your political party, National Action, could have permitted swallowing that mill wheel with enthusiasm.
And intelligence was not needed, but just minimally reading the newspapers or listening to the news: the rascals that introduced themselves to you as “close friends of Sup Marcos,” are the same ones that simulated a surrender and “delivery of weapons” to the ominous Croquetas Albores in 1998, simulating being Zapatistas, and that some are known swindlers that no longer deceive anyone… well, you yes. How much did they get? The difference is that Croquetas knew that it was a pantomime and paid for it (and so that the media would present the Jataté bathing spa, on the outskirts of the municipal seat of Ocosingo, as if it were “in the Lacandón Jungle”), and they not only deceived you, but you even put it in your book.
And not content with that, you invite Felipe Calderón Hinojosa to the presentation of that book, drunk with blood and alcohol, who not only babbled incoherencies, he also distributed the stenographic version to the media. For sure the media charged double: not for publishing it, but for not publishing it, since the state of inebriation of the one who proffered those words was made patent. I believe that it’s clear now that Felipe Calderón Hinojosa lied up to the last minute and that it was a brazen invention that he points to in his last government report. The only approach that his government had with “representatives and commanders of the EZLN” was that of his armies, police, judges and paramilitaries.
But, good, now you know, Señor Alvarez, what it is to be scorned for what the implacable calendar wears.
As indigenous, the elderly are scorned. And as a symbol of that scorn, goes the money for alms, or, in their case, the offense of deceit, the insult of being ignored and the behind-the-back jokes.
But there is a difference, a small difference, but one of those that make the wheel of history go round: while you paid (with money that wasn’t yours, by the way) for being ridiculed (and even made a book); we, indigenous and Zapatista, we punish their scorn with our silence and prolonged moving.
Because we know very well that they also sold you on the idea that you will be remembered for your struggle for democracy (in reality, your struggle for power, but there above they are accustomed to inverting both terms), but no. Although small, you could also be remembered for having been an accomplice (or an official, it’s the same) of the most criminal government that, since Porfirio Díaz, this country has suffered.
And around here, in indigenous Zapatista lands, you could be remembered as part of a government that mostly tried to make us give up (or buying us off, it’s the same) and, as has been evident by the thunderous silence of San Cristóbal de Las Casas, Altamirano, Las Margaritas, Palenque and Ocosingo, you failed once more.
Because the political class and those who live from its stupidity, will have died off without anyone taking them into account (if perhaps, just to give thanks that they no longer obstruct), and there will be nothing, but one more number on the long list of those duped by the dream of being “historic.”
And you see that we do not question your morality. It is known that all criminal gangs, like the one that you served all these years, look for one who would present a good and kindly face, so that, with that face as an alibi, they hide their predatory identity.
I believe that you already knew that Señor Alvarez. In the above of every political spectrum, all are equal. Although some ingenious ones will even come to discover that they suffer injustice in their own flesh, while they ignore it when that injustice was being distributed daily in other geographies near or far.
Your compañeros in the party, who profited from the blood of innocents, and now lament that for the market there was one who paid-cost more, all of them, are nothing but a row of criminals that made and make grotesque contortions to the foolish rhythm that the media frame for them.
Are you filled with pride at having been part of a team with a thug like Javier Lozano Alarcón, who had to be hidden in the Senate so as not to be called into account by justice? Do you feel good for having been the compañero of Juan Francisco Molinar Horcasitas, a criminal with his hands spotted with the blood of infants?
And, although at times the paradoxes are comical, others are tragic.
Your political party, National Action, was one of those who headed, since the dawn of 1994, the hysterical cries against our asking that we not be annihilated because we were threatening to plunge the country into a bloodbath. And it turned out that the acts of your government were those that extended the terror, the anguish, the destruction and death to all the corners of our already battered country.
And what do you say about when the members of your party’s bench (together with the PRI and PRD benches), voted against the San Andrés Accords for which you worked, warning that those accords meant the fragmentation of the country. And it has been your party, Señor Alvarez, who delivers a nation broken to bits.
But console yourself, Señor Alvarez, your zeal for passing into history will be compensated. You will have a place in line, yes, among those swindled by the jokers.
But also in the pages of the history and geography books, in the Zapatista schools, one paragraph will read:
“The bad government of Felipe Calderón Hinojosa is known as the one that brought absurd death to all the corners of Mexico, offered injustice to victims and victimizers, and left, as a bloody self-homage to the crime made co-government, his monument. If Porfirio Díaz left the Angel of Independence, Felipe Calderón left the Trail of Light (Estela de Luz). Without wanting it, both thus announced the end of a world, although they delayed and they will delay in understanding it.”
I suggest that you add an epilogue to your book. Something like: “I ought to recognize that one can be an extremely bad student of the indigenous Zapatista communities. Nevertheless I say, after listening to their thunderous silence, that I learned the principle: that it’s not important that we use bombs, bullets, clubs, coups, lies, projects, money, that we buy media so that they shout falsehoods and quiet the truth, the result is always the same: the Zapatistas don’t give up, don’t sell out, don’t surrender and… surprise! They don’t disappear.”
Because history, Señor Alvarez, will continue repeating itself once in a while: rebels will reappear in every corner and, perhaps, with them, their Marios Benedetti, their Marios Payeras, their Omars Cabezas and their Carlos Montemayor will appear. And perhaps the Eduardos Galeano of those rains will manage their accounts or not.
And there will also be windows, with or without frames.
And you, Señor Alvarez, will continue looking out, looking at us without seeing us, and hardly realizing that, in that looking out at the world to come, they are irremediably out.
I believe that you did not put it in your book, but you remember that once I told you the Zapatistas are worth a lot, but we don’t have a price. And “one must not confuse value and price” (no, that’s not what Karl Marx said, but rather Juan Manuel Serrat).
Nevertheless, Señor Alvarez, in memory of the moments of firm dignity that you had, and of which I was a witness when you worked on the Commission of Agreement and Pacification, you can still change that:
Leave your party and what it represents, abandon that political class that has done nothing but become an insatiable parasite. You are from Chihuahua. Go to the Sierra Tarahumara and ask that they give you entry to one of the Rarámuri communities. Perhaps they won’t let you stay. The very affectionate Ronco is no longer there to ask. But perhaps they let you be there a few days. There, with them, you will learn the fundamentals of the indigenous heart, about the struggle and hope of the original pueblos of Mexico. After all, isn’t that what your book is called?
Go, Señor Alvarez Alvarez, to that or any indigenous town that will accept you after renouncing what you are now. You will be respected there (not badly tolerated) for your age, and, above all, you will learn that, for the Indian peoples of Mexico, “dignity” is a verb that is conjugated in the present since more than 500 years ago… and what they lack.
Go, perhaps this is the day in which one must choose. And in your case it is not easy, because it’s about choosing between one world and another. May age or bad advice not stop you! Look at us, we are more than 500 years old and we are still learning.
If you don’t do it, at least you will have known for yourself the truth that is enclosed in the 17 syllables of that Haiku of Mario Benedetti:
“Who would say it, the truly weak never surrender”
Vale. Health and did you hear it? “There are few things / as deafening / as silence” (yes, also Haiku and also from Mario Benedetti).
From the mountains of the Mexican Southeast,
Subcomandante Insurgente Marcos.
Mexico, December 2012.
* Luis Hector Alvarez Alvarez (aka Luis H. Alvarez) is a Mexican politician belonging to the PAN political party. He was the federal government’s “Peace Commissioner” to Chiapas during the Vicente Fox presidency. During that time he distributed assistance funds to non-Zapatista and anti-Zapatista communities to either entice people away from the Zapatista organization or keep them from joining it. He published a book critical of the Zapatistas in 2012.
1. “Spoilear” is Spanglish for the verb to spoil.
2. “Postear” is Spanglish for the verb to post.
Originally Published in Spanish by Enlace Zapatista
English Translation: Chiapas Support Committee
DECEMBER 2012 ZAPATISTA NEWS SUMMARY
1. More Than 40,000 Zapatistas March in Chiapas – On December 21, at the end of the Mayan Long Count Calendar (13 Baktún) and the beginning of a new calendar, more than 40,000 Zapatista support bases marched silently into 5 Chiapas cities (Ocosingo, Palenque, San Cristóbal, Las Margaritas and Altamirano). They set up platforms in the central plazas of each city and then filed onto the platform, raised their fists, came down off the platform and returned to the Caracoles from which they came. Zapatista commanders (the CCRI-CG) sent a communiqué signed by Subcomandante Insurgente Marcos to the media. It read in part: “DID YOU HEAR? It’s the sound of your world crumbling and ours re-emerging…” This sent a brief, but pointed message to the new government: We’re still here. We have resisted your counterinsurgency and we’re stronger for having learned how to resist and construct our autonomy. Our world is re-emerging. This show of force sent a few shock waves through those above and waves of hope through those below. Check out the video:
2. EZLN Issues 3 More Communiqués – On December 30, the EZLN released 1 new communique and 2 letters. The communiqué is about the EZLN’s next steps. One letter is addressed to members of the new government (“those above”) and the other letter to Luis H. Alvarez, the former “Indigenous Commissioner” that went around Chiapas giving money to non-Zapatistas and anti-Zapatistas in order to buy their consciences. We’ll have more on these recent EZLN communications shortly.
3. Las Abejas (The Bees) Commemorate the 15th Anniversary of the Acteal Massacre – Between December 20 and 22, Las Abejas held ceremonies to commemorate the 15th anniversary of the Acteal Massacre. Among the many speeches they gave, the Bees criticized the new government for the violent repression in Mexico City on December 1 and for appointing Emilio Chuayffet to the cabinet position of Secretary of Education. He was the Interior Minister at the time of the massacre and Las Abejas consider him to be one of the unpunished intellectual authors of the massacre. Las Abejas also pointed out that they were stronger for their struggle and resistance. The Movement for Peace with Justice and Dignity’s Indigenous Commission attended the ceremonies in Acteal and, while in Chiapas, visited Zapatista and Other Campaign prisoners in the San Cristóbal prison.
4. New Chiapas Governor Takes Office – On December 8, 2012, Manuel Velasco Coello took the oath of office as Governor of Chiapas. He is a member of the Partido Verde Ecologista de México (Green Ecologist Party of Mexico, PVEM). Upon taking office, Velasco Coello greeted the EZLN and the Good Government Juntas, saying he recognized their contributions and that he wanted good relations with them and also wanted to cool down the conflict. We’ll see! In a good will gesture, Velasco Coello released the 2 Zapatista Lopez Monzon brothers and their 2 non-Zapatista brothers from prison in Motozintla and withdrew the arrest warrant issued for Alfonso Cruz Espinoza, a Zapatista support base and the property owner of private land adjacent to the Toniná archaeological site. When a collective from the Caracol of Morelia built a roadside artesianía stand with a sign saying it was a Zapatista stand, the previous state government issued an arrest warrant for Cruz Espinoza. Apparently, the old Sabinas government anticipated tourism around the end of the Mayan Long Count and wanted no evidence of the Zapatistas in front of tourists.
In Other Parts of Mexico
1. Injuries and Detentions in December 1 Protests – As we reported last month, Enrique Peña Nieto took the oath of office as president of Mexico on December 1, amid protests that turned violent and in which many people were injured, apparently by rubber bullets fired by police or tear gas cannisters. Several people suffered serious injuries. A young man affiliated with #YoSoy 132 lost an eye. Another man, an adherent to the EZLN’s Other Campaign, suffered severe brain damage and remains in a medically induced coma. Some of the demonstrators were arbitrarily detained, many of them young and from the #YoSoy 132 Movement, and 70 were sent to prison. Most were released shortly thereafter, however 14 remained in prison facing charges for which bail was denied. Video footage of arbitrary detentions and inappropriate charges is alleged to exist. There were more demonstrations for the release of the 14. The latest news on this front is that the Mexico City Congress passed legislation that changed the severity of the crime of “attacks on the public peace” (disturbing the peace?) so that the 14 could make bail. And, on December 27, as soon as the new legislation was officially published, all 14 were released on bond. They still face court cases for those charges and there are now more protest actions asking that the charges be dropped. Notwithstanding Mexico City’s legislation, the violent repression and detentions have only solidified opposition to the new PRI government of Enrique Peña Nieto.
2. Death Toll Due to Drug War Reaches 116,100! – An Italian civic organization, Libera, reports that it calculated 136,000 malicious deaths between 2006 and December 1, 2012. Of those, 116,000 are attributed to the “Drug War.” Libera is a grouping of more than one thousand human rights organizations and activists from Europe and America. Its figures were compiled from Inegi (Mexico’s government statistics agency) and from human rights defenders. Prior to this report, the Chiapas Support Committee had confirmed a figure close to that from sources in Chiapas.
Compiled monthly by the Chiapas Support Committee.The primary sources for our information are: La Jornada, Enlace Zapatista and the Fray Bartolome de las Casas Human Rights Center (Frayba).
We encourage folks to distribute this information widely, but please include our name and contact information in the distribution. Gracias/Thanks.
Click on the Donate button of www.chiapas-support.org to support indigenous autonomy.
Chiapas Support Committee/Comité de Apoyo a Chiapas
P.O. Box 3421, Oakland, CA 94609
Tel: (510) 654-9587
The EZLN Announces Next Steps: Communiqué of December 30, 2012
Communiqué from the Indigenous Revolutionary Clandestine Committee – General Command of the Zapatista National Liberation Army
December 30 2012.
To the People of Mexico:
To the People and Governments of the World:
Brothers and Sisters:
Compañeros and Compañeras:
In the early morning hours of December 21, 2012, tens of thousands of indigenous Zapatistas mobilized and took, peacefully and silently, five municipal seats in the southeast Mexican state of Chiapas.
In the cities of Palenque, Altamirano, Las Margaritas, Ocosingo, and San Cristóbal de las Casas, we looked at you and at ourselves in silence.
Ours is not a message of resignation.
It is not one of war, death, or destruction.
Our message is one of struggle and resistance.
After the media coup d’état that catapulted a poorly concealed and even more poorly costumed ignorance into the federal executive branch, we made ourselves present to let them know that if they had never left, neither had we.
Six years ago, a segment of the political and intellectual class went looking for someone to hold responsible for their defeat. At that time we were, in cities and in communities, struggling for justice for an Atenco that was not yet fashionable.
In that yesterday, they slandered us first and wanted to silence us later.
Dishonest and incapable of seeing that it was within themselves that there was and still is the seed of their own destruction, they tried to make us disappear with lies and complicit silence.
Six years later, two things are clear:
They don’t need us in order to fail.
We don’t need them in order to survive.
We, who never went away, despite what media across the spectrum have been determined to make you believe, re-emerge as the indigenous Zapatistas that we are and will be.
In these years, we have significantly strengthened and improved our living conditions. Our standard of living is higher than those of the indigenous communities that support the governments in office, who receive handouts that are squandered on alcohol and useless items.
Our homes have improved without damaging nature by imposing on it roads alien to it.
In our communities, the earth that was used to fatten the cattle of ranchers and landlords is now used to produce the maize, beans, and the vegetables that brighten our tables.
Our work has the double satisfaction of providing us with what we need to live honorably and contributing to the collective growth of our communities.
Our sons and daughters go to a school that teaches them their own history, that of their country and that of the world, as well as the sciences and techniques necessary for them to grow without ceasing to be indigenous.
Indigenous Zapatista women are not sold as commodities.
The indigenous members of the PRI attend our hospitals, clinics, and laboratories because in those of the government, there is no medicine, nor medical devices, nor doctors, nor qualified personnel.
Our culture flourishes, not isolated, but enriched through contact with the cultures of other peoples of Mexico and of the world.
We govern and govern ourselves, always looking first for agreement before confrontation.
We have achieved all of this without the government, the political class, and the media that accompanies them, while simultaneously resisting their attacks of all kinds.
We have shown, once again, that we are who we are.
With our silence, we have made ourselves present.
Now with our word, we announce that:
First – We will reaffirm and consolidate our participation in the National Indigenous Congress, the space of encounter with the original peoples of our country.
Second – We will reinitiate contact with our compañeros and compañeras adherents of the Sixth Declaration of the Lacandón Jungle in Mexico and the world.
Third – We will try to construct the necessary bridges toward the social movements that have arisen and will arise, not to direct or supplant them, but to learn from them, from their history, from their paths and destinies.
For this we have consolidated the support of individuals and groups in different parts of Mexico, formed as support teams for the Sixth and International Commissions of the EZLN, to become avenues of communication between the Zapatista bases of support and the individuals, groups, and collectives that are adherents to the Sixth Declaration, in Mexico and in the World, who still maintain their conviction and commitment to the construction of a non-institutional left alternative.
Fourth – We will continue to maintain our critical distance with respect to the entirety of the Mexican political class, which has thrived at the expense of the needs and desires of humble and simple people.
Fifth – With respect to the bad governments – federal, state, and municipal, executive, legislative, and judicial, and the media that accompanies them, we say the following:
The bad governments, which belong to the entirety of the political spectrum without a single exception, have done everything possible to destroy us, to buy us off, to make us surrender. PRI, PAN, PRD, PVEM, PT, CC and the future political party RN have attacked us militarily, politically, socially, and ideologically. [i]
The mainstream media tried to disappear us first with opportunist and servile lies followed by a complicit and deceptive silence. Those they served, those on whose money they nursed are no longer around and those who have succeeded them will not last any longer than their predecessors.
As was made evident on December 21, 2012, all of them failed. So, it’s up to the federal, executive, legislative and judicial governments to decide if they are going to continue the politics of counterinsurgency that have only resulted in a flimsy simulation clumsily built through the media, or if they are going to recognize and fulfill their commitments by elevating Indigenous Rights and Culture to the level of the Constitution as established in the “San Andrés Accords” signed by the Federal Government in 1996, which was at the time led by the very same political party that today occupies the executive office.
It will be up to the state government to decide if it will continue the dishonest and despicable strategy of its predecessor, that in addition to corruption and lies, used the money of the people of Chiapas to enrich itself and its accomplices and dedicated itself to the shameless buying off of the voices and pens of the communications media, sinking the people of Chiapas into poverty while using police and paramilitaries to try to brake the organizational advance of the Zapatista communities; or, if instead, with truth and justice, it will accept and respect our existence and come around to the idea that a new form of social life is blooming in Zapatista territory, Chiapas, Mexico. This is a flowering that attracts the attention of honest people all over the planet.
It will be up to the municipal governments if they decide to keep swallowing the tall tales with which anti-Zapatista or supposedly “Zapatista” organizations extort them in order to attack and harass our communities; or if instead they use that money to improve the living conditions of those they govern.
It will be up to the people of Mexico who organize in electoral struggles and resist, to decide if they will continue to see us as enemies or rivals upon which to take out their frustration over the frauds and aggressions that, in the end, affect all of us, and if in their struggle for power they continue to ally themselves with our persecutors; or if they finally recognize in us another form of doing politics.
Sixth – In the next few days, the EZLN, through its Sixth and International Commissions, will announce a series of initiatives, civil and peaceful, to continue walking together with other original peoples of Mexico and of the continent, and together with those in Mexico and the world who struggle and resist below and to the left.
Brothers and Sisters:
Compañeros and Compañeras:
Before we had the good fortune of the honest and noble attention of various communications media. We expressed our appreciation then. But this has been completely erased by their later attitude.
Those who wagered that we only existed in the communications media and that, with the siege of lies and silence they created we would disappear, were mistaken.
When there were no cameras, microphones, pens, ears, or gazes, we continued to exist.
When they slandered us, we continued to exist.
When they silenced us, we continued to exist.
And here we are, existing.
Our path, as has been demonstrated, does not depend on media impact, but rather on comprehending the world and all of its parts, on indigenous wisdom that guides our steps, on the unswerving decision that is the dignity of below and to the left.
From now on, our word will be selective in its destination and, except on limited occasions, will only be able to be understood by those who have walked with us and who continue to walk without surrendering to current or media trends.
Here, not without many mistakes and many difficulties, another form of doing politics is already a reality.
Few, very few, will have the privilege of knowing it and learning from it directly.
19 years ago we surprised them taking with fire and blood their cities. Now we have done it once again, without arms, without death, without destruction.
In this way we have distinguished ourselves from those who, during their governments, distributed and continue to distribute death among those they govern.
We are those, the same, of 500 years ago, of 44 years ago, of 30 years ago, of 20 years ago, of just a few days ago.
We are the Zapatistas, the very smallest, those that live, struggle, and die in the last corner of the country, those that do not give up, do not sell out, those that do not surrender.
Brothers and Sisters:
Compañeros and Compañeras:
We are the Zapatistas, receive our embrace.
From the mountains of the Mexican Southeast
For the Indigenous Revolutionary Clandestine Committee—General Command of the Zapatista Army for National Liberation
Subcomandante Insurgente Marcos.
Mexico. December 2012 – January 2013.
[i] PRI (the party of the 70 year dictatorship and home of former president Carlos Salinas de Gortari); PAN (the right-wing party of recent president Felipe Calderón which oversaw the total devastation and the deaths of tens of thousands of Mexicans due to its “war on drugs” during the last twelve years); PRD (the institutional “left” party which joined the PAN and the PRI in blocking constitutional reforms on Indigenous Rights and Culture and which until recently was the party of Andrés Manuel López Obrador); the PVEM (Partido Verde Ecologista de México), PT (Partido del Trabajo), CC (Convergencia Ciudadana) and RN (Regeneración Nacional, the political party that is now being built by Andrés Manuel López Obrador after his friendly exit from the PRD).
Translation by El Kilombo Intergalactic
THE NEW ERA
By: Gustavo Esteva
And the band kept on playing.
The sinking of the Titanic was unavoidable. To ignore it was foolish. But the band kept on playing.
His performance on the first day is a blatant illustration of this peculiar kind of blindness. It shows the gap that has opened between the political classes and the people, and it also reveals their dangerous detachment from reality, the irresponsible and short-sighted way in which he is preoccupied with mafia-style interests in the short term, while ignoring the depth of the economic, social and political crisis in which we find ourselves.
His discourse about the country is currently showing the worst symptoms of a populist authoritarianism that has been installed against all odds. It is conceived as a triumph of optimism over irresponsible reality, with the evident intention of generalizing this blindness. The band will continue playing until the instruments and musicians sink with the ship.
It is particularly difficult not to hear the roar of the collapse, which is observed worldwide and has been precipitated very sharply in Mexico. Those who have climbed the ladders of political power, however, will persist in their self-interested deafness… while they can, for as long as they can.
But the rest of us cannot continue to be deaf. We need to respond.
“I hate to say I told you so, but I told you so,” Subcomandante Marcos said years ago. The Zapatistas have repeatedly warned us of what would happen if we did not respond. We did not respond. It happened. They described in various ways the mess we are in today. They anticipated, before anyone else, the series of crises that have been happening and the destruction that they would bring to the political classes, to the country itself, to the social fabric… They offered with strength and clarity options for change, without dogmatism or imposition. We did not take them.
The new call from the Zapatista National Liberation Army (EZLN) needs to be heard by all those who, from below, try to resist the dominant horror and to create another possibility. If only it could be heard by those who still harbor the fantasy that an electoral change might be enough to remedy it all, those who can only think and organize within the framework of the political parties and institutions and that still believe that anti-capitalism is a bad word.
It is useful to show again that the emperor has no clothes. They may see it and dare to say it out loud to those who believe it is possible to continue in denial.
While listening to the din of the collapse of the dying world is inevitable, no less because the noise is all-encompassing and is experienced daily through suffering in the flesh, it is not so with the sound of the world that re-emerges. You need different ears in order to hear that.
We are not looking at another version of what we know. It is not a new twist, a bend in a familiar path. It is something new and radical. Its deep roots in the past are not dedicated to reproducing the past, or even worse, making an impossible attempt to return to it. It is something different.
As was seen last Friday, the new world will be built with hope, joy and celebration, through the discipline that is learned through their own order, autonomy. Only then, through organic discipline, which is woven from below by their own will, it is possible to propose the elimination of coercive power and authority, the condition in which a hierarchical position is used to impose action.
In dark times like these it is a blessing to know we can rely on them. As Chomsky, Wallerstein, Gonzalez Casanova and many more said long ago, the Zapatista political initiative is the most radical in the world, and probably the most important. That was yesterday, that night of the first of January 1994, which triggered a wave of anti-systemic movements throughout the world and woke us all up. They continue doing so today, when they are once again an inspiration to do what is needed.
The end of an era has arrived. The evidence is accumulating daily. Nothing can stop its conclusion. But it will acquire an apocalyptic form, deepening the immense natural, social and cultural destruction that has been characterizing its agony, unless we are able to resist such horror. And in these circumstances, the only valid and effective way to resist is to create an alternative. We all have to do this, each in his or her place and way. We need to dissolve the economic and political relations which trap us in the old world, while being increasingly aware that the dignity of every man and every woman and every human relationship must of necessity defy all existing systems. That is what today is about.
Originally Published in Spanish by CGT Chiapas
English translation by the UK Zapatista Solidarity Network for the:
International Zapatista Translation Service, a collaboration of the:
Chiapas Support Committee, California
Wellington Zapatista Support Group
UK Zapatista Solidarity Network