Zapatistas march in Chiapas

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jonthom's picture
Joined: 25-11-10
Dec 23 2012 12:56
Zapatistas march in Chiapas

More than 40, 000 Zapatista support bases filed silently this morning in five Chiapas cities, which results in the most numerous mobilization of said organization since the Zapatista National Liberation Army’s (EZLN) armed uprising on January 1, 1994.

Coming from the five Zapatista Caracoles in the Lacandón Jungle, Los Altos and the Northern Zone, the Maya peoples in rebellion (Tzeltales, Tzotziles, Choles, Tojolabales and Mames) and Zoques of Chiapas occupied the central plazas of Ocosingo, San Cristóbal de Las Casas, Palenque, Altamirano and Las Margaritas; in each case, in complete silence.

At 6:30 in the morning, about 6, 000 indigenous Zapatistas, the majority young, concentrated near the University of the Jungle, near the Toniná archaeological site. From there they marched to the central park of Ocosingo, where they stayed for a space of three hours in front of city hall, which the EZLN’s insurgents and milicianos took over with arms 19 years ago upon declaring war on the Mexican government.

On this occasion the action was civilian and peaceful, and the only ones that spoke were the raised left fists of all the Zapatistas, who filed in order onto a platform that they installed for that purpose. Toward 10:30 AM, the last of the demonstrators abandoned the plaza, on their way back to the Jungle.

In the same fashion, at the other plazas mentioned the Zapatistas placed platforms that all mobilization participants mounted with raised fist, in a parade of impressive brevity.

Some 20, 000 Zapatista men and women paraded in San Cristóbal de Las Casas. According to reports, at least 7, 000 indigenous congregated in Las Margaritas, and 8, 000 in Palenque. The number in Altamirano is not known. According to the testimony of a transport worker (driver) from the zone of Ocosingo, double the number of indigenous that arrived in the municipal headquarters of Ocosingo could have left from the Caracol of La Garrucha, but there were not enough vehicles, therefore only 6, 000 people were transported.

Intermittently, throughout recent weeks, the Enlace Zapatista electronic portal has been announcing “the word” of the EZLN’s Indigenous Revolutionary Clandestine Committee-General Command (Comité Clandestino Revolucionario Indígena, Comandancia General del EZLN), as well as of the Sixth Commission and International Sixth Commission. It is foreseen that these communications could be announced soon, but that has still not occurred.

On the date on which many unwary in the world believed that the world would end, according to the opportunist interpretation of the “prophesies” (in reality, mathematical calculations) of the ancient Mayas, the EZLN’s support base communities, belonging to the contemporary Maya peoples, which in their languages are named “true men,” with face covered carried out a powerful demonstration of power and discipline, perfectly formed under a persistent rain (unusual in this time of the year) that accompanied the mobilizations in the different localities all morning long.

Able to “appear” quickly, the indigenous rebels “disappeared” as neatly and silently as they had arrived in the early morning in this city that, two decades after the EZLN’s traumatic irruption here on New Years 1994, received them with bewilderment and curiosity, without any expression of rejection. Under the arches of city hall, which suspended its activities today, dozens of Ocosingoans congregated to photograph with cell phones and cameras the spectacular concentration of covered faces that filled the park like in a game of Tetris, advancing among the gardening with an order that seemed choreographed, to go up to the platform installed rapidly since early on, raising their fist and saying, silently, here we are; one more time.


Not really heard much about the Zapatistas for a while ago, even from folks who are/used to be involved in solidarity work with them. Does anyone know the context for this?

Wiggleston's picture
Joined: 8-10-12
Dec 23 2012 18:34

From the sound of it, it sounds like it is part of their "Other Campaign" where they basically do an annual tour round the whole of Mexico trying to spread the message. Contrary to what you said however, I've found that lately, rather than being quiet they seem to have built up quite an internet presence and alot of my friends (who have nothing to do with anarchism) have been finding out about their movement and it is receiving alot of support globally.

qbbmvrjsssdd's picture
Joined: 28-11-11
Dec 26 2012 04:53

It's good to see them putting on their boots. What it signifies I have not any idea, except that indigenous resistance to globalized capital is possibly the forefront of the communist movement, or if the roots overgrow the concrete the edifice will start to rot.

jonthom's picture
Joined: 25-11-10
Jan 5 2013 15:36

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.