dorset chiapas solidarity

May 31, 2014

Social policies, ethics and the Zapatistas

Filed under: Zapatista — Tags: , , — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 6:38 pm


Social Policies, Ethics and the Zapatistas

By: Raúl Zibechi


Behind the cowardly murder of the teacher Galeano in La Realidad are the so-called “social policies” inspired in the “fight against poverty” sketched by the World Bank four decades ago, after the United States military defeat in Vietnam. Those policies are one of the axes of the counterinsurgency and of the asymmetric wars designed by the Pentagon for destroying anti-systemic movements.

The key character in the social policies was Robert McNamara. President of Ford first, Secretary of Defence between 1961 and 1968 and later president of the World Bank between 1968 and 1981, he understood that wars are not won with weapons or with sophisticated technologies. In that sense he was against the grain of the dominant thinking among the military and he dedicated all his efforts to implementing new counterinsurgency methods.

With McNamara, the World Bank (WB) was converted into the principal centre of the world’s thinking and analysis about poverty and acquired theoretical and political stature, displacing the problem of the distribution of wealth, considered until then –at least on the left– as the hard core of all social, economic and political problems.

As Michael T. Klare pointed out in La guerra sin fin (Barcelona, Noguer, 1974), [1] “the principal purpose of counterinsurgency work should be limited to influencing people’s behaviour and conduct.” The social policies were changing through time. From the initial concerns, centred on demographic growth and family planning, they moved towards urbanization of the peripheral barrios and later towards co-optation of the popular organizations.

After the experiences of Pronasol in Mexico and of Prodepine (Proyecto de Desarrollo de los Pueblos Indios y Negros del Ecuador), [2] the social policies and programmes were focused more and more on co-optation and domestication of social and popular movements through “organizational strengthening” (explicit policy of the WB), acting directly on the movements’ leaders and bases. The “fight against poverty” transforms dynamic and combative movements into hierarchical organizations to make the counterinsurgency war functional.

A gamut of actions were deployed that range from workshops and formation courses to monetary transfers and the lending of services for the purpose of breaking apart entire popular organizations. Of course, counterinsurgency was not talked about, but rather “empowerment” of the poor, about “participation,” about “mobilization,” and even “autonomy,” when at the end of the 1990s the movements were dodging the barriers of state control.

In that period the World Bank stopped managing the social and work programmes so that the movements managed them. Those suited to managing the social policies are those coming from the left and from the movements, because they know them from inside, dominate the rules and methods, they know who to interest, with which leaders to establish relationships and in what way to approach them. In the whole region, be it under progressive or conservative governments, it’s usually former leftists who are at the front of the ministries of social development.


Zapatismo is the only rebel movement that refuses to receive social programmes. “We are not beggars,” Subcomandante Insurgente Moisés said at the homage to Compañero Galeano. As the Zapatistas don’t bow down to the government’s charity, disguised as the fight against hunger, the counterinsurgency policy converts what were popular organizations into paramilitary groups for confronting poor against poor. The objective of the asymmetric war is that the Army arrives to “pacify,” (or keep the peace) with blood and fire.

Upon placing dignity at the steering wheel of command, the EZLN works so that the peoples and communities are not converted into an object of state charity, but rather into subjects of the construction of a different world. If they were to accept social policies, the Zapatistas would be undermining the autonomies. Constructing in this way, based on collective efforts, is more dignified than extending their hand to receive crumbs. Zapatismo has made collective dignity their political line and emancipatory horizon.

The old political culture says that dignity is not sufficient for defending oneself from the bullets and death of the system; that they lack material resources for confronting the repressive apparatuses and for constructing socialism. Those resources would be in the State; therefore, the old political culture proposes occupying the State as a shortcut towards a new world. That culture does not admit that that path was already travelled in many places and that it doesn’t lead to the new world, but rather a world of corruption.

By rejecting the social policies Zapatismo bets on the collective work of the peoples as the engine for change. The new world cannot be built except by expropriating the means of production and exchange from the appropriators. But it’s not reduced to that. The new world is the fruit of work, not of handouts. On the recuperated land and factories, collective works are the creators of the new.

Zapatismo has opted for peace, not war. It does not accept the poor confronting the poor. This is, also, an ethical option turned into a method for doing politics. In some way, Zapatismo aspires that those of below not let themselves be manipulated by those of above. To the old culture that is something impossible, which is resolved by converting the vanguards into subjects. It would also seem impossible that those from below construct the new world with their efforts alone, with dignity, as we were able to verify in la escuelita.

Even so, a third and definitive question remains: how is the new world defended from armed aggressions? It depends on what we are capable of doing in each place, in each moment. The answer is everyone. (La respuesta somos todos.)



Translator’s Notes:

[1] The English publication is: War without end (New York, Vintage Books, 1972)

[2] Development Projects for the Black and Indian Peoples of Ecuador


Originally Published in Spanish by La Jornada

Translation: Chiapas Support Committee

Friday, May 30, 2014

Dorset Chiapas Solidarity





EZLN Announces Civil Peace Encampment in La Realidad

Filed under: Journalists, Marcos, Zapatista — Tags: , , , — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 4:01 pm


EZLN Announces Civil Peace Encampment in La Realidad


In a communiqué signed by Subcomandante Insurgente Moisés, the EZLN (Zapatista Army of National Liberation) announced that there will be a new round for the first grade of The Escuelita on Freedom—still without a date—and of the second grade “for those who passed, those who got through or rather who can advance are a few, because not everyone fulfilled just what they committed to as students,” he commented.


They also announced that a Civil Peace Encampment will be realized in La Realidad, whereGaleano was murdered last May 2nd, coordinated by the FRAYBA Human Rights Center to which, they say, those who “can be witnesses and observers and listens, since the situation is not solved. Because the murderers continue free and the force that they have and alcohol is what pushes them to do anything, in addition to the fact that many of them have antecedents of consuming drugs.”

Subcomandante Insurgente Moisés underlined the fact that the encampment is of great importance as “the Zapatista support base compañeros and compañeras have to return to their homes, because they will not be able to be in the Caracol all the time, because they have to work to be able to sustain themselves in the family.”

The first civil encampment for peace will take place next June 4 and those who wish to participate must coordinate with the Fray Bartolomé de Las Casas Human Rights Centre.

They also notified that they are going to retake the encounter with the indigenous peoples of Mexico and the CNI (Indigenous National Congress), scheduled at first for the end of this May but which had to be suspended due to the murder of the Zapatista support base, Galeano. There still is not a concrete date for the event.

In this communiqué they also invite those who can acquire material for the construction of the school and the clinic which were destroyed during the paramilitary attack last May 2nd, “as you already know, the paramilitaries at the service of the evil governments destroyed the school and the clinic which the Zapatista support bases had. And just as we dug up compa Galeano—beginning with the Homage last May 24th—well we have to again raise up the school and the clinic.” Both the school and the clinic, will be constructed in a new place, they announced.

In the words of Subcomandante Moisés, they insist that “in a way that the evil governments understand that it does not matter how many they destroy, we will always build more. It happened like this when Zedillo destroyed the Aguascalientes in Guadalupe Tepeyac, and so 5 Aguascalientes were built for the one that they destroyed.”

At the end of the communiqué they refer to the paid media and affirm that “what the now deceased Supmarcos had said is true: neither did they listen, nor understand.” In this sense they deny the accusations that are made against the free media, “that they accuse them that they are part of the Zapatistas and they are paid by the Zapatistas, as if saying the truth about the reality of La Realidad were paid work and not a duty,” and they attribute these accusations to the fact that they were not invited to the Homage last May 24th. “But we see clearly that it is their anger because the paid media remained outside of reality.”

Translated from Spanish by Henry Gales.

Dorset Chiapas Solidarity



Hasta siempre, Subcomandante

Filed under: Marcos, Zapatista — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 8:50 am


Hasta siempre, Subcomandante

Gilberto López y Rivas

La Jornada, 30th May, 2014

16-1A disguise, a changing and modish hologram, a distracting manoeuvre, a trick of terrible and wonderful magic, a malicious dirty trick by the indigenous heart, a constructed and illusory character, half not free, a spokesperson, a war chief, or whatever Subcomandante Marcos might have been up to the day of his disappearance, collectively decided, the fact remains that over those years he played an important role in shaping and developing both the Zapatista Army of National Liberation and the autonomous processes that take place under its hegemony in the territories of the five juntas of good government.

Accepting that the Zapatista Maya (at all levels of military-political organization and within the circles of militants and bases of support) are the main architects of this achievement which began with armed rebellion on the first of January 1994; and taking into account that the prevailing racism, even within the leftist camp, tends to negate the indigenous leadership and in the mirror sees the EZLN’s visible mestizo; nonetheless, we must recognize and emphasize that it is also true that Subcomandante Marcos managed to give an imprint and singularity to the Zapatista movement.

Between Light and Shadow, the last words of the Subcomandante before he ceased to exist, constitutes one of the most important keys for understanding the significance of this extraordinary movement headed by the EZLN. [These words shed light on] this war of resistance [waged] “by those below against those above … for humanity and against neoliberalism”–a war that brandishes the demands of life, speaking up, respect, memory, dignity, rebellion, freedom, democracy and justice in the face of death, silence, humiliation, forgetting, contempt, oppression, slavery, imposition and criminality by the powerful.

This farewell document gives a report on the choice the Zapatistas made between killing and living, between the military path and that of constructing autonomy: “Instead of dedicating ourselves to becoming guerrillas, soldiers and squadrons, we trained promoters of education and health and raised the foundations of the autonomy that today amazes the world. Instead of building barracks, improving our weapons, constructing walls and trenches, schools were raised, hospitals and health centres were built, and we improved our living conditions.”

This trade-off took place in the middle of a war which “for being muffled was no less deadly.” A war in which paramilitaries and organizations of all kinds–together with anti-zapatista intellectuals–have been serving the Mexican government’s counterinsurgency strategy, which has never ceased to be active throughout the expanse and depth of the rebel territory.

The failure and success, and the “nothing for us,” are measured in terms of ethical consistency, an exotic concept for the political class of the institutional left: “If being consistent is a failure, then inconsistency is the road to success, on the path of power … given these parameters, we prefer to fail rather than succeed.”

10329032_575812472539012_4485905442148058856_nThis multiple and complex process that the EZLN has experienced is expressed in a single word: change. Generational, class, ethno-cultural affiliation rather than of race and gender, which leads to a change of skin of this indigenous peasant movement, with the broad and visible participation of young people, men and women, with a distinctly indigenous leadership. Above all, Subcomandante Marcos emphasizes that the most important change is the one carried out on the plane of thought: “From the revolutionary vanguard to the leader obeying; from seizing power from above to creating power from below; from professional politics to everyday politics; from the leaders to the peoples; from the marginalization of gender to the direct participation of women; from mockery of the other to celebration of difference.”

This phrase captures, without a doubt, a synthetic self-definition of today’s Zapatistas, which must be remembered especially in light of the habitual tendency to identify this movement in terms of one’s own political identities and the political preferences of analysts or followers. At the risk of being one of these, I highlight this criticism of a vanguardism that needs caudillos and leaders. This cult of individualism that is found “in its most fanatical extreme in the cult of the avant-garde … It is our conviction and our practice” — Marcos declared — “that neither leaders nor caudillos nor messiahs nor saviours are necessary to rebel and struggle. All that’s needed to struggle is a little sense of shame, a bit of dignity and a lot of organization.”

Without making concessions to either “libertarians” or current fashion, Subcomandante Marcos describes the EZLN’s pyramidal nature, as an army, with its command centre, its top-down decision-making that for better or for worse, has made possible this entire journey up to today. Without the army that rebelled against the bad government, exercising the right to legitimate violence against the violence from above, it would not have been possible to build and strengthen the autonomous subjects who command obedience in all three areas of the Zapatista government.

Once again, the Sixth Declaration of the Lacandon Jungle is regarded as the most audacious and most Zapatista of the initiatives launched by the EZLN; it serves as the point of reference for encounters with the rebels’ ongoing struggle.

The arguments for explaining and justifying the statement of the non-existence of Rebel Subcomandante Marcos, impeccable in terms of the logic for arriving at that decision, duly weighed by the political leadership of the EZLN, leave, however, a sense of absence, of astonishment for the compañero who, motley or not, will always be a benchmark of the revolutionary who never sold out, who never surrendered and never gave in, and who, I am sure, will continue making mischief, whoever and wherever he might want to be. Trick or hologram, it doesn’t matter: he has been an effective vehicle for something that transcends artifice.

Based on a translation by Jane Brundage

Dorset Chiapas Solidarity



May 30, 2014

28 rural leaders are arrested en route to dialogue in Chiapas

Filed under: Lacandon/ montes azules — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 8:23 pm


28 rural leaders are arrested en route to dialogue in Chiapas

 ** They arrest them in the government palace in Tuxtla Gutiérrez

** It is a betrayal; companies are behind it, accuses the leader of the Cocyp

By: Elio Henríquez, Correspondent

San Cristóbal de las Casas, Chiapas, May 29, 2014

On Thursday afternoon, at the government palace located in Tuxtla Gutiérrez, state police 10256245_549482491827750_1658391987224623672_narrested 28 members of a commission of leaders of the Rural Association of Collective Interest – Independent and Democratic (ARIC-ID, its initials in Spanish) and of authorities of the Communal Property of the Lacandón Community Zone, who had been given an appointment to dialogue about the roadblocks being maintained in Ocosingo and the Jungle to demand the liberation of Gabriel Montoya Oseguera, advisor of the second organization, denounced José Jacobo Femat, national leader of the Central of Campesino and Popular Organizations (Central de Organizaciones Campesinas y Populares, Cocyp).

“It is a betrayal by the government which called us to dialogue and then arrested the members of the negotiating commission at a time when there are demonstrations about the unjust arrest of Montoya Oseguera,” he accused. He claimed that: “several companies and private parties are behind all this, like the ex federal secretary of the Environment and Natural Resources, Julia Carabias.”

He explained that on Wednesday evening they met in the state capital with state officials to present different requests, among them the liberation of Montoya Oseguera, detained on May 15 as probably responsible for the crime of attacks against the peace and the and bodily integrity and property of the community and the State, as a result of the takeover of the Altamirano municipal palace in 2001. He added that they were also dealing with the roadblocks that have been carried out in Ocosingo.

He said that at 7 pm this Thursday, they went to continue the meeting, but five minutes after having arrived at the government palace, groups of police arrived who with pushes and shoves took away 30 members of the commission.

He indicated that he and Montoya Osegura’s wife were set free, while the other 28 were transported to El Amate Prison. A state official, who asked for anonymity, said that those arrested “have besieged Ocosingo, broken into the shops and (on Sunday) kidnapped Beatriz Mijangos,” an employee of the Na Bolom Cultural Centre, whose headquarters are in San Cristóbal.

For its part, the organization Services and Advisory for Peace (Serapaz) sent a communiqué in which it announced that the mediator Mario Ruiz was released last night; nevertheless, more than 20 people from the commission of community representatives remain detained, about which they “urgently” demanded their immediate freedom.


Originally Published in Spanish by La Jornada

Friday, May 30, 2014

Based on a translation by the Chiapas Support Committee

Dorset Chiapas Solidarity


The Farewell Ceremony of Subcomandante Marcos

Filed under: Marcos, Zapatista — Tags: , — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 6:55 pm


The Farewell Ceremony of Subcomandante Marcos

Luis Hernández Navarro

La Jornada, 27th May, 2014


The reappearance and public farewell of Subcomandante Marcos marks the end of an era in the Zapatista struggle. For slightly over twenty years, his personality has been the central actor on the public stage in Mexico. Both loved and hated, admired and vilified, his presence in Mexican politics has provoked the fiercest of passions. That role has now come to an end, and the EZLN will no longer speak through him.

Over the last two decades, the rebel spokesman has been the political figure of the Mexican Left most recognised outside the country, and his writings have been translated into numerous languages. Some of the most influential progressive intellectuals of the world have supported the statements made and the meetings organised by the Zapatistas, and thousands of youngsters from various parts of the globe visit the rebel communities in Chiapas every year, with significant numbers of Alter-Globalisation supporters considering themselves Zapatistas.

In the communique “Between the Light and Shade”, in which he bid farewell to the world, Marcos claimed he had been a “changing hologram” – little more than a disguise, a distractor, and a media personality. And that creation has now come to an end. His existence, he said, had been a manoeuver aimed at giving the project of life in indigenous communities time to flourish.

The personality was a creation of the indigenous people who were embarking on a project of autonomy that would be neither armed nor electoral. And, during Marcos’s time in the media limelight, this project has advanced. “It’s true that its construction is not yet complete, but it has already been defined by who we are”, he said. It is a project in which “instead of dedicating ourselves to training guerrillas, soldiers, and squadrons, we have trained promoters of education and healthcare, building the bases of autonomy that the world marvels at today”. Rejecting ‘revolutionary vanguardism’, Zapatismo has focussed its efforts on a humble, attentive, and ‘obedient rule’. It has promoted the construction of power from below, the abolition of professional politics, the full and direct participation of women, and the celebration of differences.

On the Zapatistas’ political noticeboard today, there is a new game. “Between the Light and Shade” reminded us, just as in the days running up to the Sixth Declaration of the Lacandona Jungle and the Other Campaign, that things were lacking and still are. In other words, the football match between the government and the Zapatistas – which had been suspended as a result of an illegitimate goal by the government – is not yet over. Far from that, it is starting up again.

In a letter sent to Massimo Moratti – president of Inter Milan – shortly before the proclamation of the Sixth, the EZLN used this sporting metaphor to explain the meaning of ‘things are lacking’ (“falta lo que falta”), in a postscript named “with the tone and volume of a sports commentator”. “The Sup (Marcos), using the technique of the Uruguayan Obdulio Varela in the final against Brazil (in the World Cup of 1950 in Rio de Janeiro), has been walking out of the Zapatistas’ goal in slow motion with the ball in his hands since May 2001. After complaining to the referee about the illegitimacy of the goal scored, he has put the ball down in the middle of the field and turned to his teammates, exchanging silent looks with them. With the goal-scorer, the betting companies, and the whole system against them, no-one has hope in the Zapatistas. And, approaching 6pm, it starts to rain. Everything seems to be ready for the game to restart…”

That restarted game now has Moisés – an indigenous leader – at its helm, and a new generation of combatants at the front. Their route is the Sixth Declaration, considered “the most audacious and ‘Zapatista’ initiative we have ever launched”, which has brought them into contact with their current travel companions. And the match, on a pitch of anti-capitalism and radical criticism of political parties (and ‘mercenaries’ of the corporate media), will be played “below and to the left”.

The disappearance of the personality of Marcos, he told us, is not a result of serious physical ills or even his imminent death. Such comments, he said, were simply “rumours [which had been] encouraged because they were useful”. His terminal illness was just “the last great trick of the hologram”.

And many people are glad to hear that the man behind the personality – the one of blue, green, brown, hazel, or black eyes – is in good health. But the trick had many of us fooled. At the very least, it generated worry or sorrow, and we mustn’t underestimate the extent or sincerity of that concern. Many sent him wishes of a quick recovery or gave selfless offers of help, and it would be unfair to ignore that wave of solidarity.


The murder of José Luis Solís López (aka Galeano), is a fundamental part of the Establishment’s counterinsurgency strategy against the Zapatistas. It is a serious warning about what lies in store for the social movement. Meanwhile, the government has divided the Community Police Forces of Guerrero, imprisoning a number of their leaders (including Nestora Salgado) and threatening to disarm them. And, in Michoacán, it has domesticated and fragmented the Self Defence Forces (Autodefensas), threatening to imprison their dissident leaders. Why, then, would the State allow the EZLN to continue its autonomous projects and remain armed?

The massive and energetic mobilisation of the mourning rebels at the weekend was not just an expression of rage, pain, and desire for justice, but also a preventative response to the possible temptation of ‘President’ Peña Nieto to try and ‘recover’ in Chiapas what he considers to be the exclusive right of the government to control the region. It was a warning of what the State can expect if it opts for the route of armed confrontation.

The public disappearance of Subcomandante Marcos, his ritual death, and his transformation into Subcomandante Galeano were all part of a moving homage to Solís – murdered by CIOAC-H paramilitaries as part of the State’s war against Zapatismo and the indigenous people of Mexico. Faced with an established Left in Mexico which has shamelessly condemned its dead and disappeared to obscurity, the Zapatistas seek to evade death by bringing the memory of their deceased to life. And, as with all true farewell ceremonies, this one was also a commitment to life.

Translated by Oso Sabio from a text originally written in Spanish by Luis Hernández Navarro at

Dorset Chiapas Solidarity


Galeano, His Family, and a Story of Struggle

Filed under: Zapatista — Tags: , — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 6:37 pm


Galeano, His Family, and a Story of Struggle


The EZLN’s José Luis Solís López (aka Comrade Galeano) of the EZLN had already lost one brother (on December 31st, 1993) when he left with his fellow Zapatistas to take the municipal centres of Comitán and Las Margaritas on January 1st 1994.

In the early morning of New Year’s Day, a bus carrying several rebels crashed into a house a couple of streets away from the centre of Las Margaritas because its brakes had failed. The inhabitants of the house, who had been celebrating the arrival of the New Year, were shocked when they saw youngsters wearing olive-green trousers and brown shirts and carrying rifles. “They’re guerrillas!” shouted the occupants before locking themselves inside the house.

A few metres away, while the rebels took the town, Subcomandante Pedro (a red-bearded youngster who inhabitants of La Realidad affectionately called “Pedrín”) was shot to the ground next to a bust of Benito Juárez situated in front of the balcony of the town hall. Zapatista youths would later regret having left him alone as they took the town.

The municipal leader of the National Peasant Confederation (CNN), Aarón Gordillo, had denounced the presence of guerrilla groups in Las Margaritas during 1992 and 1993, and would change the path of the EZLN’s struggle that morning. The Priista ambushed Pedro from the town hall, setting the progress of the Zapatistas back significantly. However, he himself was shot, and would later die in his house a few hours later.

Some drunken locals would confuse Pedro for a foreigner, and some even said the dead rebel was a woman – as they could only see his long hair in the darkness. Without his leadership, the rebels in Las Margaritas were unable to advance to Comitán and take its 24th Motorised Cavalry Regiment (now found in Tehuacán, Puebla), its town hall, and its government offices.

In the town of San Antonio Z, Zapatistas managed to set up camp, but would only arrive, as Subcomandante Marcos later said, “within urinating distance of Comitán”. Major Moisés, meanwhile, led a group of rebels whose task was to stick the First Declaration of the Lacandón Jungle on the municipal centre’s walls.

Nearby, other rebels had entered the ranch of San Joaquín, detaining General Absalón Castellanos Domínguez in the process. Castellanos had returned from town to see what was happening after hearing from his workers that a group of guerrillas had declared war on the Mexican government.

On January 3rd, however, the rebels received the order to return to their communities, and the order to advance on Mexico City was withdrawn. They returned home in their battered vehicles, tired and hungry. Galeano and his brother Jorge Mario travelled with a group of rebels heading back to La Realidad. Jorge Mario drove a white Ford bus known as “The Rabbit”.

As soon as the Zapatistas left, the Army took Las Margaritas, guarding all of the town’s exits and the roads towards Comitán. In Yalcoc y El Encanto, one of the town’s neighbourhoods, soldiers set up camps to capture and interrogate all of the Tojolabales and peasants that passed through the area. At one of these posts, Major Terán (who had already been suspected of links to drug trafficking in the region) detained Jorge Mario, along with another rebel called Eduardo Gómez Hernández, to “interrogate them, torture them, and murder them”. Days later, their bodies were discovered by a local who had noted the strange presence of birds of prey on a piece of land in the Plan de Agua Prieta ejido. They were found on the road between the municipal centre and the Yashá ejido.

Subcomandante Marcos, in a letter to the UN about executions in Chiapas (dated July 9th, 1999), would later write that, “in the first days of combat, Major Terán kidnapped, tortured, and executed Eduardo Gómez Hernández and Jorge Mario Solís López” in Las Margaritas. “Our deceased”, he would add, “do not rest in peace”. On February 14th, 2004, Jorge Mario’s name would be added to the list of the 46 Zapatistas who fell in combat in 1994.

“In the combats of Las Margaritas, we suffered one fatality. In the days after the taking of Las Margaritas by Zapatista troops and the retaking of the town square by the federal army, Major Terán kidnapped, tortured, and executed the militants”. According to Marcos, “their ears and tongues had been cut off”.

Translated by Oso Sabio from a text originally written in Spanish by Chiapas Paralelo at

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Words spoken by Votan Galeano in 2013

Filed under: Zapatista — Tags: , , — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 5:16 pm


Words spoken by Votan Galeano in 2013



This is the transcription of a presentation given by Jose Luis Solís López (known as Galeano), the Zapatista promoter/teacher who was killed on May 2, 2014.  This document was originally recorded as part of a Zapatista evaluation session of La Escuelita and was published in Feb. 2014 in Spanish in the first volume of the new Mexican journal Rebeldia Zapatista.  While defending the local elementary school, Galeano was targeted and assassinated on May 2 in a paramiltary ambush just outside the Zapatista Caracol of La Realidad, one of the five seats of the Zapatista Good Government Councils (JBG).   The leadership of several anti-Zapatista organizations including CIOAC-Histórica, the Green Ecological Party, the National Action Party [PAN], and the Revolutionary Institutional Party [PRI] are all implicated in planning the attack.


Galeano:  “We are a team of teachers participating at various levels in The Little School for Freedom according to the Zapatistas, like in the video conferences. We are all affiliated to the “Mother of the Caracols, Sea of our Dreams” caracol, located in the Frontier Jungle region. I come from the village of Nueva Victoria, in the municipality of San Pedro de Michoacán.

For me, I see La Escuelita as a very important initiative, because it is a means for us to communicate with people from the city, so that we can share our experiences, our great achievements during these 19, almost 20 years of autonomy. So I say it’s a means, a means for us to be able to share the progress we’ve made in building autonomy with people from outside, and a place where they have been able to come into our territories, to stay with indigenous families, to share and to learn. And at the same time, the visitors come to understand how the Zapatistas have their own ways, our own forms of organizing, our own means of self-sufficiency, and how we do not have to rely on the bad system of government, but rather we build our own system.

Now they have seen it with their own eyes and have come to understand the sacrifice we are making in order to attain all that we have achieved. While staying with families in the communities, the visitors have seen how much has been sacrificed, how much this family has endured in order to harvest, in order to provide for the whole family and to sustain us all in our resistance to the bad government. The visitors have seen how much effort it takes to survive and how the bad government makes us pay with this misery.

Now with their own ears and eyes they have seen the things that we have always said. Maybe they had heard our speeches or read our communiques before, but perhaps they did not really believe what we were trying to say. They knew that the Zapatistas were in the mountains, that’s what they always say, but they never thought of us Zapatistas as flesh and blood, that we are human beings like them, and that this is what we do: we are in the communities and we are organizing.

So La Escuelita for me is a means for us to communicate with other people from the city, from our country and the world. It is like a bridge to communicate.

La Escuelita is one more of our accomplishments that we have achieved through our resistance, through our struggle. We can consider this one more of our accomplishments because during these 500 years of being robbed and exploited by the bad system, the bad government never allowed us this kind of space, the bad government never gave us this kind of freedom that we have now to meet and work with people from other parts of our country.

I value La Escuelita because here in our struggle, there are many young people who were born after the uprising, as well as those born in the city who had not been born in 1994, and they had only heard about the Zapatistas in the media, in the newspapers or on the radio, but they never really knew what the struggle was all about. So I think La Escuelita has been a great achievement, because of course the bad government would never have given it to us. No other organization has accomplished what we have done here in organizing La Escuelita.

Not only are people from the city and from other countries being educated through la Escuelita, but we are also educating ourselves, the youth are being prepared to continue the work of governing ourselves. Through opening up the space of La Escuelita, the youth are being guided and orientated towards learning how we govern ourselves, how it is that the people should lead. For me, I value the school as a very important thing. We ourselves learn many things, and people coming from outside learn from us.

The other really great achievement we see here is that the government is no longer in control, here the people are in charge. The people decide for themselves how things are to going to be, and that is what others need to understand. As we have already pointed out, the people from outside who come to attend La Escuelita may have heard that in Zapatista territory the people are in charge and the government obeys, but now they have come to see with their own eyes just how the people here govern from their villages, municipalities and at a district level. That’s the best thing of all, how people from outside have come to understand the Zapatistas process of self-government.

What is our assessment of the students?

10322847_702630703127680_1438486459225294883_nI have a great respect for those compañero/as and students who have come to attend La Escuelita. You can see the great spirit here, you can see the importance of the initiative for them; they are very interested in what they have come to learn about. So many compañero/as, intellectuals, school teachers, artists, urban dwellers, collectives, student and university groups, have come here and have told us that they have never experienced anything like what they have experienced in La Escuelita. They seem very pleased.

Furthermore, I respect them because they make a commitment. They say that they will pass on what they have learned here with their compañero/as who for whatever reason were unable to attend; that they will share what we have taught them, what they saw, what they learned. So for this reason, I respect the students who came from outside because I saw that they were very excited by the experience.

While some students were somewhat confused or unsure about what they were meant to be doing in La Escuelita, or they were asking questions that reached beyond what La Escuelita was about, I can say for sure that there were no bad intentions, just that they were feeling disoriented or unsure of themselves, and so they went beyond the boundary we had established. I am sure that they did not mean any harm but it was simply that their concentration was not on La Escuelita.

But the students who came to this caracol were very content and greatly appreciated all they had learned. For this, I applaud them because apart from people who came who had the means to do so, there were others who had to take time out from work, or students who had to save up their money to come learn in our school. I appreciate that they made this effort to get here because they had a desire to learn and were interested in what we are doing.

On a rather more general level, we could see that the students came to learn from us, and for me, that was something that I respected a lot. Aside from the questions they asked it became clear from their comments and what they said, that they too are exploited, that they too suffer in a similar manner to us, the indigenous. The most important thing is that they themselves said we share a common enemy, which is neoliberalism, and only united can we defeat it.

Translated by Schools for Chiapas

Dorset Chiapas Solidarity


Economic interests are threatening Indigenous initiatives in the Lacandón

Filed under: Lacandon/ montes azules, Zapatista — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 6:47 am


Economic interests are threatening Indigenous initiatives in the Lacandón says the Network for Peace

 ** The NGO points out that environmentalists from outside the zone are promoting privatization

** The collective repudiates the militarization and criminalization of protest on the southern border

By: Hermann Bellinghausen


The temperature has risen in the Lacandón Jungle, in Chiapas. The chain of conflicts that involve the whole spectrum of its indigenous population are not only the result of years of pressure against the communities and a latent engineering of conflicts, but also of the political evolution of the peoples of Maya origin who inhabit it. The sustained construction of Zapatista autonomy is confronted by the creation of paramilitary devices. In addition, the co-optation of organizations, the confrontation created by authorities and powerful private interests, the imposition of decrees, programmes, titlings, unfulfilled agreements and evictions, appear to have reached a limit.

After weeks of threats, protests, aggressions and reactions in the region, the civil organisations which are members of the Network for Peace in Chiapas pronounced on “the climate of violence, tension and conflict regarding the Lacandón Jungle and Montes Azules Biosphere (Reserve).”

They noted that not only had the militarization been increased since May 14, because of the “second phase” of the Operation Southern Border (Operativo Frontera Sur), in which the Army, the Mexican Navy, the Attorney General of the Republic, the National Institute of Migration and the Federal, state and municipal police are engaged.

Twelve days before, members of CIOAC-Historic assassinated Galeano, a Zapatista in La Realidad, and attacked many more people, along with their autonomous patrimony. Things are also happening in other parts of the Jungle.

In April, a historic agreement was ratified – without the government or private parties mediating or interfering, in a scenario where that was the rule – between the Lacandón Community Zone (CZL, its initials in Spanish) and the Rural Association of Collective Interest Union of Unions Independent and Democratic (ARIC-ID), which recognized the agrarian right of three villages.

As the Network for Peace has reported, different events have increased the violence and tension around the delimitation of the Lacandón Gap (la Brecha Lacandona) and the Montes Azules Biosphere Reserve since April 28.

“The indigenous communities and peoples who inhabit this region have constructed proposals and initiatives, some since more than 30 years ago,” for obtaining the recognition of their agrarian and autonomic rights.

Those proposals “are seen to be threatened by economic and environmental interests foreign to the peoples involved and by the climate of confusion, impunity and violence which exists in the original and principal nucleus of the unresolved armed conflict.”

The Network point out “parallels.” On April 29, in San Javier (Ocosingo) the assembly of the commons of the Lacandón Zone was suspended because a group interrupted it violently.

“Late in April, the media reported news of the kidnapping of Julia Carabias, former Environment Secretary, academic, founder and member of Natura y Ecosistemas Mexicanos, an NGO identifiedby the CZL’s members and by other sectors as responsible for generating division and introducing projects directed at privatizing the area.”

In this “rarified” atmosphere, the police arrested the CZL’s adviser Fernando Gabriel Montoya Oseguera, who the state prosecutor’s office “initially identified as the author of the kidnapping,” although it finally assigned him to prison as the “the probable responsible party” of attempts against the peace which would have occurred 13 years ago, in a takeover of the Altamirano city hall. In response, organizations blocked the Jungle highway and the city of Ocosingo, demanding his release.

In April 2012, the Network visited the communities of San Gregorio, Salvador Allende and Ranchería Corozal, members of the ARIC-ID, with whom the CZL agreed to recognize the possession of the lands which they have inhabited for more than 30 years inside the de Montes Azules [reserve]. “Different interests” have prevented this for years.

They salute the new stage of the Zapatistas

The Network expresses concern that: “in response to disagreement” from the CZL and ARIC-ID, the governmental measures would result in the violation of the rights of the peoples, as with the various evictions between 2003 and 2012 and the arrest of community authorities.

The Network for Peace, composed of a dozen organisations related to the (Catholic) Diocese of San Cristóbal de Las Casas, rejected the privatization of the indigenous territories “and the intervention of external actors who break the processes of dialogue and agreement.”

It repudiated the militarization and the criminalization of social protest on the southern border and pronounced itself: “in support of inclusive processes in the management, conservation and administration” of Montes Azules and the six other natural protected areas in the Lacandón. Finally, it welcomed: “the announcement of a new stage” of Zapatismo.


Originally Published in Spanish by La Jornada

Thursday, May 29, 2014

En español:


English translation by the Chiapas Support Committee for the International Zapatista Translation Service




The Reality Fund ~ Rebuilding the School and Clinic in La Realidad

Filed under: Zapatista — Tags: , , — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 4:36 am

The Reality Fund ~ Rebuilding the School and Clinic in La Realidad


The school in La Realidad has been destroyed

On May 2, 2014, paramilitaries murdered the Zapatista teacher Galeano as he rushed to defend the school and health clinic in La Realidad. Fifteen other Zapatistas were seriously injured and both buildings destroyed. You can help the Zapatistas rebuild!  Schools for Chiapas has established “The Reality Fund” because the Zapatistas have requested help with purchasing materials for the rebuilding of the autonomous school and health clinic. All funds donated to “The Reality Fund” will be given directly the the Good Government Board in the Zapatista caracol of La Realidad.

To donate via Schools for Chiapas, please follow this link

Dorset Chiapas Solidarity




May 29, 2014


Filed under: Zapatista — Tags: , , , — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 6:16 pm



Communiqué by Subcomandante Insurgente Moisés





May 27, 2014.

To the compañeras and compañeros of the Sixth in Mexico and the world:

To the brothers and sisters of the National Indigenous Congress and the indigenous peoples of our country:


Greetings from Subcomandante Insurgente Moisés, I want to communicate a few things to you:

ImageProxyFirst. THE LITTLE SCHOOL. Compañer@s of the Sixth in Mexico and the world, we want to let you know that for now, we think that we will continue with the work of the little school, with the first grade for those who haven’t attended yet, as well as second grade for those who passed. It’s just some who passed the first grade and can go on to the second, not everyone because some did not fully honor their commitment as students. Later we’ll let you know the dates for the next first grade course of the Little School. Same for second grade, but that’s not for everybody.

Second. PEACE CAMP. Compañeras and compañeros of the Sixth in Mexico and the World, we want to let you know that we have received some words and ideas from the Fray Bartolomé Human Rights Centre about putting a Civil Peace Camp in the community of La Realidad, where the crime against our compañero Galeano took place. We have already told Frayba that we welcome this idea, where you could be witnesses, observers, and listeners, given that the situation is not yet resolved. The murderers are still free and their strength and impulse to do whatever they feel like is fuelled by alcohol, and some are known to have used drugs as well. The Zapatista compañeras and compañeros bases of support have to go back to their homes; they can’t be at the caracol all the time because they have to work to sustain their families. So this civil peace camp is very important. In this regard, we ask you to coordinate with the Fray Bartolomé Human Rights Centre. According to what they tell us, the first camp will be installed on Wednesday, June 4, 2014.

Third. THE EXCHANGE. We are also going to reschedule the exchange with the brothers and sisters of the National Indigenous Congress, but we will communicate this separately.

Fourth. RECONSTRUCTION. As you know, the paramilitaries at the service of the bad governments destroyed the school and the clinic that belong to the Zapatista bases of support. So just as we unburied compa Galeano, we have to rebuild the school and the clinic. The compañeras and compañeros bases of support in La Realidad have already found a new place to build. So we invite you to contribute construction materials if you are able so that we can rebuild the school and the clinic.

This is so that the bad governments understand that no matter how much they destroy, we will always build more. That’s what happened when Zedillo destroyed the Aguascalientes in Guadalupe Tepeyac, and we built 5 Aguascalientes for the one that they destroyed.

Finally, I want to say that I have been seeing what the paid media has been saying happened in reality in La Realidad. And I see that what the now defunct Supmarcos said was right: they neither listened nor understood.

Those above don’t understand that we didn’t lose anything; on the contrary, we recuperated a compañero. And those on the outside don’t understand that they in fact did lose something, because now they don’t have a window through which to see us, much less a door through which to enter.

They don’t hear the sound of pain and rage is growing there where they are. They don’t hear that they are now alone.

And they accuse the independent media of being part of the Zapatistas and being paid by the Zapatistas, as if telling the truth of the reality in La Realidad was paid work and not a duty. But we see clearly that this is just their anger because the paid media were left out of reality.

Because as Zapatistas, if we have any money, we build life, we don’t destroy truths. Not like the bad governments, that use money to build lies and destroy lives.

From the Mountains of the Mexican Southeast

Subcomandante Insurgente Moisés.

Mexico, May of 2014. In the twentieth year of the war against oblivion.  



May 28, 2014

Three Thousand Zapatistas and Adherents to the Sixth Declaration in Homage to Votán Galeano

Filed under: Zapatista — Tags: , — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 6:32 pm


Three Thousand Zapatistas and Adherents to the Sixth Declaration in Homage to Votán Galeano

La Realidad, Chiapas, May 24th, 2014.
By free, alternative, autonomous media
Under the sun of the Lacandon Jungle in the Mexican Southeast, this afternoon in the plaza of La Realidad Caracol, one of the capitals of civil and peaceful Zapatismo, covered by messages in memory of compañero Galeano, approximately 2,200 Zapatistas and 800 persons from civil society and insurgents of the Zapatista Army of National Liberation gathered to pay homage to the Zapatista teacher José Luis Solís López: Votán Galeano.
“Proud, strong, and enlivened” compañeros and compañeras from La Realidad, gave the welcome to those present and those who could not be, shared their pain and their rage at the context of war in which the paramilitary attack took place last May 2nd against the Caracol, in which Galeano lost his life at the hands of people with “rotten thought who accept handouts from the evil government.”
The participation of the Indigenous Revolutionary Clandestine Committee (CCRI) stood out, which in the voice of Comandante Tacho expressed: “we come to give homage to a compañero without size or height, we do not come to bury him, we come to dig up his combative being; we come to lift him up in every boy and in every girl. Lift up in each compa his being a teacher, his being a videoconference participant, his being an assistant to the Autonomous Councilor, candidate to the Junta de Buen Gobierno, and his being a sergeant.” Leaving clear that for them death is not the end of the struggle nor the end of the construction of autonomy.
There was a series of messages for the adherents to the Sixth Declaration of the Lacandon Jungle, who this time fulfilled the commitment signed in 2005, “if they touch one of us, they touch all of us. You should understand that the EZLN cannot get involved just like that in the communities, it can only enter if the autonomous communities request it, to do justice. The rage that we have is against capitalism, not against those who are tricked by it. Let’s struggle, let’s work, let’s talk among ourselves, those from below and to the left, let’s not look toward above, because there, there are not eyes nor ears. Here we are to accompany and investigate the acts. The rage must not be tranquilized with the detentions made by the Chiapas government which is a disguise, which is not justice, which are done so that you of the Sixth Declaration tranquilize that rage,” signaled Subcomandante Insurgente Moisés.
indicated as being responsible for the murder of maestro Galeano: Florinda Santis, councilwoman for the PAN in Las Margaritas, Luis H. Álvarez, commissioner for Peace in Chiapas, and Carmelino Días López, who “met to construct problems for the Zapatistas in exchange for money, projects, and weapons.” They denounced, following the attacks, the three levels of the bad government; the congressman, the governor, the ex-governor, and the supreme paramilitary Enrique Peña Nieto. “They have a plan to murder the EZLN and benefit the great businesses. They think that with taking a Caracol and killing a compañero the struggle is finished, but no, just as there were fallen in ‘94 and Galeano followed their example, now we will follow the example of Galeano, they want us to lose our head and kill each other among ourselves, but we are not going to give pretext for the evil government to murder indigenous people and say that it is a conflict among communities, we seek justice and not revenge, justice forever and the revenge will be against neoliberal capitalism.”
They reaffirmed their posture before the bad government to not receive handouts or charity, to not talk with the evil governments due to not trusting “those brainless people, today and forever we do not trust those ignorant and stupid people, with great hands to steel and without a brain to think, from whichever party they may be. Our struggle is for freedom, for an anti-capitalist world, and we are not going to turn aside.”
Also in the form of denunciation they gave a brief portrayal on seven attacks to understand what the CIOAC is:
– November 20th, attack on the 10 de Abril village.
– One year ago, attack on recovered land in La Realidad and Morelia.
– Attack on Eusebia river one month ago.
– Attack in San José Palma, Margarita.
– Attack 15 days ago on Ejido Miguel Hidalgo.
– Attack in Rayón in the north of Chiapas with deaths.
– May 2nd, murder of Galeano.
In addition the CIOAC participates in the crusade against hunger, which they made evident as a counterinsurgent crusade, where their leaders learn to kill and lie. “What future awaits their children?,” Subcomandante Insurgente Moisés asked himself.
The labour and work which the alternative media have done got special recognition, both those who participated in the caravan and those who could not attend, because together they have achieved breaking the informative siege imposed by capital, calling to not abandon their labour and commitment with truth.
“He did not sell out, did not give up, was not defeated. Galeano Presente,” affirmed Moisés in his intervention. He concluded, “From La Realidad, and for La Realidad, we will not let them destroy it, it is our commitment to free this country, whatever is to happen and whatever is to come.”
Translated from Spanish by Henry Gales.
Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.5 Mexico.
Photos by free, alternative, autonomous media.

The “Gaps”, the Galeanos, and the Dignified Rage

Filed under: Zapatista — Tags: , , , — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 5:26 pm


The “Gaps”, the Galeanos, and the Dignified Rage

Carlos Fazio

La Jornada, 26th May, 2014

929. la realidadSince the indigenous peasant uprising of the EZLN (Zapatista Army of National Liberation) in 1994, the Mexican Ministry of National Defence (Sedena) and its main ideologue, partner, and sponsor – the Department of Defence of the USA – have been modifying and adapting their conceptions of “internal enemies” and their methods of warfare. And twenty years on from the counterinsurgency policies of Sedena’s Chiapas Campaign Plan of 94, we are seeing a number of new examples of their ‘irregular’ and ‘asymmetrical’ warfare.

With specific regional adaptations (from the Juárez Valley to Tamaulipas, and Michoacán to Chiapas), unconventional warfare in Mexico today is waged as part of a “full spectrum” occupation strategy – in which military, economic, media, and cultural policies have common objectives. In this context, and considering its own particular characteristics, Chiapas is at the centre of the Pentagon’s map. The state’s geography forms part of a “gap”, in which the danger zones for the dominant force of the global capitalist system can be found. As a result, the USA must have aggressive policies of prevention, deterrence, control, and imposition of norms which work in step with corporate interests (whose headquarters can be found in the United States). At the same time, it is necessary for them to persecute, break up, and eliminate all dissidents and rebels who are considered ‘enemies’.

Capitalism cannot be understood or explained without the concept of war. War is the only way to reproduce the current system of domination, and is indispensable for the current phase of neo-colonial re-conquest of social spaces and territories. But it is also a business – a way of ensuring new merchandise is produced and a way of opening up new markets in order to gain a profit. And the “Chiapas Gap” is found in an area of incredible biodiversity (including the Montes Azules Biosphere Reserve), where strategic minerals, oil, and water can also be found. For this reason, appropriation of this territory could be very profitable for large corporations.

Moreover, the areas of Zapatista autonomy in Chiapas exhibit creative and peaceful civilian resistance to the neoliberal economic project – or the ‘imperialism of dispossession’. Here, new forms of emancipation and collective construction of freedom are being created by a number of anti-systemic social movements which represent critical, ethical, anti-capitalist, and anti-hegemonic thought. These are forces that act on the margin of the rules imposed by the plutocratic Mexican establishment – and the acts and customs of the administrators on duty and of the parliamentary political class, both of which can be identified by corruption and impunity. At the same time, they challenge the State in cultural spheres, advocating historical memory, different world views, and the possibility of utopias. They are a new historical subject that no longer believes in bandages or reforms within the current system. They also find the old and new forms of assimilation and co-optation alien, demonstrating instead another way of doing politics and of building an alternative power structure from below. They seek real people power, driven by pluralism, self-management, and truly participative democracy – with their Committees of Good Government, autonomous municipalities, and community authorities.

43. la realidadBecause of the reasons stated above, the EZLN, its support bases, and its current allies represent a real danger: a strategic challenge for Washington and corporations related to oil, mining, biotechnology, agriculture, pharmaceuticals, hotels, soft drinks, false ecotourism, and the military industry. As a consequence, asymmetrical warfare is the articulating axis of a strategy of territorial clearance and control that seeks to displace populations in order to facilitate the appropriation and commercialisation of the land and its natural resources by large multinational corporations. Whoever finds themselves in these spaces and territories (where water, trees, ancestral knowledge, genetic codes, and other “goods” can be found) becomes, whether they want to or not, an enemy of capitalism. For that reason, a conservative offensive seeks – through the use of a comprehensive, hidden, irregular, prolonged, and erosive war – to discipline, crush, and/or eliminate all resistance from rebellious indigenous peasants. The aim of this war is to carry out a ‘restructuring’ of territory in accordance with the interests and requirements of the monopolist class.

This is a war of privatisation, territorial clearance, and social dispossession, which militarises and paramilitarises communities in an attempt to win a prolonged and unresolved armed conflict – and includes the containment of social movements and the criminalisation of protests with more ‘exceptional measures’. For example, a ‘bullet law’, or code for the “legitimate use of force”, was passed by the Chiapan Congress, with the aim of facilitating the free accumulation of resources by transnational corporations.

In December 2007, when faced with an offensive prepared by President Calderón, Subcomandante Marcos warned about the reactivation of military and paramilitary aggression in the areas under Zapatista influence. He said: “Those of us who have waged war know how to recognise when it is approaching and the ways in which it is prepared. The signs of war on the horizon are clear. War, like fear, can be smelt, and we are now beginning to detect its foul smell in our territories”.

And he was not wrong. The most recent episode was the premeditated murder of the indigenous Zapatista teacher José Luis Solís López (comrade Galeano) at the hands of the paramilitary group Los Luises on May 2nd. The provocation and trap in La Realidad – a place emblematic of peaceful Zapatista resistance – was carried out by the Historical and Independent Union of Agricultural Workers and Peasants (CIOAC-H in Spanish), which acted as an instrument of the government’s counterinsurgency strategy. In summary, such paramilitary activity responds to the State’s logic, in the form of an asymmetrical war as proposed by Sedena.


Translated by Oso Sabio from an article originally written in Spanish by Carlos Fazio at



May 27, 2014

Gustavo Esteva: La Realidad is ours

Filed under: Marcos, Zapatista — Tags: , , — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 8:12 pm


Gustavo Esteva: La Realidad is ours realidad


Gustavo Esteva

This Saturday we were able to see, with complete clarity, what that other politics is.

The caravan from San Cristóbal, with dozens and dozens of vehicles of all sizes, was a snake of many kilometres. After the very long trip, not immune from tension and tribulations, they arrived in La Realidad, a teeming reality of Zapatista support bases that had arrived from everywhere to defend what is theirs and to show the vigour of the response.

The Caracol’s esplanade was filling up little by little. When no one would fit any longer and the sun began to shrink, Subcomandante Insurgente Marcos appeared on horseback. On his left hand he wore a black glove with bones painted in white. Instead of his usual weapon he was carrying a machete on his back. Subcomandante Insurgente Moisés and Comandante Tacho arrived next. All of them, the milicianos as well as the insurgents and the comandantes, wore the right eye covered; so that we could imagine how the world is seen from the left.

The voice of Sup Marcos greeted everyone from Radio Insurgente. Subcomandante Moisés next reported about the results of their investigations of the attack on La Realidad and the assassination of teacher Galeano. He asked not to fall into the provocations of the paramilitaries. Tacho as well as Moisés insisted that the Zapatistas do not seek revenge but justice. The indignation and rage have to be directed against the capitalist system and its political expressions, not against those confused brothers who let themselves be bought and manipulated by the government.

In the afternoon, we listened to the words of the Clandestine Indigenous Revolutionary Committee – General Command of the EZLN (Comité Clandestino Revolucionario Indígena-Comandancia General del EZLN), in the voice of Comandante Tacho. The communiqué, read by Subcomandante Moisés, described in every detail the links between the paramilitaries of the Cioac-H and the government of Chiapas and the chains of relationships and complicities that involve municipal presidents, governors and ex governors. He also related the series of harassments and armed attacks that that same organization has carried out recently against the Zapatistas.

Finally, everyone sang the Zapatista Hymn and a long and moving procession was organized to visit the tomb of the teacher Galeano. A little later, the complete audio of the communiqués and the information began to circulate through the free media.

While this was occurring in La Realidad, in more than a hundred cities in Mexico and the world the creativity and entirety of those who shared the pain and rage of the Zapatistas for the atrocious assassination of Galeano was demonstrated publicly and transformed into organization and mobilization.

In Oaxaca, for example, there were as many that went on the caravan as those that stayed to organize a political day of homage in the capital’s principal plaza and adopted the slogan “La Realidad is ours” with a double proposition: assuming as their own the pain and indignation for the death of Galeano and recognizing that a similar war exists in the state. In the public pronouncement at the end of the political day of homage they pointed out with clarity: “Today, in Oaxaca, collectives, adherents of the Sexta and diverse organisations of civil society have met to demonstrate our decision and commitment to get organized not only for resisting the violence from above and below that spreads among us, but also to assume a commitment to transformation. By placing ourselves in solidarity with the Zapatistas, we are also asserting in our own spaces and organizations to confront without fear that wave of violence and to convert this difficult circumstance into the opportunity for realizing profound changes… With the construction of autonomy from the social base, with the ability to link ourselves together in a common pledge instead of our political and ideological differences, confident in the known capacity for struggle of the Oaxacan people, today we call to everyone to congregate in this common pledge of profound transformation.”

Ten years ago, Arundhati Roy anticipated what is happening: “Not only is another world possible,” she pointed out “it is underway. On a quiet day, if you listen carefully, you can hear her breathing.” This Saturday, in La Realidad, we entered into it [another world]. It is already among us. The thing is to multiply it everywhere, in its thousand different forms.

That is, very concretely, what is now being attempted. Adherents to the Sixth (la Sexta), students of La Escuelita, and the millions in Mexico and in the world who continue to find a source of inspiration in the Zapatistas, seem decided to use these dates as a detonator similar to that of the Uprising.

This is a new cycle of organization and mobilization to resist, to stop the horror and to practice, each in their own way, in their place, the new forms of doing politics. Today, like yesterday, it is also a case of defending the Zapatistas and Zapatismo as a political initiative, at the side of Subcomandante Insurgente Galeano.


Originally Published in Spanish by La Jornada

Translation: Chiapas Support Committee

Monday, May 26, 2014

En español:

Dorset Chiapas Solidarity



Independent Media Reports from La Realidad

Filed under: Marcos, Zapatista — Tags: , — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 7:38 pm


Independent Media Reports from La Realidad

Sunday, May 25, 2014 (May 24th)

Reporting from La Realidad realidadImage: A girl, flirtatious, in a short skirt, purple blouse, long hair, observes the meticulous formation of hundreds of Zapatistas who are arriving to the plaza of La Realidad Caracol. Men, women, children in arms, and in front of them, a file of militants. The girl rests the weight of her body on one leg, hands on her hips, and smiles. Behind her, three insurgents look after the entrance to the construction of wood where, we suppose, the command is. Comandante Tacho, tireless, runs from one side to another, gives instructions, coordinates, resolves problems, omnipresent.

Under the sun of the Lacandon Jungle, the Zapatistas shine strong, dignified, organized. Subcomandante Marcos appears then on horseback, the beloved Sup Marcos who has inspired so many, with a black glove with bones painted in white on his left hand, armed with a machete on his back in place of the traditional AR-15 and wearing a blue shirt instead of brown. Then other horsemen appear, among them Subcomandante Insurgente Moisés and Comandante Tacho. All, militants, insurgents, and commanders, with the right eye covered, looking how it is seen from the left.

Hundreds, perhaps thousands of support bases arrive here from various zones of Zapatista territory. Some 600 of us, solidary persons from Mexico and from the world, arrived here this morning after a long, troubled, and combative travesty in a caravan of pain and of rage. And in this moment, before the deployment of force and dignity, the tiredness is forgotten and hope reborn.

The subcomandantes come out and some minutes later the voice of Sup Marcos is heard: This is Radio Insurgente, broadcasting from the mountains of the Mexican southeast. He greets us, and passes the word to Subcomandante Moisés, who communicates to us the first results of the investigation on the attack which the Zapatistas suffered here and the murder of maestro Galeano: Those immediately responsible are already known. Justice will be done. There will be more reports later. He asks us not to fall into the provocations by the paramilitaries from La Realidad… let us use the rage against the system, not against those brethren sold-out and manipulated by the government. And then Sup Marcos informs us that there is internet. So here we are.

For now that is all. We will continue reporting.

Translated from Spanish by Henry Gales.


Sunday, May 25, 2014

Free Media Report from La Realidad (May 24th)

44. la realidadMay 24th, 2014 Caracol I La Realidad, Chiapas.- A belt of insurgent militants dressed in green, with red bandanas around their necks and covered by balaclavas and formed in a line surrounded more than 2,200 Zapatista support bases who arrived from the five Caracoles to pay homage to compañero Galeano brutally murdered last May 2nd in this very Caracol, the first capital of civil and peaceful Zapatismo.

Everyone, keeping absolute silence in front of more than one thousand people, adherents to the Sixth Declaration, students of the Escuelita for Freedom, national and international civil society, and free media who came in Caravan from various parts of the country.

From a stage situated on one side of the basketball court the six placards are seen with words asking for justice for the murdered compañero. In one of them, a fragment from the communiqué, “The Pain and the Rage,” in which Subcomandante Insurgente Marcos insists that the pain and the rage are precisely “what now makes us lace up our boots again, put on our uniforms, holster up our pistols, and cover our faces.”

The Insurgents wear a black patch on the right eye, a pink bow on the side of the heart, and a black one, of mourning, on the right shoulder. All together complete the formation of a fence around their bases in the form of protection maybe insisting that the Army will never leave them.

Close to 12 o’clock to the sound of the song La Cigarra–by María Elena Walsh– Subcomandante Insurgent Marcos (SCI) appears on horseback also with a pirate eye patch on the right eye and smoking his characteristic pipe to meet minutes later with the General Command of the EZLN–Zapatista Army of National Liberation, also on horseback. They coordinate with a military salute to civil society and to the BAZ to later give withdrawal and break the files. Marcos says goodbye with a genuine salute, raising the middle finger of his left hand.

After the withdrawal the voice of SCI Marcos is heard from the speakers situated on the sides of the stage. He introduces himself from Radio Insurgente and sends a special greeting to the “independent, autonomous, or however it is said” free media, to whom it is informed that in a while they will have internet and will be able to upload their material.” Then, the voice is passed to Subcomandante Insurgente Moisés who informs about the advance of the investigations. He mentions the women involved in the murder of compañero Galeano, “the one who macheted and the one who dragged the body.” Immediately afterwards it is requested to all the adherents to the Sixth Declaration present that they “remember that our struggle is civil and peaceful” and that it will not be provoked nor fall into provocations “in spite of the anger, the pain, and the rage.” SCI Moisés insisted on using the rage against the system and not against “those people wrong in the head and who do not think who only want to fulfill the order of the evil government.” He insisted that for some time now provocations and threats exist in this Caracol “if they provoke, well let them do it, we do not, we are fighters,” he added.

He finalized his intervention on Radio Insurgente warning: “they are listening to us and we want them to listen because before they never wanted to dialogue,” and made reference to those present as witnesses to these situations of these provocations.

SCI Marcos retook the microphone notifying that when the sun goes down it will proceed to the ceremony of homage to compañero Galeano and reminding the independent media to take advantage of the Internet connection to upload their materials “and notify their families that they arrived well.”

We are all awaiting the beginning.

We are all listening to the silence.

We are all observing what they observe.

We are all, all here.

United by the rage and the pain,

United by the desire for justice, the right to peace.

We are all for Galeano.

Here we are, here we remain, this we are.

Only one.

One look.

One heart beating with force, love, dignity, and rage.

More enter.

They are ever more.

We are ever more.

The same,

The new,

Those from before.

We are all here, with them, with us.

Authors: free, alternative, autonomous, or however it is called, media.

Translated from Spanish by Henry Gales


Monday, May 26, 2014

Report 2 from La Realidad (May 24th)

Brief Report from La Realidad

2-1This afternoon, all the support bases and all the adherents to the Sixth Declaration got together in the plaza, to listen to the words of the Indigenous Revolutionary Clandestine Committee–General Command of the EZLN, in the voice of Comandante Tacho, and Subcomandante Insurgente Moisés’s communiqué.

Among many other things, el Sup Moisés explained the links between the murderers of maestro Galeano–paramilitaries from the CIOAC-H–and the government of Chiapas. He notes that Florinda Santis, native of La Realidad and councilwoman for the PAN in Las Margaritas, obtains “project” funds from the government to provoke confrontations with the Zapatistas: He names the chain of relationships linked to the paramilitary attacks against the Zapatistas: Directors of the CIOAC, municipal government, governors, and ex-governors of the state of Chiapas. Sup Moisés also made mention of a number of recent harassments and armed attacks by the CIOAC against the Zapatistas, defining it clearly as a paramilitary organization and holding responsible the government of the state of Chiapas for the attacks.

Both Comandante Tacho and Subcomandante Moisés reiterated that what the Zapatistas seek is not revenge, but justice. “The revenge will be against the capitalist system,” they affirm.

After the act and the Zapatista hymn, all those in attendance visited the tomb of maestro Galeano, in a moving procession which leaves us with the pain and the rage and the conviction to continue struggling.

In the following days, the complete audios of the communiqués will be available on the pages of the free media present in La Realidad.

That is all for now, we will continue reporting.

From La Realidad.

Colectivo Radio Zapatista.

Translated from Spanish by Henry Gales.


Tuesday, May 27, 2014 realidadGoodbye, Subcomandante

“Hey, it’s very dark here, I need a little light.” Then he stopped talking and straightened the papers on the table. The lights went out. In the penumbra, illuminated just by the faint light of a video camera, he stood up. He walked a few steps toward the rear part of the stage, with a slow step, crossed the threshold. He began to go down the wood stairs.

And his figure slowly faded away into the darkness.

And he ceased to exist.

So the silence was heard charged with gratitude and so many other things from thousands of hands which applauded in unison, and the faces containing the tears, and the hearts repeating: Goodbye, Subcomandante. “One, two, three,” the voice of Comandante Tacho was heard talking on the radio. The lights were turned on once again. And Subcomandante Insurgente Moisés, military leader and now also spokesperson of the Zapatista Army of National Liberation: “Compañeros, compañeras, we are going to listen to the voice of another compañero.”

From the speakers came the voice which until some minutes ago, since twenty years ago, belonged to Subcomandante Marcos, now coming to life anew, mocking death. “Have a good pre-dawn, compañeras and compañeros. My name is Galeano. Subcomandante Insurgente Galeano. Is anyone else named Galeano?”

Thousands of men and women responded together: “My name is Galeano!” “We all are Galeano!”

“It follows that that’s why they told me that when I was reborn, I would do it in collective. So be it then. Have a good trip. Take care. Care for us. From the mountains of the Mexican Southeast. Subcomandante Insurgente Galeano.”


Exactly one hour ago, when the then Subcomandante Marcos began to speak, we heard these words:

I would like to ask the compañeras, compañeros, and compañeroas of the Sixth Declaration who come from other places, especially the free media compañeros, for their patience, tolerance, and comprehension for what I am going to say, because these will be my last words in public before ceasing to exist.

We were almost one thousand women and men, adherents to the Sixth Declaration of the Lacandon Jungle from many parts of Mexico and from other geographies, who after long travesties came to La Realidad to attend the homage organized by the EZLN in honour of compañero José Luís Solís López, maestro Galeano, murdered with inconceivable cruelty on May 2nd in a paramilitary attack executed by members of the supposedly peasant organization CIOAC-H, members of the Green Party and the PAN in that community, and orchestrated from the core of the Chiapas government. There were almost three thousand Zapatista support bases who, with impressive organization, went from the five zones of widespread Zapatista territory. We arrived, all of us, charged with the pain and the rage and seeking, with the grammar of wrath and the calligraphy of dignity, the precise expression of true justice.

But what form would that justice take? How to conjugate justice without its verbal form (in Spanish: “ajusticiar,” to execute) acquiring the tonalities of revenge? It is clear that the juridical systems of our “democracies” have nothing to do with justice, nor are they concerned about it in the least. And it is more than clear that, in Mexico as in many other places, said juridical systems are at the service of abuse and plunder. But then, what is justice?

Over the course of that memorable May 24th, Subcomandante Moisés announced that the Zapatista investigation had already identified the material authors of the crime. He also detailed the ties between the leadership of the CIOAC-H and the various levels of state and federal government. And he also affirmed that justice would be done, but he asked us not to direct our dignified and justifiable rage against those who, in their blindness and avarice, turn into murderers at the service of the powers of capital. It is necessary to direct that rage against the system, he said.

In the crossroads of questions, the last words of Subcomandante Marcos before ceasing to exist tried to illuminate that indecisive space between the light and the shade. In 1994, he said, the Zapatistas rose up exercising the right to the legitimate violence of those from below in the face of the violence from above. “But in the first stammers that were our words we warned that our dilemma was not between negotiating or fighting, but between dying or living.” In a way that, the first combats behind, instead of strengthening the guerrilla army, the Zapatistas dedicated themselves to life, constructing education, health, dignity, justice, hope, autonomy, and a government of the people which leads by obeying. And in all this, resisting the violence of above without arms, with the body, head held high and saying: “we the dead from forever are here, dying again, but now to live.”

In the path, something fundamental was changing inside the EZLN, relays which for many people passed unnoticed:

That of class: from the enlightened middle-class origin, to the indigenous peasant.

That of race: from the mestizo leadership to the truly indigenous leadership.

And the most important: the relay of thought: from revolutionary vanguardism to lead by obeying; from the taking of Power from Above to the creation of power from below; from professional politics to everyday politics; from the leaders, to the peoples; from the marginalization of gender, to the direct participation of women; from mocking the other, to the celebration of difference.

In this path, who was Marcos? There is something which does not cease to surprise those of us to whom the Zapatista walk has taught how to see the world in another way: the fact that, for the great majority of people, outside of the Zapatista communities, the EZLN is only Marcos; the inability of the majority of people to see the indigenous.

Just a few days later [after the uprising], with the blood of our fallen still fresh in the city streets, we realized that those from outside did not see us.

Accustomed looking at the indigenous from above, they did not raise their view to look at us.

Accustomed to seeing us humiliated, their heart did not understand our dignified rebellion.

Their look had stopped on the only mestizo who they saw with a balaclava, that is to say, they did not look.

Our bosses told us then:

“They only see how small they are, let’s make someone as small as them, so they may see him and for him they may see us.”

Like so a complex manoeuver of distraction began, a terrible and marvellous magic trick, a malicious play of the indigenous heart that we are, the indigenous knowledge challenged modernity in one of its bastions: the media.

The construction then began of the character called “Marcos.”

The character served to make known a movement which struggled and struggles for life. But it served, also, as a “distracter,” in a way that, while those from above and the mass media focused on constructing and destroying the character, the Zapatistas continued their walk in the construction of life.

In that walk Zapatismo always sought the other, through the pathways which seek life not only for the indigenous Zapatista communities. And in that search, they failed time and time again: “Who we found or who wanted to lead us or wanted us to lead them.”

It was like this until the Sixth Declaration of the Lacandon Jungle, the boldest and most Zapatista of the initiatives that we have launched up to now. With the Sixth Declaration at last we have found those who look at us facing forward and greet us and embrace us, and like so are greeted and embraced. With the Sixth Declaration at last we found you. Finally, someone who understood that we did not seek pastors to guide us, nor herds to lead to the promised land. Neither masters nor slaves. Neither bosses nor headless masses.

But it remained to be seen if it was possible for you to look at and listen to what, being, we are. On the inside, the advance of the peoples has been impressive. Then came the course, “Freedom according to the Zapatistas.” In 3 rounds, we realized that there now was a generation that could look at us facing forward, that could listen to us and speak to us without awaiting guidance or leadership, nor profess submission or followership.

Marcos, the character, was no longer necessary.

And so we return to that question of justice. Of the pain and the rage, of the grammar of wrath and the calligraphy of dignity. Because the General Command and the military leadership of the EZLN came to La Realidad with that pain and that rage, with that cry for justice. But, as Subcomandante Marcos well said, there are other pains and other rages in so many other geographies:

Right now, in other corners of Mexico and the world, a man, a woman, an other, a boy, a girl, an elder, a memory, is beaten in cold blood, surrounded by a system made a voracious crime, is clubbed, macheted, shot, finished off, dragged among taunts, abandoned, recovered, and their body veiled, their life buried.

And as if it were not enough, “the greatest mockery” is the pantomime of “justice” which never threatens nor punishes nor harms the power which buries and tramples life. In the face of this, what do we say to our dead? Is the impotent whisper of pain and rage sufficient? “Our whispers,” said Marcos, “are not only to lament the fall of our unjust dead. They are to like so be able to listen to other pains, make other rages ours, and continue like so on the complicated, long, and torturous path of making from all that a howl which is transformed into a libratory struggle.”

Small justice appears a bit like revenge. Small justice is that which hands out impunity, well upon punishing one, it absolves others. The justice that we want, for which we struggle, does not finish with finding the murderers of compa Galeano and seeing that they receive their punishment (it will be so, may no one be deceived). The patient and adamant search seeks the truth, not the relief of resignation. Great justice has to do with the buried compañero Galeano. Because we ask ourselves not what to do with his death, but what we must do with his life.

From early that day, the General Command of the EZLN said that they had arrived to dig up maestro Galeano. But for Galeano to live, said Marcos, it is necessary for another to die.

And better for it to be someone who per se never has existed, and for that impertinent one which is death to remain satisfied, in the place of Galeano we put another name so that Galeano may live and death may carry not a life, but only a name, some letters emptied of all meaning, without their own history, lifeless.

So we have decided that today Marcos ceases to exist.


When the voice of the now Subcomandante Insurgente Galeano ceased to be heard and the applauses were dying out in that indecisive space between the light and the shade, under the drizzle of that pre-dawn morning in Zapatista reality, we were overrun by a silence impregnated by the certainty that something “terrible and marvellous” had just happened. Something which we still did not understand, which perhaps would take days, months, years, our whole life, to understand. Something that would be, for us, those who had the fortune to witness, the perpetual source of search and the conviction to never falter.

Translated from Spanish by Henry Gales.

Dorset Chiapas Solidarity



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