dorset chiapas solidarity

March 10, 2017

The transition blossoms, although we may not see it

Filed under: Autonomy, Corporations, Human rights, Indigenous, Lacandon/ montes azules, Maize, Uncategorized, Zapatistas — Tags: , — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 10:26 am

 

 

The transition blossoms, although we may not see it

 

artesania1 (1)Autonomous Zapatista cooperatives produce hand-woven artistry for the local market. Photo by Carolina Dutton.

By: Raúl Zibechi

We are transitioning towards a new, post-capitalist world. In the measure that it is a process we are experiencing, we don’t have sufficient distance to know which period we’re in, but everything indicates that we’re crossing through the initial phases of said transition. Although it has deep similarities to previous ones (transitions from antiquity to feudalism and from feudalism to capitalism), a remarkable fact is the inability to comprehend what’s happening before our very eyes: a true process of the collective construction of new worlds.

In emancipatory thinking and especially in Marxism, the idea that all transition begins with the taking of power at the nation-State level has been converted into common sense. This assertion should have been re-thought after the Soviet and Chinese failures, but above all since the demolition of the states by neoliberalism, in other words by financial capital and the fourth world war underway. It’s certain, however, that power must be taken in order to move towards a non-capitalist world power, but why at the State level, why at an institutional level?

This is one of the essences of the problem and an enormous conceptual difficulty in being able to visualize the transitions that really exist. The second difficulty, tied to the former, is that transitions are not homogenous, and don’t involve all of the social body in the same way. History teaches us that they usually begin on the peripheries of the world-system of each nation, in remote rural areas and in small towns, in the weak links of the system, where they collect force and then expand to the centres of power.

On the other hand, transitions not only are not uniform from the geographic point of view, but also the social, since they are processes guided by human need and not by ideologies. Those who first construct other worlds are usually the peoples that inhabit the basement, Indians, blacks and mestizos; the popular sectors, women and youth are usually the principal protagonists.

I want to give an example of something that is happening right now, since it has a degree of important development and that can hardly be reversed, except with genocide. I refer to the experience of the Unemployed Workers Union (Unión de Trabajadores Desocupados, UTD) in General Mosconi, in northern Argentina. The city has 22,000 inhabitants who worked at the state oil company YPF until its privatization in the 1990s, which left a lot of people unemployed. In those years a strong movement of unemployed workers, known as piqueteros, took off and forced social plans out of successive governments.

During the cycle of piquetero struggles, the UTD was one of the principal referents in the whole country and the other movements enthusiastically followed its memorable roadblocks. The UTD and its leaders enjoyed strong prestige, which carried over to hundreds of cases before the courts because of the roadblocks and other “crimes;” they were the most popular ones in Argentina.

Things changed very quickly. The arrival of Nestor Kirchner to the presidency in 2003, and the retraction of the movements, took the UTD out of the media scenario and away from the -attention of the social militants. News about what’s happening in far-away northern Argentina is as scarce as it is nebulous.

Nevertheless, the UTD took advantage of the social plans (now cut by Macri) to construct a new world. At this time 110 agro-ecological vegetable gardens function, of two hectares each, where an average of 30 people work and produce a large variety of vegetables, besides a chicken coop and pigs in each garden. They have a carpentry workshop that is nourished from the zone’s abundant wood, workshops for soldering, classification of seeds and recycling of plastics in the five large structures the movement has, as one can read in the reporting of Claudia Acuña in the magazine MU (July 2016).

They built nurseries that reproduce native flora with which they supply from the town squares to the woods, those threatened by the dizzying expansion of transgenic soy and woodcutters. They dedicate part of their work to sustaining public spaces in the city and in the surrounding forests, a region where drug trafficking is increasing under state-police protection and complicity.

A simple calculation shows that from 4 to 5 thousand people make their living in relation to the collective work the UTD organizes, which is equivalent to 40 percent of Mosconi’s active population. Those families forged food autonomy, they no longer depend on social plans, and they are aiming from the production of food to the construction of housing, in other words they are reproducing life outside the framework of the system, without relating to capital or depending on the State. In sum, they work with dignity.

cafe-zapatista-de-chiapasZapatista coffee cooperatives produce coffee that is sold in Chiapas, in Mexico and internationally.

It will be said that it is just a local experience. But the gardens and the UTD’s ways of doing things are already expanding to neighbouring Tartagal, which has triple the population. Many thousands of undertakings of this kind in Latin America, because the popular sectors comprehended that the system doesn’t need them or protect them, as happened during the brief years of the welfare states. There is an implicit strategy in this group of new worlds that does not pass through nation-states, but rather through strengthening and expanding each initiative, in sharpening the anti-systemic and anti-patriarchal traits, and in strengthening resistances.

A stroke of maturity of a good part of these new worlds consists of maintaining distance from the political party and state institutions, although they can always demand support and glean resources with one eye set on guaraneeing survival and the other on maintaining independence.

In the long transition underway, impossible to know whether it will be decades or centuries, the new worlds are facing one of the system’s most powerful offensives. What they have achieved up to now permits us to breathe a serene optimism.

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Originally Published in Spanish by La Jornada

Friday, March 3, 2017

http://www.jornada.unam.mx/2017/03/03/opinion/020a1pol

Re-Published with English interpretation by the Chiapas Support Committee

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March 7, 2017

Tarahumaras faced with violence from organized crime seek asylum in US

Filed under: CNI, Displacement, Human rights, Indigenous, Mining, Uncategorized, Zapatista — Tags: , — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 4:20 pm

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Tarahumaras faced with violence from organized crime seek asylum in US

 

agonicc81a-infantilChildren in the Sierra Tarahumara. Photo: Eduardo Miranda

 

By: Patricia Mayorga

CHIHUAHUA, Chih. (apro). – The Rarámuri, Santiago Cruz Castillo, 26, requested political asylum in El Paso, Texas, after organized crime took away his lands in La Laguna de Aboreachi, municipality of Guachochi, like hundreds of indigenous and mestizos of the Sierra Tarahumara.

Another family from the La Trinidad ejido, in Guadalupe y Calvo municipality arrived before Santiago Cruz to request asylum. After five months, they are still holding David Ríos Laija, one of the members of that family, in custody.

Santiago Cruz arrived alone; he is single and his parents stayed in the Sierra. “I arrived in the United States on November 24 because of the violence that exists in the communities. Many people have gone away because they started to take the land away through criminal activity, through violence; they kill and disappear us and no one gives us protection. We have to leave.”

The young Tarahumara says that they snatched their small parcels of land and their houses to plant poppies and marijuana.

He opted to travel to Juárez, they invited him, they contracted with him and they took him to that border. He worked on a ranch close to Ciudad Juárez, but they were paying him very little and he worked a lot and he became discouraged. “I wasn’t comfortable, I worked long hours, they paid very little and I wasn’t treated well.”

On November 24 he decided to cross into the United States, he was in the detention centre and afterwards made contact with the expert immigration lawyer, Carlos Spector, who took his case and is in the process of requesting political asylum.

Santiago Cruz’ wish is to help his people from there, because he is convinced that he can denounce the situation and is confident that the authorities will do something.

“I want to help my people, so that the government will let them work, I want to help from here. The truth is that the violence is strong, I know how it is, don’t tell me,” he insists.

Carlos Spector said that six months ago the Rios family arrived from Guadalupe y Calvo, after an armed group disappeared the father, who was the community’s commissioner.

“The widow Aureliana Leija and her two sons came in September. David Ríos Leija, 22, is a student of Medicine; they are Christians, it is a clean family and they are mestizos. The other son that came is Elías Ríos, 19.

“They fled due to the father’s political situation, they began to seek it and they (the criminals) tell him that they will leave him in peace, that they won’t look for him and they leave seeking asylum. That is part of the press communication, they let the mother go later, Elías 2 months after the credible fear test,” the lawyer detailed.

Nevertheless, David is still detained and Spector denounced that they don’t want to release him despite the fact that he already passed the credible fear test, because the criteria hardened with the Donald Trump government.

“It’s a case of immigration abuse. There exists a bi-national policy of persecution and the incarceration of poor Mexicans, human rights defenders or people that complain and ask for asylum. They incarcerate them or separate them from their family. After being detained for 5 months, there is no possibility of closing the case quickly; that’s the point of prolonged detention. It’s a political kidnapping to discourage strong political asylum cases,” Carlos Spector said.

The lawyer said that in the Barack Obama government and in other administrations, when they ask for political asylum like is done at the international bridge, they would detain them for two months until they passed the credible fear test and then release them if they showed that they didn’t represent threats to the community and if they guaranteed that they would attend all the hearings.

Before, he said, the local “Migra” signed the conditional release, the conditional freedom, but now they decided that the national assistant director of immigration in Washington must approve those requesting political asylum to be released.

“It’s a democratic way to not grant asylum to anyone. That is the new policy and a formula for repression and mass deportation, applying the law in an extremely rigid and repressive way. The family wants to leave because the young man wants to leave, but he has to appear in court on March 8. Now they have undertaken a campaign to free him.”

This Monday, Spector announced, they have an appointment with the archbishop for the area, who has spoken out against the criminalization of political asylum.

The lawyer announced that the authorities are going to build more detention centres because soon the people aren’t going to fit in those that exist and he reproached that when people ask for political asylum at the bridge, they are entering legally, in accordance with the laws of the United States and with international laws, therefore he reproached the repressive measures, which he compared to those for the Japanese.

Spector reported that Santiago Cruz is the first Rarámuri to request political asylum, but there are another 300 Tarahumaras that are in prisons in the Southwestern United States, who are without defence because they don’t have translators.

Saúl Bustamante has finally helped them. He is mestizo and was raised in a cave in the Tarahumara by an indigenous family, because of which he is a firm defender of his people and principally of those who don’t have access to justice. He has organized events to promote Tarahumara culture in El Paso, like (running) races, and hopes to achieve the freedom or the just defence of indigenous Chihuahuans.

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Originally Published in Spanish by Proceso.com

Friday, February 24, 2017

http://www.proceso.com.mx/475704/tarahumaras-piden-asilo-en-eu-ante-la-violencia-crimen-organizado

Re-Published with English interpretation by the Chiapas Support Committee

 

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March 6, 2017

PGR Offers Public Apology to Three Indigenous Women Unjustly Imprisoned for Three Years

Filed under: Uncategorized — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 10:07 am

PGR Offers Public Apology to Three Indigenous Women Unjustly Imprisoned for Three Years

 

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On 21 February, three Hñähñú indigenous women received a public apology from the Attorney General’s Office (PGR) after unjustly spending more than three years in prison.

Jacinta Francisco Marcial, Alberta Alcantara Juan and Teresa Gonzalez Cornelio sold fresh water in the markets of Queretaro. In 2006, they were arrested after being accused of having “deprived six PGR agents of their freedom during a row that the prosecution officials had with informal traders three months earlier, after police attempted to dispossess them of merchandise, in a operation for which they lacked authorization.”

Jacinta, mother of six, was “sentenced to 21 years in prison, with a trial in which no evidence was ever presented against her and in which the indigenous Otomi lacked the assistance of an interpreter”, which is a violation of human rights “given that at the time of the criminal proceedings Jacinta hardly understood Spanish.”

Her defense showed that Jacinta was credited with a fabricated statement, written in Spanish, which she could not have made because of her lack of understanding of the language at the time. It was also proved that it was physically impossible for Jacinta, along with the other two indigenous women, to deprive six agents of their freedom.

For these reasons, the “Unitary Court reversed the sentence of 21 years in prison and ordered to reopen the trial against the indigenous Otomi, with which the PGR decided not to take any further action against her and Jacinta was able to regain her freedom.”

Animal Politico magazine explains that “since May 2014, the Federal Court of Fiscal and Administrative Justice (TFJFA in its Spanish acronym) ruled in favor of the demand for moral and material reparation, brought by Jacinta Francisco Marcial and the other two indigenous women against the PGR” and that the “failure of the TFJFA establishes that the PGR did its work badly so that Jacinta must receive damages.” The same magazine states that “even though Jacinta had regained her freedom since 2009, her innocence has not yet been officially recognized and the perpetrators of the abuses committed against her have not been punished.”

For the Prodh Center, the importance of this act is that it is the first event of this type that responds to a ruling issued by national courts (others have been ordered by international organizations), while at the same time putting the struggle of these women for their own dignity center stage and setting a precedent for other victims.

https://sipazen.wordpress.com/2017/03/03/national-pgr-offers-public-apology-to-three-indigenous-women-unjustly-imprisoned-for-three-years/



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Banavil Displaced Families Remember the Death of Antonia Lopez Luna

Filed under: Uncategorized — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 10:00 am

 

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Banavil Displaced Families Remember the Death of Antonia Lopez Luna

banavil(@CDHFBC)

From 21-23 February, displaced families from Banavil, Tenejapa municipality, temporarily returned to their homes to visit the tomb of Antonia Lopez Mendez, the daughter of one of the families, who died in conditions of forced displacement on February 21, 2015, at the age of 11.

In a statement, they complained that in the five years and two months they have been displaced, the government has not worried about “the suffering of other children who are displaced in the city of San Cristobal de Las Casas” and that “like Antonia, there are many girls, children killed, because of bad government and they have not clarified or investigated, as with the children massacred in Acteal.”

https://sipazen.wordpress.com/2017/03/05/chiapas-banavil-displaced-families-remember-the-death-of-antonia-lopez-luna/

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March 5, 2017

EZLN Announces New Gatherings and Invitations for 2017

Filed under: Uncategorized — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 3:21 pm

 

EZLN Announces New Gatherings and Invitations for 2017

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In their latest communiqué of February 14, “THE WALLS ABOVE, THE CRACKS BELOW (AND TO THE LEFT)” The Zapatista Army of National Liberation (EZLN) convened a Global Campaign and several activities “Against Capital and its Walls: All The Cracks.” The first of them, the Campaign “Against the Walls of Capital: Resistance, Rebellion, Solidarity and Support from Below and to the Left”, where they called to “organize with autonomy, to resist and to rebel against persecutions, arrests and deportation” and stated that “every human being has the right to a free and dignified existence in the place that seems best to them, and they have the right to fight to remain there.” They called on the “Sixth as a whole to organize (…) to support in and with activities of those who resist and rebel against expulsions. Whether they are supporting them to return to their homes, creating ‘sanctuaries’ or supporting existing ones, with legal advice and support, with money, with the arts and sciences, festivals and mobilizations, commercial and media boycotts, be it in cyber space, wherever and however it may be. In all the spaces where we move it is our duty to support and show solidarity.”

They also announced their support and solidarity for those who resist arrests and deportations: “To begin, we will send you the artistic works created by the indigenous Zapatistas for last year’s CompArte, as well as organic coffee produced by the indigenous Zapatista communities in the mountains of the Mexican Southeast, so that, through their sale, they can carry out artistic and cultural activities to formalize support and solidarity with migrants and displaced persons throughout the world who see their life, liberty and goods threatened by the xenophobic campaigns promoted by Governments and the ultra right in the world.”

The three calls for 2017 invite you to a critical reflection seminar “THE WALLS OF CAPITAL, THE CRACKS OF THE LEFT” from April 12 to 15, CIDECI-UniTierra in San Cristobal de Las Casas; all artists to the second edition of the “CompArte for Humanity” with the theme “Against Capital and its Walls: All the arts” from July 23 to 29 in Oventik caracol and CIDECI-UniTierra, and the virtual edition will be from August 1 to 12 online; the scientists of the world to the second edition of “ConSciences for Humanity” with the theme “The Sciences Against the Wall” from December 26 to 30 at CIDECI-UniTierra. They also asked for people “to be attentive to the activities convened by the National Indigenous Congress, as part of its own process of forming the Indigenous Council of Government.”

https://sipazen.wordpress.com/2017/03/01/chiapas-ezln-announces-new-gatherings-and-invitations-for-2017/

 

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Zapatista News Summary for February 2017

Filed under: CNI, Corporations, Dams, Displacement, Indigenous, Uncategorized, Zapatista — Tags: , , — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 2:29 pm

 

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Zapatista News Summary for February 2017

 

Zapatista News:

The main Zapatista news for February is the issuing of more communiqués, or translations of communiqués issued previously, and information about dates for forthcoming events. The need for an independent indigenous candidate, and a parallel independent indigenous government, remain subjects for profound discussion.

 

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1.“The Cat-Dog and the Apocalypse,” a talk by Sup Galeano from December, with a section by the Cat-Dog, is translated in early February. “Zapatista Alchemy” Is released at in translation at the beginning of February as more of the Sup Moisés and Sup Galeano talks and communiqués from the gathering “The Zapatistas and ConSciences for Humanity” keep being published, and translations come out.“Zapatista Alchemy” is a talk about science by Sup Galeano delivered at the beginning of January and includes philosophy, the Cat-Dog’s notebook and a comment on Artificial Intelligence versus Zapatista Intelligence.

 

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2.What Comes Next? Two extremely important communiqués are read on January 3rd, and translated in February. These are “What’s Next? I Then And Now,” by Subcomandante Insurgente Moisés, and “What’s next? II The urgent and the important,” by Subcomandante Insurgente Galeano. They tell stories and asks scientific questions, how did it used to be and how is it now? In terms of the the arts and science in the days of clandestinity and in the present time, how hugely things have changed, from when “Do not die” was the only order that they were to follow, and “if it wasn’t possible to do so in this world, then we would make another world, a bigger one, a better one, one where all the possible worlds fit, the ones that already exist and the ones we still haven’t imagined but that can already be found in the arts and sciences.” The little girl, Zapatista Defence, realises that the biggest problem we face is ‘patriarchiality’.

 

 

3.An important communiqué: “The Walls Above, The Cracks Below (And to the Left)” by Subcomandantes Moises and Galeano is released on February 14th’ “the day of our dead”, “We always resist.” Walls above, cracks below, capitalism, immigration. The EZLN convoke a “global campaign for organization and global resistance in the face of the aggressiveness of big money and its respective overseers on the planet, to resist and rebel against persecutions, detentions, and deportations…. Every human being has the right to a free and dignified existence in the place that they deem best, and has the right to fight to stay there.” They call on groups to offer solidarity to each other, creating solidarity committees to help those who are deported, and they propose their forthcoming calendar for the year ahead.

Like many of the communiqués this one contains the words of both SCI Moisés and SCI Galeano, which are factual, humorous and also give insight into the advances in the communities.

 

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4. Zapatista Calendar 2017: The EZLN invite all of the Sixth and anyone who is interested to the seminar of critical reflection, “THE WALLS OF CAPITAL, THE CRACKS OF THE LEFT,” to be celebrated April 12-15, 2017, at the CIDECI-UniTierra facilities in San Cristóbal de Las Casas. Many speakers have already confirmed their participation. More details are to follow.

They also convoke all artists for the second edition of “CompArte for Humanity” with the theme: “Against Capital and its Walls: All of the Arts” to be celebrated around the world and in cyberspace. The “real” part will take place between July 23-29, 2017, in the caracol of Oventik and at the CIDECI-UniTierra. The virtual edition will be August 1-12, 2017, on the web. More details soon. They also ask that people be on the lookout for the activities to be convoked by the National Indigenous Congress as part of its process of formation of the Indigenous Council of Government.

Finally, they convoke the scientists of the world to the second edition of “ConCiencias for Humanity” with the theme: “The Sciences Against the Wall,” to be celebrated December 26-30, 2017, at CIDECI-UniTierra, San Cristóbal de Las Casas, Chiapas, Mexico and in cyberspace.

“That is not all. It is necessary to resist, it is necessary to rebel, it is necessary to struggle, it is necessary to get organized.” They advise people to remain alert to all EZLN activities.

 

5. On 4th February the CNI and EZLN: issue a joint communiqué in solidarity with the Raramuri (Tarahumara) people, denouncing the 2 recent murders of indigenous Rarámuri defenders of Native territory in Chihuahua, making a total of 18 homicides since 1973, four in the last year. The CNI and EZLN issue an urgent call to action to protect the safety and integrity of members of the Choreachi community following the murder of indigenous leader Juan Ontiveros Ramos, 15 days after the murder of Isidro Baldenegro, another indigenous leader from the same municipality.

 

 

Other Chiapas News

 

1.Indigenous gather: The Pueblo Creyente are supporting the National Indigenous Congress (CNI) decision to form an autonomous parallel government. And North American representatives attend an indigenous summit in Puebla. “Trump’s “xenophobic and aggressive policy against Mexico” has placed the Native peoples of the United States and Mexico on alert. They declared that: “there will be no wall!””

 

 

2. Roberto Paciencia Cruz: The working group No Estamos Todxsand the Centre for Human Rights Fray Bartolomé de Las Casas AC, reiterate their concern regarding the risk to the freedom of Roberto Paciencia, a recently released political prisoner, indigenous Tsotsil and adherent to the Sexta. An appeal is being made against his acquittal.

 

 

3. The Adherents of the Sixth Declaration from the ejido San Sebastián Bachajón release a communiqué to commemorate six years since the government’s attempt to evict them from their territory. They also appeal for one of their prisoners, Santiago Moreno Perez.

 

 

4. The community Cinco de Marzo celebrate 23 years of autonomy. Indigenous Tseltal, Tsotsil And Chol Mayans from The 5 De Marzo Neighbourhood In San Cristobal, say: “We’ve Decided: That’s Enough!” The Cinco de Marzo neighbourhood, in the southern half of San Cristobal de Las Casas in Chiapas, is deemed “recovered land”, after the area was squatted during the 1994 uprising.

 

5. Ejido Tila: On February 6, Tila Ejido published a communiqué denouncing: “a group of inhabitants of the Cantioc community annex organized by members of the green party and the city council attempted to kidnap the President of the Ejidal Commissariat.

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March 4, 2017

Indigenous Tseltal, Tsotsil and Chol Mayans from the 5 de Marzo neighbourhood in San Cristobal: “We’ve decided: That’s enough!”

Filed under: Indigenous, Uncategorized — Tags: — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 1:50 pm

 

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Indigenous Tseltal, Tsotsil and Chol Mayans from the 5 de Marzo neighbourhood in San Cristobal: “We’ve decided: That’s enough!”

 

comunidad-5-de-marzo

Published by the Pozol Collective, 23 February 2017

Invitation to the 23rd anniversary of the Recovery and Foundation of the 5 de Marzo neighbourhood.

The Cinco de Marzo neighbourhood, in the southern half of San Cristobal de Las Casas in Chiapas, is deemed “recovered land”, after the area was squatted during the 1994 uprising.

The community there issued the following bulletin on 7 February, 2017:

We invite all adherents to the Sixth Declaration of the Selva Lacandona to the commemoration of the 23 anniversary of the occupation of the lands of our community.

Sisters and brothers, today it’s our turn to commemorate our sacred and blessed land, which was recovered through the strength of the Zapatista uprising in 1994. We want to share our little history, a history that has marked the lives of all of those in the community, as well as those who are no longer with us.

We are diverse: Tseltal, Tsotsil and Chol Mayans. Housewives, menial staff, peasants, teachers, workers, unemployed, traders, builders, students, children, women, men, old people, people of little means. Those from below.

We also want to mention at the same time all the harassment we have received at the hands of all three levels of the bad government, with the complicity of the Federal Electricity Commission, the neighbourhood council, and various members of our community who want to do us down, and to privatise our lands. This is one of the worst blows we’ve suffered.

It’s for this reason that today we’ve decided: that’s enough! We want to commemorate our anniversary, and remind ourselves who we are, and where we’re going, so that our goal reaches others who share our pain and our anger. We know however that at the end the light of peace and happiness is waiting for us, and this hope keeps us steady in our struggle, which continues daily.

For the reason, we invite you to celebrate our anniversary, and we give our thanks in advance for opening your hearts to our call. For this we send a sincere greeting to all of you.

The commemoration will take place on 5 March 2017 from 8am onwards, at a venue that we will publicise later on. We will also announce the full programme of events later.

We send this invitation to our brothers and sisters, and all of those who accompany us in the Sexta and the CNI.

For further information please contact:

comunidad.cinco.marzo@gmail.com

Faithfully,

THE GOVERNING BODY OF THE 5 DE MARZO NEIGHBOURHOOD

The Land is Not for Sale!!!

It is to be worked, and looked after, and defended.

 

Translated by the UK Zapatista Translation Service

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March 2, 2017

Acteal, Chiapas: “In the face of threats and aggression, we are alert and united”

Filed under: Acteal, Uncategorized — Tags: , — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 4:40 pm

 

Acteal, Chiapas: “In the face of threats and aggression, we are alert and united”

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The Civil Society Organisation Las Abejas from Acteal

The Sacred Ground of the Acteal Martyrs

Chenalho municipality, Chiapas, Mexico

 

22 February 2017

 

To Social and Political Organisations

To Human Rights Defenders

To the Alternative Media

To the National and International Press

To National and International Civil Society

To the Councils of Good Government

To the National Indigenous Congress

And to the General Public

Sisters and Brothers:
We thank you from our hearts to all of you who physically or spiritually accompany us on this day, when we hold in memory and justice our 45 sisters and brothers, and the 4 others not yet born, so they never are forgotten.

We, the women and men of the Civil Society Organization Las Abejas from Acteal, together with the survivors and victims of the Acteal massacre, view with great sadness and indignation how the bad government of Mexico, represented by Enríque Peña Nieto, continues to violate Mexicans’ human rights in different ways. We see it all as a way to serve the neoliberal capitalist system, clearly demonstrated by the subordination to the government of the tyrannical and racist Donald Trump.

These days a lot of things are happening, like the violation of human rights in Mexico as well as in the United States, and things like President Trump’s decision to deport immigrants living there. And another one of his decisions is the construction of a wall on the border between Mexico and the United States. We, as a pacifist organisation, condemn these policies which violate human rights, because no one is illegal in this world.

We know that the United States and its racist government are the creators and perpetrators of many crimes committed in many countries throughout the world through their wars of invasion and dispossession in many places on planet earth. The United States is one of the heads of the capitalist monster that kills and destroys humanity and Mother Earth.

We have to be alert and united in the face of the threats and latent aggression that the United States government, or those rich people sick with power and greed, make against us.

The neoliberal capitalist system must be destroyed, because otherwise the greed and venom of this capitalist monster will kill us. It has no scruples and will stop at nothing to grab our lands and territories. We have seen how this killer monster –  in the guise of the Bad Government, paramilitaries, the police, the federal army, the Marines, assassins hired by organised crime – murder women and men social justice fighters, the women and men of Coordinadora Nacional de Trabajadores de la Educación (CNTE as its known by its acronym in Spanish), migrants, young people, students, farmers, workers.

This year, the Bad government and organized crime have intensified their harassment and murder of environmental activists, the women and men defenders of life and the territory. We refer to the recent murders of our brothers Juan Ontiveros Ramos and Isidro Baldenegro from the Rarámuri community in Chihuahua. They were killed by assassins with links to organised crime, but we also know that here in Mexico, corrupt politicians collude with the drug traffickers.

Murders of environmental activists and defenders of life and the territory, don’t just happen in Chihuahua state, but in many parts of Mexico. We remember the murders of our compañeros Juan Vázquez Guzmán and Juan Carlos Gómez Silvano, both Adherents to the Sixth Declaration of the Lacandon Jungle from the San Sebastián Bachajón ejido in Chiapas. They gave their lives in defense of the land and territory, keeping it from the clutches of the transnational companies, with the complicity of the Bad Government in Chiapas and Mexico. As well the murder of our  compañero Mariano Abarca in Chicomuselo, Chiapas who was also murdered for defending life and the territory against an Canadian mining company.

And the capitalist monster doesn’t only kill in Mexio, but also kills environmental activists and defenders of the life and the territory in other parts of the Americas, such as the case of our compañera Berta Cáceres, from the Lenca community in Honduras. For opposing the construction of a dam that they were going to build in her community, she was murdered.

And we could continue with an endless list of compañeras and compañeros who have been murdered for fighting against the capitalist system devouring Mother Earth.

So we see the objective of the capitalist system, or whoever is rich and sick with power and greed, is to take over of our lands and territory. Their objective is to plunder Mother Earth’s wealth, such as water, gold, silver, petroleum, wood, animals and other resources.

If we make a brief analysis of the history of the looting and plunder of our lands and territories since the Spanish invasion, we realize that this history is being repeated these days, only that the current invasion and dispossession are more modern, and more cynical. This time they do it “legally” through structural reforms and, with more sophisticated weapons, which they use against those who oppose us this looting and dispossession: spoils.

So, as we confront this barbaric policy, we think that it is urgent to stop this criminal capitalist system. We reinforce our struggles, our organizations, our movements to defend our forests, rivers, lakes, sacred hills, territories and our own lives.

Although the capitalist monster and the rich people sick on power and greed may have a lot of money and weapons, but there are also a lot of communities and while we may not have sophisticated weaponry, we have something much more powerful than the rich will ever have:  dignity, organisation and collectivity. This collectivity and organisation are in a lot of movements, and organisations, such as the National Indigenous Congress, the Pueblo Creyente from the Diocese of  San Cristóbal de Las Casas, the Parish of Simojovel (as Pueblo Creyente), the Movement in Defense of Life and the Territory (MODEVITE as its known by its Spanish acronym), the CNTE (Education Workers Union), student movements, conscious women and men academics, intellectuals, scientists, farmers, workers, religious men and women, feminists and many other sectors of society.

Sisters and brothers, we stress that the struggle and the defense of Mother Earth is indispensable. The earth is the source of our existence on this planet, it gives us everything, so the rich people sick with power and greed want to take possession of it. So between Mother Earth and women and men there must be balance and mutual respect. Let us be clear:  we are the guardians of Mother Earth and we have an obligation to care for and defend it.

Sisters and brothers, the struggle and defense of life and Mother Earth has no timetable or expiration date. It is all the time. Let us always be alert and aware so that we are not distracted by Bad Government with its policies of deception and death.

Fraternity, unity and solidarity are the basis of our strength and ways to do away with the capitalist monster. And one of the paths that can be seen on the horizon is the proposal from the National Indigenous Congress to appoint an independent indigenous candidate for President of our country in 2018. Only then can we live free in harmony with Mother Earth, and together with all the women and men in Mexico and on our planet.

For now, that’s all we have to say, and we anticipate that the compañeras from the Civil Society Organization Las Abejas from Acteal will soon send a call-out for an action which will take place next March 8th. This important event is organised to mark International Women’s Day and will raise awareness and denounce all types of violence suffered by women.

Because for a fair and dignified Mexico, there should be no discrimination, no violence against women and no more femicides.
Stop the femicides in Chiapas and Mexico!

No more murders of men and women environmental activists!
Punishment for the intellectual authors of the Acteal massacre:  Ernesto Zedillo, Emilio Chuayfet, General Enríque Cervantes, General Mario Renán Castillo, Julio César Ruiz Ferro and their accomplices!
Justice for the 43 students from Ayotzinapa!
Total rejection of the rise in petrol prices!

Total rejection of the tyrannical and racist Donald Trump and his wall!

From Acteal, House of Memory and Hope,

Sincerely,

The Voice of the Civil Society Organisation Las Abejas from Acteal

The Board of Directors

Desde Acteal, Casa de la Memoria y de la Esperanza.

Vicente Jiménez Sántiz Antonio Ramirez Pérez

Sebastian Pérez Pérez Javier Ruiz Hernández

Reinaldo Arias Ruiz Sebastián Cruz Gómez

 

Source: http://acteal.blogspot.mx/2017/02/mexico-como-en-estado-unidos.html?m=1

http://www.pozol.org/?p=14589

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February 28, 2017

Chicoasen Ejido Denounces “Conflict Creation” for Those Who do not Support Project

Filed under: Dams, Displacement, Indigenous, Uncategorized — Tags: — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 11:50 am

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Chicoasen Ejido Denounces “Conflict Creation” for Those Who do not Support Project

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On February 10, the Ejido Committee of the Basic Ejidatarios Commodities of Chicoasen Ejido denounced that “ON FEBRUARY 01 (…) THE TRUCKERS GROUP AGAIN … WANTED TO RECOVER THE ROADS WHERE THE CHICOASEN HYDROELECTRIC WORK HAS BEEN SUSPENDED FOR 8 MONTHS. THIS RESULTED IN A CONFRONTATION WITH A GROUP OF WORKERS WHO HAVE BLOCKED THE ROADS, WHO ARE ASKING FOR RECOGNITION OF  LABOUR RIGHTS, AN INCREASE IN SALARY AND WORK FOR CHICOASEN, AMONG OTHER DEMANDS, AS THE OMEGA COMPANY WAS CONTRACTING OUTSIDERS”(sic).

“AS THE EJIDAL COMMITTEE OF BASIC, POSITIONAL AND EXECUTIVE JUDICIALS, WE DENOUNCE THAT SENATOR LUIS ARMANDO MELGAR ON FEBRUARY 3 ONCE AGAIN CALLED FOR RENEWAL OF THE WORK AT CHICOASEN II HYDROELECTRIC DAM” despite the fact that “THE CFE HAS NOT FULFILLED ITS AGREEMENT FROM THE CREATION OF THE FIRST HYDROELECTRIC DAM (…) AND THEY TOOK AWAY OUR WATER FROM MANANTIALES (…) A LIQUID THAT IS VITAL FOR ALL PEOPLE “

They assured that their fight “REMAINS FIRM” and assured the Mexican State that “WE WILL CONTINUE TO REMIND YOU OF THE LACK OF COMPLIANCE WITH THE AGREEMENTS SINCE THE FIRST CONSTRUCTION OF THE MANUEL MORENO TORREZ HYDROELECTRIC DAM.”

They demand the “A FEDERAL GOVERNMENT SOLUTION TO OUR PROBLEMS, THE SUSPENSION OF THE CONSTRUCTION OF THE CHICOASEN II HYDROELECTRIC DAM BECAUSE IT DIRECTLY AFFECTS US AND HAS VIOLATED OUR AGRICULTURAL RIGHTS AND HUMAN RIGHTS AS EXECUTIVE OFFICERS OF THE EJIDAL COMMITTEE” and also request the Inter-American Commission for Human Rights (IACHR), “TO CONTINUE TO FOLLOW UP OUR CASE BECAUSE IT IS A MATTER WHERE THE INTEREST IS THE DISPOSSESSION AND VIOLATION OF OUR HUMAN RIGHTS BY THE MEXICAN STATE TOGETHER WITH OMEGA AND ASSOCIATED COMPANIES.”

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Until dignity becomes the custom

Filed under: Human rights, Indigenous, Journalists, Uncategorized — Tags: — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 11:27 am

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Until dignity becomes the custom

jacinta-1Francisca Francisco Marcial, accompanied bu her two children: José Luis and Estela Hernández Jiménez. Photo: María Meléndez Parada, La Jornada

By: Francisco López Bárcenas [1]

Everything was going according to what was programmed until Estela Hernández, the daughter of Jacinta Francisco Marcial, [2] took the microphone and spoke her word. It was straight to the point from the beginning. She said that it was lamentable and shameful that 11 years has passed before the Attorney General of the Republic would recognize, obliged by a judge, that the process against her mother, the same as that against Alberta Alcántara and Teresa Hernández, the three Hñahñu women accused of kidnapping six federal police in August 2006, was an error. The Jaime Torres Bodet Auditorium, in the National Museum of Anthropology, murmured, and ceded its place to a silence more solemn than the act itself. The act prepared in order that the Mexican State would recognize the innocence of the three women unjustly processed and would offer them a public apology was transformed into a space for denouncing the state’s repression, the lack of justice, the insecurity, discrimination and racism.

It’s probable that Teresa would not see the effect that her words caused among those present, above all the discomfort in which it placed the attorney general of the Republic, located at the centre of the scenario. She narrated how her mother was arrested, sentenced and then released, thanks to support from the Miguel Agustín Pro Juárez Human Rights Centre. “It’s a simple example of the many illegal arbitrary acts that authorities who have an official title, appointment and recognition commit in our country that is Mexico,” she said, and added: “Now it is known that it’s not necessarily the criminals that are in prison, it’s the poor that don’t have money, those without the knowledge to defend themselves, those the powerful subject to their will.” Next she was asked: “How many innocent people are in prison today for a crime they didn’t commit or for a non-existent crime? How many kidnappers, criminals authorized with a title and legally appointed go free, charging our taxes, incarcerating, persecuting or harassing with a fabricated crime?”

Then she referred to the motive for the event. She said that the public apology and recognition of innocence that the PGR offered her mother and the two other Hñahñu women that day was not enough to repair the damage that the false accusation and simulated process had caused them. She clarified that they did not want the money for the reparation of the damage because their wealth is not based on money: “Our existence today has to do with our solidarity with the 43 teachers college students that are missing, with the thousands of dead, disappeared and persecuted, with our political prisoners, with my fallen teacher compañeros, with my compañeros that are hunted for defending what rightly belongs to us. I ask for them because that is the treatment we receive for seeking better living and working conditions.” And she continued in that direction. “To the current victims, to my brother social fighters, to my fellow teachers that are fighting, to the fallen, the disappeared, incarcerated, exiled, persecuted, terrorized that defend and fight in favour of human rights, I want to tell you that after experiencing this State terrorism, we assume the pain and we conquer fear so that victory will be ours.”

jacinta2These are the three women that were wrongly accused, convicted and imprisoned for kidnapping 6 police agents!

While I was listening to her, I was thinking that the event was similar in many ways to the public trials that indigenous communities hold for those who violate their norms of co-existence, where when they already have the evidence they exhibit it in front of those affected. Estela Hernández, converted into the voice of Mexico’s aggrieved, pointed to the institutions responsible: the National Commission for the Development of Indigenous Peoples and the National Human Rights Commission, which were both quiet “despite knowing about the case and told us that nothing could be done because it was a very serious crime.” She demanded that they are put to work for truth, and that they not only make recommendations when other non-governmental institutions have already made them. She told the Attorney General of the Republic that they were not content or happy about the act of apology and she asked that he cease the repression against the indigenous peoples, the persecution of social fighters and demanded the liberation of political prisoners, “whose only crime is aspiring to better conditions of work, life and a just and dignified homeland.”

And she closed with a convincing phrase: “This case changed the way we look at life. We now know that it isn’t necessary to commit a crime to be disappeared, persecuted or be put in prison. For those of us that continue fighting for liberty, justice, democracy and the sovereignty of Mexico, for our homeland, for life, for humanity, we are always and forever with you, […] until dignity becomes the custom.” Her words were marked by the applause of those present that stood up and agreed with the message. At the end of the event, we all left the place thinking that the governmental apology and recognition that the rights of the three indigenous women that had been violated were important, but their greater relevance would be that we should work so that it didn’t happen again, because no reason exists for it to be repeated.

–Ω–

Translator’s Notes

[1] Francisco López Bárcenas is an indigenous lawyer and writer from Oaxaca

[2] Read Jacinta’s story here: http://centroprodh.org.mx/en/?p=453

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Originally Published in Spanish by La Jornada

Thursday, February 23, 2017

http://www.jornada.unam.mx/2017/02/23/opinion/021a1pol

Re-Published with English interpretation by the Chiapas Support Committee

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Tila Ejido Denounces Attempt to Kidnap President of Commission of Tila Ejido

Filed under: Autonomy, Uncategorized — Tags: , — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 10:39 am

 

 

 Tila Ejido Denounces Attempt to Kidnap President of Commission of Tila Ejido

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On February 6, Tila Ejido published a communiqué denouncing: “a group of inhabitants of the Cantioc community annex organized by members of the green party and the city council attempted to kidnap the President of the Ejidal Commissariat, coming to his house at dawn this Monday, February 6, after midnight to take him in that community another new attempt to provoke a conflict to strike our ejidal autonomy” (sic).

It was previously reported that on January 26, the machinery of a government project was brought into Cantioc community, which is part of the Tila ejido, and they began to work. Because of that, the authorities began to mobilize and found the “agricultural engineer Carlos Domingo Sanchez Martinez who is in charge of these jobs and who is an inhabitant of Cantioc and leader of the Green Ecologist Party who was in his Nissan pickup accompanied by three trucks full of people who were looking after them.” When the engineer and his companions realized that more trucks were coming from the ejido they began to flee, he didn’t manage to escape but his companions did. The engineer was detained for violating the agreement of the general assembly, so he began to argue and accuse the “ejido commissary that he was taken before the ejidal commissary to say his words in front of the assembly.”

To inform him well, they called a new assembly where they shared the agreements they took on May 15 and July 3, 2016, which say “not to enter more of these programmes and projects in the annexes and neighbourhoods, according to their right to self-determination in constitutional articles 1, 2, 27, articles 21, 22, 23, 31, 32,33 of the agrarian law and as a right of indigenous peoples.” After this assembly the engineer signed the Act and “In agreement that they did not process to make any claim against the commissariat that was what they expressed before the assembly and all the assembly members who were present are witnesses.” This is what the Act says and it also says that, “furthermore, if there is a paramilitary threat with the representatives of the annexes, they will also be immediately responsible for all acts that may happen, as we know these green party ecologist people are those who were hooded in the campaigns” (sic).

But instead of honouring his word in front of the assembly, on Sunday, February 5, at night, they tried to kidnap the ejido commissary. As they failed to do so, on Monday, February 6, the engineer and his group organized a demonstration in Yajalon to denounce the alleged kidnapping and physical and psychological assaults by the ejido authorities and falsely saying in their document: “that the commissariat came with ski masks, firearms, sticks and machetes”, and also saying that one of the detainees is in ill health for which they demand economic support and government action against the ejido authorities.

Tila ejido denounces:

FIRST; That by the will of our maximum authority general assembly, it determined that the entrance of all government personnel and their projects is forbidden, more so in secret, so that they will be presented to the seat of the ejido to determine its sanction.

SECOND; We hold the previously mentioned political actors responsible, C. Edgar Leopoldo as the main operator, their leaders the former president of Tila and now local deputy, Sandra Luz Cruz Espinosa, and her husband Limberg Gregorio Gutierrez and the Government of the State that propels them to violence against the ejido and Tila Ejido ejidatarios. It is their paramilitary and criminal way that they use violence, conflicts and confrontations to control the people and govern it and for that reason they want to end our ejido autonomy.

THIRD; As always they try to spread false accusations against the ejido authorities in the official media that are paid to spread their false versions and justify the repression because they were not attacked nor they were mistreated but they are aggressive and for this reason they were stopped and taken to the seat of the ejido to present them before the Assembly for their nonconformity.

FOURTH; That we will continue to build our ejido autonomy and self-government because the assembly so determines that it is the best way to live more quietly without this bad government that repressed and dispossessed us. WE DEMAND that the different levels of government leave us alone to build IN PEACE our self-determination as a Chol people.

 

https://sipazen.wordpress.com/2017/02/26/chiapas-tila-ejido-denounces-attempt-to-kidnap-commissary/

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February 24, 2017

EZLN: What’s Next II. The Urgent and the Important

Filed under: Autonomy, CNI, Displacement, gal, Indigenous, Maize, Marcos, Uncategorized, Zapatistas — Tags: , , — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 1:32 pm

 

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EZLN: What’s Next II. The Urgent and the Important

 

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January 3, 2017

I’ve been listening to you. Sometimes when I’m here with you all, sometimes via the CIDECI stream, sometimes via what your Zapatista students mention to me.

I always try to get a grasp on the meaning of your presentations, the path and direction of your words. We have heard brilliant presentations, some didactic, some complex, the majority polemical, but on and about things that can be debated. And we think you should do so, among yourselves. For that discussion, perhaps it would help you to first clarify the confusion that exists between science and technology.

With regard to the rest, we are as surprised as you are. This interest [of the Zapatista students] in science is not something we ordered or imposed, but rather something that was born from inside [of the Zapatista communities].

Twenty-three years ago, when feminism came to demand that we order women’s liberation, we told them that wasn’t something that can be ordered, because it belongs to the compañeras. Freedom is not ordered, it is conquered. Two decades later, what the compañeras have achieved would put to shame those who at that time claimed to be the vanguard of feminism.

It’s the same now. Science is not imposed. It is the product of a process of the peoples, exactly as Subcomandante Insurgente Moisés explained.

I’ve told you that we thought the majority of your presentations were good, but there were some, just a few, that, well I don’t know what to tell you.

One of them said admiring things about me; I listened with attention and waited for the moment when he would say: “everything I have just said is a fraud, I presented it to you so you would see what pseudo-science is and so that you don’t trust the principal of authority; just because someone has a formal education doesn’t mean that what they say is scientific.” But no, that moment never came.

I scrutinized his face to see if he was smiling maliciously, but no. He was sincerely convinced of the barbarities he was presenting, and appreciatively received the applause of his buddies in the crowd and others he had managed to sweet-talk.

When a compañera insurgenta heard that thing about not needing to make babies, that it’s better to adopt because there are a lot 15941338_1341911112495607_3922665712756661550_nof people on the planet already, she said to me: “so that’s how they get rid of people, the Hydra isn’t even necessary, that idea is sufficient. That’s the idea of rich people; even if there are only one or two of them, they are the ones who are in the way and of no use. That idea that was presented tells us there is no need to struggle to make another world, we just need to take contraceptives.”

 

I’m going to tell you what someone once told me about the time when the world was like an apple, waiting for the bite of original sin.

This man was explaining to me how he made a living. He used the “Boa Constrictor” method, as he called it. He had a helper, and together they would put vaseline into small jars and make labels that read “Balm for Absolutely Everything.” The small print told you that this balm could cure everything from Alzheimers to a broken heart, including along the way polio, typhoid fever, hair loss, evil eye, toothache, foot odour, bad breath, and some other ailments that I don’t remember.

This is what this person would do: stand on a corner and begin to rail against zoos and circuses, that oh the poor little animals, locked up like that. And he would announce: “That is why we are going to show you a boa constrictor, 7 meters long, that we found in the sewer and rescued and now take care of, and right here and now we are going to show it to you, madam, sir, young man, young lady, child, the public in general.”

People would gather around curiously, mostly because the boa constrictor was nowhere in sight, just an old suitcase full of small jars of a balm called “Absolutely Everything.

When he decided there were enough people around, he would turn to his helper and say loudly, “Secretary! Brrrrrinnnnnngg me the boa!” The accomplice would nod and run off to who knows where.

The man would watch his helper move into the distance. Picking at random, he would comment to someone close: “It seems like a lie, but just a few weeks ago that boy couldn’t move, not even with a cane, only in a wheelchair. And just look at him now. It seems like a miracle, but no, that’s not it. What happened was, luckily, I found the scientific formula for a medicine that cured him. Here, I’ll show you.”

Of course, the “innocent” comment that was supposedly aimed at one person was said in such a way for several to hear. The man would then go to the suitcase and take out a jar and tell the first person to whom he had directed the comment: “Look, this is what I was telling you about.” The person would take the jar and read the label while the man would pretend indifference, rearranging the little jars and looking in the direction the assistant had gone and commenting as if to himself, “why is that boy taking so long? I hope the boa constrictor hasn’t escaped on him, because if it has, we’ll see it in the news tomorrow, poor animal, they might cage it or turn it into bags and shoes.”

In the meantime, the innocent person who received the jar would be showing it to the person beside them, commenting on what had happened to the boy who went to get the boa. In a few minutes the jar had been passed through some 10 people, and the man would say then: “Okay now, give the medicine back to the madam, the gentlemen, the young man, young woman,” accordingly, and then to that person would add, “you keep it, as a gift, try it, you’ll see.

Others would then come up asking for their free sample too and the man, apologetically, would explain: “No, I’m sorry, I can’t give them to everyone, it’s a special order from the Secretary of Health. But, not that I think about it, it’s better for you all to have a chance to try it instead of those government scoundrels. Just give me 10 pesos each so I can replace the government order.”

It was enough that 5 or so people would come up for others to join in, and soon he would have around him a decent number of people. The people would comment among themselves what the balm was all about and the man, pretending indifference, would merely charge for each jar while lamenting the delay of his “secretary” and and the cursed boa.

In a matter of minutes, the helper would come back all agitated and worried and whisper something to the man. The man would answer “My god, really? Are you sure?” Then he would quickly pick up the now empty or almost empty suitcase and, addressing the people gathered there, proclaim: “Run! The boa escaped and the police and patrols are on their way.” He and the helper would take off with alarm and as the word of warning spread the people would scatter also.

I asked him how much the cursed medicine cost. He told me he pulled the little jars out of the trash and the vaseline, well that came out to about a peso per jar. So this method earned him some 100 pesos a day, at a time when the minimum wage was 8 pesos a day.

Anyway, I just wanted to say to those who tried to apply that method in this gathering that even if you have an academic degree, we’re not buying your little jars. You’ll have to look for another corner from which to hock your quack commodities.

-*-

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Perhaps somebody out there still has the image in mind of the ignorant and naive indigenous, and thought they could tell us they were going to talk about one thing knowing full well that they were going to talk about something else that had nothing to do with science. Hell, it doesn’t even manage to be pseudoscience. I’ve read better developed, more original, and equally false things on social media.

Let me tell you: if you complain that the science departments in academia don’t take seriously what is pure existential nonsense, well, here we don’t either.

If in academia they don’t take your political activism in account, well we don’t either. But I can tell you where they do: on the institutional left. There, yes, you can go and say: I’m a doctorate in who knows what and I’ve participated in this many marches, rallies, and classes, and indeed they will give you some leadership position in something, anything, as advisors or coordinators.

Here, if you came because you know mathematics, then we want to hear you talk about mathematics, even if you don’t know what surplus value or class struggle is, even if you don’t know if “The International” is a song of struggle, an opera, or the name of a corner store. As Subcomandante Insurgente Moisés already told you, science is science, whether you are a partidista [associated with a political party] or a Zapatista.

It’s also not worth your time to come here and fawn over or court us, although I think that does work in academic institutions.

Neither are we interested in being manipulated around skin colour, sexual preference, or religious belief. You either know what you’re talking about or you don’t; it doesn’t matter if you are dark-skinned, white, red, yellow, black, or mixed; it doesn’t matter if you are a man, woman, homosexual, gay, trans, or whatever; it doesn’t matter if you are Catholic, Muslim, atheist, agnostic, Mohammedan, or whatever; if you’re going to do science, then you do science, not religion, philosophy, or the quackery currently trending on social media.

So here we don’t discriminate. Here differences aren’t a demerit, but they aren’t a merit either. With respect to the personal sufferings or dramas you may have, fine, we understand. But you should understand that we are a very poor audience from which to expect pity. With everything you have suffered and continue to suffer, it could not compare with what it has been, and is, to be what we are.

But I understand what’s going on with you, everyone gets off with what they can. However, it doesn’t seem honest to us to come here and lie, saying you came to talk about science and not your existential lashings.

But the compañeros and compañeras are noble and understanding. We invited you to talk to us and we have honoured that; we have listened with respect, which isn’t the same as saying that we have swallowed all your tall tales. We honoured the agreement. Those people did not.

Imagine that this is an assembly in one of the Zapatista communities, and you go up to present one of your projects. You have said you are going talk about biology, medicine, laboratory work, clinical analysis, agroecology, engineering, or pharmaceuticals, and the assembly says, yes, go ahead, these things are urgent. Or you are coming to talk about physics, chemistry, math, volcanology, astronomy, and other sciences, and the assembly says yes, go ahead, these things are important.

But if someone comes who says they are going to tell us that science needs to do postmodern philosophy and take the existential variables of each person into account, well, the assembly is going to listen to you, but they aren’t going to tell you to go ahead. They are going to propose that you infiltrate Skynet and convince Artificial Intelligence to accept your scientific proposal. I’m sure that it would collapse in no time, which would relieve the duality suffered by John Connor, and humanity as a whole would be liberated from the Terminator sequels.

Of course, I recommend that you truly study and realize that you are closer to Aristotle and Ptolemy than to Copernicus, Galileo, and Kepler.

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The Apocalypse According to Defensa Zapatista

The mountains of the Mexican Southeast. Territory in resistance and rebellion. There is an autonomous school. A classroom. There, the education promotora is talking to the Zapatista girls and boys:

Before we leave I’m going to tell you a story. You have to think about it and respond to the question I ask at the end.”

On one of the benches at the back, a little girl stops drawing complicated diagrams in her notebook which, although they appear to be flowcharts, are really diagrams of soccer tactics. At the margin of the lines and arrows one can read “when we fill up the team.” At the little girl’s feet there is a ball, frayed and full of lumps, and on her laps sleeps a kind of cat…or a dog… or something.

It’s not just the little girl, but the whole class that’s hanging on the words of the promotora, who says:

There is a voice that tells us what it sees. It says to realize that the world is going to end once and for all, and that we can see that there are only two men left. The two are standing face to face; they aren’t talking to each other, but you can tell they are very angry. They are the only men left, everyone else has died already. They are the last men on Earth. These two men don’t talk to each other or look at each other, but they are arguing angrily. And they aren’t talking to or looking at each other because they are sending each other messages on their phones. That is, as they say, they are fighting as if their cellphones were weapons, the only ones left because the world is ending. They are scolding each other harshly, as only the two of them can see. One is saying to the other, that is, he is sending him a text message:

It is all your fault because with science you created destruction.” (send)

The other looks at the message on his phone, gets angry and answers:

No, it is your fault because instead of science, you starting saying we should do what the ancient primitives did and not use technologies.” (send)

The first really gets mad now and you can see in his eyes that it’s like he wants to burn up the screen of his phone. He writes:

No, it’s your fault because with your science and technology you created the weapons that killed off everything, including the poor little animals.” (send)

The other looks at the message and you can see in his eyes he’s thinking “you’ll see, you bastard,” and he responds:

No, it’s your fault because you said that we shouldn’t learn science because science is bad because it doesn’t respect Mother Earth and does her harm.” (send)

The other looks with hate at the screen and types out:

No, it’s your fault because you think you know so much with your science and you don’t take the people’s needs into account and you go around with a big head thinking nobody can match you and all that shit you talk.” (send)

The first reads and gets so furious you wouldn’t believe it. He looks at the other and in his eye you can see “you’re going to die, bastard.” So he writes:

No, it’s your fault because you criticized science out of pure laziness, you don’t want to study or learn because it’s clear that you’re just slothful and trifling.” (send)

The two men go on like this for awhile, fighting angrily over their cellphones. They don’t know it, but this is the last day; as soon as night falls, everything is over. But because they were fighting and looking at their cell phones, they didn’t realize when the sun hid itself in the mountains and the land fell dark.”

The education promotora who has used everything she learned in her education preparation courses in order to tell the story, concludes:

Okay, so this is the story the voice has narrated. So, the question you must answer is: “Which of the men survived the end of the world?

The children stay quiet, thinking.

In the first row of the classroom sits Pedrito. He says it’s so that he can pay close attention, but we all know it’s because he’s totally in love with the promotora, but we’re not going to publish that because it’s his secret.

Pedrito raises his hand, asking to be called on.

The promotora is about to say, “Let’s see, Pedrito, what do you think,” when from the back of the classroom a little girl’s voice says:

Well that’s easy.”

Everyone, including the promotora, turns to look at the little girl who has stood up and already has her bag over her shoulder with her notebook and pen inside. In her little hands she holds the frayed ball, while the Cat-dog stretches at her feet. The teacher says resignedly:

Okay Defensa Zapatista, tell us what you think.”

The little girl is already moving toward the door of the classroom as she announces:

The answer is easy, because it’s clear that it’s the fucking men’s fault that the world is ending because they’re so terrible with that patriarchality of theirs which is just impossible to believe in anymore. And they didn’t study the fucking Hydra which has been consuming and screwing over the whole planet earth. So there they are, all macho, fighting with their cell phones and their songs about horses and love and then about lost love, I mean why can’t they just decide already.

Anyway, teacher, so that you understand as the women that we are, I’m going to explain the word “patriarchality” which is like where the men rule and they want us women to just be waiting on them hand and foot, and then later they tell us how much they love us and how we have very pretty eyes, as if they were looking at our eyes, no, they’re looking at something else. I don’t know what it is that they’re really looking at because I’m not grown up yet, but that’s what my moms told me the fucking men do. When I grow up, they better not even think about it, I’m going to give them their slaps upside the head and a few kicks if they look at me wrong. So, the “patriarchality means that the fucking men just want us to make them their pozol and then are always pestering us for a kiss. Do you think we’re just going to give them a kiss, just like that? Oh no, I don’t think so, maybe instead of a kiss a knock on the head. And then they think they’re going to convince us with their songs about horses. They’re just so dumb, let’s see if they can find a horse to make them their pozol, what are they going to come up with then, never ever…”

The teacher knows the little girl very well already, so she interrupts:

Okay, Defensa Zapatista, answer the question.”

The little girl is already at the door. As the Cat-dog wags its tail happily at her feet, she responds:

Look, it’s easy. Neither of the two men live; they both die because they were stupid. Clearly it’s the fault of the patriarchality that the world is going to end, but it doesn’t, because it turns out there is someone who lives which is the compañera who is telling the story. Because if it’s not a compañera who tells the story then there’s no story. And the compañera who tells the story carries her little baby on her back in her shawl and is giving what you might call political lessons to the baby, so that the baby learns that we have to support each other as the women that we are.”

The little girl didn’t wait to see what the education promotora would say, and accepting as a given that her answer was correct, ran out of the classroom yelling “Let’s play!” as the Cat-dog and the rest of the class followed her out the door.

The education promotora smiles as she puts away her notebooks and books, one of which reads across the cover, “Twentieth Anniversary Anthology. National Indigenous Congress. Never Again a Mexico Without Us.” Ready to leave, the teacher notices that not all the children have left.

On the front bench sits Pedrito, looking all sad and defeated. The promotora goes over and sits down beside him asking,

What’s wrong Pedrito, why are you sad?”

Pedrito sighs and answers, “Because I didn’t get to answer the question because Defensa Zapatista spoke first.”

Ah,” the teachers says, “don’t worry Pedrito, what was your answer?”

Pedrito explains with a tone of the obvious:

Well I was going to answer that the story doesn’t hold up, because if there are only two men left, arguing over their cell phones, then who is working so that there’s a cell signal? This means that there are others who continue working, that is, that there can’t just be two left. So you see what I’m saying teacher, your story lacks logic, coherence in the argument. So the answer is that the very premise is faulty and for that reason, the conclusion, whatever that may be, is false. This would have been understood if critical thinking was applied to the analysis.” (trust me, that’s how Pedrito talks, if you get to meet him some day you’ll see I’m not making things up).

Pedrito, after finishing talking, returns to his posture of sorrow and sadness.

The education promotora is thinking about what the words “coherence” and “premise” mean, and that this is always the case with Pedrito, that he uses words that challenge even the Comandancia. The promotora isn’t embarrassed to ask Pedrito what those words mean, but she sees that Pedrito is sad so she hugs him and says:

Don’t worry Pedrito, your answer is good, too.”

Pedrito, upon being hugged, turns all shades of red and puts on his “no one has ever hugged me before” face, just like the deceased SupMarcos taught him. Letting himself be loved on, Pedrito thinks that it turned out well after all that Defensa Zapatista answered first, because this was why the promotora was hugging him and from within the embrace, Pedrito understands that no, the world is not going to end, that as long as the embrace lasts the world will keep giving opportunity to life, because that is what life is, an embrace.

Pedrito is reflecting on this when the little girl appears in the doorway and says to him, “Hurry up Pedrito, we have to fill up the team so we can bring a challenge.”

Pedrito separates himself from the embrace of the promotora as if tearing his heart out, but he goes over to the little girl because he is, in addition to a little boy, a Zapatista, and a Zapatista can’t allow the team to be let down on their account. Before leaving the room Pedrito says to the little girl: “But I’m telling you straight-up right now that I’m not playing goalie anymore, put the one-eyed horse on goalie, I want to play forward.”

Defensa Zapatista is not going to let a boy have the last word in this story, so she says:

Forward? Puh-leeze. SupGaleano showed me some videos and now I have a new plan. Now we are going to play according to the science of ‘total soccer’ like those Dutch orange ones. Don’t you know you have to study for that? You do. Both things, science and art. Later I’ll explain it to you. Just as soon as we fill up the team you’ll see, don’t worry, there will be more of us, it might take awhile, but there will be more.”

The little boy and the little girl leave. It is only then that we can see that the little girl has on an orange t-shirt that hangs nearly to her heels and taped on the back are crooked letters that spell “Cruyff”i and below them: “Resistance and Rebellion.”

Off to the side of the pasture waits a motley crew including: a old horse leisurely chewing on a empty tobacco bag; a short man with gray hair shivering despite his coat; and a tall, thin man who stands out for his height and the strange hat he is wearing. He is using his magnifying glass to study with great interest a small strange animal that, at a distance seems to be a dog… or a cat.. or a cat-dog.

Nearby, where the community has been working to deepen the scratches in the wall, anonymous hands have written, below and to the left, a graffiti that is bursting in colour. It reads:

We are the National Indigenous Congress and we are going for everything, and it will be for everyone.”

In a bunker far away, alarms are going off and the earth is trembling. Above, brother John Berger, smiling, has drawn a question in the clouds, for whoever looks high: “Y tú qué?”

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The Urgent and the Important

The story I’m going to tell you is a little bit sad.

It’s sad because it includes the tears of a little Zapatista girl. But despite this, or precisely because of it, I’m going to tell the story because after hearing you speak, present, reflect, and try to respond and teach, I’ve been thinking about what’s next. I don’t know if you all have thought about it. If not, I recommend that you do—think about what’s next.

I’ve imagined that we’re in another time, further ahead. Here goes:

This time, without being announced by a soccer ball rolling in, “Defensa Zapatista” has arrived at my hut. It’s clear that she’s been crying, and a few tears still glow on her cheeks. “Defensa Zapatista” maintains that little girls don’t cry, that that’s for men, and that women are stronger. So I understood why the little girl had come to my hut, where there are only ghosts and silences. Here she is safe, here she can cry without anyone, except me, seeing her. Here she can put her strength away in a box and let feelings fill her gaze and sorrow become liquid.

I didn’t say anything. I acted like I didn’t see her and that I was busy sweeping tobacco and crumpled up papers off the floor around the table.
Finally, she wiped her tears with a red handkerchief, sighed, and cleared her throat in order to ask me:

Hey Sup, do you know what it’s like to have a bad dream?”
“I sure do,” I responded, “bad dreams are called nightmares [pesadillas].”

She looked intrigued and asked, “And what’s the purpose of those quesadillas, why do they exist and who made them? Because they’re beastly.”

They’re called “pesadillas,” not “quesadillas.” Quesadillas are good because they have cheese. Pesadillas aren’t good. But why do you ask?”

I had a really bad dream and I woke up with something like a stomach ache, like something wasn’t okay, something was hurting,” she said.

Tell me about it,” I encouraged her and lit my pipe.

“Well, I dreamed we were in the community assembly and as it turns out the situation is really rough because of the bad system. And a lot of people are coming here and asking to stay in the community because other places have become unliveable, and so the people come here because we Zapatistas did in fact prepare.

But the people are coming from other countries, as far away as goodness knows where.

So there isn’t enough food and the community has to make the land produce more, because as Zapatistas we have to support other peoples of the world because we’re, as they say, compañerismos. So in the assembly they’re looking at how to organize to be able to give food to those brothers and sisters.

So then someone in the assembly says that we have to find more terrain where we can plant.

And then someone else says what about in the pasture where we play soccer, the Petumax flowers are already blooming, like white, but not, sort of gray but not, I think cream-colored or whatever you call that colournn.

And they say the saw the Chene’k Caribe flower too, which is true because I play with those flowers and pretend they’re little baby chicks.

And that they also saw the “Sun” flower which seems like a sunflower, but isn’t.

So then that compañero said that means that the soil is good in the pasture, that we can plant corn and beans there. And then I got, as they say, worried because there in the pasture is where the one-eyed horse lives and where we play soccer. Well, we don’t exactly play because we haven’t completed the team yet, but we practice and we train really hard.

So then the authority asks the assembly if there’s agreement that we’ll plant in the pasture and make a milpa [corn field] there, and if there’s anyone who disagrees they should say their piece so we can figure out what to do.

So then the whole assembly is silent and nobody asks to speak. And I want to talk to say that we shouldn’t plant in the pasture because then we won’t be able to play, or train that is. But I don’t know how I’m going to say it, because I can see that we do need food to support those other sisters and brothers.

And I’m really upset because nobody says anything and I don’t have the thinking to convince the assembly, and I can see in the authority’s eye that they’re about to say that if nobody has any other comments, that they’ll approve the proposal to plant in the pasture.

And there I am, looking for a good thought and I can’t find one, and I get mad that I can’t find the right words and with the anger the tears come out, and it’s not that I’m crying, it’s just the anger of not knowing what to say.

And right there I woke up and I came running. And on the way I got even madder because of that stinking bad dream, and who sent it or why they’re doing that.”

As she’s been talking, “Defensa Zapatista’s” face is reproducing her pain and desperation.

I remained quiet, but the little girl kept looking at me as if waiting for what I was going to say.

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Even though I realized that “Defensa Zapatista” hadn’t come to sit on the [psychiatrist’s] divan, nor just to vent, I was looking for the right words. I understood that the girl hadn’t come just to hide, she was also looking for answers, and me, well I’m the Subcomandante of stainless steel, the one who, according to “Defensa Zapatista’s” criteria, has the grave defect of being a man. But nobody’s perfect, and besides, I let the Cat-Dog climb up on the keyboard and ruin the texts, and sometimes I have cookies to share (which, for Defensa Zapatista means that she and her little animal gobble up all the ones I like and the ones I don’t, too, and they just leave me the empty package), and I tell stories where she and her gang get into mischief and come out triumphant.

So I’m presenting with you all with the, as they say, context, so you understand that the girl had not really come to tell me a bad dream, but rather to present me with a problem.

When I had been looking through the trunk of memories that the deceased SupMarcos left in my custody, I remembered having seen something that could be useful. I gestured to “Zapatista Defense” that she should wait and I started looking. Under some drawings that John Berger made when he was in Cideci, I found what I was looking for. The papers were shabby, stained with tobacco and humidity, but the clumsy handwriting of the deceased was still legible.

I picked my pipe back up and lit it. I read almost in silence, only making a few gestures and emitting incomprehensible grunts. The girl watched me in suspense, waiting. The Cat-Dog had left the computer mouse in peace and, its ears perked, remained expectant.

After acting all important for a few minutes, I told her:

There it is, there’s no problem. I’ve found the solution to your nightmare. It turns out that in this writing by the deceased SupMarcos (may baby Jesus keep him in holy glory and may the dear Virgen fill him with blessings) explains that nightmares are problems and that they can be alleviated if you resolve the problem of the nightmare.

Then he says that dreams are the solution to nightmares.

That what you have to do is find the solution and then the good dream comes out.

That way you save a ton of money on psychiatrists, psychologists, therapists and antacids. Okay, that’s not related.

And in this other writing, he says that the problem isn’t just knowing what’s urgent and what’s important.

What’s urgent is what you have to do right now, and what’s important is, for example, what you know you must do.

For example, in the case of the bad dream you’re telling me about, what’s urgent is that the compas have to increase food production; and what’s important is not to lose the space where you play.

In which case it’s a big problem, because if you protect the place to play, well, then they won’t plant there and there will be hunger; and if they plant there, well then there won’t be any more place to play.”

Defensa Zapatista” nodded, convinced of what I was saying to her. I continued:

So the deceased says here that that’s called ‘exclusive options,’ which is to say that you do one thing or the other, but you can’t do both. SupMarcos says that this is almost always false, which is to say that it’s not necessarily one or the other, but rather that something different can be imagined. And he gives the example of the originary peoples, which is to say the indigenous.

He says: ‘For example, the originary peoples, going back centuries, have always done two things at the same time: what’s urgent and what’s necessary. What’s urgent is to survive, which is to say to not die, and what’s important is to live. And they resolve this with resistance and rebellion, which is to say that they resist dying and at the same time they create, with their rebellion, another way of living.’ So he says that whenever possible, it’s necessary to think about creating something else.”

I put down the papers and I turned to “Zapatista Defense”:

So I believe what you can do with the problem of your bad dream is explain to the assembly what’s urgent and what’s important.

Which is to say that both parts have good thought behind them, but if you pick one, well, you’ve screwed the other.

So explain to the assembly that it doesn’t necessarily have to be one thing or the other, but rather that it’s necessary to think of something else, something different but so that both objectives are met.

And then it’s not that the assembly’s problem is getting resolved nor that your problem is getting resolved, but rather that it’s a different problem altogether.

And it’s the new problem that you both have to think about, that is, you and the assembly.”

The whole time the girl had been sitting quietly with her chin in her little hand, paying attention.

Contrary to his usual habits, the Cat-Dog had also been still.

Zapatista Defence” stayed silent, looking fixedly at the floor.

I don’t know much about what happens in the head of a little girl. Of a boy, sure, perhaps because I haven’t matured despite the many kilometres I’ve covered. But girls, whatever their age, continue to be a mystery that perhaps science will one day be able to solve.

Suddenly, “Zapatista Defence” turned to look at the Cat-Dog, and he in turn looked at her.

The mutual glance lasted only a few seconds, and the Cat-Dog began to jump, bark and meow. The girl’s little face lit up and she practically shouted: “Yes, the Cat-Dog!” and she began to jump and dance together with the animal.

I didn’t just put on my confused face, in fact I didn’t understand what all this was about. But, resigned, I waited for ““Zapatista Defence” and the Cat-Dog to calm down, which didn’t happen for several more minutes that seemed eternal to me. Finally the commotion died down and, still excited, the girl explained:

It’s the Cat-Dog, Sup! I have to bring the Cat-Dog to my bad dream and I have to bring him to the assembly and he’s going to help me and so then it’ll be a good dream.

The solution to the problem was right here but I hadn’t studied it.

It’s the Cat-Dog, it’s always been the Cat-Dog.”

I think that my “What?!” face must have been very obvious, because “Defensa Zapatista” felt obliged to clarify:

Look I’ll explain it to you Sup: the Cat-Dog, is he a cat? No. Is he a dog? Not that either. So then he’s neither one thing nor the other, but rather something else, he’s a Cat-Dog. If I show the Cat-Dog to the assembly, obviously they’re going to see that we have to do something else, so both sides can happily be in mutual agreement.”

I couldn’t understand how the assembly was going to make the, as they say, “epistemological leap” from that thing, that is to say the Cat-Dog, to the disjuncture between the pasture for playing soccer or the pasture for planting. But it seems that “Defensa Zapatista” wasn’t worried about that.

The next day, on the way to town, I passed by the pasture. Night was already beginning to fall and the sound of those who were scratching at the wall continued. There was still enough light, because “Zapatista Defence” was on the field, together with a group in which I recognized the old one-eyed horse that accompanies her sometimes, the Cat-Dog, and Pedrito. There were also two men, one short and one tall, whom I didn’t recognize and I assumed that they were from the Sixth and that the girl was trying to incorporate them into her perpetually incomplete team.

The girl saw me from afar and greeted me with an energetic wave of her hand. I returned the greeting, realizing that “Zapatista Defence” had resolved the problem because she laughed and ran from one side to the other, showing the group where they should position themselves in some sort of formation that looked to me to have the shape of a snail.

I continued on my path, remembering the ending to that day of tears, when “Defensa Zapatista,” then smiling and with her face lit-up, said goodbye: “I’m leaving now Sup, I’ve got to go.”

And what are you going to do?” I asked her.

She was already gaining distance when she shouted: “I’m going to dream.”

While I waited for the compañeros and compañeras to whom I had to give a talk, the night arrived with its own steps and sounds.

I thought then that perhaps the deceased SupMarcos would have liked to have been present for “Defensa Zapatista’s” dream to know how she made her argument and what the decision of the assembly was. Or perhaps he was in fact there. Because, at least in these lands, the dead walk around. They laugh and cry with us, they struggle with us, they live with us.

Thank you very much.

From the CIDCI-Unitierra, San Cristobal de Las Casas, Chiapas, Mexico.

SupGaleano.

Mexico, January 2017.

iHendrik Johannes “Johan” Cruyff, a Dutch professional soccer player and coach famous for promoting the philosophy known as “Total Football.” https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Johan_Cruyff

 

http://enlacezapatista.ezln.org.mx/2017/02/02/que-sigue-ii-lo-urgente-y-lo-importante/

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“There will be no wall:” Sioux, Yaqui and Tohono O’odham Indigenous struggles unite from Standing Rock to the Sierra Norte of Puebla

Filed under: Corporations, Dams, Displacement, Indigenous, Uncategorized — Tags: — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 9:52 am

 

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“There will be no wall:” Sioux, Yaqui and Tohono O’odham

Indigenous struggles unite from Standing Rock to the Sierra Norte of Puebla

 

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Photos by Diógenes Rabello / Hijos de la Tierra

From the Editors of Desinformémonos

 February 20, 2017

Trump’s “xenophobic and aggressive policy against Mexico” has placed the Native peoples of the United States and Mexico on alert. They declared that: “there will be no wall!” The struggle of indigenous peoples is added to on both sides of the border, and in Cuetzalan, in the Sierra Norte of Puebla, with the presence of representatives of indigenous peoples from New Mexico and Dakota, who all ratify the defence of their lands and territories.

Tohono O’odham, Sioux and different indigenous tribes are against the policies of Donald Trump and they promise to go as far as the ultimate consequences in defence of their territory.

The Standing Rock Sioux tribe and its defenders have pledged to resist Donald Trump’s executive order that authorizes the construction of an oil pipeline in Dakota and they are thinking about using legal measures, calling for civil disobedience and installing a resistance camp to protect the river water.

“President Trump has the legal obligation to respect the rights that the treaties recognize and guarantee that the whole process for the construction of the oil pipeline is fair and reasonable,” explains Dave Archambault, chief of the Standing Rock Sioux tribe.

Others have promised that they will express their solidarity with protests throughout the country. “We need a massive civil disobedience movement and citizens expressing their solidarity with Standing Rock,” explains Kandi Mossett, a member of the Mandan, Hidatsa and Arikara tribes.

 

“The Trump administration is provoking a revolution that will make us stronger than ever.”

 

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The Sioux peoples already faced the Democratic administration of Barack Obama, who they classify as “the lord of drones and wars.” The Sioux, together with the Mdewakanton Dakota and Dine peoples, achieved a victory in 2016 when they obtained the cancellation of Obama’s decree to construct an oil pipeline in Dakota. However, last month Trump decided to revive the decree with which is approved the construction of this work that they consider predatory to the environment and destructive to its ancient habitat.

Now, the Sioux once again reject the measure and make a call to mobilize, not just against the oil pipeline, but also against the “border wall” that Donald Trump wants to construct.

The Tohono O’odham tribe of Arizona, which controls more than two and a half million acres, in part bordering with Mexico, expressed its absolute rejection of the wall that Trump seeks to construct because it goes against ancestral customs.

This nation currently has 28,000 members. Prior to the Treaty of Guadalupe-Hidalgo that provoked the loss of more than half of Mexican territory to the United States in the 19th Century, the Tohono O’odham moved freely between the states of Sonora and Arizona. Now, they denounce that United States immigration police have unleashed a war against them, therefore they warned that they would mobilize against the border wall they want to construct.

The Yaqui Tribe shares territory in the state of Sonora in Mexico and in Arizona, in the United States. It was also recognized as a nation in 1978, and they have shown their support for the “anti-wall” movement. “Over my dead body,” is one of the slogans of the border tribes that share territory with Mexico. ”It divides our ancestral land and families that have crossed freely since before the borderline was drawn.”

“We arrived before nations and borders divided us,” an indigenous leader pointed out after Trump insulted members of the Hopi tribe with the title of “Pocahontas.”

Against the Donald Trump government, the wall, forced deportations and other xenophobic policies, Mexican and American workers must unify their demands with those of the Sioux and Tohono O’odham peoples. Bring down the wall by constructing resistance with workers, indigenous peoples and women on both sides of the border.

From Standing Rock to the Sierra Norte of Puebla: indigenous peoples join together in defence of territory

The campesino, indigenous and mestizo peoples of the Northeast Sierra of Puebla have demonstrated, once again, their capacity for organization and self-determination.

As is now the custom in this region, every other month, and now on February 18, hundreds of people came from 173 towns and 16 municipalities to gather together in the 18th Assembly in Defence of Territory to reaffirm the power to decide on their lives and the destiny of their territories.

The meeting was held in the municipal capital of Cuetzalan, [1] where its residents wage an important fight against the imposition of an electric substation and high-tension wires. According to what the web page Hijos de la Tierra has reported, those installations are destined to favour mining megaprojects, fracking and hydroelectric dams in la region.

Representatives of social movement struggles were present from the Indigenous Peoples Front in Defence of Mother Earth, of San Francisco Xochicuautla community, the Maya community of Hopelchén, Campeche that struggles against the planting of transgenic seeds, students from the rural teachers colleges, mothers from Ayotzinapa and two representatives of the Native peoples of New Mexico and South Dakota in the United States, who organize and defend their Standing Rock territory and rivers against the “Dakota Access” pipeline impelled once again by Donald Trump.

The municipal presidency of Cuetzalan and representatives of the Federal Electricity Commission (CFE, its initials in Spanish) were invited to the meeting so that they could provide information about the motive and objectives of the electric project that they want to develop at that place. They did not attend however and therefore the assembly decided to continue stopping the construction work and to maintain the encampment installed since the month of November.

[1] Cuetzalan, Puebla is one of Mexico’s “magical towns.” See: http://www.visitmexico.com/en/magicaltowns/center-region/cuetzalan

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Originally Published in Spanish by Desinformémonos

Monday, February 20, 2017

https://desinformemonos.org/no-habra-muro-sioux-yaquis-tohono-oodham-las-luchas-indigenas-se-unen-desde-standing-rock-la-sierra-norte-puebla/

Re-Published with English interpretation by the Chiapas Support Committee

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February 23, 2017

EZLN: What Comes Next I: Then and Now

Filed under: Autonomy, CNI, Uncategorized, Zapatista — Tags: , , — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 1:32 pm

 

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EZLN: What Comes Next I: Then and Now

 

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Subcomandante Insurgente Moisés

January 3, 2017

Good evening everyone. We just want to say that this is going to take a while, so now is the moment to leave or take a nap.

So first of all, just like the compañera said who spoke here about Viejo Antonio [Old Antonio], the name says it all, Viejo Antonio.i His time is over. There are some things we might be able to recover from that moment, but now times have changed.

We Zapatistas want to tell you that truly, seriously, we want to learn what real science is. Not the kind that Viejo Antonio employed, which was useful in its time, a time now past. Now it’s different because life now is different. We want to talk to you about what it’s like for the compañeras and compañeros who are here as a commission of delegates, what they’ve confronted through their struggle in resistance, and the fact that even though they’d like to live the way their fathers and mothers did, it doesn’t work for them anymore.

For example, in the Lacandón Jungle when they plant their corn, they know that in three months the kernels should grow, but now the kernels come in earlier. In the highlands, near Oventik, the Caracol Oventik, it used to be that in six months there would be kernels, and now it happens in five. This makes it difficult because before they knew when to plant. They knew when to start, using the old method like Viejo Antonio did, but now that has changed. How did it change, and who changed it? That’s where all this interest comes from. And just like with everything else, we’re not making things up, as Sup Galeano has said these past few days. Because Viejo Antonio did in fact know when the cold would come, when to go get firewood, charcoal, how to be prepared, but this method doesn’t work anymore.

That’s why we started to wonder who could explain this to us, and we’d heard people say that there are scientists, and we wondered what kind of work they do. Could they assist us? Because they say these people study in order to be able to explain, to be able to understand, and then to be able to explain to others if something can be done and what can be done.

Our compañeros and compañeras need these kinds of things, because it turns out that in their 23 years of autonomous governance, many needs have arisen, needs that can no longer be addressed the way Viejo Antonio used to. He was resisting and surviving, but that way doesn’t work anymore. The compañeros and compañeras are constructing something else, and they’re putting it into practice. When they engage in these practices, that’s when they start to discover what’s missing.

For example, so that you understand what I’m saying, among the compañeras who are Zapatista bases of support entered the struggle 33 years ago, none of them dreamed that their daughter or son would learn how to operate an ultrasound. Now it turns out that their daughter operates one, because many compañeras do. It’s mostly compañeras because they’re the ones who want to see how the baby is doing while it’s growing, that’s why it’s mostly compañeras who do this.

I’m going to tell you about a need and a lack we have encountered, because it was a lack as well as an error, a failure, which we recognize as such. Because the compañeras, compañero, well they’re recovering the good parts of the culture and leaving behind the bad parts.

So there are [health] promotores, as well as midwives, both men and women, in the communities. In one community a compa went to the midwife and the midwife checked the compañera and told her: it seems you’re going to have twins, compañera. And the compa was happy about the twins, but he knew that in the clinic, in the Autonomous Hospital, there’s an ultrasound, and the compa wanted to be sure that they were really going to have twins. So they went to the hospital and had the photograph taken, I’m not sure what you call it. But first the compa says to the compañera who knows how to operate the ultrasound, “the midwife told me it looks like it is twins, so I want to check using the machine to see if it’s true, no?” And so they check and take the photo or whatever it’s called and the compañera tells him, “Yes, it’s twins.” So then the compa is even happier.

So then when it was time for the twins to be born, they went to the government hospital because there was trouble with the birth because the compañera was having a lot of pain. So as an emergency they went to a government hospital in Guadalupe Tepeyac, and they attended to her there and gave her a caesarean. So the compa goes to see his two twins, right? And it turns out there’s just one. So the compañero says, “No, I know that they were twins,” and starts to argue with the hospital director. “No, I know that they’re twins. You’re trying to steal one from me.”

The director says, “No sir, no Zapatista, there’s only one. Let’s not argue here, let’s go to your wife because she saw everything.” So the director and the compa go to the wife and the compa says, “Why are you letting the hospital directors steal one of our babies?” And the compañera says, “No, there really was only one.”

“But how? If the compañera who did the ultrasound told us it was definitely twins and the midwife also told us it was definitely twins?”

So there they are with the compañera saying that there was definitely only one and the compa is saying it has to be two because that’s what the midwife and the health promotora said and the people from the hospital are saying it’s definitely only one.

So then they have to bring in the compañera who did the ultrasound in the Zapatista hospital clinic. The compañera arrives, so there are four different people there now: the compa, the compañera who had the caesarean, the compañera who did the ultrasound, and the directors of the hospital. And they start talking there, and the attending doctor starts explaining that it depends on how the image is taken for the ultrasound, and the compañera who did the work of the ultrasound says, “yes, we did in fact take it from the side.” So then the doctor says, “That’s what happened, because of the reflection it seemed like there were two, because the image wasn’t taken the way it should have been.” Then the compa, the father of the baby, starts to understand that there was a mistake, an error in the way the work was done by the Zapatista health promotora.

So that’s where we learn that we can’t say, this is fucking capitalism’s fault, because this wasn’t about capitalism; we were lacking science. That’s why a failure isn’t just about saying they don’t know, or the people from the hospital robbed us because it’s run by the bad government. We can’t say these things. We recognize that we were lacking something, that we were lacking something as Zapatistas. It’s not that we’re autonomous and that therefore we can’t fail. We failed at science.

So there are a lot of other things like that, and Viejo Antonio didn’t have the opportunity to learn them because his time has passed. But thanks to Viejo Antonio who had a form of resistance and rebellion, [our people] were able to survive at that time.

So for example, the person speaking to you, whose name is Moisés—this Moisés has changed three times. Because if the Moisés in his community was still in his community he wouldn’t be here talking with you, right? And what would this Moisés be like if he was still in his community? Who knows. Not even Moisés himself knows.

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Okay. But then that Moisés that was, is no longer. Then Moisés entered into the clandestine organization, so that Moisés changed again. He was no longer the same Moisés in clandestinity that he had been in his community. Then Moisés went out, learned, and we’re not going to repeat everything here, but he learned the science that we applied in 94. And now after 23 years, the Moisés who was in clandestinity is not the same Moisés who has been in the public light for 23 years because of what he and his compañeros and compañeras did. Right?

So the Moisés of right now, today, January 3, 2017—this Moisés now sees other things. This Moisés sees many things, not what he saw before during the 10 years of clandestinity; things have changed. But we have to study this change scientifically, with science, for the good of the people, in order to love life even more.

So what are we going to do when we realize, with science and scientifically, that something’s not right? What good is it just to say that something’s wrong and then just leave it at that?

So that’s what’s happening to our compañeros and compañeras: they run into these needs, they need this [knowledge] not for the good of a few, but for thousands, or perhaps the millions of us in this country called Mexico. And perhaps this could take wing and fly off to another world, no?

Because today, 23 years later, there are many things the compañeros are putting into practice, and they run into these needs. They need theory and they need practice. We indigenous people do things in practice. That is, it is through practice that we are convinced of something. And when that happens, then we do not tire when we hear the theory. But if it’s all blah, blah, blah, well we get sleepy. But if it’s through practice, then yes, we become focused because we’re seeing how things move and how they work. If we like what we see and think that something will solve many of our needs, then our eyes become sharper than an eagle’s.

So when we engage in practice and see that yes, something does in fact solve our needs, then we begin to ask: if I do it like this could it turn out like that? And if I do it like this what will happen? Could it be that someone could teach us even more? Could they tell us even more about how to do it? Then in that case we need theory, because we were encouraged by what we saw, because we saw that it solved our needs or problems when we saw it in practice.

There is the problem that sometimes it’s really hard for us to present the theory, but we can do it in practice. Perhaps it’s possible to see if there’s an image or something to help understand how things are in practice. Take for example this instance I’m about to tell you about, which our compañeros and compañeras have basically obligated me to keep in my head.

These men and women have their autonomous government, and they’re struggling and struggling for it to be half and half. If there are 40 members of the Junta de Buen Gobierno [Good Government Council], it should be 20 women and 20 men, and if there are 20 members of the Zapatista Autonomous Municipalities in Rebellion, it should be 10 women and 10 men, and so on.

So they do their work according to what they’ve understood of the 7 Principles of Leading by Obeying. They make the word Democracy their own, which means that the people lead and the government obeys. Men and women discuss their own laws, they develop education in the way they think boys and girls should learn, and what the education promotores should learn, according to what their communities need.

So in what some might call primary school, and other Caracoles might call first level, but in any case the compañeros, compañeras, the fathers, the mothers, say: what we want is for our children to learn to read well, to know how to write papacito and mamacita. And they’ve seen how the young people have learned a shitload like that. It’s the same in the area of health too; there are many areas of work like that. There is the work with medicinal plants which continues, and the compas have detected various needs there, because they want to know, they say for example: when the plant is green, or the husk or the root, what substance does it contain? What about when it dries, does it preserve or lose that substance? But that’s where we realize we have our limits, because for that we need science to do a study in a laboratory, and many other things like that.

They have their community radios, and sometimes certain pieces of the machines burn out, so they want to know how to fix that. The other communities want to listen to what is being produced and transmitted, so they want to make the signal reach them, but the signal doesn’t reach. So the radio broadcasters ask, might there be a way to invent something so [the signal] is stronger, so it reaches further?

But their fathers and mothers had never dreamed of this. Moisés in clandestinity had never thought of it. Things changed, and now it turns out that these young men and women—because we’re working with the compañeros—they tell us that this thing or that thing is lacking, and so now Moisés can no longer say… because it’s easy to order people around, to say enough, shut up, go back to work, go check on your cornfield, go… no? But we understand there are needs. So that’s why I’m saying that Moisés isn’t the same as he was in clandestinity, not after 23 years with the communities, with their autonomous government.

Well, for more than a year now we’ve been talking about the capitalist hydra, the monster, along with our compañeros and compañeras in the communities. And this is truly what we’re seeing, it’s like it reared its head when we mentioned it. So the compañeros and compañeras in the communities say that the way we’ll resist is that we must have food and we must have medicine, we need these things to be able to confront this. So that’s where they begin to think seriously about how to make this happen with land that doesn’t produce anymore, no matter how much we work and work and work it, it doesn’t produce anymore. So they’ve heard people talk about boron, magnesium, sulphur, molyb…molybdenum, or something like that, or zinc, or the pH…but they only know that people say that these are things that can help the earth. But how can we know, even if I grab a piece of earth, how can I know what it needs?

So, the compañeros ask: who are the people who study this? Who are the people that say this? This need starts emerging from various places, the desire to learn, to study the earth without harming it.

So, among many other things that they do, the compañeros are identifying needs, seeking [answers]. Before all this, before these needs began to develop more, there were other compañeros who were seeing other needs emerge around how to construct autonomy. For example, a group of compañeros saw that a lot of gasoline was being wasted to generate electricity in the Caracol. So they began to wonder, why does the gasoline make the motor turn and then produce electricity, energy? They said, that just means there has to be a way to turn the motor. So why don’t we adapt, find a different way to start the motor? Like in the case of the water mill, where they grind the sugar cane. It has a water canal and wheels and containers where the water flows into, and that makes the mill turn. So we should look for a way to adapt the motor, or the generator. And they did it, but it was very slow, and they couldn’t get past that point because they didn’t know how to multiply the force… I’m not even sure how you say it. So, where are the people who know the science of how to do this? Because then we wouldn’t need petroleum to be able to make gas, or oil, but rather we could make use of nature itself for this. Well, at least for one part, because the pieces of the motor are metal and plastic and all those things.

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So the compañeros and compañeras really want to learn new things, whenever they can find someone to teach them. But…it’s not like it was before for the young men and women, like in the days of Viejo Antonio. They’re not going to just let things be if their question isn’t answered. They won’t be satisfied if they don’t get the right answer to their question, and worse so if you try to tell them otherwise.

For example, at the end of the Little School in 2013-2014, we had an Assembly to evaluate it. There it came out that one of the students had been saying how great it is that we’re indigenous, that we should never lose our indigenous identity, and therefore… but then that we’re no longer truly indigenous because we wear shoes, that we should stop wearing shoes. We have to touch [the earth] with our skin, with the soles of our feet, that’s how we’ll keep being indigenous. And in the Assembly people were saying that person who said that, we should call him in the rainy season, when there’s lots of mud and sometimes your feet sink 50 or 80 centimeters, and you don’t realize there’s glass or sharp rocks underneath. Let’s see him walk there then. Then they said, and we work in the brush, we’re going to ask him to please take his clothes off and work there naked, let’s see what he thinks then.

I’m telling you this because they don’t let buy this anymore; when these young people are able to understand that what’s being said isn’t going to resolve their needs, they simply say: let’s see, you do it first and then we’ll see.

So this all means—and it has to do with you, brothers, compañeroscompañeras, sisters—as has been said here, as you’re seeing, if you see and understand that things are really rough, well then there’s much work to be done. First, what is it that needs to be done, among you who study science, scientific matters, what needs to be done? And furthermore, the compañeros and compañeras have questions, and they need you to answer them, and answer them scientifically, right? Then there’s also the fact that they want to learn, they want practice. That’s another thing, because that’s the only way the compañeros and compañeras will feel that they are being taught, through practice as to how they might possibly resolve the issues that come up, or things that they need. The only thing is that we have to be careful that it’s not a deceitful trick, that’s what they don’t want. They want to see the results of what they’re told.

In that regard, according to what we’re hearing, although it’s not over yet, we see and feel that with this practice we’re engaging in now we’re making twice the effort. Because for example: I’ve heard you here while you’re participating as scientists—you’re speaking among yourselves, as scientists. And the idea was for you to speak to the compañeras and compañeros. So the compañeros are asking, what are they saying? Because you’re speaking from one scientist to another. And then the delegates try to speak with the participants, but you’re all listening and maybe wanting to debate what another participant is saying, and we’re missing something.

So what we see is that it would be helpful to have another gathering in which you speak to one another, scientists to scientists. You would speak to one another and we want to see how you discuss; we want to hear, in the end, how you reach agreements like in the communities. In the communities, among the peoples, they get into it and then they say, okay, we’re going to let it go because we have an agreement. That’s what they do. So we want to learn, because if not, how are we going to learn how to be scientists?

What we are doing here, which I’ve already told you about, is something of a science. This new government system that the compañeros have, it’s small, but the compañeros are putting science to work in this act, and because of it, this small act, they’ve brought us together here. That is why we’re talking here today, thanks to the science of self-government, thanks to the compañeros.

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So I don’t know how you all will see it, maybe it seems like a long time away to plan for you to come in December, in order to have this meeting where we can see how you debate among yourselves, to see what agreements arise about what to do or how to do it. Also, if you are able, either collectively or individually, we could somehow reach an agreement for you to come here, go to a Caracol, set up your workshop… the only thing is that if you need a laboratory that includes more than an axe and a machete…well, we don’t have laboratories, but if you can bring it you’re welcome to. And there will be no lack of pozolito.ii It might be sour, but there will be plenty. There will be beans, vegetables, and no lack of students with the desire to learn. Above all, to learn in practice, as I told you.

So, this is the problem we’re presenting to you, wondering how you might help the compañeros who need not just medicine and land, but many other things which you’ll see when you come, when you go to the Caracol or Caracoles. There you’ll hear a lot of, “listen, how can we do this, or that, or this other thing.” And you’ll say, “the thing is I’m not a technician, I’m not an engineer, I’m a scientist.” It’s just there are so many things the compas need right now.

So now you have some months to think about it, and then you can send us your word, your thoughts and your plans so that we can see the fruit of what we’re doing here. Then we can also reach an agreement about the next gathering in December. And we’ll see about where, or we’ll ask our compañero here, the Doc, if it can be here, or we’ll think about where else it could be. That’s what we wanted to talk about with you, compañeros, brothers and sisters. Thank you very much.

iEl Viejo Antonio is a character in the early writings of the defunct Subcomandante Insurgente Marcos who plays the role of indigenous teacher and guide for the young insurgent during the early days of clandestine organization.

iiA drink made of ground maize and water.

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