dorset chiapas solidarity

October 24, 2016

CNI and EZLN to Hold Consultation to Appoint Female Indigenous Candidate for 2018 Presidential Elections

Filed under: CNI, Indigenous, sipaz, Women, Zapatistas — Tags: , , , , — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 12:32 pm



CNI and EZLN to Hold Consultation to Appoint Female Indigenous Candidate for 2018 Presidential Elections


ez1CNI at Oventik Caracol (@SIPAZ)


From October 9 to 13, within the framework of the 20th anniversary of the founding of the National Indigenous Congress (CNI), the “Fifth National Indigenous Congress” was held at CIDECI-Unitierra in San Cristobal de Las Casas. About 500 delegates from 32 nations, peoples and indigenous tribes of Mexico, as well as members and support bases of the Zapatista Army of National Liberation (EZLN) and other guests participated. It worked in thematic working groups around the following themes: dispossession and repression; our resistances and rebellions; a review of the CNI; proposals for strengthening the CNI. On October 12, Columbus Day, a political-cultural event in Oventik Caracol was also held.


ez2Zapatista militia on the arrival of the CNI at Oventik, October 12, 2016 (@SIPAZ)


On closing the event, the CNI and the EZLN published a statement entitled “May the Earth Tremble at its Core” (paraphrasing the national anthem), in which they reported 27 grievances dispossessions indigenous peoples in the country are facing. What created the biggest stir was the announcement of the start of a consultation to examine the convenience of appointing an indigenous council of government and inviting an indigenous woman to participate in the upcoming presidential elections to be held in 2018. The statement says: “Given all of the above, we declare ourselves in permanent assembly and we will consult in each of our geographies, territories and directions the agreement of the Fifth CNI to appoint an indigenous council of government whose word will be materialized by an indigenous woman, a delegate of the CNI as an independent candidate who contends on behalf of the National Indigenous Congress and the Zapatista Army of National Liberation in the 2018 election for the presidency of this country.”

The statement says that “It’s time to attack, to go on the offensive” and clarified that “our struggle is not for power, we do not seek that; but we will call on indigenous peoples and civil society to organize to stop this destruction, to strengthen us in our resistance and rebellion” the Zapatistas said in a statement in which they made a call to organize “from below.”

The joint statement ends by emphasizing “It is time for rebel dignity, to build a new nation for all people, to strengthen the power from below and the anti-capitalist left, and for those who are to blame for the pain of the people of this multicolor Mexico to pay.”



August 20, 2016

A Glimpse Inside the Zapatista’s Rebel Capital of Oventic, Two Decades on

Filed under: Autonomy, Indigenous, Women, Zapatistas — Tags: — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 11:05 am



A Glimpse Inside the Zapatista’s Rebel Capital of Oventic, Two Decades on

Ryan Mallett-Outtrim – Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal
go to original
August 17, 2016

Sign reads, “You are now in rebel Zapatista territory. Here, the people command, and the government obeys.” (Ryan Mallett-Outtrim)

The line of guards clad in the guerrilla movement’s iconic balaclavas was a sign we had found the place. For anyone who did not get the hint, there was a half rusted sign across the road that read, “You are now in rebel Zapatista territory.”

“Here, the people command, and the government obeys,” it stated.

Less than an hour from the nearest city, and I had already arrived at Oventic. This small, unassuming community in the highlands of Mexico’s Chiapas state is often known as the de facto capital of the Zapatista Army of National Liberation (EZLN), a leftist guerrilla movement that has been a thorn in the side of the Mexican government since the 1990s.

A decade ago, Oventic was easily accessible to outsiders, and gringo tourists hoping to catch a glimpse of the EZLN in their heartland were generously accommodated. Today, things are different, and the Zapatistas are more reserved about who they allow to peek inside their world. In late July, I was given the privilege to visit Oventic, and see how the community was doing two decades after the EZLN first shocked the world with its fiery entrance into Mexico’s already complex political landscape.

The Zapatistas’ debut act came in 1994, when seemingly out of nowhere, they seized control of a handful of towns across Chiapas, one of the country’s consistently poorest states. Among the towns captured was the highland city San Cristobal, which is today the heart of the state’s booming tourism sector. The offensive was accompanied by a declaration of war against the Mexican government by the EZLN. They accused the federal government of losing touch with ordinary Mexicans, and called for a nationwide revolt.

Their sudden offensive was timed to coincide with the signing of the controversial North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). In their early communiques, the Zapatistas warned NAFTA would fail to deliver on its promises of economic prosperity, and would only widen the country’s wealth gap. Any gains under NAFTA would not be seen by the already impoverished indigenous farmers of rural Chiapas, they claimed.

Reminiscing on the time, veteran Mexican journalist Olivier Acuna said the uprising “caught us all by surprise”.

“Basically, nobody outside Chiapas saw it coming; other than, I suppose, intelligence agents,” he said.

However, he argued the EZLN didn’t really come from nowhere.

“Chiapas is a highly marginalized and poverty stricken state, and if you add the long history of massive caciquismo you have a very resented and abused population,” he said.

Caciquismo refers to regional authoritarianism, where local leaders such as mayors weld huge power over their constituents, often in remote rural areas. In hindsight, Acuna said, the uprising was a long time coming. He pointed to decades of local and federal governments abusing the highland population.

“[It’s] majority indigenous people who have been stripped of their lands, and in many cases turned into almost slaves on their own land,” he said.

Today, the EZLN has long since retreated from the city of San Cristobal, though it retains a following in the highlands. An uneasy ceasefire exists, with the Mexican military mostly avoiding contact with EZLN communities, which remain dotted across the countryside. Meanwhile, the Zapatistas themselves have adopted a defensive strategy, focusing on consolidation rather than expansion.

During my time in Oventic, I spoke with Roy Ketchum, an associate professor in Hispanic studies from the College of Saint Benedict and Saint John’s University. Ketchum has been observing the EZLN for years, though this was the first time he was able to visit Oventic, after being turned away on a previous trip.

“There’s a vibrant, community based participatory democracy,” he said. “Everyone participates, and everyone is heard.”

Read the rest at Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal



August 9, 2016

EZLN: The Art that is Neither Seen nor Heard

Filed under: Uncategorized, Zapatista — Tags: , , — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 6:06 pm




(Note: the following are the comments made by Subcomandante Insurgente Moisés to mark the conclusion of the Zapatistas’ contribution to the CompArte, in the Caracol of Oventik, on July 29, 2016. The threat of rain and the pressure of time did not allow for the compañero to fully develop some of his points and there were others that he was unable to touch on at all. Here we present the original version that he was going to give. In his voice, our Zapatista word).






July 29, 2016.

Artists of Mexico and the world:

Sisters, brothers, and hermanoas:

For us, Zapatistas, art is studied by creating many imaginations, reading the gaze, studying in listening, and practicing.

It is by putting it into practice, that is, by doing it, that you will begin to see the result of the science and the art of imagination – the art of creativity.

There is some science and art that is needed immediately, the kind that helps us imagine how to do it.

There can be medium term science and art, and there is long term science and art that improves over the course of time.

For example: To even make something tiny that will contribute to the new world requires that we involve ourselves profoundly in the science and art of imagination, in the gaze, in listening and in creativity, patience, and attention. It requires that we think about how to move forward while building and many other things that must be taken into account.

Because what we want, or what we think about, is a new world, a new system. We don’t want a copy of what we have, we don’t want to improve it a little bit. This is a problem, we say, because there is no book or manual that explains how to create this new world. This book or manual hasn’t been written yet, it is still in the heads of those with imagination, in the eyes that are ready to gaze at the new world that they want to see, in the ears that are attentive in order to hear the new world that they want.

This requires a lot of wisdom and intelligence, a good understanding of many words and thoughts.

We say that it works like this because this is how the development of our autonomy has been and will continue to be.

It was built by thousands of Zapatista men and women, with science and art, and for now it can be seen in the 5 zones of the caracoles.

The art that we are showing you, our compañeras and compañeros, had a crude birth, it emerged from the heads of those women and men who themselves decided how to present it to you, [it is] about how they have worked as Zapatistas and autonomous people, with their resistance and their rebellious ways.

The entire process was a chain of art – from the thinking about what they would present, whether it would be a dance number, song, poetry, sculpture, theatre, or pottery, to the words, the ideas about how they would get from place to place, then where they were going to get the money for their rehearsal and performances, because they are collectives from the community, the region, the municipalities and the zone.

There were three rounds of selection. For the first round, the people got together in their regions; then the regions met as autonomous municipalities for the second selection; and the municipalities met in zones for the final round.

Their preparations took months.

For the communities of thousands of Zapatista men and women, it was another iteration of what we are, but in a different form, it didn’t happen through conversation or blah blah blah, but through the technique of Art, and everyone participated – children, teenagers, fathers, mothers, and grandparents.

In artistic form, in the art form of the Zapatista compañer@s, they were practicing their resistance and rebellion, their autonomous government of the Junta de Buen Gobierno, their MAREZ (Zapatista Autonomous Municipalities in Rebellion), their local authorities (comisariadas, comisariadosagentas, and agentes), their autonomous health systems, their autonomous education system, their autonomous radio stations, their 7 principles of lead by obeying in their new system of autonomous government, their democracy as communities, their justice, their freedom, their defence of mother earth, and their collective work on mother earth. This will all be the basis on which new generations of young women and young men will be formed, the basis for the Zapatista future.

This is what we presented to you, compañeras and compañeros of the national and international Sixth from Mexico and the world; only a small portion of the compañer@s that were going to participate actually participated. One day we will present the rest to you, but right now there isn’t time, because if we had all come, it would have taken over a month to do all of our presentations, and so that means that there is also an art and a science to how we planned to do a one-day presentation. Because the most marvellous of all of the arts is collective mutual support.




Compañeras and compañeros from the National and International Sixth.

Sisters and brothers of Mexico and the world.

The storm and the hydra of monstrous capitalism wants to prevent us from seeing one another, but through our great effort we are seeing one another here and now.

The compañeras and compañeros from the thousands of Zapatista bases of support for the Zapatista Army for National Liberation want to show you their art.

You have seen one part here and in other caracoles you could see other parts. Because more than two thousand artists have been selected and there were even more who didn’t come, not because they didn’t make it through the selection process, but because we didn’t have the money to transport thousands of compañera and compañero artists.

Our compañera and compañero artists aren’t professional artists, but rather their profession is what we call “Everythingologist [Todólogo]” because they are carpenters, masons, shop keepers, they work the land, are radio hosts, milicianos and milicianasinsurgentas and insurgents, autonomous authorities, teachers at the Zapatista little school, health and education promoters, and they still find the time to be artists.

They are true artists in the art of constructing a new system of governance, the autonomy where the people command and the government obeys.

It is an art that you can see, study, and that exists in practice, that you can know through its sharing.

But the compañeras and compañeros also make other art that you don’t know about, that isn’t disclosed in any press releases.

It is the art of solidarity, the support for the people who struggle.

Because the other art and science that the compañera and compañero Zapatista bases of support practice is their support for the struggle of the teachers’ movement.

You did not see this science and art, but the way it was delivered; the food support was like the art of a hornet’s nest, but there was also an art and science that preceded this.

This is what happened:

We realized that we needed to support this struggle by the teachers who are resisting the capitalist hydra and storm, which we have been talking about for a year.

So then we figured out how much support we were able to give. First we used our word to support them, to say that their struggle is a just one.

Then we tried to figure out how to support the resistance at the sites where they were putting up roadblocks and sit-ins and we realized that we could support them by providing food.

Then we assessed how much support we could send them, and first, how our compañeras and compañeros would respond if we supported them with food from the little that we have as a result of our collective labours.

We figured out how, for example, the food support could work—the delivery, the bags, and all of that. But what you don’t see is the organization of the food collection community by community, the division of how much each community was supposed to provide, figuring out how many tons they were going to be able to get together so that they could figure out how they were going to transport it. Then there was the timing, because the news was saying that the blockades were still there, and then that the teachers were going to take them down to avoid being forcefully evicted because what they were doing was really hurting the rich, and this put a lot of pressure on us because the food that we collected would spoil if there wasn’t any place to take it to.

They had meetings everywhere in order to come to an agreement, because all of the compañer@ssaid that the support that we needed to give to the teachers’ movement was just and necessary.




So they started to do the math (i.e division), the accounts as we say, say of how much each zone, MAREZ, region, and community was responsible for. There were a few zones where the commissions failed to meet their goal, they didn’t fail in a bad way, but in a good way, because they had reported that their commission would provide 2 tons of food and when the time came they actually provided 7 tons more than they had promised, which was the case with the Zapatista bases of support in the North Zone of Chiapas, from the caracol of Roberto Barrios. And so, well, resolving the problem was Art, because no one had even imagined that they could provide 9 tons. We only had a 3-ton truck.

The compañeras’ work is really art, because they were asked how long it will take them to have 100 thousand tostadas ready – how could they calculate that when the corn is still on the cob?

Well the compañeras responded that the tostadas would be ready on x day at x time. Because they know how many hours it takes to cook the corn, and how many tostadas you can get from a kilo of corn.

And the compañeras even add flavour to the tostadas, from a little bit of beans, and salt, because they know that the tostadas are to support the teachers at the sit-ins and in resistance.

And that is how they did it and now it is done, but you can’t see it because it is already in people’s stomachs, or it has become fertilizer because the companer@ teachers have already consumed it.

Collective work, the common, made it so that they could move things easily, from one hand to another, others moved things on horses, others by foot and on their back, others by car.

Thanks to the collective work of the compañeras and compañeros.

It was all a mathematic calculation, from beginning to end.

All of this, it is all an expenditure, and the great majority is from collective work, communities, regions, autonomous municipalities. It is the real fruit of our work as organized communities of men and women.

But you didn’t see any of this and you wouldn’t know about it if we didn’t tell you about it, and it’s all the work of our Zapatista compañera and compañero bases of support, in order to show that we care about a people who struggles with resistance.

Why do we do this? Well, because we know and understand what it is to resist in struggle and how much work it takes to maintain a struggle in resistance.

Figuring out how to provide this support is an art of imagination by the Zapatista communities.  The “resistance” of the compañeras and compañeros has gone on for 22 years, and that’s a lot of experience and is a great building block solidarity. It is the demonstration of collectivity. For 22 years we Zapatistas have been in resistance and rebellion against capitalism, and we’ve had, for 22 years, a new system of governing ourselves where the people command and the government obeys.


There are those who think that we should go out and struggle for the teachers. But if they think that way, then they haven’t understood anything at all. Because that would mean that that I want someone to come and struggle for me. We Zapatista men and women don’t ask for anyone to come and struggle for us. Each person must struggle, and we should mutually support one another, but that support cannot replace each person’s struggle. Whoever struggles has the right to decide the direction of their path and with whom they walk that path. If others insert themselves, then they are no longer supporting that struggle, but supplanting it. Support is respect, not trying to direct or command. Just as we have understood that no one is going to give us what we need to eat if we don’t work for it ourselves – it’s the same thing. No one is going to liberate us except for ourselves.

That is how we peoples of Mexico and the world organize ourselves, how we struggle in the world where we are in order to change it, as workers, teachers, peasants, all kinds of workers, we don’t hold out hope that someone is going to come and struggle for us.

This is how we already live, and they [the bad government] only come to try to manipulate us, to fool us and to do the all of the things they do to us.





Art, brothers and sisters, compañeras and compañeros, is very important, because it is what provides us with an illustration of something new in life, something that illustrates something very different in real life—it doesn’t lie.

Art is so powerful because it is already real life in the communities where the people command and the government obeys, thanks to the art of the imagination and the knowledge of how to create a new society, how to create a life in common. Our art shows that it is possible to create another form of governing, one that is totally different, that it is possible to create another life working in common to benefit the community itself.

This makes me think of the deceased Subcomandante Insurgente Marcos, who often asked us questions when we were building a little house, there in the jungle, with Comandante Tacho. The deceased asked us, “These crossbeams, what are they for? Can you explain to me scientifically what they are for? And we were about to answer, when he hit us with another question, “Is it science, or is it custom?” Comandante Tacho and I looked at each other, and since he was in charge of the construction it was up to him to respond, “Well, I learned from my father, and my father learned from my grandfather, and so on,” said Comandante Tacho. The deceased responded, “Ah, well then it’s custom, and it’s not based on a scientific study.” So he explained to us why the sciences and the arts are so important. And now we are coming to understand this. But wait, I’ll tell you what the deceased scribbled down or wrote to us from the place where he now lives six feet under; we’re going to ask him to send it to us and we are going to publish it, those of us who are still alive here where he had been living before. So compañeras and compañeros, sisters and brothers. We Zapatistas think that now more than ever, we need ART, ORIGINARY PEOPLES, AND THE SCIENTISTS in order to give birth to a new world.

So compañera and compañero artists from the National and International Sixth, get involved in the work of art with a lot of enthusiasm.

Join us, brothers and sisters of Mexico and the world, in dreaming of an art where the people command, for their own good and the good of the people themselves.

Thank you,

From the mountains of Southeastern Mexico.

Subcomandante Insurgente Moisés.

Mexico, July 29, 2016.

Song, “The Capacity of Women”. Lyrics, music, and choreography from the young, female and musical Zapatista group “Dignity and Resistance,” bases of support from the Altos Zone of Chiapas. When they performed in Oventik, on June 29 in the afternoon, the sound system failed and it made them a little bit sad. And so on June 30, in CIDECI, SubMoy asked the compañero musicians Panteón Rococó and Oscar Chávez to stop for a minute and they gave up a few minutes of their time (Thank you Don Óscar, thank you Panteones). The compañeras were able to present what they had been preparing for more than 5 months. When they finished they reported back to SupMoy. “We’re back,” they said. SupMoy said, “How did it go?” and they said, “we won.” SupMoy didn’t say anything but he was definitely thinking,” “All in all, 500 years is a short time, but I never thought that I would get to hear this.”  They continued, “We felt a little bad because the people were asking for another. A lot of people were yelling ‘One more! One more!’ but we didn’t know another one. It took us a long time just to make this one. If they want another one, they are going to have to wait a another six months.” SubMoy asked, “And so what did you do?” “We left the stage quickly and hid ourselves among the compañeros.” That’s what they said and then they went to the dance floor for the Panteones’ ska.

Song. “The Capacity of Women.”


Dance number: “The Dance of the collective work of Maize.” Choreography by the Zapatista bases of support of the Altos Zone in Chiapas. This is the version that they presented during the selection process. For the presentation on July 29 in Oventik they added a few more things, as those who were there got to see. Maybe in the compa media they have a video of July 29 in Oventik.

Dance number: “The Dance of the Collective work of Maize.”


Poetry: “When the Horizon looks to tomorrow.” Written by a young Zapatista base of support from the Altos Zone in Chiapas. This is the version that he presented in the selection process. When he presented it, he was told that there would be a lot of people there, but not to get nervous. “Keep your eyes on your notebook and don’t look up,” they recommended. He said that he wasn’t scared but he was confused about one thing. “What is it?” they asked him. He said, “I don’t know if you are supposed to say ‘poem’ or ‘poetry’. And so we ask you for a reply to his question.

Poetry: “When the Horizon Looks to Tomorrow.”


Posted by Dorset Chiapas Solidarity on 09/08/2016 .





August 5, 2016

Sharing the Creative Resistance “PROUDLY ZAPATISTA” -July 2016 –

Filed under: Zapatistas — Tags: , — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 5:29 am



Sharing the Creative Resistance “PROUDLY ZAPATISTA”  -July 2016 –

By Carlos Ogaz and Andalusia Knoll


The seventh day of Comparte en el Caracol II de Oventic began promptly at 10 am, in the middle of a blistering sun, unusual for the Chiapas Highlands, and with the presence of members of Zapatista support communities and domestic and international volunteers. People from the Tzotzil, Zoque and Tzeltal indigenous communities, dawning ski masks, bandanas (some without) presented a diverse repertoire of art: poetry, music, dance, and theatric songs. Various well-formed groups of performers showed us the history of the indigenous people, from the oppression and resistance following the arrival of the Spanish to the counterinsurgency strategies that the people of southeastern Mexico are fighting in their struggle for liberation.

The following 18 images show the evolution of the Festival por la Humanidad en el Comparte del Caracol de Oventic (CompArte Festival for Humanity held at the Oventik Caracol (Zapatista Autonomous Government Center).


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The festival, organized by the Zapatistas in their autonomous territory, began promptly at 10 in the morning. The human heat and blazing sun draped those that arrived at first hour to enjoy the artistic works of the Zapatistas. At the entrance of Caracol de Oventik, those that arrived where invited to self-reflect on “the art of solidarity” – with a sign that asked if they had already visited the teachers, a reference to the blockades and encampments of teachers who have been protesting the Mexican neoliberal education reform.


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The inaugural message was delivered by SCI Moisés commenting on the recent bloodshed in the indigenous town of San Juan Chamula where the mayor and many residents were murdered the week before: “We don’t care whether you are Zapatistas in the town of Chamula or not, you are indigenous and members of our first nations people that engaged in deadly violence in the town of San Juan Chamula. We do not approve of indigenous people killing amongst themselves even it is between political parties or whatever the case may be.”


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Between the sun and mist, thousands of members of the zapatista bases of support from the region of the highlands Chiapas, assembled at the Caracol II to both observe and share their art with the people present from both the national and international civil society.


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The stage, built on top of the basketball court and covered with a tin roof, was fenced off to ensure all activities ran smoothly, as hundreds of men and women of the Zapatista combatants held firm for 10 hours, interrupted only by a light rain.


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Many men, women, and young people acted out dozens of plays over the course of the nine-hour-long program. Entire theater companies performed the stories of the conditions that led to the Zapatista uprising; stories they have now been telling little by little in the last 20 years of struggle.


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The harvest dance took place in the middle of the fog. With this act, they showed us how to harvest cornfields and the importance of collective work for the resistance.


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The Zapatista discipline and effort was apparent; dances were very well executed, plays, poems and songs were performed masterfully, and the audio and sound were superb.



The attendees showed enthusiasm for the diversity of the indigenous participants, made up of Tzeltal, Tzotzil, and Zoque communities from the Chiapas Highlands.


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Men, women and children focused their gaze on stage, where the lives of their grandparents in the time of farms and ranches were portrayed.


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The performances included the history of indigenous peoples starting with their oppression and historical resistance since the arrival of the Spanish, to the counterinsurgency strategies that the people of southeastern Mexico are fighting in their struggle for liberation.



Many artistic performances were part of the CompArte in the Oventic Caracol (Zapatista autonomous government center), including poetry, songs, dances and dance music, paintings, music, and various plays performed by the various Zapatista regions.


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In the faces of the festival attendees there was joy and hope. Many words and smiles were shared by all during the course of the day.


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The Tercios Compas [Zapatista Media] set up their media teams to document the activities with video, audio and pictures to “share with the people and the leadership”.


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The young Zapatistas ska dance performance of the “Worker’s Waltz” produced elation in the crowd, and the audience’s ovation generated energy and resistance among attendees.


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The “Bolonchón” dance was performed by members of the autonomous municipality of Magdalena de la Paz, from the Vicente Guerrero region.


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All the festival participants from the Highlands took the stage at the end to acknowledge all the civil society members in attendance and stated “we will come back tomorrow to see your art.”


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Los Originales de San Andrés closed out the event for artists and festival goers alike. Zapatista corridos played over the sound system as we said goodbye and walked down towards San Cristobal de las Casas.


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Gradually the Zapatista artists picked up their instruments and tools, and in between reciting rhymes and poems they slowly walked away from the main stage that housed their art for the day on July 29 in Oventic.


Posted by Dorset Chiapas Solidarity on 04/05/2016

With our thanks to REGENERACIÓN RADIO





August 1, 2016

Words of the EZLN at CompARTE in Oventik

Filed under: Uncategorized, Zapatistas — Tags: , , , , — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 10:25 am



Words of the EZLN at CompARTE in Oventik





In the name of the compañeras and compañeros bases of support of the Zapatista Army of National Liberation, I want to tell you how we feel about the things that they do to us as originary peoples of Mexico. I think it is the same all across the world.

We want to tell you, explain to you once again, how much suffering this rotten capitalist system has caused us.

Don’t feel bad, compañeras and compañeros from the national and international Sixth, brothers and sisters of the world, about everything that I am about to tell you because it isn’t about you. It’s about what the capitalist system does to us and the conditions that it forces on us, especially those of us who are ORIGINARY PEOPLES in this country called Mexico.

I am going to talk about how we Zapatista men and women feel about what they did to our indigenous brothers and sisters from the town of San Juan Chamula, on June 23 of this year.

What happened there pains us as Zapatistas.

I mean what really happened there, not what the paid media (those who sell out for a few pennies) say happened there.

We know perfectly that the paid media says that in Chamula the municipal president from the Verde Ecologista (PVEM, Green Ecological Party of Mexico) was killed. Because this is the party of the overseer Velasco,[i] the paid media are there crying and lamenting what happened, but they say nothing of the rest of the dead. They say nothing of those who later died in their homes or of those whose dead or dying bodies were taken away by their families. For the government and the press those deaths don’t matter. There were actually dozens of dead, not just five corrupt officials.

Everyone in Chamula and in all of the indigenous communities of the Altos of Chiapas knows what really happened. They know that it was the guards of the corrupt municipal president (of the Verde party) who initiated the shootout and who killed and injured many of the people who were in the plaza. It wasn’t until later that another armed group arrived to finish off these (Verde) officials. Yes, finish them off, because they had already been killed with clubs and machetes.

The government and its journalist employees want to present what happened as just a small problem. They talk about the municipal president as a “poor thing.” They claim that he was simply trying to respond to the people’s complaints but that those “savage” Chamulans, as the press calls them, had to go and kill him.

All of this is a lie. Every single thing that they have said in the paid media is a lie. It is a lie that was bought for a few pennies, and the paid media would rather interview “experts,” as they call them, than go and actually investigate what happened.

We are not going to report what happened in detail. We will leave this task to those who were the real victims that day and who have been the victims for a long time now. They will know perfectly well how and when to explain things.

But what we will tell you is that what followed pains us to no end: how the paid media began to report a bunch of nonsense and lies about indigenous peoples. Even those media who claim to be very progressive did the same thing. It pains us how they made a corrupt politician into a hero. It pains us that they lied to everyone, becoming accomplices to the crime. And it pains us how they knelt before Velasco so he could climb on their backs and present himself as some great saviour. It’s on them [the media] that they sell out for mere pennies.

It does not matter to us that the people of Chamula are not Zapatistas. They are our brothers. Those people who killed each other in the community of San Juan Chamula are indigenous peoples, originary peoples, part of our originary race. It brings us no satisfaction to see indigenous people killing one another, even if they support the political party system. It gives us no pleasure to see indigenous people presented as “savages” by those who are the true savages—the criminal government, their political party supporters, and their obedient paid press.

What matters to us is who planned this, who wanted things to happen this way.

We suffer an immense and seemingly incurable pain from all those things that those above have done to us.

We understand clearly that no one else can cure this pain. Only we can do so that, and to do so we will have to work and work very hard.

All of the bad things that happen in our communities, towns, barrios, and neighbourhoods HAPPEN BECAUSE OF THE POLITICAL PARTIES, RELIGIONS, AND DRUG TRAFFICKERS THAT MEDDLE THERE.

They use us indigenous people for anything and everything that those above want.

They want to turn us into servants of those above by having us work as mayors, councilmen, and state and federal representatives. Why do they want us to do this? So that we will learn to make money without working, so that we will learn to be corrupt while we disguise ourselves as servants of the people.

I don’t know what they see us as, because even garbage is good for fertilizer. In our case they don’t even see us as garbage. We are nothing but shit to those above.

They treat us like shits, and because they’ve already made use of that shit they have to throw it out, however they feel like.

I cannot even say that they treat us like animals or pets because they at least treat their pets like living things.

They look at us indigenous peoples of the world and say “backward,” “uncivilized,” “nuisances,” “primitives,” “revolting,” and countless other absurdities that they have said about us and done to us.

For centuries and centuries, we have resisted all of this.

We are flesh, blood, and bone, just like them.

But we indigenous men and women are not hurting ANYONE.

They have wanted to destroy and disappear us, but they will never succeed.

They have divided us with religion, miseducation in the schools, and the political party system. They have imposed on us another culture, a bad politics, and a harmful ideology.

Compañeras and compañeros from the national and international Sixth, brothers and sisters of the world:

We say to you clearly: we are not the shit of those above to be treated like this. We are humans of blood, bone, and flesh just like they are. We are not the same colour as they are, but we are living beings.

We do not want to be bad like they are, those who use other humans.

Yet today what they are trying to show is that it is we indigenous that are bad, that we kill one another as happened in San Juan Chamula.

The ones who wanted this to happen are the political parties above, from the ruling PRI and the PVEM and all of the political parties.

That is what happens with the other political parties too, including those who say they are on the left. They use us as their shock troops, but these parties are the ones who are backwards and evil, and yet we are always the ones who end up paying the price.

I am not saying that we originary peoples are all good; we have our own problems but we can resolve them ourselves. What happened in Chamula was the fault of the political parties and the leaders of those parties.

The media doesn’t mention this because they don’t get paid to tell the truth. On the contrary, they make more money by hiding information.

The journalists who work for the newspapers have to do what their bosses tell them if they want to get paid. They have already lost their dignity, and the same goes for the religious leaders who are well aware that they are deceiving us. They too have lost their dignity.

Who taught them to be corrupt, to steal and crook? Those above did.

The municipal president from San Juan Chamula who died was from the Verde party and he didn’t want to pay what he owed to the indigenous peoples, his own people. They had already said to him many times before to hand over the money already! But he didn’t open his ears and listen to them. Where did this municipal president learn to act this way? He learned it in the service of the bad government.

For decades and decades and hundreds of years they have deceived, mistreated, and used us, which is why no one pays attention to us indigenous peoples.

The teachings of above are bad, horrible. Those indigenous who have let themselves be used by those above and become mayors, councilmen, like the councilwoman from Las Margaritas (Florinda from the PAN) in La Realidad, and the ex-federal representative of the CIOAC (Antonio Hernández Cruz), both Tojolabales. They have learned to ignore the communities and not take them into account. They are the ones who planned the murder of our compañero Galeano, a teacher of the Zapatista Little School. We have not forgotten.

The bad things that they want to teach us could fill volumes. For example, I’m indigenous, a small landholder with ten hectares.  But I begin to call myself a rancher. Yet an ejido commoner who has the right to 20 hectares…they are not considered a rancher even though they have 20 hectares. But those 20 hectares aren’t worth anything; what’s considered worthwhile is to be a property owner.  So now those people that now consider themselves ranchers believe that they are no longer indigenous. And that’s not even counting those who have become mayors or councilmen, because they now consider themselves middle class. They even begin to say that they don’t know how to speak their indigenous language.

Why is it that we indigenous peoples have to pay with our lives just so that others can have money to eat?

All of the paid media compete over the price at which they will sell their photos of the dead in San Juan Chamula. But they don’t report who is responsible for the deaths, and all levels of government pay whatever is necessary so that the names of those actually responsible—they themselves—don’t come out in print.

The press only prints what the bad governments say. Why didn’t the reporters and photographers show the rest of the dead? Why didn’t they show those who were killed by the municipal president’s guards, his opponents? The media doesn’t care about that because it doesn’t make them any money, and because the people who died there were Indians, and it doesn’t even matter that those Indians belonged to political parties. They were all just Indians. Isn’t this racism? From the same people who supposedly speak out against racism.

Those who supposedly “work” for the paid media have already received their pay for selling and situating lies, despite the gravity of the situation, even for them. They do not print the truth because the truth doesn’t make them any money. Shame on them, they are the masterminds of falsehood.

They arrive late to the scene of the crime just so that they can take pictures of the dead, but not to investigate the causes of decades of injustice.

They do arrive on time when their paymasters, that is the bad government, want to show the press what supposedly happened. The bad government gives them an opportunity to snap a picture and tells them that everything is under control in that place where the good president and his guards were killed by “Indian savages.” They print everything that the bad government says on this topic.

Within minutes they release this misinformation only to delete it just as quickly. They want people to see it but then forget it quickly. They do this so that people don’t demand to know who is really responsible for what has happened to the indigenous peoples of this country. This is the function of the paid media.

Damn it! We all know that the rich aren’t rich because they work from dawn to dusk. They don’t have to sweat and stink of sweat. They don’t have to worry about being mutilated in accidents with machinery. Their bodies aren’t covered in sweat. They don’t end up deaf because they are subjected to unbearable noise for 8 to 12 hours a day. They don’t get sick from fatigue; they don’t get stressed because they don’t have money for medicine, for food, for their rent, or for the education of their children. They don’t lack anything, thanks to us, the workers in the country and the city.

Without exploiting us, they would not be rich.

This world they have forced on us has come apart.

What is our pay in this capitalist world? Poverty, exploitation, mistreatment, and injustice.

Today they treat us all the same whether we are workers from the country and the city.

Their foremen, the municipal presidents, mistreat us; their butlers, the governors, mistreat us; and their overseers, the federal government, mistreat us. All of them are acting on the orders of their boss: neoliberal capitalism.

We have suffered so much from all of the things that they have done to us, the indigenous peoples from across the whole country, and what they have done to the compañeras and compañeros of the National Indigenous Congress.

But if we defend ourselves, then ah yes, we are “backward-thinking” “savages.”

If we steal a little bag of potato chips, we go to jail. But if the government of Juan Sabines Gutiérrez steals 40 billion pesos, no one goes to jail. They walk away scot-free so that they can continue to steal.

What a bunch of shit! What horror! How racist! There isn’t a single mainstream newspaper in Mexico that would publish this.

There is only injustice for us, the exploited peoples. There was NEVER justice for our great-grandparents; there was no justice before 1968; there was no justice for the slaughter of ’68; there was no justice for the slaughter of women in the city of Juarez, or for the slaughter of the children in the ABC Daycare. There has been no justice for Acteal. There has been no justice for the 43 disappeared students from Ayotzinapa, nor has there been any justice for the many many other injustices.

People of Mexico: we must all organize ourselves and struggle as we indigenous peoples are organized with our new system of government.

But it isn’t up to us to say how you must organize. Yes, we want to share all of our experiences, but we don’t know what the particularities of life are like for the workers, for the teachers, or for other people. But we all know that we want Justice, Freedom, and Democracy, and in this goal is our commonality.

What this system imposes on us is an impossible situation. For example: if I am part of an originary people and a federal representative and my congressional seat is next to federal deputy Diego Fernandez de Ceballos, the large landowner and landlord, and I begin to discuss the agrarian law, proposing the equal division of the land, that no one should have more land than anyone else, how would it be possible for me to come to an agreement with him, me an indigenous person, and him, a large landowner?




This system doesn’t work, it is rotten, it cannot be fixed. It will fall piece by piece and people will die as a result. We better figure out how to get out of there.

We had better organize ourselves to build a new house, that is, a new society.

No one is going to struggle for us. Just like for us Zapatistas, no one came here and struggled for us. In other words, we had to give our lives because we want more than just our lives.

So, teachers, organize and struggle until the end. Public health workers of Mexico, organize yourselves because the storm is already coming for you. The same goes for every sector of workers: the storm is coming for us.

People of Mexico and poor people of the world: organize yourselves.

Thank you.

From the mountains of Southeastern Mexico.

Subcomandante Insurgente Moisés. Oventik, Chiapas, Mexico.

July 29, 2016

[i] Manuel Velasco Coello, governor of Chiapas.


Posted by Dorset Chiapas Solidarity on 01/08/2016



Zapatista Creative Resistance Shines a Light on Path to Freedom

Filed under: Uncategorized, Zapatistas — Tags: , , , — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 9:24 am



Zapatista Creative Resistance Shines a Light on Path to Freedom


zapatista_mural.jpg_1718483346A Zapatista shows a mural depicting the movement. | Photo: teleSUR / Road to Resistance


Art has historically been a key pillar in the fight for self-determination and against capitalism´s destructive impulses.

As dissident Mexican teachers struggle to combat neoliberal education reforms, and political violence continues unabated across the country, the question most frequently raised on Friday by the storied Zapatista movement in the southern state of Chiapas was this: Care to dance?

Thousands converged on the Zapatista community of Oventic on Friday to share a wide selection of art representing the culture, history, and resistance of the Zapatista Army of National Liberation, or EZLN. Dance, theatre, music, painting, poetry, and more were put on display by the Indigenous people of the Tzotzil, Zoque, and Tzeltal communities of the Los Altos region of Chiapas for an audience of local, national, and international visitors.

Under the banner CompArte — a play on words emphasizing art within the Spanish word for sharing — the EZLN aimed to highlight the role that creativity, imagination and art has historically played in revolutionary movements, from the expressionist murals of Mexican painters to the traditional African dance of independence fighters in the former Portugese colonies of Guinea Bissau, Cape Verde, Angola and Mozambique.

“If the machine imposes a perverse logic in which every tragedy numbs rather than enrages,” the EZLN wrote in a statement leading up to the event, “perhaps it could be the Arts that remind humanity that people not only kill and destroy, impose and dominate, humiliate and doom to oblivion, but can also create, liberate, and remember.”

According to a photo essay by journalists Carlos Ogaz and Andalucia Knoll on Regeneracion Radio, many performances and works of art recounted the long history of oppression and resistance of the Zapatista peoples from colonization to the conditions that paved the way for the formation of the EZLN in the early 1990s to the movement’s more than 20 years fighting neoliberal capitalism and building local alternatives for economic, political, and cultural autonomy.




International guests at the artistic festival included Emory Douglas, U.S. artist and former Minister of Culture for the Black Panther Party. Douglas previously collaborated with the EZLN artists “Zapantera Negra,” a multimedia art project that explored artistic and political links between the Black Panther Party and the Zapatista movement. Zapantera Negra-inspired art also made an appearance at the festival.

Cultural resistance in Chiapas is also set to continue Sunday as movements hold a march and cultural event in defense of “Mother Earth and territory” against mining and unwanted hydroelectric projects in the community of Pijijiapan.

Showing the artistic side of the movement in Chiapas comes after police and paramilitaries violently evicted a blockade held by dissident striking teachers in the town of San Cristobal de Las Casas on July 20, just one month after at least 10 were killed in a repressive crackdown on teacher protests in the Oaxacan town of Nochixtlan on June 19.

Meanwhile, Mexico saw one of its most violent days between Friday afternoon and Saturday with 51 murders reported across nine states, including seven members of one family in the violence-ridden state of Guerrero and 10 bodies found in Michoacan, La Jornada reported Sunday.

Reflecting on recent violence — particularly the massacre of an estimated 20 people including the mayor in the Chiapas town of San Juan Chamula on July 23 — the Zapatistas expressed through a statement by Subcomandante Moises at the kick off of the CompArte festival that tragedies in their communities are the result of meddling by political parties, drug gangs, and organized religion.




“Better for us to organize ourselves to build a new house, a new society,” said Moises, who was introduced as a new subcomandante by the iconic Subcomandante Marcos in 2013 as one of the “many selves” of the EZLN. “No one is going to fight for us.”

The EZLN declared war against the Mexican state on January 1, 1994, launching the Indigenous movement in Mexico’s southern state of Chiapas into the international spotlight as an example for autonomous social movements around the globe.

Over two decades after the masked Indigenous army emerged from the Lacandon jungle and announced its resistance to Mexico and to the world, the Zapatista struggle continues to be an international icon for its ongoing work toward self-determination and new alternatives to global capitalism.


Posted by Dorset Chiapas Solidarity on 01/08/2016



July 31, 2016

The art of organization to enable the art of solidarity.

Filed under: Indigenous, Zapatista — Tags: , , , — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 8:27 am



The art of organization to enable the art of solidarity.




Koman Ilel. San Cristobal de Las Casas, Chiapas. July 30, 2016.

The art is installed in Oventic

If the multiple artistic demo7-333x500nstrations throughout the week at CIDECI surprise by their diversity and quantity, the Zapatista compas expected no less. Dozens of performances covering all the arts delight those present: theatre, music, dance, painting, poetry … Hundreds of Zapatistas from the original Tzotzil. Tzeltal and Zoque peoples of Los Altos de Chiapas shared their creations throughout the day, all closely linked to the history of Chiapas, the Zapatista struggle, the struggle of the organized Mexican people and values such as autonomy, freedom, justice and dignity.

On Friday July 29, the seventh day of the festival CompArte for Humanity, dozens of cars, taxis, vans and pick-ups left San Cristobal heading towards Oventic, where for the first time at the festival, the protagonists and creators of the artistic manifestations were the Zapatista compas. The day dawned sunny, and from 9 am caracol II Resistance and Rebellion for Humanity, Oventic, began to receive hundreds of Zapatistas and artists, participants and spectators who had enjoyed the festival throughout the week.

Musical performances went through various styles, including traditional, ranchera, corrido. hip hop or pop. They played instruments such as the harp, guitar and accordion among others. Dances, often set to live music, were a favourite art of the compañer@s. Many of the dances were traditional, but there were also some surprises, such as the Vals del Obrero, in which the compas danced ska and enthused the public. The plays were warmly applauded, because through these processes or moments in the history or the present of the people of Chiapas, the Zapatista struggle and the Mexican people were reproduced. Poetry also played a major role both in Spanish and Tzotzil. And finally, painting, which was publicly and always accompanied with a presentation that contextualized it.



Subcomandante Moisés gives the welcome

The day began with the words of Subcomandante Insurgente Moisés, who welcomed everyone and dedicated a few words to expressing the feelings of the Zapatistas in the context of the festival. With his words, he made a strong criticism of paid journalists, whom he defines as “intellectuals of lies”, and who have focused in their journalistic work on the events in San Juan Chamula; he accused them of treating the case superficially, in the best interests of power and not contemplating the depth of the facts, conditioned by a history full of repression and injustice. He also spoke of the relations of economic power and the inequality latent in all contexts: “We mistreat workers in the country and the city equally.” He added: “Without their exploitation of us, they would not be rich.” Moisés set the present in the context of a lack of justice throughout history, especially for the Mexican people and their ancestors. A reality that in recent years has been reflected in events like the massacre of Acteal, the ABC nursery, Ayotzinapa and many others. The opening words ended with a call to struggle and to the organization of all the sectors, the teachers, the health sector and the Mexican people. “There are differences, but we all want health, justice and democracy, and that unites us”.




The art of organization and solidarity

In the closing speech, Subcomandante Insurgente Moisés invited all the attendees to go to the rest of caracoles to enjoy the “thousands of artists” who are still to be seen, as he exclaimed with his usual sense of humour. But his message focused on talking about the meaning of art for the Zapatistas, the art of solidarity and the art of organization to make solidarity possible. As an example he explained how Zapatista women and men had organized to feed the Chiapan teachers of the CNTE who are in resistance. In this collective work also the art of mathematics, of calculation is needed. He also spoke of the need for art to develop the imagination. “Poor women and men from the countryside and the city have the imagination to create a new society, but lack the ability to organize ourselves,” he said.




Translated and posted by Dorset Chiapas Solidarity on 31/07/2016



July 30, 2016

With dance, theatre and poetry, the Zapatistas show their struggle and resistance in CompArte in Oventik

Filed under: Zapatistas — Tags: , , , — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 12:58 pm



With dance, theatre and poetry, the Zapatistas show their struggle and resistance in CompArte in Oventik




Oventik, Chiapas, Mexico. July 29, 2016. Around noon today the festival CompArte for Humanity began in Zapatista territory in the caracol of Oventik. To the sound of revolutionary ballads (corridos) such as “el Campesino”, “el 69”, “Comandante Insurgente Pedro” the musical group “Los Originales de San Andrés” welcomed national and international artists who responded to the call of the rebel group.


Subcomandante Insurgente Moisés read the communiqué from the Clandestine Indigenous Revolutionary Committee-General Command in which they called on those who work work in teaching and in health and the people of Mexico and the world, to organize and fight to the end.


Also, in respect of recent events in San Juan Chamula, the Zapatistas reported “what hurts us is what really happened and not what the paid media says, they do not say anything about the others who went to die in their home places, there were not only five dead “.




Later, among the artistic activities, they began the dance, poetry and theatre where they showed those attending and indeed the whole world the struggle and resistance of the Zapatistas.


Posted by Dorset Chiapas Solidarity on 30/07/2016 13221



January 8, 2016

Communiqué from the General Command of the EZLN on the 22nd anniversary “of the beginning of the war against oblivion”

Filed under: Autonomy, Uncategorized, Zapatistas — Tags: , , , , — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 10:05 am



 Communiqué from the General Command of the EZLN on the 22nd anniversary “of the beginning of the war against oblivion”



Foto @ Ángeles Mariscal


On January 1, 2016, during an event at Caracol II Resistance and Rebellion for Humanity, Oventic, a communiqué signed by the Clandestine Revolutionary Indigenous Committee – General Command of the Zapatista Army of National Liberation (EZLN), Subcomandante Insurgente Moisés and Subcomandante Insurgente Galeano, was made available to the public. The communiqué was titled “Words of the EZLN on the 22nd anniversary of the beginning of the war against oblivion” and was read by Subcomandante Insurgente Moisés, who saluted the “compañeros and compañeras of the support bases of the Zapatista Army of National Liberation, insurgent compañeros/as of the militia, local and regional representatives, authorities of the three levels of autonomous government, compañeros/as promoters of the different fields of work, compañeros and compañeras of the National and International Sixth [La Sexta], and all those present.”

In the document they recalled ‘the beginning of the war against oblivion” which occurred “January 1, 1994, 22 years ago, we declared our ‘ENOUGH!’ that we prepared for a decade in dignified silence. […] Our battle flag was our 11 demands: land, work, food, health, education, dignified housing, independence, democracy, freedom, justice and peace. […] In this way we began our struggle against exploitation, marginalization, humiliation, disrespect, oblivion, and all the injustices we lived through caused by the bad system”, they continued.

They also reminded us that, “We were not alone. Nor are we now. In Mexico and the World dignity took to the streets and asked for space for the word.” They pointed out that there is “a war from above,” making reference to the “bad system” or “bad government,” a war that will continue “until we are exterminated. This is why instead of meeting our just demands it [the bad government] prepared and prepares, made and makes war with modern weapons, it forms and finances paramilitary groups, it offers and distributes crumbs taking advantage of the ignorance and poverty of some.” Therefore, “In the midst of major threats, military and paramilitary harassment, constant provocations from the bad government, we began to form our own system of governing, our autonomy, with our own education, our own healthcare, our own communication, our way of caring for and working on our mother earth; our own politics as a people and our own ideology of how we want to live as peoples, with another culture.”

They added that, “We are people with dignity, determination and awareness to fight for true freedom and justice for all. Regardless of one’s colour, race, gender, beliefs, calendar or geography.” They also admitted that, “not only are the Zapatista communities better off than they were 22 years ago. Their standard of living is better than that of those who sold out to the political parties of every hue. […] Of course, we recognize that we still have a lot to do, we need to organize more and better.” They analysed the path of collective construction in which they learned “as Zapatistas, that this is only possible with organization. We learned that it is good if someone is indignant. If many become indignant, a light switches on in a corner of the world and for a few moments it illuminates the entire surface of the earth. But we also learned that if these indignations organize themselves…Ah! Then it is not only a momentary light that illuminates the paths of the earth.” They concluded that, ‘we must unite more, we need to organize better to build our boat, our house, that is, our autonomy, because that is what is going to save us from the great storm that looms. We should strengthen our fields of work and our collective work.”




January 3, 2016

Zapatistas Celebrate 22 Years Since Rising Up: “We Are Better Off Now Than we were 22 Years Ago” – Subcomandante Moisés

Filed under: Autonomy, Zapatistas — Tags: , , — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 12:05 pm



Zapatistas Celebrate 22 Years Since Uprising: “We Are Better Off Now Than We Were 22 Years Ago” – Subcomandante Moisés



La Jornada, 2nd January 2016

003n1pol-1_mini.jpgsmallOventic, Chiapas – Twenty-two years after the armed indigenous uprising, communities of the Zapatista Army of National Liberation (EZLN) may not have cement houses, digital TVs or latest model pickup trucks, but, Subcomandante Moisés declared, “not only are they better than 22 years ago, their standard of living is higher than those who have sold themselves to the political parties of all stripes.”

At the stroke of midnight on the first of January, accompanied by the EZLN General Command, Moisés read a statement signed by Subcomandante Galeano [formerly Marcos] in order to reiterate the Eleven Demands for which they declared war on the government on January 1, 1994: Land, Work, Food, Health, Education, Housing, Independence, Democracy, Freedom, Justice and Peace for all Mexicans.


In the caracol of Oventic, hundreds of EZLN support bases, adherents and sympathizers gathered to commemorate with cultural events the anniversary of the insurrection. Subcomandante Moisés said that the Zapatistas will not put down their weapons: “They will be with us until the end.”

He explained that 22 years after the uprising, in the Zapatista communities, “The food on their tables, the clothes they wear, the medicine they take, the knowledge they learn, the life they live is THEIRS, the product of their work and their knowledge. It isn’t a handout from anyone.”

“During these 22 years of struggle, of resistance and rebellion, we continue building another way of life, governing ourselves as the collective peoples we are, under the Seven Principles of leading by obeying, building a new system and another way of life as original peoples. One where the people are in charge, and the government obeys.”


In contrast, he said, “helplessness and misery reign in the partisan communities, leading to laziness and crime, community life is broken, already mortally wounded. Selling themselves to the bad government not only did not meet their needs, but added more horrors. Where there was once hunger and poverty, today hunger and poverty remain, but now there is also despair.”

Partisan communities, the Zapatista leader added, “have turned into groups of beggars who don’t work. They just wait for the next government assistance programme; that is, they wait until the next election season.

“This will not appear in any municipal, state or federal government report, but it is the truth that can be seen in the partisan communities: campesinos who no longer know how to work the land; empty houses, because one cannot eat cement or laminate sheets [for roofs]; broken families and communities that only come together to receive government handouts.”


Moisés declared that the struggle is not yet over for the Zapatistas, and he recognized that much remains to be done: “we need to organize ourselves more and better.”

But with 32 years of experience in the struggle of rebellion and resistance, “Now we are who we are. We are the Zapatista Army of National Liberation. We are, although they don’t name us. We are, although with silence and slander they forget us. We are, although they do not look at us. We are, at each step, along the path, at the origin and at the destination. We are.”


Translated by Jane Brundage




September 27, 2015

The EZLN joins the national mobilisation for the disappeared of Ayotzinapa

Filed under: Zapatistas — Tags: , — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 3:50 pm


The EZLN joins the national mobilisation for the disappeared of Ayotzinapa


Elio Henríquez

La Jornada, 27th September, 2015

San Cristobal de Las Casas, Chiapas. Members of the Zapatista Army of National Liberation (EZLN) demonstrated today at the Caracol, located in the community of Oventic, municipality of San Andres, to protest the disappearance of the 43 students from the Rural Normal School of Ayotzinapa.

According to various testimonies, the event was held from 7am with the placing banners and altars with flowers and candles on the road that runs beside the caracol to remember the normal school students.

At the entrance to the Caracol, seat of the Good Government Junta of the Highlands of Chiapas, the Zapatistas hung a banner on which was written: “The struggle goes on and will continue for the 43 missing of Ayotzinapa. Parents and families of the disappeared, your pain and rage is ours.”

He several hundred Zapatistas from the highlands of Chiapas who participated in the act carried photographs of the 43 normalistas, disappeared a year ago.

The EZLN announced on Wednesday that on the first anniversary of the disappearance of the 43 normalistas from Ayotzinapa, “thousands” of its members would demonstrate today in their territories “in order to embrace those people who feel pain and rage because of imprisonment, disappearance, and death imposed from above.”



“In Resistance and Rebellion we demand Justice”: EZLN to Ayotzinapa, 26th September 2015.

Filed under: Zapatistas — Tags: , — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 1:14 pm



“In Resistance and Rebellion we demand Justice”: EZLN to Ayotzinapa, 26th September 2015.




Oventic, Chiapas, 26 September, 2015. Thousands of support bases of the Zapatista Army of National Liberation (BAEZLN) rallied from an early hour in their different territories in Chiapas in solidarity with the families and compañeros of the 43 disappeared students from the rural normal school of Ayotzinapa in Iguala, Guerrero.

As they had announced since 24th September, children, women, men and elders from the Highland zone demonstrated along the road opposite the caracol of Oventic “Central Heart of the Zapatistas before the world” with banners, posters, candles, bearing the names of each of the 43 missing from the normal school of Ayotzinapa.




Around noon the BAEZLN went in to the caracol to hold a memorial for “Ayotzinapa and all the Ayotzinapas that hurt in the calendars and geographies of below.”

Under a constant drizzle, the demonstration was held in the context of protests nationally and internationally to demand the live presentation of the rural normal school students, missing for a year.


Zapatistas from Oventik with Ayotzinapa: 26th September 2015.





September 14, 2015

Frayba denounces death threats and physical attacks against the Zapatista community of Tzakukum in Chalchihuitán.

Filed under: Frayba, Paramilitary, Zapatista — Tags: , , — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 2:16 pm


Vicious attacks against Zapatistas of Tzakukum who are defending their autonomous school against a paramilitary group


Introduction by Centro de Medios Libres

San Cristobal de las Casas, September 12, 2015.- Woundings, injuries, incessant harassment, threats of lynching and of actions by a paramilitary group are the result of the attacks in Tzakukum, municipality of Chalchihuitán, against Zapatista support bases who are defending the grounds of the autonomous Zapatista community school after the attempted eviction launched on 13th July last; the aggressions have now lasted for two months, organized locally by the rural agent of Tzakukum, Flavio Girón Hernández, the local trustee of Chalchihuitán, Manuel García Nuñez, and Hermelindo García Núñez, leader of the PRI in the municipality.

Once again a Zapatista school is the pretext to begin a process of attacks against Zapatista autonomy.

Chalchihuitan-e1442167523859The party supporter Raymundo García Pérez has threatened to activate a paramilitary group against the Zapatistas, in a region that has historically been plagued by paramilitary groups, not just after the 1995 offensive and subsequent paramilitary escalation. There is, for example, a report of a massacre in 1983 at the hands of a paramilitary group in the same community of Tzakukum, who undertook a scorched earth operation, set fire to the houses of the community and shot dead people who were fleeing their burning homes. A few days ago, a displaced family in this city from the community of Pom, a neighbour of Tzakukum, reported that one of the perpetrators of the massacre of 83 had taken their three hectares of land and forcibly displaced them. So Raymundo García Pérez was not making gratuitous threats. Last June, very near this place, in Pantelhó, a member of the Civil Society Las Abejas was assassinated by a paramilitary group.



Frayba denounces death threats and physical attacks against the Zapatista community of Tzakukum in Chalchihuitán.


chd_frayba (1)

San Cristobal de Las Casas, Chiapas, Mexico
September 9th, 2015
Press Release No. 22

Death threats and physical attacks against the BAEZLN of Tzakukum community

The Fray Bartolomé de Las Casas Human Rights Centre, AC (Frayba) has documented the facts about the death threats, physical attacks and harassment against support bases of the Zapatista Army of National Liberation (BAEZLN) in Tzakukum community, in the official municipality of Chalchihuitán; the information was provided by the Good Government Junta of Oventik, Central Heart of the Zapatistas before the world (JBG Oventik), belonging to Caracol II, Resistance and Rebellion for Humanity.

According to testimonies, it is reported that on August 10, 2015, the BAEZLN Aurelio Gómez Girón was threatened with being killed with a machete by a woman named Catarina Girón Diaz Segundo, a member of the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI). On the same day, Mr. Ramón López García, from the PRI political party, cut the water supply of Mariano Garcia Nunez, BAEZLN, who was threatened with being killed with a machete.

On August 14th, at approximately 20.30, Librado Pérez Núñez, BAEZLN, was insulted and attacked on the road by Hermelindo García Núñez, the PRI party leader who said: – “You are murderers. Little Zapatista, what are you doing here?”

On 15th August, the PRI member Juan Antonio Pérez Girón threatened to kill the two BAEZLN María Gómez López and Catarina Girón Díaz Primero with a machete, on the way to a meeting.

On 26th July, a group of political party members detained four people, BAEZLN, in the community of Tzakukum and threatened to burn them with gasoline:  Martín García Núñez, Sebastián Gómez Pérez, Jorge López Núnez, Mario Núñez García. In addition eight other people were beaten and appear injured but have not received medical care: María Girón López, Mariana Girón López, María López García, Martín Díaz Pérez, María Gómez Pérez, Aurelio Gómez Girón, Rafael García Gómez, María López Núñez.

On Tuesday 18th August, the party supporter named Raymundo García Pérez beat Manuel Núñez López leaving him with serious injuries to his face and entire body; and physically assaulted four more BAEZLN: Librado Pérez Núñez, Margarita Gómez Sánchez, Mariano García Núñez and Lorenzo Gómez Pérez. The perpetrator threatened to kill them saying he had “an R15 gun and a group of paramilitaries.” So far the Oventik JBG has reported that the health situation of Manuel is delicate. This Human Rights Centre has photos documenting the resulting injuries.

On 2nd September the BAEZLN Agustín López Núñez was beaten by Marío García Núñez who will be the director of municipal work for the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) from the first of October this year, and Marcos Núñez Sánchez, currently police officer of the  education committee; after hitting him they put him in the boot of a Tsuru car owned by Marío García Nuñez, taking him approximately one kilometre from Tzakukum, where they again beat him and then abandoned him with serious injuries to his body.

It should be noted that, according to the testimonies of the victims, these attacks and threats are organized by Flavio Girón Hernández, rural agent of the community of Tzakukum;  Manuel García Núñez, Municipal Trustee of Chalchihuitan, and Hermelindo Garcia Núñez, leader of the PRI in the same municipality.

We are concerned that the authorities of the state of Chiapas encourage human-rights violations by being absent when a series of attacks are directed against the BAEZLN. The victims indicated that a group of approximately 25 people harassed and threatened them, including: Domingo García Girón, Maurelio García Núñez, Marcos García Núñez, Efraín García Núñez, Florentino García Núñez, Mario Gómez García, Angelina Gómez Girón, Mariano Pérez Núñez, Rafael Núñez López, Moíses Núñez Sánchez, Nicolás Hernández García, Juan Antonio Pérez Girón, Julio Núñez Girón, Jesús Núñez Girón, Marcos Núñez Girón, Santiago García Nuñez, Mariano Girón Pérez, Manuel García López, Ricardo Núñez López, Martín Núñez Pérez; including people who occupy responsible positions in the community and others who will assume public office in the town council of Chalchihuitán from 1st October this year: Mario García Núñez- director of works; Gerardo Domínguez López- President of the Preschool and Primary Education Committee; Mario García López- Second Councillor (regidor); Nicolás Pérez Núñez- Third Councillor; Omar Gómez Pérez- manager of Diconsa (social security), Marcos Pérez López- municipal police, Mariana Pérez López- spokesperson for Procampo.

These human-rights violations in Tzakukum take place in a context of counterinsurgency that is implemented by the Mexican State against Zapatista autonomy, recently there have been several attacks on BAEZLN, such as the murder of Zapatista teacher Galeano on 2nd May, 2014, and the recent release of the only two people who were prosecuted for this attack, as well as attacks and acts of harassment in El Rosario and military incursions against the BAEZLN in La Realidad.

This Centre for Human Rights urges the government of Chiapas to investigate and stop the actions of this aggressor group URGENTLY and to take appropriate action in response to the violations of human rights with regard to death threats, physical attacks and harassment of the BAEZLN; they should respect Zapatista autonomy, in accordance with Convention 169 of the International Labour Organization, the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and the San Andres Accords.


On 23rd July, 2015, members of the PRI began to build classrooms on the plot of land of the preschool and on the sports court for common use, without consulting the BAEZLN, who demanded that the agreements for the use of spaces be respected, which are also for the Autonomous School on the land of a member of the BAEZLN. In relation to this, on 24th July, 2015, this Human Rights Centre issued a statement addressed to; C. Subsecretaría de Gobierno de la Región V. Altos Tsotsil-Tseltal, C. Juan Díaz Pérez, Presidente Municipal de Chalchihuitán, C. Alfonso Girón Velasco, Delegación Chalchihuitán and Others, asking them to address these issues. For this reason the PRI are angry and making attacks, because they were forced to release the ground.

Translated and posted by Dorset Chiapas Solidarity



September 13, 2015

Death-threats and physical attacks against BAEZLN in the Tzakukum community

Filed under: Frayba, Paramilitary, Zapatistas — Tags: , , — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 7:36 pm


Death-threats and physical attacks against BAEZLN in the Tzakukum community

@ Enlace Civil A.C.

@ Enlace Civil A.C.

The support-bases of the Zapatista Army of National Liberation (BAEZLN) in the Tzakukum community, official municipality of Chalchihuitán, have been threatened with death for months and have incurred physical aggressions. On 9 September, the Fray Bartolomé de Las Casas Centre for Human Rights A.C. (Frayba) documented the threats and harassment against the BAEZLN. The information was provided by the Good-Government Council of Oventik, Central Heart of the Zapatistas before the World (Oventik JBG), which pertains to Caracol II, Resistance and Rebellion for Humanity.

According to testimony, the BAEZLN reported having been threatened with death on multiple occasions. On 10 August 2015, the BAEZLN Aurelio Gómez Girón was threatened with death by machete by a woman and man from the PRI, who then cut the water-hose supplying Mariano García Núñez, another BAEZLN, who in turn was threatened with death by machete. On 14 August Librado Pérez Núñez, BAEZLN, was insulted and attacked on the path by a PRI leader who told him, “You are murderers. Little Zapatista, what are you doing here?” On 26 July a group of party militants detained four BAEZLN, threatening to burn them with gasoline. Beyond this, the bulletin mentions more examples that underline the urgency of the situation. The victims indicated that a group of approximately 25 people harassed and threatened them. In light of these acts, Frayba noted that “We are concerned that the authorities of the state of Chiapas encourage human-rights violations by being absent when attacks are directed against the BAEZLN.” The bulletin stresses that “these human-rights violations in Tzakukum take place within a context of counterinsurgency that is implemented by the Mexican State against Zapatista autonomy.”

It bears recalling that there were antecedents of this conflict in the same community in July 2015, when members of the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) began to build a school on common lands without consulting the BAEZLN, who insisted that the agreements on land be respected. In this sense, Frayba intervened with the aim of having the denounced acts be attended to. It is feared that for this reason the PRI members were angered and struck out, after having had to abandon the project on common lands.



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