dorset chiapas solidarity

October 3, 2016

Insumisión: It Was the State

Filed under: news, Uncategorized — Tags: , , , — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 1:43 pm



Insumisión: It Was the State


Originally posted to It’s Going Down
September 29, 2016
By Scott Campbell

Several significant events have unfolded during the past couple weeks in Mexico, from an end the teachers’ strike to the commemoration of major key dates for the resistance. As ever, the repression and impunity with which the Mexican state operates has continued unabated. There’s a lot to cover, so let’s jump right in.


chilpancingo-protest-molotovsProtests in Chilpancingo, Guerrero on September 25.


On September 26, 2014, students from the Raúl Isidro Burgos Rural Teachers’ College in Ayotzinapa, Guerrero were traveling to Mexico City to participate in the annual mobilization marking the October 2, 1968 Tlatelolco massacre. They were intercepted by state forces in Iguala, Guerrero, where police opened fire, killing six – three students and three passersby. Forty-three other students were disappeared and to this day their location and fate remain unknown.

The disappearance of the 43 students led to massive, consistent and militant mobilizations around Mexico that have continued until now, as the students came to symbolize the tens of thousands of disappeared in Mexico and the state’s role in facilitating, enabling and participating in a climate of corruption, terror and impunity. This was only exacerbated after the government proclaimed they had solved the disappearance, emphasizing as a “historical truth” that the students were stopped by local police, handed over to a cartel, killed and then burned in a nearby landfill.

Yet, at least three separate teams of independent forensic experts, including one sent by the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) and another that identifies the remains of the disappeared in Argentina, have declared the state’s version of events to be “scientifically impossible.” The investigators also pointed to the state’s lack of cooperation, manipulation of evidence, torture and outright lies as impeding any hope of revealing the truth. The IACHR team was run out of Mexico due to an intense smear campaign in the media, orchestrated by the federal government. #FueElEstado (It Was the State) has been the rallying cry from the beginning, as 43 families and their supporters have put their shattered lives on hold to ceaselessly pursue truth and justice for their disappeared children.




As the two-year anniversary of the disappearance approached, hundreds of events were planned in every corner of Mexico and the world. And it seemed like the families had achieved a small victory when Tómas Zerón, head of the Criminal Investigation Agency resigned. Identified by the IACHR team as one of the main parties responsible for the cover-up, the families had called off negotiations with the government until he was removed from his post. But the victory was short-lived and the malicious face of the state revealed yet again as the following day it was announced he resigned only to be promoted to the position of Technical Secretary of the National Security Council.

In another shot at the movement, Luis Fernando Sotelo, who was arrested during actions for Ayotzinapa in 2014, was sentenced to an outrageous 33 years in prison on September 20. Another arrestee from an Ayotzinapa action in 2015, César, is currently being forced to pay the state 420,000 pesos or face three years in prison and is seeking support.


luis-fernando-fire-prison“Fire to the prison”


Response to Sotelo’s sentencing was immediate and took many forms. It was denounced in astatement by the Network Against Repression and for Solidarity and in a joint Zapatista and National Indigenous Congress statement on Ayotzinapa. In the streets, compas wheatpasted and graffitied in support of Sotelo and also put up a flaming blockade on Insurgentes Avenue. A group of anarchists released a video statement demanding his release and gave the state 48 hours as of September 26 to provide answers to the Ayotzinapa families “or suffer the consequences.” Currently, Sotelo is one of six anarchist prisoners in Mexico City who began a hunger strike on September 28 in solidarity with the ongoing prison strike in the U.S. and against his sentence and that of the prisoners from San Pedro Tlanixco. It’s Going Down will have a translation of their statement on the strike up shortly.

If the state hoped to deter resistance with Sotelo’s sentence, they were sorely mistaken. As the father of one of the disappeared said, “What I love is my son. I can’t describe what it feels like for him to be disappeared. I say this to the people who are bothered that we protest and have actions here and there in order to find our children, to demand justice. What would you do if your child was disappeared? Would you remain seated doing nothing or would you search for them? If there was a chance you’d see them again, what would you do?”

The weekend leading up to September 26 saw numerous actions. On September 24, students from Ayotzinapa blockaded the Mexico City-Acapulco highway with commandeered tractor trailers, distributing their contents to drivers. On the same day, students organized a fare-hopping action (#PosMeSalto) in the Mexico City metro. They also took over a toll booth in Puebla

In Chilpancingo, the capital of Guerrero, Ayotzinapa students took their fight to the state, shooting fireworks at a military base on September 24 and heaving molotovs at police amidst a fog of tear gas on September 25. On that day, seven were arrested. All were severely beaten by police, with four requiring hospitalization.

September 26 culminated with thousands marching to the Zócalo in Mexico City for a rally led by the parents that ended with a rendition of “Venceremos” and a count from 1 to 43.

The following day, teaching college students in Michoacán kept up the struggle with a highway blockade that was also calling for more teaching positions for their schools’ graduates. In response, federal and state police drove up to the blockade and opened fire. As many fled into the hills, it is still unknown how many were wounded. Forty-nine students, mainly women, were arrested. In spite of the police attack, the students have said the repression will only cause them to escalate their actions.


michoacan-normalista-barricadeHighway blockade by students in Michoacán.


Teachers’ Strike

On September 12, teachers in Chiapas blockaded the state capitol building, the state congress, the city hall of Tuxtla Gutiérrez, and the state offices of the Ministry of Housing and the post office, giving the appearance that the teachers’ movement remained steadfast in the southeast corner of Mexico. Yet that same day, Luis Miranda Nava, the Minister of Social Development, flew to Chiapas on the presidential plane to meet with the governor and several other high-ranking state and police officials, as well as the leadership of National Coordinator of Education Workers (CNTE) Sections 7 and 40.

Following that meeting, the teachers held an assembly and decided to seek “a political exit” from the strike. The next day, on September 13, teachers from Guerrero, Chiapas and Michoacán left the national CNTE encampment in Mexico City, leaving behind only a small group of teachers from Oaxaca. In a subsequent assembly on September 15, the Chiapan teachers voted to end the strike and return to classes on September 19. With teachers in Oaxaca deciding to return to classes on September 7, and the teachers in Michoacán also voting on September 15 to end the strike, the 124-day strike can be considered over.

What is the result of four months of struggle? What went right and what went wrong? A critical analysis of events is beyond the scope of this column, though for those who read Spanish, this essay offers an insightful look into the teachers’ struggle in Oaxaca. Those who came out best in the struggle are the teachers in Chiapas, where the government, if it keeps its word, has pledged to not implement the educational reform in Chiapas for the remainder of Enrique Peña Nieto’s term, to unfreeze the union’s bank accounts and pay back wages, rescind outstanding arrest warrants against movement members, and invest tens of millions in school infrastructure. In Oaxaca, the teachers started negotiations with the government again on September 20, but no agreements have yet been reached. As for Guerrero, Michoacán and Mexico City, it’s not clear if negotiations or government concessions occurred.


oaxaca-grito-protestBarricades in Oaxaca on September 15.


At the end of the day, the educational reform remains in place. Its repeal was the primary demand of the strike. The fact that different states arrived at different arrangements with the federal government in what started as a national strike speaks to a lack of cohesion among CNTE sections. And just as public sympathy and mobilization in support of the teachers was at its peak following the massacre in Nochixtlán, the teachers accepted the carrot of negotiations offered to it by the state. Entering into weeks of fruitless negotiations brought the struggle off the streets and behind closed doors, deflating the momentum it had acquired, just as the government hoped it would. When the CNTE finally had enough of talking in circles, the school year was about to start and the government had thousands of federal forces in place in Oaxaca and Chiapas. Faced with the threat of physical force and the loss of popularity as the strike meant children went without education, one by one the sections returned to class. Lastly, the CNTE stayed true to its roots. First and foremost, it is a teachers union, not a revolutionary movement. While the CNTE adopted more populist rhetoric, calling for the repeal of all neoliberal reforms, and the street responded in support, the street also urged the teachers not to abandon the struggle and to keep in mind the demands and sacrifices of the people. Throughout its history of often impressive struggle, the CNTE has consistently, like a moth to a flame, been demobilized by offers of access to power. To actually endeavor to repeal all neoliberal reforms would essentially mean overthrowing the existing social, economic and political order in Mexico. The CNTE is not built for that, nor as it is currently constituted and functions should it be a desirable vehicle for revolutionary change.

Despite its flaws, the CNTE displayed tremendous fortitude, with the support of many sectors of society, in maintaining a four-month national strike in the face of a massacre, widespread police violence, an intransigent government, powerful business lobbies, firings, fines and imprisonment, and a media apparatus whose sole mission was to defame it. It consistently brought hundreds of thousands of people out into the streets, coordinated national actions, and effectively shut down interstate commerce in Chiapas and Oaxaca at-will. The union displayed a willingness to listen to the people, holding countless meetings and assemblies with parents, workers, farmers, local authorities, indigenous communities, and civil society organizations. It presented an analysis of the educational and economic crises facing Mexico and through collaboration with communities offered alternative proposals. And from the start, the CNTE’s demands went beyond issues of wages or working conditions, but included opposition to neoliberalism, justice for Ayotzinapa, freedom for political prisoners and more. More impressively, they did this without getting paid for four months and with all union bank accounts frozen. For all it may lack, the CNTE also offers important lessons when it comes to confronting capitalism and the state. To truly challenge the neoliberal narcostate in Mexico would require social movements with comprehensive analyses and representation to mobilize with the determination, discipline and support that the CNTE is capable of mustering and providing from and for its members.



Arturo Lara © Todos los derechos reservados

Arturo Lara © Todos los derechos reservados


September 16 is Mexico’s Independence Day. The evening before, the president in Mexico City and the governors in each state give a “grito,” a shout/cry of “Viva México” and the like in each state’s respective Zócalos, imitating the one given by Miguel Hidalgo that supposedly helped jumpstart Mexico’s War of Independence. It’s become a tradition for social movements to hold alternative gritos and/or to try to interrupt the official one, and 2016 was no different.

In Mexico City, around 15,000 people participated in a decidedly liberal march calling for Enrique Peña Nieto to resign for being “inept.” They were blocked from reaching the Zócalo by rows of police, where Peña Nieto gave his grito to crowds bused in from outside of the city.

In Oaxaca, teachers tried to march on the Zócalo to prevent Governor Gabino Cué from giving the grito. They clashed with police, who fired tear gas directly at demonstrators. One teacher was hit in the face and had to be transported to Puebla to receive specialized medical attention. Teachers then regrouped at their union hall nearby and fought back with fireworks. In response, the government cut the signal to the teachers’ radio station, Radio Plantón.

Graco Ramírez, the deeply unpopular governor of Morelos, gave his grito surrounded by police and sheet metal barricades to keep protesters out. Nonetheless, their heckling, whistles and cries of “Graco out!” reached the Zócalo. In Cancún, Quintana Roo, two students were shoved into a police vehicle by plainclothes cops, forced to share the contents of their phones, and were driven around while being beaten before being dumped on the outskirts of the city. All for the egregious crime of holding a protest sign.

The governor of Chiapas, Manuel Velasco, was forced to hold the grito in Tapachula, as the teachers were still occupying the central square in the capital of Tuxtla Gutiérrez. Tapachulans tried to put a stop to those plans, clashing with police on both September 14 and 15. Meanwhile in Palenque, before the mayor could give his grito, hundreds of masked Zapatista supporters took over the Zócalo and used a ladder to reach the balcony where the grito would’ve be given, where a cry against the state and capitalism was heard instead.

Also in Chiapas, students, professors and indigenous organizations have taken over three campuses of the Intercultural University of Chiapas (UNICH), demanding the rehiring of 30 fired professors, “respect for the intercultural educational model” and for the university to support the demands of the teachers’ movement. A partial victory was achieved when the president of the UNICH-Las Margaritas campus resigned on September 20. As always, repression continues against indigenous communities in the state. The community of San Francisco, Teopisca, adherents to the Sixth Declaration, denounced a blockade put in place against their community by paramilitaries belonging to the Green Party, the ruling party in the state. In the autonomous community of Ejido Tila, gunmen attempted to assassinate Manuel Martínez Pérez, a local organizer, firing 11 rounds through the window of his home. Meanwhile, two political prisoners from the community of San Sebastián Bachajón, Esteban Gómez Jiménez and Santiago Moreno Pérez, are requesting solidarity to end the harassment, assaults and medical neglect they are facing on the inside, just as the community itself is condemning the most recent state police invasion of their lands. Finally, in addition to the statement on Ayotzinapa, the Zapatistas released a contemplative, non-specific “Invitation to ‘CompArte and ConCiencias for Humanity.’”

In Brief

boy-blocks-homphobic-march-mexicoTwelve year old blocks a homophobic march in Guanajuato.

In addition to all of the above, there is more to share from the past two weeks in Mexico. Before wrapping up, here are a few other stories from that time frame. On September 11 and September 24, Mexico saw large right-wing, homophobic “Marches for the Family” take place against gay marriage, adoption rights for gay partners and abortion. A twelve-year-old boy knew just what to do when faced with 11,000 homophobes in Celaya, Guanajuato: block their march. The September 24 march included the participation of neo-Nazis, filmed trying to be intimidating in the Mexico City metro.

On September 13, activist and journalist Augustín Pavía Pavía was killed in Oaxaca. The next day, Oaxacan teacher Jorge Vela Díaz was killed outside his school. Also on September 14, in neighboring Puebla, the editor of El Grafíco de la Sierra, Aurelio Campos Cabrera, was assassinated outside of his home, making him the tenth journalist killed in Mexico this year.

Also in Oaxaca, political prisoner Adán Mejía was released on September 16. On September 19, marches and highway blockades marked three months since the Nochixtlán massacre. While online, numerous independent media outlets published the same article, providing extensive documentation of the police targeting and killing of Yalid Jiménez in Nochixtlán.

The 80,000-strong Independent National Democratic Farmworkers Union (SINDJA) in San Quintín released a statement emphasizing that the boycott of Driscoll’s Berries continues. Recognizing that the many struggles in Mexico and the world are linked, they also expressed solidarity with the #NoDAPL fight and commemorated two years since the disappearance of the students from Ayotzinapa. For those in northern and central California, on October 15 there will be a protest at Driscoll’s distribution center near Watsonville in response to SINDJA’s call to push the boycott forward.

Earlier this month, former political prisoner and indigenous Yaqui leader Mario Luna made a solidarity visit to Standing Rock. In Nayarit, indigenous Wixaritari communities marched from Jalisco to reclaim 184 hectares of their ancestral lands from ranchers, the first direct action in an attempt to recuperate 10,000 hectares. For those who read Spanish, Desinformémonos has put together a look at the impressive self-managed projects and industries that have arisen in the autonomous indigenous community of Cherán, Michoacán since the 20,000 inhabitants kicked out the state and narcos five years ago. In Tocuila, Atenco, State of Mexico, an 89-year-old and his 56-year-old son were brutally beaten in their home by armed men due to their opposition to the construction of a new international airport and their refusal to sell their lands for that purpose. Anarchists placed a couple explosive devices that destroyed two police vehicles in Ecatepec, State of Mexico, then wrote a snarky communique about it. The president of the Autonomous University of the State of Morelos, Alejandro Vera Jiménez, is currently on hunger strike to protest the policies of previously mentioned Morelos governor Graco Ramírez. Labelling the governor an authoritarian liar, Vera said, “He wants us on our knees, he wants us to die of hunger, he wants us silenced, but we won’t allow it.”

On September 19, activists in New York City protested Enrique Peña Nieto outside of a $1,000/plate Foreign Policy Association World Leadership Forum that he was headlining.

And to bring this edition to a close, in Playa del Carmen, Quintana Roo, residents frustrated with the lack of sanitation service decided to “bring the trash to the dump” where it belongs.



September 29, 2016

Back to School with no Sign of Resumption of Dialogue between Teachers and Government

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 11:15 am



Back to School with no Sign of Resumption of Dialogue between Teachers and Government


teachersTeachers’ movement sit-in in, Tuxtla Gutierrez, September 11 @ SIPAZ


On September 19, teachers of Sections 7 and 40 of the National Union of Education Workers (SNTE) in Chiapas began the 2016-2017 school year after four months of work stoppage to demand the repeal of the education reform bill, passed in 2013. Section 22 in Oaxaca had done the same since September 7. In both cases, no incidents occurred.

Now that school activities have returned to normal throughout the country, teachers’ leaders reiterated their call for the federal government to return to the national negotiating table. They told media that they maintain their three axes of struggle: “strengthen the reorganization stage, promote legislative means to respond to our demand for repeal of educational reform and continue the construction of an alternative education proposal.”

The head of the Federal Ministry of Public Education (SEP), Aurelio Nuño Mayer, has maintained his position: there will be dialogue in Michoacan, Guerrero, Oaxaca and Chiapas “to be able to settle local issues in these four states; that is to say administrative problems.” He reiterated that under no circumstances will they accept tables to discuss the repeal of educational reform.

Posted by Dorset Chiapas Solidarity




September 18, 2016

Teachers in Chiapas, Mexico Vote to End Strike

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 8:54 am



Teachers in Chiapas, Mexico Vote to End Strike 


marcha_cnte_cdmx_16-08-2016-jpg_1718483346Teachers affiliated with the CNTE union march during a demonstration against Mexico’s President Enrique Pena Nieto’s education reform, Aug. 16, 2016. | Photo: teleSUR


The vast majority of teachers in Mexico have now agreed to return to classes, ending a strike that lasted over 100 days.

After a marathon session inside the “Ernesto Che Guevara” auditorium, teachers affiliated with the militant National Coordinator of Education Workers in the southern Mexican state of Chiapas voted Thursday to accept a government proposal and end their strike and return to classes.

The decision to end the 124-day strike came after votes by teachers from 24 different regions of the state were tabulated. According to Proceso magazine, the final result was 45 percent in favour of ending the strike, with 33 percent opposed; the remainder of the ballots were considered spoiled.

The vote means teachers in Chiapas will return to classes, meanwhile the government will have to abide by a laundry list of commitments, including unfreezing the union’s bank accounts, investing in school infrastructure, and suspending any outstanding warrants for union members.

The deal also means the application of the controversial education reform will be frozen. The strike was launched in May to ramp up the union’s rejection of the government’s education reform, introduced by Peña Nieto in 2013, on the basis that the policies threaten public education with creeping privatization and fail to respond to education needs of rural and Indigenous students.

With teachers from the state of Oaxaca having returned to classes earlier this month, Thursday’s vote means the largest locals of the National Coordinator of Education Workers, known as the CNTE, have now ended their strike.

Trade union leaders from Oaxaca and Chiapas both warned, however, that should the government renege on its commitments, union members would be prepared to engage in a new round of political protest.

Elsewhere in Mexico, teachers affiliated with the CNTE clashed with police in the City of Oaxaca ahead of the events commemorating Mexican independence.

Police prevented demonstrators from reaching the main square, nonetheless Governor Gabino Cue was met with jeers and chants calling him a “murderer” as he addressed the assembled crowd.


Posted by Dorset Chiapas Solidarity



September 11, 2016

CNTE: The strike isn’t over and there will not be a return to classes, protests continue

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 8:48 am



CNTE: The strike isn’t over and there will not be a return to classes, protests continue


13256155_1108276462549543_8841167055482738318_nCNTE protest with parents and social organizations in Tuxtla Gutiérrez, Chiapas.


Teachers of the National Coordinator of Education Workers (CNTE) agreed this Friday night to continue with the teachers’ movement and not return to classes on Monday, September 12, because there are no guarantees that the 11 agreements the federal government offered will be respected.

After holding a State Assembly all afternoon in which representatives of the 800 union delegations in the 24 regions of the state of Chiapas participated, teachers of Section 7 of the SNTE agreed not to end the strike and that the protests will continue this Saturday with a large march and occupation of government offices in Tuxtla.

They pointed out in their resolution that the consultation process with rank and file teachers continues, but that the results that emanate from them are postponed.

They also proposed: “to immediately demand the opening of negotiations with the federal government with the presence of the state government so that it complies with the offers it outlined and with the presence of social organizations that support the teachers’ movement.”

The teachers had already obtained 11 agreements that launched the consultation with rank and file teachers that make up Section 7 of the SNTE, some 57,000 teachers. These political agreements outlined that the education reform would not be applied during the rest of this presidential term, paying back wages, 150 million pesos for school infrastructure, unblocking bank accounts of the Section’s executive committee, eliminating arrest warrants, as well as some other agreements that the federal government now publicly denies having offered to end the labour strike.

The teachers made a call to the rank and file to gather in Tuxtla and march this Saturday and take over government offices like the state Government Palace, the Federal Palace, the Municipal Palace and the state Treasury offices.

The next state assembly where all the leaders of the Chiapas teachers’ movement will be together is foreseen for next Monday, September 12 starting at noon in the Che Guevara Auditorium of Section 7 of the SNTE.


Originally Published in Spanish by Chiapas Paralelo

Friday, September 9, 2016

Re-Published with English interpretation by the Chiapas Support Committee



September 9, 2016

Chiapas CNTE holds consultations on ending strike

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



Chiapas CNTE holds consultations on ending strike


liverpool-plazaOne of the shopping plazas closed by protesting teachers in Tuxtla Gutiérrez, Chiapas

By: Angeles Mariscal

Teachers of the National Coordinator of Education Workers (CNTE) carried out consultations in their more than 800 delegations in the state to make a decision about ending the strike that started last May 15 and return to classes. The federal government proposed, extra-officially, suspending de facto the application of the education reform only in Chiapas, through an agreement that would be in effect starting from reaching agreement until the end of the presidential term (sexenio). [1]

During the assembly held last Friday, dissident teachers announced the federal government’s proposal. According to Manuel Mendoza, the CNTE’s leader in the state’s indigenous zone, the federal government’s proposal was made verbally and includes, besides considering Chiapas as a state of emergency, revising the conditions in which education is imparted within the state, in terms of infrastructure and capacity building, to attain some improvements.

The promises also include that their wages would not be docked nor any teacher fired that participated in mobilizations against the education reform, and a program would be implemented for capacity building and incentives for those who wish to participate in the evaluations, above all for those who will be contracted under the new scheme.

During the assembly, at first the teachers decided to continue the strike, because the proposal to suspend the application of the reform was only to the Chiapas teachers; however the decision of the Oaxaca teachers to return to classes next Wednesday, opened the possibility of reaching their own agreements.

Therefore, according to what the CNTE’s spokesperson, José Luis Escobar, announced during this week and until September 9 when they hold the state assembly, the teachers will hold consultations in their more than 800 delegations, in which the parents and organizations that have supported the labour strike also participate.

He explained that faced with the decision of the Oaxaca teachers, the viability of continuing the strike alone must be analysed in Chiapas. He said that if in the delegation assemblies they make the decision to end the strike and return to classes, it does not mean the end of the movement to attain the abrogation of the education reform, but rather re-proposing a new strategy for achieving it.

They agreed to maintain protest actions while they are carrying out the consultation in which it is foreseen that teachers of the indigenous zone will oppose ending the strike because there is no formal written proposal. Today they again closed shopping plazas in the capital; in one of them business owners and their workers placed themselves at the doors in order to impede entry to the demonstrators.

They hung canvas banners with the slogan “CNTE: We’re at home, we need to work.” Nevertheless, the demonstrators did achieve closing the establishments.

[1] Sexenio means a six-year term of office. Here, the reference is to the six-year term of current President Enrique Peña Nieto that ends in December 2018.


Originally Published in Spanish by Chiapas Paralelo

Monday, September 5, 2016

Re-Published with English interpretation by the Chiapas Support Committee


Oaxaca Dissident Teachers Return to Schools, Saying “the Struggle Continues”




Proceso: Oaxaca, Oaxaca. Thirteen days into the school year, the teachers of Section 22 of the National Union of Education Workers (SNTE) who are members of the CNTE [the dissident National Coordinating Committee of Education Workers] decided to return to the classroom, but clarified that their return to teaching does not mean a defeat, because their struggle continues.

Meanwhile, the Secretariat of Education began proceedings to dismiss 1,239 thousand teachers in Oaxaca for accumulating more than three unexcused absences, as provided for in Article 76 of the General Law of the Professional Teaching Service [core part of the education reform].

In a ceremony in Asuncion Nochixtlán, the Political Commission of Section 22 noted that the bloodshed there on June 19, that left 8 dead and over 100 injured, will not be in vain because “we are never going to bow down before an imposed policy. The fight is for the students and for them we will never abandon our struggle,” they warned.

…They insisted that no reform is possible without the participation of students, parents and teachers, however, they said, “we return [to the schools] to fulfil the commitment to students, because educational work is also a political action.”

Finally, they stressed that “in Oaxaca we will never give in. This battle doesn’t end, on the contrary, it is starting because hard times are coming, but that does not scare us.”

Previously, the teachers had said that their struggle would not end with the beginning of the 2016-2017 school year, but would continue until a national position was established on [the repeal of] the education reform…

Translated by Reed Brundage


Posted by Dorset Chiapas Solidarity on 09/09/2016



September 6, 2016

Chiapas teachers thank parents after huge march

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 4:28 pm



Chiapas teachers thank parents after huge march

“The CNTE in Chiapas is in Force, Thanks to the Support of the Parents,” Recognize the Teachers after Huge March


14192603_1652037895125755_5976615994723060304_n-660x330More than 100,000 Chiapas teachers and parents march on September 1. Photo: Pozol


Tuxtla Gutiérrez, Chiapas, September 1, 2016

“It’s sad that there is no start to the school year because of the government’s political stupidity,” members of the National Coordinator of Education Workers (CNTE) pointed out after a huge march of more than 100,000 teachers and parents today in the Chiapas capital. “Thanks to the support of the parents and their walking with us, the teachers’ movement is effective,” asserted the teachers, now on strike for 110 days, in protest of the self-named “education reform.”

“But more important than the start of the school year is defending the right to public education, faced with the interests of the entrepreneurs in power,” the CNTE teachers stated during a meeting in the central park of Tuxtla. “What use would it be to start the school year if tomorrow the children of workers won’t have the right to education because it will be privatized,” the dissident teachers warned.

“The thousands of federal police that the government has sent in recent days and ever since 2013, have not been able to stop the teachers’ movement,” the educators emphasized faced with the arrival of federal police in the Chiapas capital, who threaten them with possible evictions. “We will know how to defend any aggression, but the exit has to be through the path of dialogue,” the teachers pointed out.

“What will Peña Nieto report today in the government report: who the police killed in Michoacán, who they killed in Nochixtlán, Oaxaca, or about their million-dollar houses?” The Chiapas teachers asked these questions about the federal government report this September 1 and about the massacres and corruption scandals in the current Peña Nieto administration.




“The government bet that the movement would end with the end of the holiday period. Neither the sun, the water nor the repression have been able to bury the movement,” the CNTE strikers. “The education reform is privatizing and punitive, and perversely the government argues and tries to manipulate that it seeks to raise the level of education,” they added during the meeting in Tuxtla.

“The illiterate president wants to throw the teachers into the streets, but the teachers aren’t going to allow it,” members of the teachers’ movement asserted. “We don’t ask for a salary increase or a holiday bonus, only to be participants in a real education project; but the government refuses because it defends the entrepreneurs’ business,” the teachers emphasized.


Originally Published in Spanish by Pozol Colectivo

Thursday, September 1, 2016

Re-Published with English interpretation by the Chiapas Support Committee

Minor edits by Dorset Chiapas Solidarity




August 26, 2016

Insumisión: Schools Remain Closed as the State Amasses Forces of Repression

Filed under: Repression — Tags: , , , — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 9:48 am



Insumisión: Schools Remain Closed as the State Amasses Forces of Repression

Originally posted on It’s Going Down
By Scott Campbell

As the strike against educational reform by teachers belonging to the National Coordinator of Education Workers (CNTE) in Mexico enters its fourth month, the conflict between the people and the neoliberal narcostate seems poised to take another turn, a potentially violent one. The government is running out of tricks, leaving the likelihood it will return to its old standby, state violence, all the more likely.

When the strike first began on May 15, the government’s tactic was to ignore the teachers, refusing to talk to them. As that failed and support for the teachers grew, it tried brute force, leading to the Nochixtlán massacre on June 19, a day when twelve were killed. That repression caused national outrage and succeeded in turning a teachers’ movement into a popular one. The government then offered up negotiations as a fig leaf, yet meeting after meeting made clear that the state had no actual interest in negotiating anything. The school year started in Mexico on Monday, August 22, but teachers remain on strike and schools have not opened in Oaxaca, Chiapas, Guerrero, Michoacán and parts of Mexico City.


oaxaca-march-school-yearMarch in Oaxaca on August 22.


Frustrated in their attempts to crush or wear down the teachers, Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto announced on upon the start of classes that, “There will be no more dialogue; education first.” A day later on August 23, Public Education Minister Aurelio Nuño stated, “With complete clarity we say, there is no possibility of returning to any negotiations until all children are where they should be, in a classroom. And precisely because the future of Mexico is non-negotiable, the Educational Reform will continue.” The Defence Minister got into the act, claiming the armed forces support the reform and that soldiers want “to serve as an example for others.” Not coincidentally, that same day three airplanes full of federal police arrived in Oaxaca to join the thousands of state forces already stationed there, an indication that Peña Nieto may make good on his statement that “the government has no qualms about applying the use of force” as a means to resolve the teachers’ strike. At least 1,500 more federal police were in Oaxaca by Wednesday, August 24 and helicopter flyovers of the city had resumed for the first time since the Nochixtlán massacre.

In recent weeks, mass mobilizations and movement organizing efforts have continued. August 8, Emiliano Zapata’s birthday, saw upwards of 100,000 teachers and farmers march together in Mexico City. A day later, farmers, teachers and civil society groups took over a toll plaza on the Nayarit-Sinaloa highway, allowing cars to pass for free and asking that instead of paying the toll drivers donate to the struggle. Teachers, civil society groups and prominent academics gathered in Mexico City on August 10 for a twelve-hour national forum to discuss what a democratic and holistic education project would look like. A second forum will happen in September. During this time, for five days in a row teachers in Chiapas blockaded and shut down businesses belonging to transnational corporations and companies who are part of the neoliberal business association Mexicanos Primeros. Another business group, COPARMEX, recently lamented that the teachers’ strike has caused more economic damage than the armed Zapatista uprising in 1994. On August 12, Secretary General Rubén Núñez and Organization Secretary Francisco Villalobos of CNTE Section 22 in Oaxaca were released from prison. And the Guatemalan teachers’ union also expressed their support, shutting down an international crossing with Mexico for the second time on August 13.


nayarit-sinaloa-toll-booth-takeoverToll plaza takeover on Nayarit-Sinaloa highway.


Following the last round of fruitless talks with the government on August 16, the CNTE agreed on August 18 to not return to classes. They were backed up in Chiapas by parents assemblies that vowed to shut down any school that attempted to open on August 22. Instead, the school year was kicked off in the rebellious south with tens of thousands marching in Chiapas and Oaxaca and the installation of 25 highway blockades for 48 hours in Oaxaca alone.

Peña Nieto is likely seeking to impose a solution to the strike before long. September 15 is Mexico’s Independence Day and an increase in state repression often occurs right beforehand to ensure the reign of social peace for an undisturbed celebration of nationalism. Just down the road, the PRI will be retaking power in Oaxaca under the governorship of Alejandro Murat on December 1, and positioning is already underway for the 2018 presidential elections, with none other than Public Education Minister Aurelio Nuño pushing to be the PRI candidate.

One last note about the teachers. Section 22 in Oaxaca previously set up a fund for the survivors and families of the victims of the Nochixtlán massacre. The Mexican government, in collaboration with Santander Bank, quickly shut it down, confiscating the 17,000 pesos it contained. There is again a way to donate to the Nochixtlán fund. For obvious reasons, it is not public. If you or your crew would like to donate/organize a benefit, get in touch at scott [at] fallingintoincandescence [dot] com.

Aside from the teachers’ strike, Peña Nieto has been having a rough couple of weeks in the realm of popular opinion. On August 11, a poll revealed his approval rating to be at a historically low 23 percent. This certainly wasn’t helped when five days later The Guardian reported that Peña Nieto’s wife, Angelica Rivera, has been enjoying stays in Key Biscayne, Florida at a $2 million apartment owned by Grupo Pierdant, a company bidding on Mexican government contracts. This news broke only a month after Peña Nieto apologized for the “perception” of wrong-doing related to Rivera’s $7 million purchase of a home in Guerrero owned by government contractor Grupo Higa. Then on August 21, a widely publicized exposé showed that Peña Nieto plagiarized nearly one-third of his university thesis. While these PR stumbles certainly don’t cast Peña Nieto in a positive light, he still maintains the support of the elite and these incidents pale in comparison to the broader devastation and exploitation he has wrought on Mexico.


michoacan-train-track-burning-protestTrucks set alight on train tracks in Michoacán.


Challenges to the status quo continue outside of the teachers’ strike as well. On August 11, students from Michoacán’s eight teaching colleges (normales) burned two trucks on train tracks and blockaded a highway. The students were acting in support of the teachers and also demanding the government guarantee a certain number of jobs upon graduation. Currently the state government refuses to hire teachers coming from normales in Michoacán. At a subsequent protest on August 15, while the normalistas were blockading a highway, federal and state police arrived and opened fire on them. Forty-one were arrested and fortunately no one was killed. Eight students remain in maximum security prison.

On that same day, to the east in the State of Mexico, police opened fire on students protesting cuts in enrolment at an extension school of the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM) in Naucalpan. The shooting is the first example of the use of the Eruviel Law, which allows police in the State of Mexico to fire live ammunition at demonstrations and punishes police who don’t follow orders to do so.

Atenco, also in the State of Mexico, received a solidarity visit from environmentalists Vandana Shiva and Sebastiao Pinheiro on August 13 in support of the community’s struggle against the latest attempt to build Mexico City’s new international airport on its lands. Construction of the highway to leading to the airport was ordered suspended on July 26, yet crews and machinery began operating again on August 16. Atencans ran the crews off their land and reinforced the encampment in Tocuila, designed to impede construction. On August 18 and 19, construction began again, escorted by a “shock group” of men hired by a local authority. The group tore down and burned the encampment on August 19 and threw stones at Atencans who came out to defend their land. Defiant as ever, Atenco residents rebuilt the encampment the same day.

The state of Morelos, south of Mexico City, saw a massive demonstration of 100,000 on August 16, when teachers, civil society groups and even the Autonomous University of the State of Morelos (UAEM) called for a mobilization against Governor Graco Ramírez. Protesters were demanding he be removed from office and charged for the ongoing femicides, kidnappings, murders, and corruption. Students also erected an encampment surrounding the state government’s offices. As if to make the point clearer, a report released a week later found that of the 117 bodies illegally buried in mass graves by the state prosecutor’s office in Morelos, 84 showed signs of torture. Naturally, the state’s reply was to issue an arrest warrant for the president of UAEM. In a similar case, Professor Rene Torres in Mexico City has been arrested three times in three days, only to be released without charge each time, in clear retaliation for his support of the student struggle at the National Polytechnic Institute (IPN).

A few more pieces to share to round out this latest dispatch of news. The relatives of the disappeared students from Ayotzinapa have cut off negotiations with the federal government. They say they will not return until Tomás Zerón, the head of the Criminal Investigation Agency (equivalent to the FBI in the US), is removed from his position. To mark 23 months since the disappearance, the families will be holding a cultural, artistic and political event outside of Aztec Stadium on August 26. Environmental defender and political prisoner Ildefenso Zamora was freed after nearly nine months in prison on trumped-up charges on August 13. A report on Radio Zapote documents the ongoing struggle of farmworkers in San Quintín and their primary tool: a boycott of Driscoll’s Berries. While actions are frequent in the US, a Boycott Driscoll’s protest occurred at a supermarket in Mexico City on August 18. On August 22 and 23 the first National Gathering on Forced Disappearance was held in Mexico City.


After months of organizing, 105 indigenous Oxchuc communities jointly decided to expel political parties and elected officials from their lands and to return to governing according to the indigenous practice of usos y costumbres. The final event of the Zapatista-initiated CompArte Festival for Humanity occurred in the Zapatista caracol of Roberto Barrios. Here’s a translation of Subcomandante Moisés’ statement at the end of the festival. The National Indigenous Congress, a Zapatista-inspired formation, will celebrate 20 years of existence with its fifth gathering in San Cristóbal, Chiapas in October. In other indigenous-related news, a new report noted that 80 percent of Mexico’s indigenous population lives in “poverty”. A condition that, if you’re Governor Mario López of Sinaloa, exists because of laziness. In response to a report that 822,000 Sinaloans live in “extreme poverty”, López said, “In Sinaloa, if you’re hungry, it’s because you’re lazy.”




Anarchist political prisoner Fernando Bárcenas released a call for solidarity with the prison strike happening in US prisons on September 9. We’ll have the English translation up shortly. And a group of anarchists offered a difficult but important public reflection on the events surrounding the police murder of anarchist Salvador Olmos in Oaxaca in June, which It’s Going Down has published in English.

Posted by Dorset Chiapas Solidarity on 26/08/16



August 25, 2016

CNTE Mega-march in Tuxtla

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 11:02 am



CNTE Mega-march in Tuxtla

With a Mega-March in Tuxtla, the CNTE in Chiapas Confirms that the School Cycle Isn’t Starting


DSC_0169-1-995x498CNTE March in Tuxtla Gutiérrez.


“The school cycle ought to start today, but all the teachers are protesting here because of the government’s obstinacy,” said members of the National Coordinator of Education Workers (CNTE), after a march of more than a hundred thousand teachers from the west to the Chiapas capital’s central plaza, one hundred days after the teachers initiated their strike in protest over the self-named “education reform,” which the administration of Peña Nieto has wanted to implement in the country, even using public force to achieve their objective.

During the meeting in Tuxtla’s central park, on welcoming the different contingents that participated in the mega-march, the question was if they were tired now, to which the teachers answered with a resounding NO, despite the long walk, despite the strong rain, despite the hundred days. The teachers emphasized that the reason for being part of the teachers’ movement are precisely the students, parents and public education in Mexico.

“We are challenging the state’s authoritarianism; there is not one single educational level that is not in the movement,” they stated on seeing the arrival of delegations of basic and middle higher education, as well as teachers’ college students, parents, retirees and social organizations in solidarity.

From Chiapas the CNTE spokespersons waved the checkered flag on stage three of the teachers’ movement magisterial that started last May 15, in which, despite the fact that it will be critical and complex, they will carry out more devastating actions, they assured. The CNTE movement called on the government to give an immediate response to the demand for abrogation of the “education reform,” the appearance with life of the teachers’ college students from Ayotzinapa, Guerrero and the freedom of political prisoners in Mexico.

Members of Sections 7 and 40 of the CNTE affirmed that after more than three months, the movement remains alive and seeks a “democratic education, an alternative education project that goes from below to above.” They likewise warned that the media lynching against them would increase; therefore, they will keep the parents, who as of this date have been supporting them, continuously informed. “We have the support of all the aggrieved people,” they assured.

In his participation in support of the teachers’ movement, Father Marcelo Pérez representing the parish of the Simojovel community, asked those present if they were afraid, to which those present responded with a resounding NO, even after Peña Nieto’s threats to use public force against the dissident teachers. “In the face of tyranny, the people have the right to fight for the homeland and for liberty. If they touch the teachers they touch all of us,” the Chiapan parish priest assured. “They are on alert in the different communities to defend our teachers,” the religious man added.


Originally Published in Spanish by Pozol Colectivo

Monday, August 22, 2016

Re-Published with English interpretation by the Chiapas Support Committee

Posted by Dorset Chiapas Solidarity 25/08/2016




August 20, 2016

CNTE causes more economic damage than the EZLN Uprising

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 9:03 am



CNTE causes more economic damage than the EZLN Uprising


walmart-office-depot-blockshutting down business in Tuxtla Gutiérrez, Chiapas.


By: Isaín Mandujano


The president of the Employers Confederation of the Mexican Republic (Coparmex) in this state, Enoc Gutiérrez, said today that the economic damages caused by the teachers’ conflict “are worse than those of 1994,” after the armed uprising of the Zapatista Nacional Liberation Army (EZLN).

Enoc Gutiérrez reminded that on Tuesday August 2, the Employers Centre, affiliated with  Coparmex, presented a legal demand for an amparo (protective order) to the Judicial Power of the Federation (PJF) against the state and federal authorities due to “omissions” in attending to the teachers’ conflict that, after more than 90 days, have allegedly caused million dollar losses in Chiapas and other states in the country.

Although the case could be resolved in the coming days or weeks, Gutiérrez maintained that: “this is one of the worst situations that reflect economic damages and affectations, we evaluate and tell you that they are even worse than those in 1994. And we have an international context much more complex and a devaluation in the Mexican economy.”

He also clarified that the business owners “are not enemies” of the government authorities or of those who head the institutions of the Mexican government, but neither will they be accomplices in permitting that conflict situations cause damages to third parties that affect the economy and above all that impair the education of the state’s children.

Later he said that they would not promote the repression of movements when they are conducted with unrestricted adherence to the law, and that they will always make use of the laws that they have at hand for defending their right to free movement and the free exercise of labour and free enterprise.

He also pointed out that the demand for an amparo is so that the Mexican State will act and re-establish the peace and respect the constitutional guarantees, like the right to education.

Lastly, he demanded that the federal government and the CNTE go further in their tables of dialogue and negotiations and produce concrete results to put an end to the conflict.


Originally Published in Spanish by

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Re-published in English by the Chiapas Support Committee

Posted by Dorset Chiapas Solidarity 20/08/2016




August 9, 2016

Chamula Communities Up for a Fight

Filed under: Indigenous, Uncategorized — Tags: , , — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 4:57 am



[Communique] Chamula Communities Up for a Fight



San Juan Chamula, Chiapas. 20th July 2016.

Given the events of today in the eviction of people from the San Cristobal de las Casas road, the people of Chamula completely distance ourselves from participating as was reported by Televisa and TV Azteca. We place responsibility on Narciso, leader of the organisation  ALMETRACH and the President of Chamula “Zetjol” . They are complicit in this brutal repression perpetuated against the Chiapas People’s Teachers Movement (or as it’s known in Spanish “Movimiento Magisterial y Popular de Chiapas”) and allies.

We call on the general public to not fall for the dirty tricks of these people who only do one thing which is the dirty work Governor Manuel Velasco.

As inhabitants of Chamula we support the teachers’ movement because we too are tired of bad government, corruption and injustice.

We place responsibility on the three levels of government who are causing so much damage to fellow citizens and we ask in the most respectful manner that the demands of the CNTE be met immediately. If we are not listened to, we will have to rise up in arms to reinforce our brothers and sisters’ struggle against the education reform, which threatens the whole nation. A lot of blood will run. There will be radical activities, we now understand Peña’s language.

After today’s events, we are organising our communities and we will not abandon our own people, our fellow citizens and teachers.

We call on all municipalities in Chiapas to support a coup d’etat if these people don’t agree. We will strengthen our fight, the municipality of Chamula will take up arms if necessary. If the government doesn’t want peace, then we will not give them peace. The municipalities of Chiapas have to be united today more than ever. United we are strong.

Chamula Communities Up for a Fight

Hasta la Victoria Siempre

United and Organised We Will Triumph

Out with the Paramilitaries

Translated by the UK Zapatista Translation Service

Posted by Dorset Chiapas Solidarity on 09/08/2016



August 7, 2016

What’s the government betting on against the CNTE’s demands?

Filed under: Political prisoners, Repression, Uncategorized — Tags: , — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 11:46 am



What’s the government betting on against the CNTE’s demands?



By: biko

Tuxtla Gutiérrez, Chiapas. Pozol. July 28, 2016.

75 days of occupation is not just anything. Nevertheless, despite the respect that this long two and a half-month path of struggle deserves; the State just vacillates without offering serious responses. There is a clear strategy of wear and tear (attrition), there are no responses, only delays to a problem that the National Coordinator of Education Workers (CNTE), presents in a precise and simple manner: repeal the “education reform.”

While the government sits down at the table and presents a conciliatory discourse, through its mass media it voices, again and again, that there is nothing to negotiate. There is a joke, a game not just in the management of language and time, also in the hope of the mobilized base. But this joke is not only on the CNTE; it’s also a joke on the people in struggle and on those people that the power names “audience,” “Market.”

You don’t need to be a specialist to know that if the government sat down to negotiate (very reluctantly), it means that it has to offer something in response to the CNTE’s demand that, as already stated, has been very clear. However, away from the table, the government makes it known to everyone that: “the law is not negotiable;” in other words, makes it clear that it’s not going to the table to negotiate, but rather to gain time. The teachers’ movement has evidenced that rough language: the cynicism, peculiar to power and its decadence. But it has left other things in evidence: the ruling classes’ fear of the social mobilization and the patent ineptitude of some upstart business owners/rulers.

Sitting down to negotiate (or simulating negotiations while in your real language, the media, you say something else) and maintaining that negotiating space, indicates that the rulers don’t have the ability to establish another form of domination (although it may be simulated) towards the CNTE. Another form would have “attended to” the problem in other ways without resorting to these bodies. But it has not been capable of that, nor of making use of police repression, or repeating the lie through the mass media.

To those weapons, indeed powerful by themselves, it now adds the shameless pressure of those who really govern this (and any) country: the business class.

The statements of the Employers’ Confederation of the Mexican Republic (Confederación Patronal de la República Mexicana, COPARMEX), which in recent days have been reiterated, are added to a conjuncture that, presumably, those up there above observe: wear and tear on the movement after two and a half months of struggle (police repression + political persecution + exhaustion + economic wear and tear + social discredit of the movement derived from the permanent and intense media attack).

They think that it’s the time to carry out another repressive offensive (either through their multiple repressive bodies, shock groups, “legal” mechanisms, or some NGO´s, etcetera). More than a month has passed since the attack on the town of Nochixtlán, a month of pause, which they calculated, has passed through the “dialogue-negotiation tables.

So, are they betting that it’s enough time to forget? They have gambled on dividing civil society in solidarity with the teachers with campaigns of hatred and discredit towards the teachers; they have bet on an internally dividing movement (as they have always done in this and in other struggles); they have gambled on exhaustion and fear. What is the strategy now (if there is any): the forgetting and indifference of civil society towards the CNTE to carry out the belligerent orders of the bosses?

If it’s perhaps a theme of memory, it’s convenient that they remember: Nochixtlán, where the people far from fleeing, courageously confronted the police and paramilitaries; San Cristóbal de las Casas, where the people far from turning tail in the face of the police and paramilitary attack, recuperated the roadblock and increased their rage; San Juan Chamula, where their montage, added to the years of sowing hatreds, made everything get out of (their) control and the government was once again left standing idle.

The EZLN warned them. They didn’t understand.

The crisis that prevails now is serious and very complex, but in our territories this complexity also allows the ineptitude of the politicians and business owners that “govern.”

“A dialogue table cannot be maintained with those who, at the same time, remain in the streets violating the law with impunity,” assures Gustavo de Hoyos, head of the COPARMEX. “The Mexican State would seem to be losing the battle versus some that systematically violate the law.” We don’t know if the head of that employers’ association referred to the teachers or to the business owners and politicians whose history of crime, corruption and alliances with organized crime, is an open secret for the population.

“It seems to me that we have learned about the process. At best they should have considered what the different scenarios of consequences could be before emitting the laws. They didn’t do that, and now we are finding out.” It’s plausible that the specialist Sylvia Schmelkes (de facto writer of the education reform) is learning, it’s just lamentable that it’s only now (after so much blood spilled “in that process”) that it occurs to her to suspect what she ought to have done before, what it now seems necessary to do.

“There is nothing to discuss, there is no dialogue with respect to any education reform because that education reform is helping the country, the youths, the children, the teachers, just like there is nothing to discuss with respect to any reform.” If that is what the Secretary of Government, Osorio Chong, asserts to the media, why continue at a negotiating table that justly seeks to abrogate the education reform?

The bosses call the majority that fights for their rights (employment and education) a minority and criminals; the “intellectuals” of the “education reform” are not capable of processing information in a simple interview, or articulating simple ideas when giving answers and they vomit surprising gibberish; the politicians are incapable of generating arguments, or at least disguising them to confuse the people, as is their intention.

Not in the bosses’ belligerence of Hoyos; not in Schmelkes’ intellectual gibberish; nor in Chong’s ineptitude and political ravings; or in the sputtering of “communicators” like Dóriga, do we glimpse serious answers to the dignified movement of the CNTE, and above all, to the dignified support and popular solidarity movement. Up there above there are no merits or abilities, the only weapons they possess are violence and lies, the intellect passes unnoticed.

This corporate-political ruling class seeks to win this war (its war), without a single battle being presented, without brandishing a single weapon and with violence and the lie as argument (baldy employed, for sure). They bet on fatigue, on the error of the other, not on the merits.

There was a time in which those who governed were a class that earned and defended, by force, their titles and their power on the battlefields. Now, there is just a gang of rich kids inheriting places that “they defend” with structures of repression, also inherited, in unequal battles in their favour. There is not a single merit among those that up there above shriek terms like: competitiveness, honesty, efficiency, success, quality, and etcetera.

And, even so, they have the cynicism of judging-for-repressing those who defend the rights they won through long struggles, against unequal odds.


Originally Published in Spanish by Pozol Colectivo

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Minor amendments for UK audience by Dorset Chiapas Solidarity

Re-Published with English interpretation by the Chiapas Support Committee



July 26, 2016

Violent Eviction of the Roadblock of Teachers from San Cristobal

Filed under: Indigenous, Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , , — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 11:12 am



Violent Eviction of the Roadblock of Teachers from San Cristobal


profes1Eviction of the teachers’ sit-in (Photo@ChiapasDenuncia Pública)


On the morning of July 20, the sit-in protest in rejection of education reform that the National Coordinator of Education Workers (CNTE) has maintained on the toll road to Tuxtla Gutierrez, was destroyed “by a group of 150 armed people.” The representative of Section Seven, Adalberto Rabanales, said the attackers belong to “two attack groups: ALMETRACH (Association of Tenants of Traditional Markets of Chiapas) which works with the Municipal President of San Cristobal de las Casas, Marco Cancino- and a group led by the mayor of San Juan Chamula, Domingo López González, a member of the Green Ecologist Party.” These groups “of attack and the Municipal Police arrived to cause damage, employed the use of firearms and tear gas, respectively.” That same day, according to Radio Regeneracion, four people were reported injured: Rumualdo Guadalupe, primary school teacher who had his body pierced from behind by a firearm projectile, Guadalupe Estrada, wounded by a bullet to the shoulder, one person by a blow with a firearm and another who was run over. The final toll has not been released. There were also attacks on the press. Dolores Rodriguez of Chiapas Network News, was assaulted and injured.

After the eviction, the teachers regrouped in the central park of San Cristobal de Las Casas and made a call to the general public for the reconstruction of the sit-in. Teachers began a demonstration to the blockade to reinstall it. “The show of solidarity was immediate and there where the camp was destroyed, the hands of teachers together with the people returned to lay the foundations of the camp.”

Regarding the dialogue with the Federal Government, a representative of the Chiapas teachers stated that, “it is not possible that being at a negotiating table, for some days they have been trying to break the dialogue. The government wants to impose education reform. We will not remain silent.” Meanwhile the Fray Bartolomé de las Casas Centre for Human Rights (Frayba) spoke out against these events and declared that this attitude “does not help the process of ongoing dialogue with the Federal Government.”


Posted on 26/07/16 by Dorset Chiapas Solidarity



July 24, 2016

Compañerxs from San Sebastian Bachajon support the teachers by delivering supplies

Filed under: Bachajon, Indigenous, La Sexta — Tags: , — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 3:10 pm



Compañerxs from San Sebastian Bachajon support the teachers by delivering supplies





 To the General Command of the Clandestine Revolutionary Indigenous Committee of the Zapatista Army of National Liberation

To the Councils of Good Government

To the Indigenous National Congress

To adherents to the Sixth Declaration of the Lacandon Jungle in Mexico and the world

To the mass media and alternative media

To the Network against Repression and for Solidarity

To Movement for Justice in El Barrio from New York

To national and international human rights defenders

To the National Coordinator of Education Workers (CNTE)

To the defenders of public, secular and free education

To the people of Mexico and the world


Jmololabex ants winiketik, icha spatil a whotanik ta pisilik ta yuun jmololab kotik ta organización ta ejido san Sebastian Bachajón.

Compañeros and compañeras in struggle and resistance, receive a combative greeting from the compañeros and compañeras adherents to the Sixth Declaration from the ejido San Sebastián Bachajón.

On this day we express on behalf of our organization and struggle our support and solidarity with the defenders of public education against the so-called education reform which the Mexican state wants to impose.

We want to tell teachers that we support and we join their fight to defend education as a right for all our countrymen, so that future generations have this free space to have access to public education, we are following their struggle, because it is also ours.

Teachers, from our hearts we tell you not to give up, for one minute on your feet standing in struggle is worth more than a lifetime on your knees.

We are here because our voice is stronger than any wall, the weak do not struggle. Those who are stronger perhaps struggle for an hour. Those who are even stronger, struggle for a few years. But the strongest of all, those who struggle for their whole lives, they are the indispensable ones.

A month since the brutal repression in Nochixtlan, Oaxaca, on 19th June, when the federal police opened fire on the demonstrators, and several of them were killed by gunshot fire, we hold the bad government responsible for any repression and aggression against Mexican society; the bad government can beat us, can kill us, can take our bodies, but it will never make us obedient to a traitor to the motherland.

Finally, from the bottom of our hearts, with our brothers and compañeros in struggle we have put together a little help and we deliver these supplies to the defenders of public education, in order to support the mobilization in which they are active today.

Never again a Mexico without us

Land and freedom

Zapata lives!

¡Hasta la victoria siempre!

Freedom for political prisoners!

Long live the dignified struggle of the defenders of public education!

Juan Vázquez Guzmán Lives, the Bachajón struggle continues!

Juan Carlos Gómez Silvano Lives, the Bachajón struggle continues!

No to the dispossession of indigenous territory!

State police out of indigenous territory!

Immediate return of the disappeared and murdered compañeros from the Normal School Raúl Isidro Burgos of Ayotzinapa!

Long live the dignified struggle of the Chol compañeros and compañeras from the ejido Tila!

Long live the dignified struggle of the compañeros and compañeras from San Francisco Xochicuautla!

Long live the peoples who struggle for their autonomy and freedom!




Translated by the UK Zapatista Translation Service for Dorset Chiapas Solidarity




EZLN: Open letter on the aggressions against the people’s movement in San Cristóbal de las Casas, Chiapas

Filed under: Zapatistas — Tags: , , , , — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 12:46 pm



EZLN: Open letter on the aggressions against the people’s movement in San Cristóbal de las Casas, Chiapas






July 21, 2016

To the current governor and the other overseers of the south-eastern Mexican state of Chiapas:

Ladies (ha) and Gentlemen (double ha):

We do not send greetings.

Before it occurs to you to try (as the PGR [i] is already attempting in Nochixtlán) to blame the cowardly aggression against the people’s resistance encampment in San Cristóbal de Las Casas, Chiapas on ISIS, we would like to provide you, at no charge, the information we have collected on the subject.

The following is the testimony of an indigenous partidista [ii] (PRI) brother from San Juan Chamula, Chiapas, Mexico:

“At 9am (on July 20, 2016) the Verde party followers were called to the governor’s palace. They went and were told to do again what they had done the other day.”

(NOTE: he is referring to the incident in which a group of indigenous people affiliated with the Partido Verde Ecologista (Green Ecology Party) put on ski masks and went to create chaos at the [teachers’] blockade between San Cristóbal and Tuxtla Gutiérrez, the capital of Chiapas. When they were detained by the CNTE’s [teachers’ union] security, they first said they were Zapatistas (they weren’t, aren’t, and never will be), and later admitted they were partidistas.




But this time they were supposed to dialogue so that the people at the blockade would let the trucks from Chamula that do business in Tuxtla go through. The municipal president (who belongs to the Verde Ecologista Party) sent police patrols and local ambulances. The municipal president of San Cristóbal sent some more police. The governing officials in Tuxtla sent a bunch more. See, they [the people from Chamula] had made a deal with the police—they already had a plan. So they went in there like they were going to dialogue but one group went into the blockade’s encampment and started destroying things, stealing or burning everything they found. Then they started shooting—the Verdes are indeed armed—but shooting like a bunch of drunks and druggies. The police were acting like their security detail, their backup. We don’t agree with what the Verdes did. Now the tourists are scared to come to the municipal centre (of San Juan Chamula) and this screws everybody over because it really hurts our businesses. It’s not the blockade but rather the fucking Verdes that are fucking us over. Now we’re going to go protest in Tuxtla and demand they remove that asshole of a president. And if they won’t listen to us, well then we’ll see what we have to do.”

With regard to that clumsy attempt to dress paramilitaries in ski masks and say they were Zapatistas, it was a total failure (in addition to being a tired old trick that has been tried before by Croquetas Albores).[iii] Questioned on whether they thought it had been Zapatistas who destroyed the blockade and committed these outrageous acts, here are the comments of two townspeople, without any known political affiliation:

A street vendor, approximately 60 years old:

“No! The people who destroyed all that stuff yesterday are people paid by the government, we all know that. They aren’t the ones that support the teachers. The teachers’ struggle is valid; the other option would be that we’d have to pay for education ourselves. And where do they get money to pay the teachers anyway? From the people. What we need is for the majority of other states to join the struggle, there are four that are already in but we don’t know how long the others will take.”

A Chamula indigenous person, a street vendor:

Naaahhh, those weren’t Zapatistas. Zapatistas don’t act like that. Plus the Zapatistas support the teachers and those people yesterday were trying to pass themselves off as Zapatistas by putting on ski masks, but they aren’t; they don’t act like Zapatistas at all.”

“So who were those people yesterday?”

“Those are other people, they get paid for that.”

“What do you think of the teachers’ struggle?”

“That we should all support them.”


We are sure that you don’t know this (either that or the stupidities that you commit are because you are in fact stupid), but the so-called “teachers’ conflict” arose because of the stupid arrogance of that mediocre police wannabe who still works out of the Department of Public Education (SEP by its Spanish acronym. Oh you’re welcome, no thanks needed). After the teachers’ mobilizations and the government’s response in the form of threats, firings, beatings, imprisonment, and death, the teachers in resistance managed to get the federal government to sit down to dialogue. This is in fact a federal issue. It is up to the federal government and the teachers in resistance to dialogue and come to an agreement or not.

You sympathize with the hard-headedness of that mediocre policeman. We Zapatistas sympathize with the teachers’ demands and we respect them. This applies not only to the CNTE, but to the entire people’s movement that has arisen around their demands. As Zapatistas, we have made our sympathy public by supporting them in word and deed, with the small amount of food that we could put together from our own tables.

Do you think this movement, now taken up by so many people, is going to be defeated by evicting a few encampments, even when you disguise it as “citizen rage?” You’ve already seen that doesn’t work. Just like what happened with our brothers, the originary peoples in Oaxaca—if you destroy their camps they’ll build them back up. Time and time again. The thing is that here below there is no fatigue. Your bosses calculated that the teachers’ resistance movement would deflate over summer vacation. Now you’ve seen that you were wrong (hmmm, that’s more than three failures in one evaluation. If we applied the “education reform” in this case you would already have been fired and would be looking for work in the Iberdrola alongside the psychopath.) [iv]

The movement has been able to generate and concretize the sympathies of the people, while you all only generate dislike and repudiation.

As we were already saying as of two months ago, the movement already encompasses various social sectors and, of course, their specific demands. For example, you’re not around to hear it but people are demanding Cancino be removed from office (the supposed municipal president of San Cristóbal de Las Casas, a city in Chiapas, Mexico, in case you didn’t know) and Narciso be put in jail (the paramilitary boss of the ALMETRACH.) [v] This and the other things they are demanding can be summarized in one word: good government. How long will it take you to realize that you are just in the way, parasites that infect the entire society, above and below?

The thing is that you all are so sure of yourselves that you send your attack dogs to steal the few belongings of these people who are PEACEFULLY protesting. Well, we Zapatistas will again begin to collect the food and basic necessities you stole from them and supply them once again. And we will do so over and over again.

Instead of making ridiculous declarations (like denying having a role in that cowardly attack on the people’s encampment in San Cristóbal), you could contribute to the easing of tensions necessary for this dialogue and negotiation to take place as determined by both parties (which are, we might remind you, the Federal Government and the National Coordination of Education Workers). It would be a good idea to tie up your attack dogs (Marco Antonio, Domingo, and Narciso). Just whistle and shake a wad of bills at them and you’ll see how they come running.




And some unsolicited advice: don’t play with fire in Chamula. The unrest and division you are inciting in that town with your stupidities could provoke an internal conflict of such terror and destruction that you wouldn’t be able to quash it with social network bots or paid “news” articles or the little money that Manuel Joffrey Velasco Baratheon-Lannister has left in the state treasury.

So be calm. Be patient and show some respect. We hope the federal government will dialogue and negotiate with seriousness and commitment, not only because the teachers’ demands are just, but because this might be one of the last times there is someone with whom to dialogue and negotiate. The process of decomposition you have encouraged is so advanced that soon you won’t even know who to slander. Plus there won’t be anyone on the other side of the table. Understood?

So, do your thing. That is, go back to Photoshop, to the celebrity news, the flashy parties, the spectacle, the gossip magazines, to the frivolity of those who lack intelligence. Govern? Oh come now, not even the paid media believe you do that.

It’s better that you step aside and learn, because this is Chiapas, and the Chiapas population is a lot to take for such a lame government.


To whom it may concern:

As Zapatistas it is our conviction—and we act in accordance—that the movement’s decisions, strategies, and tactics should be respected. This applies to the entire political spectrum. It is not acting in good faith to hitch oneself onto a movement and try to steer it in a direction outside of its internal logic. And that goes for attempts to slow it down or speed it up. If you can’t accept that, then at least say clearly that you want to use this movement for your own ends. If you say so directly, perhaps the movement will follow you, perhaps not. But it is healthier to tell the movement what you are seeking. How do you expect to lead if you don’t respect the people?

We Zapatistas are not going to tell our current teachers (those from the CNTE and also from the towns, barrios, and neighbourhoods that support them) what to do and what not to do. This should be crystal clear to all noble people in struggle: ANY ACTION TAKEN BY THE ZAPATISTAS IN RELATION TO THE CURRENT POPULAR MOVEMENT (or those that later emerge) WILL BE PUBLICLY MADE KNOWN AHEAD OF TIME, always respecting the movement’s times and ways. The National Coordination of Education Workers as well as the originary peoples’ movements, neighbourhoods, and barrios that support the teachers should understand that whatever decisions they make—whether about their path, their destiny, their steps, or their company—they will have our respect and our salute.

This thing of dressing up like Zapatistas and yelling slogans that involve others is fine as a bit of entertainment and a line on your resumé, but it is nevertheless false and dishonest. We did not rise up to hand out stolen junk food, but rather for democracy, freedom, and justice for all. If you think breaking windows and stealing food that isn’t even nourishing is more revolutionary and of more help to the movement, well, let the movement decide. But clarify that you are not Zapatistas. We don’t care when people tell us we don’t understand the “conjuncture,” or that we don’t have a vision of how to use electoral advantage, or that we are petit-bourgeoisie. We only care that that teacher [maestro, maestro] that señora, that señor, that young person [joven, jóvena] feel that here, in the mountains of south-eastern Mexico, there are those who love them, respect them, and admire them. This is what we care about, even though such sentiments do not come into play in grand electoral strategies.

The teachers in resistance and, now more and more often, the people’s movement that gathers around them face very difficult adverse conditions. It isn’t fair that, in the midst of all of that, they have to deal not only with clubs, batons, shields, bullets, and paramilitaries, but also with “advice,” “orientation,” and “with-all-due-respect”-type orders telling them what to do or what not to do, or whether to advance or retreat—that is, what to think and what to decide.




We Zapatistas don’t send junk food to those who struggle, but rather non-GMO corn tostadas which are not stolen but rather homemade through the work of thousands of men and women who know that to be Zapatista does not mean to hide one’s face but rather to show one’s heart. Because reheated Zapatista tostadas relieve hunger and inspire hope. And you can’t buy that in convenience stores or supermarkets.

From the mountains of the Mexican Southeast.

Subcomandante Insurgente Moisés

Subcomandante Insurgente Galeano

Mexico, July 21, 2016

[i] Procuraduría General de la República, Mexico’s Attorney General

[ii] Refers to someone affiliated with one of the registered political parties.

[iii] “Croquetas,” or doggy biscuit, was the nickname assigned by the EZLN to Roberto Albores Guillén, governor of Chiapas from 1998-2000.

[iv] This likely refers to ex-president Felipe Calderón who recently took a job with a subsidiary of Iberdrola.

[v] La Asociación de Locatarios del Mercado Tradicional, Traditional Market Tenants’ Association.


P0sted on 24/07/16 by Dorset Chiapas Solidarity



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