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Maestro Zapatista Galeano: Notes on a Life.
May 2nd, 2015.
Compañeros and compañeras of the Zapatista Army of National Liberation:
Compañeroas, compañeras, and compañeros of the Sixth Declaration:
People who are visiting us:
It is now my task to talk about compañero Maestro Zapatista Galeano.
Talk about him so that he lives in the word. Talk to you so that perhaps in this way you will understand our rage.
And we say “Maestro Zapatista Galeano” because that was the job or position or work which the compañero had when he was murdered.
For us Zapatistas, compañero Maestro Galeano synthesizes an entire anonymous generation in Zapatismo. Anonymous to the outside world, but a fundamental protagonist in the uprising and in these more than 20 years of rebellion and resistance.
The generation which, being young, was in the so-called social organizations and saw the corruption and falseness which nourished their leaders, prepared in secrecy, rose up in arms against the supreme government, resisted betrayals and persecutions with us, and oriented the resistance of the generation which today takes on responsibilities in the indigenous communities.
Violent, absurd, ruthless, cruel, unjust death reached him with the position of teacher.
A little later it would have reached him as an autonomous authority.
Sometime before it would have fallen upon him as an orienter.
Before that, death would have killed a militiaman.
Many moons before, the one who died would have been a young man who knew enough, knew what was necessary about the system, and sought, like many still, the best way to challenge it.
One year ago a trio of paid journalists, vulgarized by the government of Ario Velasco and his rotten court, held up a lie regarding his death.
The one who took the mournful photos of the murderers’ carefully-bandaged alleged blows, as a reward went to New York to present other mercenary photos.
Those who unashamedly swallowed the government shit and spread it front-page, now have an echo in those who dress up the news and present his murder as a the product of a confrontation.
Those who as accomplices shut up out of financial convenience or political calculus continue putting on that they do journalism and not poorly-concealed advertising.
Not many days before today’s event, we read in the paid press that the “heroic,” “selfless,” “professional,” and “untainted,” Mexico City police, had a “confrontation,” that’s what they said, with a group of visually impaired persons. The wicked blind people lashed out with their “weapons,” their canes, at the poor police who did nothing but fulfill their duty and had to respond with cudgel and shield blows to make them, the sightless, see that the law is the law for those from below, and for above it is not.
And also, a while ago, because of those seasonal speculations which tend to splatter not only the journalistic trade but the social networks too, when talking about something is hiding that there is nothing important to say or inform about, a journalist, of those who allege “professionalism” and “objectivity,” wrote about the death of a brother in-struggle and rain gather, Eduardo Galeano, and supposed a false connection between Galeano the writer and Galeano the teacher, militiaman, and Zapatista.
When making reference to compañero Zapatista Galeano, the paid journalist insisted that he had died in a confrontation and sent photos from her tourist colleague in New York.
Let’s take an ordinary case, on ordinary home or street, an ordinary geography, an ordinary day: there is a discussion, a fight, or not even that, just because he said so, because he is in charge, the man attacks the woman, the woman defends herself and manages to scratch the man, the man murders her with punches, stabs, shots, contempt. The man is treated and the scratches are cured and bandaged.
About this, the “professional” and “objective” journalist, as she claims to be, will write the following article: “a woman died in a confrontation with her partner, the man has wounds resulting from the fight. Below are photos of the poor wounded man after receiving medical treatment. The assailant woman’s family refused to allow her body to be photographed.” End of article and time to get paid.
That’s what news articles today are like: blind people armed with canes confront police armed with shields, batons, and teargas. Women armed with their nails confront men armed with knives, clubs, pistols, penises. These are the “confrontations” one finds out about in some paid media outlets, although some of these disguise themselves as free media, like some who registered here, thinking that we didn’t know them and weren’t going to let them in if they were paid media. But we know them and they are here “covering” this event.
Compañero Maestro Zapatista Galeano did not die in a confrontation. He was kidnapped, tortured, slashed, bludgeoned, macheted, murdered, and finished off. His aggressors had firearms, he did not. His aggressors were several, he was alone.
The “professional and objective” journalist will point to the photos and the autopsy, and will not have either. Because if she does not respect herself and does not respect her work, and that is why she writes what she writes without anyone questioning it and also getting paid for it; we the Zapatistas do respect our dead.
More than 20 years ago, in the battle of Ocosingo, which lasted 4 days, Zapatista combatants were executed by the Army after being wounded in battle. The Zapatistas’ firearms were replaced with sticks. The press was then called to cash in under the supervision of the government troops. That’s how they wove the tall tale, repeated until nausea even into the present day, that the EZLN troops went out with wooden weapons to confront the evil government. Of course, the small problem is that someone took the photos when the fallen Zapatistas had nothing by their side. And then that person contrasted them with those presented by the pro-government press. A lot of money is paid for the photos which portrayed reality to not be publicized.
Now, in the modern times of the paid media’s economic crisis, an art, journalistic photography, has turned into a poorly-paid commodity which sometimes only manages to induce nausea.
I’m not going to describe in-detail each and every one of the wounds suffered by compañero Galeano, nor show you photos of his defiled body. I’m not going to review the narrative cynicism with which his murderers describe the crime in-detail the way one talks about a feat.
Time shall pass. The executioners’ confessions will be known. The public will know the details of the tortures, the celebrations which they held with each drop of blood, the drunkenness of cruel death, the subsequent euphoria, the moral and ethylic hangover of the following days, guilt pursuing them, justice reaching them.
Compañero Maestro Zapatista Galeano will be remembered by the Zapatistas communities, without fuss, without front pages. His life, and not his death, will be joy in our struggle for generations. Hundreds of tojolabal, tzeltal, tzotzil, chol, zoque, mam, and mestizo boys will bear his name. And then will come the girl named “Galeana.”
The 3 members of the decadent media nobility, who made a call for war by spreading the lie, those who, with cowardice, kept silent, and the “professional and objective” journalist will continue being mediocre, they will live mediocre, they will die mediocre, and history will continue its course without anyone missing them.
And just to finish outright with stupid suppositions, compañero Maestro Zapatista Galeano did not take that name from the tireless gather of the word from below who was Eduardo Galeano. That link was a media invention.
Although it may sound absurd, the compañero took his name from insurgent Hermenegildo Galeana, a native of Tecpan, in what today is Guerrero, and who rose to the rank of lieutenant under the independence leader José María Morelos y Pavón. Hermenegildo Galeana was with the insurgent troops when, on May 2nd, 1812, they broke the position which the royalist army held in Cuautla, defeating the troops of general Félix María Calleja in their wake. Insurgent resistance then wrote a brilliant page in military history.
It is common in Zapatista towns for men and women to apply gender to their oh-so particular understanding. So, for example el mapa is “la” mapa. What the compañero did was “masculinize” the last name Galeana and turn it into Galeano. This was years before we came out into public view.
I am not going to say much more about compañero Maestro Zapatista Galeano.
His family members and compañeros and compañeras who today honor us with their presence will do so better and in more detail, compañero Subcomandante Insurgente Moisés will do the same.
His absence still pains me a great deal.
I still remain unable to explain to myself the cruelty with which they came before him, wanting to kill him with weapons and with news articles.
I remain unable to understand the silent complicity and indifference of those who were elevated and aided by his generosity, and then turned their backs on his death after having used his life.
That is why I believe that, given that what we hold up is his life, it is better for compañero Galeano to be the one who talks to you.
The following fragments which I will read to you come from compañero Galeano’s notebook. The notebook, with these and other writings, was given to the EZLN General Command by the family of the compañero which we are missing today.
Supposedly he began to write in the year 2005 and the last writings are from the year 2012.
“For all those who read this brilliant story and so that one day my children and my compañeros will not say that I faded away.
I write my actions and steps in the struggle, but I also am critical because you will also know of my errors to not fall into them. But that does not mean that I am not a compañero.
Well I’m going to start from my young and civilian life from before.
When I was about 15 years old I always participated in the work and actions of an organization called “Union of Ejidos of the Jungle.”
I also knew that I was exploited because the weight of the poverty which fell on my burnt shoulders was enough to make me realize that exploitation still existed, and that someday someone would appear to lift us up and show us the path, to guide us.
Well, as I told you in the beginning I participated in a trip which (illegible number) of us indigenous took to try to exchange ideas on productive work. That’s what that program which they did was called according to our advisors in that so-called Union, which we participated in.
Well, for me it was useful for learning many things. In the first place I realized how those renowned advisors—Juárez and Jaime Valencia, among others—tried to cheat us. We went to Oaxaca, to a place where there are also indigenous compañeros like us, and who also had an organization called X led by a priest who was with them. But they are also in the same situation of oppression as us.
Well, anyway, we traveled to several cities in the country. There I realized how many beggars there are in the streets, homeless and without anything to eat. Truly, it was born in me that that must be our objective for interchanging ideas to try and to see how to demand a dignified life for all those who live in conditions of humiliating poverty, because of governments.
I also realized something which disgusted me and never again did I depend on those liar and trickster men who feign being with those from below. They made all those movements to enrich themselves at our expense, us dumbasses from those times believed in their slick and false idea.
Why do I say this? Well now you will see how things were. It turns out that they promoted government programs to cheat us, and then us cheat our people in our communities. On that trip, the government gave 7 million pesos in aid, which at the time was a great fortune because we talked about thousands and it wasn’t like now when we talk about pesos. At the time they told us that the government had given 7 million, but that they weren’t going to give us all of it, just 3 million and the rest was going to be for the upcoming trips, and we never knew where that money went.
Of course, they did not inform us, because the renowned advisors kept that money, and while we ate totopos with a small piece of cheese, there in Oaxaca, and slept in the halls of the Ixtepec, Oaxaca town hall, and where were they? Well you will see, they slept in good hotels and ate in good restaurants. Like this we went back to Chiapas.
We arrived to Puerto Arista. There they bought cases of beer to finish the damage. When the 3 million which the designees had to cover the expenses dried up. They told us that we were going to have to eat crackers and soda because there was no money left. But I knew that it was not true, that the representatives when doing the accounting made us believe that everything had run out, but the thing is they had already made an agreement with those advisor guys. And I told them to recount to see if it was true that the money had run out. But my proposal was not accepted and what happened is that they told me that the trip had finished in Motozintla. They gave me 40 thousand pesos (in that time’s money) to return to my house, because they already calculated what I was going to spend on bus fare to Margaritas and then to La Realidad, I would see how to make it work. It was fucked up, 40 thousand old pesos which Salinas turned nowadays into 40 pesos. Like so I returned to my town all sad and pissed-off at the same time.
That was when in ‘89, I met a true advisor, a man who passed himself off as a humble worker, a parrot vendor. He and I were practically friends, but in spite of the fact that we already knew each other, he had never told me who he was and what he really wanted and did. Many times we saw each other at Cerro Quemado, we talked and I saw that he was carrying a painted backpack, as we call it, and inside he carried his work tools. That was what my friend told me. How many people like me knew the tale of my friend without knowing the reality, who were going to see how many lies my friend said back then. Lies to make truth, lies to make Reality, true lies. He was my pal, I being so clumsy that I did not understand what was happening.
Until one day I ran into my friend again, but this time he was not dressed as a humble worker, nor was he carrying his painted backpack or a parrot cage.
What was he carrying them? You will see, well there was my friend, my pal, dressed all in black and brown, with a backpack and shoes, and a gun on his shoulders. It turns out that my friend was a brave guerrilla and soldier of the people. I was surprised, and I went home all sad and unable to understand what was happening there.
That was my error, not understanding quickly what that man wanted.
That was when he knew that I had already discovered him, and they called for me in the safe house along with my parents and my siblings. But the thing was that my father did not want to join and then my siblings too, but I had nothing more to do and say. That was how I fully joined the organization. They took me to train. Back then almost everyone was already a Zapatista. We went to train. Later they gave me the rank of corporal and it was like that until all of my relatives joined.
Until the day came which I knew who my liar true friend was and what his name was: back then he was Capitán Insurgente Z. there was that man who had to travel through all the Indian towns of Chiapas, all of their mountains, rivers, and canyons. He walked by night as a guerrilla; by day as the most humble seeker of employment, and sowing the seed of freedom step-by-step until it grew and bore fruit.
His suffering was so great, but the fruits he harvested and brought were so beautiful. And he earned with pride the rank of Major due to his intelligence and brave action in preparation.
But he was not the only one there, there was another great and valiant man and unforgettable revolutionary in the history of our clandestine period, the so-called and beloved Subcomandante Insurgente Pedro, “Uncle,” as he was respectfully called by all the compañeros of our struggle. Loved by all because he was a true example who shared his revolutionary knowledge. He was a true master in discipline and compañerismo.
An example because he said that he would go in front during combat, and if it was necessary to die for people, he would do it.
On December 28th (1993) compañero Sup I. Pedro told me, you are going to Margaritas to buy gasoline and some batteries which we need, tell compañero Alfredo to take “el Amigo,” the community car, that is, but do not tell him that the war is going to begin. And I went. We got together some shelled corn to conceal things from the driver, because it was an emergency trip and in this way he would not suspect what was going to happen. But he already knew, but from gossip, that the war was going to begin, and asked, but I did not tell him anything, that was the order, and I followed it in spite of the fact that he was my pal. I did not even inform my parents about what was going to happen, because they lived in Margaritas then. We traveled all night and all day.
On the 29th (of December 1993) we got back to La Realidad at about 4 in the afternoon. I had completed my first mission. I reported and he told me: “prepare because we are going to fight, in half an hour we will have made the police in Margaritas surrender.” And it remained there recorded forever. Like other feats of Sup C. I. Pedro.
And he remained until the 30th (of December 1993) departure for Margaritas. There were also many accidents on the road. The advance of our troops was incredible. Without the enemy realizing, we advanced like ghosts in the middle of the dark night, just illuminated by the headlights of Zapatista cars and buses.
Before Las Margaritas there is a place, before Zaragoza. Close to that town everyone divided up with their revolutionary work: first group, take the town hall; second group, take and block the Margaritas-Comitán Highway; third group, take and block the San José Las Palmas-Altamirano Highway; fourth group, Independencia-Margaritas highway; fifth group: take radio Margaritas.
This was in the predawn hours of that glorious January 1st, when we were no longer ghosts out in the night, we were now the EZLN in the global spotlight. Everyone looked at us with amazement and with respect for our brave action.
That was when Sup C. I. Pedro fell in combat against the police. He died with great bravery, killing several police. He confronted them alone. His rage against those who murder the people was so great that he did not care about his life, and with that he had fulfilled what he had said: die for the people or live for the homeland.
What shock I felt when they told us that our beloved leader had fallen. I felt such great pain, but he had completed his mission, and also had arranged the command succession well. Because he knew that he was going to fight and that as a matter of fact these kinds of things can happen in a war.
That was when my friend Mayor Insurgente Z took command and once again the action of this brave guerrilla was seen. So our missions, in spite of the painful fall of our great leader, were now led by Mayor I. Z. The group went and took the ranch of general Absalón Castellanos Domínguez and he was taken prisoner and brought to the mountains as a prisoner, to later hold the trial for all the crimes committed during his government, since he was their intellectual author. In spite of everything he was charged with, and how guilty he was, and of being the murder of so many children, women, and elderly in Wolochán, his rights as a prisoner of war were respected. He was not tortured for any reason. On the contrary, what the troops ate was also given to him. That is how our comrade once again demonstrated his manners and good military work which he obtained during the clandestine period. Respect for the lives of those who fall prisoner in a war must be respected. And all those who read our history are reminded that respect is won by respecting those from below, but also those from above but if they demonstrate respect for those from below. Thank you. Die to live. Galeano.”
“In Las Margaritas I had to block the Margaritas-San José las Palmas highway. From there we went to the Margaritas-Comitán highway. We were there on January 1st all night until the next order arrived to go take the Conasupo warehouse which was in Espíritu Santo. We went with other insurgent compañeros to get things for the troops to eat. Then the order was given to retreat to the mountains and we came and positioned ourselves in Guadalupe Tepeyac. Then we made an ambush from La Realidad to kilometer 90 Cerro Quemado, then they sent me to recover a 3-ton vehicle belonging to some asshole named J de Guadalupe Los Altos.
I did not know how to drive well. I only had the theory of how to drive a vehicle, and that was where I passed into practice and began to move the vehicle. I got to La Realidad just in first gear. Compañera Capitán L and several more insurgents were already waiting for me and they told me, “Let’s go Galeano,” but I said, “I have not driven and much less with a load.
Die to live. Galeano.” (between 2005 and 2009)
“It does not matter, in war anything goes,” the compañera told me and we left, but there past Cerro Quemado, I had gotten confident, I began to go lighter, but on a curve I turned the steering wheel too much and went off the road entering into the grass about 15 m from the road. But anyway, I got it out the way I could and continued to carry out the mission.
Since that day I began to drive every day, until one day the helicopter saw us and shot at me with a machine gun. It spent about 10 or 20 minutes shooting at me, but I was already sheltered under a rock. Only the dust and rock smell and gunpowder got to where I was. And after the firing stopped and the helicopter went away, I left my hideout and continued with my mission. The mission was to go get the militiamen who were near Momón. I left and returned with my friend and military leader compañero Mayor Insurgente Z. we were always together in the days of war, even when there was the cease-fire.
In the work of the first Aguascalientes in Guadalupe Tepeyac, I participated in checking the people who came to the National Democratic Convention. They trained me as a bodyguard, I was the bodyguard of our commanders.
Then, the day of Zedillo’s betrayal, we went on February 9 to block the road in Cerro Quemado. The army was already in Guadalupe Tepeyac. Even so we advanced in darkness and worked making ditches and cutting down trees to prevent the federal army’s passage to La Realidad.
Then we retreated to the mountains for several days, until, once again, the people of Mexico and the world mobilized and halted the persecution of our commander compañeros and EZLN troops. After several days and nights camping in the mountains, we returned to our towns.
I participated in all the encounters which our organization organized. I was there as a bodyguard for our military leaders. I participated in the march of the 1,111 Zapatistas to Mexico City.
In all of the marches I always proudly traveled as the driver for “conejo,” for “tata,” for “chocolate.” Always carrying our compañeros in the marches to make our demands. When all the sergeants backed out, I stayed and they gave me the rank of sergeant. I participated as a regional responsible for clandestine youth groups and in times of war. In a thousand and one ways we have made war against the enemy, although the evil government has also done the same.
But we must value the great paths which we have traveled no matter the sacrifices and hardships. That has made us stronger and keeps me on the path of struggle, until we achieve the freedom which our people need. There is much left to travel, because as a matter of fact it is long and difficult, perhaps close, perhaps far, but we will triumph.
Then the Juntas de Buen Gobierno were formed, and they chose me as the driver for the first truck which the JBG obtained. It was called “el Diablo.” Then they kidnapped me along with another compañero and also brought us tied-up inside the same truck by the CIOAC-Histórica. They had me tied-up for several hours and then took me to a prison in Saltillo. And then they took me to Justo Sierra and held me without food, tied up, without communication. They wanted me to demand the liberation of a criminal, but I could not accept being exchanged because I was innocent and he was a thief of those who always abound in the social organizations.
I was captive for nine days until they realized that they were getting involved in problems with human rights and with the EZLN. And finally they released the truck after having it for three months. And then its (the truck’s) name was changed, it got the name “El Secuestrado Histórico.” Since then the work of the JBG and autonomy began. Die to live. Galeano.” (January 24, 2012)”
This is the last date which appears in his notebook. Along with that short autobiography, there are a few poems, probably of his authorship, and some love songs and those things.
As for me, all that’s left is to add that compañero Maestro Zapatista Galeano was like any of the Zapatista compañeras and compañeros, someone for whom it was well worth dying to make him be reborn again.
Upon finishing these lines, there may be a response to a latent issue. A question sown in the middle of history which is not written with words:
What or who made it possible for the Zapatista philosopher and the indigenous Zapatista to converge in the same space of struggle?
How was it that without ceasing to be a teacher, the philosopher became a Zapatista, and that the indigenous man, without ceasing to be a Zapatista, became a teacher?
Something happens in the world which makes this and other absurdities possible.
Why, to live, does the one bequeath to his own a hidden piece of his history’s puzzle?
Why, to not leave, does the other leave us in letters his look turned toward himself and his history with us Zapatistas?
This is what we try to answer every day, at all times, in all corners.
Now, about to put the final period on these words, the answer occurs to me, or at least a part of it, it is sitting at that table, it is in those who are in front of and behind me, it is in the worlds which lean out into ours for the struggle of those who, with secret pride, call themselves Zapatistas, professionals of hope, breakers of the law of gravity, people who without fuss at each step say to themselves and say: WE DIE TO LIVE.
From the mountains of the Mexican Southeast.
Subcomandante Insurgente Galeano.
Mexico, May 2nd, 2015.
The Zapatista listen compañera Selena has the mic…
Translated from Spanish by Henry Gales.
Posted by Henry Gales at 6:02 PM
April 19, 2015
THANK YOU III. THE MOST EXPENSIVE BUILDING IN THE WORLD. Subcomandante Insurgente Moisés. Subcomandante Insurgente Galeano.
THANK YOU III.
THE MOST EXPENSIVE BUILDING IN THE WORLD.
Subcomandante Insurgente Moisés. Subcomandante Insurgente Galeano.
Eve. Predawn. The cold bites under the clothing of the shadows. On the table which, solitary, furnishes the hut (which has no sign at all but it is known that it is now the general quarters of the Zapatista command), is the wrinkled piece of paper with handwriting where the accounting for the school-clinic’s construction in La Realidad Zapatista is detailed. The voice sums up looks, silences, smoke, rages:
The accounting isn’t complete. The life of any Zapatista is worth more than Peña Nieto’s White House and than all the houses of all the rich people in the world put together. Not even the entire payment which it costs to make the huge buildings where the powerful hide to do their frauds and crimes, is enough to pay for even one drop of Zapatista indigenous blood. That is why we feel that this building is the most expensive which there is in the world.
So of course we have to say that what doesn’t appear in the payment accounting, is compañero Galeano’s blood. Even all the paper in the history of the world would not be enough to write out that accounting.
And so, do put it like that when you put your lists in the media, which say who richest, where poorest. Because the rich one has a first and last name. Lineage, pedigree. But the poor only have geography and calendar. Do put then that the most expensive building on the entire planet is in La Realidad Zapatista, Chiapas, Mexico. And that the Zapatista indigenous girls and boys attend the most expensive school in the world. And that the men, women, girls, boys, elderly, indigenous, Zapatistas, Mexicans, when they get sick in La Realidad, go to the most expensive clinic on earth to be treated.
But the only way of completing the accounting is fighting to destroy the capitalist system. Not change it. Not improve it. Not make it more human, less cruel, less thuggish. No. Destroying it completely. Annihilating each and every one of the Hydra’s heads.
And even like so it will be necessary, as we here want, to raise up something new and more better: building another system, one without masters, without bosses, without head honchos, without injustice, without exploitation, without contempt, without repression, without plunder. One without violence against women, childhood, that which is different. One where labor has its just payment. One where ignorance does not command. One where hunger and violent death are bad memories. One where no one is above at the cost of others being below. A reasonable one. A more better one.
Then, and only then will we the Zapatistas be able to say that our accounting is complete.
Many thanks to the others, men, women, girls, boys, elderly, groups, collectives, organizations, and whatever-they’re-called of the Sixth Declaration and not-Sixth Declaration of Mexico and the world, for the support which you gave us. This clinic and school are yours too.
So you now know that you have an autonomous health clinic and an autonomous school in La Realidad Zapatista.
We know that it is a bit far away, but one never knows, the world is round, it spins around and it could be, maybe, who knows… what if one ordinary pre-dawn morning you understand that, fighting to complete the accounting, is on your tab too.
From the mountains of the Mexican Southeast.
Subcomandante Insurgente Moisés. Subcomandante Insurgente Galeano.
La Realidad Zapatista, Chiapas, México.
SECTION “FROM THE CAT-DOG’S NOTEBOOK”:
Notes on gender:
.- (…) That is why, as women in this country, we need to organize, because we see that there are many disappearances. Those of us women who are mothers are many, those who are suffering the pain, this great sadness for our disappeared sons, our dead daughters. Because now, this evil system, aside from the fact that we are humiliated, are despised, are exploited, aside from all this, they still come to kill and disappear our children. Such is the case of ABC and now with the 43 disappeared from Ayotzinapa, the disappeared women from Ciudad Juárez, the case of Aguas Blancas, and all this is the system. It is not going to resolve our problems, we will have no response from this current system. That is why brothers and sisters, we need to organize because it is there in the people itself where we are going to decide, where we are going to see the path that we want as peoples. As peoples of men and women, not only those from the countryside and the indigenous, also you sisters who live in the city, because it is among ourselves that we are going to govern, and it is there together with our men, between men and women, that we are going to build the new system, where we as women are really taken into account and maybe there compañeras, sisters, we will encounter the relief for the pain which we now have and for that collective rage which now unites us.
(…) Now that we are in the 21st century, just a few women who benefit from wealth, in other words just the wives of the rich, just the wives of the presidents, of the governors, and just the female representatives, senators, but in our case as indigenous women we continue suffering from pain, sadness, bitterness, rape, exploitation, humiliation, discrimination, imprisonment, contempt, marginalization, torture, and many other things, because for us women, there is no government. It is because of this that for the rest of the woman in the country it remains the same, just as women before lived, as in the times of the ejidos, of the colonies, our grandfathers dragged along that bad culture which they lived with their bosses, they commanded, as if they were the little boss of the house, he still says: “I give the orders” and that is the father. And he ordered around his wife and that is how the most horrible thing arose, that women, that is the daughters, the compañeras earlier on were forced to marry because the fathers were those who chose the one which suited him as his son in-law. They chose whoever gave the most booze or most money and that is how it happened in the time of the ejidos, that women were never taken into account, like when the men organized, like when they were organizing for the work, but there women were never taken into account.
(…) How many disappeared, dead, raped, exploited women, and no one says anything for them. Because those rich women, are only a few who benefit from the wealth of other exploited women. Those rich women do not suffer, do not feel the pain, the humiliation of being exploited for being poor. But not because of this are we going to stop organizing and fighting as women, because the women in the system there is only pain, sadness, imprisonment, humiliation, rape. Like the mothers of the 43 disappeared students, the ABC daycare, and the Pasta de Conchos mine. Just the same in Acteal, but not because of this are we going to stop organizing and fighting, from the country and from the city. That is why we are sharing with you for the first time in history.
(…) just as in the system, there are men who do work which women do but it is not for the good of a new society as we do, as Zapatistas; we have an example then in some places in the great restaurants that there are such elegant men doing the work that well, what women do, but there men and women are exploited and while the women who occupied that position are taken to other places to give them another use, like a commodity, take photos of them to put in magazines, on movie covers, in Internet publications; just as we see then that life in this system in which we are well it is harder like 520 years ago, because the situation well what the evil government does to us they are the same grandchildren they are the same children of the landowners who continue exploiting us well now in this country and as we see that there is never a change in the system and the sisters and brothers continue bearing in this suffering in this pain from what the evil government now provokes in us. (Notes taken from the Zapatista contribution in the First Global Festival of Resistances and Rebellions Against Capitalism. Complete version in “Rebeldía Zapatista. No. 4,” forthcoming)
.- In this system being born, growing, living, and dying a woman can be like the elongated crawl through a tangle of barbed wire. But that pain is one of the many stains on history. What alleviates it is those women, more each day, who decide to stand up and like so walk upright. Not as if the barbs were flowers, but as if the scrapes, even the deadly ones, made them stronger… To go along opening the path. Not to change domination’s gender, but for there to be no more domination. Not in order to like so have a place in the history of above, but for the history of below to stop being an unhealed wound. Neither top dog nor bottom dog. Neither queen nor commoner. Neither Khaleesi nor Jhiqui. Neither boss nor employee. Neither master nor slave. Neither owner nor servant. But the terrible thing is not that each female-born being does it with that fraud of a calendar to come, in any political geography. The frightening thing is that those who raise up the cry for a better world, more than a few times weave with their own hands those wounding traps. But each while reality, which in Spanish is feminine, slaps the calendar of above and all the geographies of below. I attest.
Translated from Spanish by Henry Gales.
Originally published on March 8, 2015.
Posted by Henry Gales at 7:06 PM
Letter from the EZLN to Doña Emilia Aurora Sosa Marín, wife of Mayor Insurgente Honorario Félix Serdán Nájera. Subcomandante Insurgente Moisés and Subcomandante Insurgente Galeano.
ZAPATISTA ARMY OF NATIONAL LIBERATION.
For: Doña Emilia Aurora Sosa Marín.
From: Subcomandantes Insurgentes Moisés and Galeano.
EZLN, Chiapas, México.
Several hours ago we got the news. We do not know how long these lines will take to reach your hands, but we know that, no matter the calendar, you will know to read in them the collective embrace which we give you.
Because the death, last February 22nd in the pre-dawn hours, of Don Félix Serdán Nájera, honorary official who was part of our Zapatista Army of National Liberation, hurts and causes sorrow here too.
Here we remember Don Félix’s firm and tender gaze, but also your presence. As if the walk were completed in both. That is why we tell you that his absence pains us. But the pain which now hurts in your heart, Doña Emilia, also pains us.
That is why in these letters we not only want to salute compañero Félix Serdán’s memory, we also want to embrace you.
You and he have shown us in life, that commitment and being consistent is not for bragging about, is not measured in stages, spotlights, grand discourses, and ominous calendars.
Because the struggle is not a momentary lightning-strike which illuminates everything and disappears without further ado. It is a light which, although small, is fueled every day at all times. A light which does not intend to be exclusive and omnipotent. A light which aims to unite with other lights, not to light up a monument, but to illuminate the path and to get lost.
In a few words: the struggle does not sell out, does not give up, and does not give in.
He, like you, always spoke to us and spoke with the simple and true word of those who share dreams, pains, and endeavors.
And when we listened to him, we listened to both of you. And it was both of you whom we saw, and see, at our side in the long path of resistance.
Because although there is no word which can soothe the pain, both of you have instilled in us the commitment of being Zapatistas up to the last breath.
That example of you both, which is repeated and reflected in men, women, and others in every corner of the planet, demands and obliges us into the two steps which we who fight for justice, freedom, and democracy insist upon: resistance and rebellion.
And just as we look at you, in your look we see ourselves. Because you both have been on this side without being dependent on trends and circumstances. You are present because you recognized that the path here and the path there have the same destination.
Without being worn down by the gazes and words from above, you both have always had open hearts for those who are like us. For those of us who absolutely do not trust the system which oppresses us, cheats us, attacks us. For those, with the same tender rage which could be seen in Mayor Insurgente Félix Serdán’s gaze and in yours, Doña Emilia, who build without fuss, without useless ceremonies, and without thunderous statements, the thousand mirrors of freedom.
We saw that a flag, the red and black flag of the EZLN, clothed the final repose of our compañero. We the women, men, children, and elderly of the Zapatista Army of National Liberation were and are with it and in it. With it and in it we are with you, Doña Emilia.
And in those who take shelter under that flag, both of your example will continue. The struggle will continue. Because it is true that death does not find relief if our gaze stops at the end. But here we think that death can only be cured with life, and life is only worthwhile with struggle. And struggle is only fertile when collective.
So we do not die with Don Félix. With his life we live. With his life and with that of many who die resisting and rebelling. Because although it appears that no one keeps record of the absences, there are those who are no one to forget it.
Receive our embrace which, even if it does not cure the absences, soothes by confirming, for you and for Don Félix, that your gazes are reflected here because the same steps are walked.
From the mountains of the Mexican Southeast.
In the name of the women, men, children, and elderly of the Zapatista Army of National Liberation.
Subcomandante Insurgente Moisés Subcomandante Insurgente Galeano.
Mexico, February 2015.
P.D.- According to the compas of the EZLN VI Commission Support Team, a small donation was given to you which we sent when we got the sad news. With this letter they should give you a bit more. It is not much because our possibilities are limited. But support between compas has no measure. We know well that it does not soothe the pain of absence. But we know that you also suffer from economic difficulties due to the long sickness of our compañero. We are sure that the compas of the Sixth Declaration throughout the world, like us, will be sure to support you with what is possible.
Note from the Sixth Declaration Commission Support Team.- The bank account if you wish to support the compañera is Banorte, in the name of Aurora Sosa Marín, account number 0245483284. 9676 Plaza Cuernavaca, branch 2507 Jojutla clabe 072544002454832840
Translated from Spanish by Henry Gales.
Originally published on March 1, 2015.Click here for original Spanish text.
Posted by Henry Gales at 6:17 PM
January 24, 2015
Statement from the First Global Festival of
Resistances and Rebellions Against Capitalism
To the peoples of the world.
From Chiapas, Mexico, we raise our word to address the women and men from below, from the countryside and the city, in Mexico and the world, those who sow resistances and rebellions against neoliberal capitalism which destroys everything.
We gathered on December 21st, 22nd, and 23rd, in the Ñahtó community of San Francisco Xochicuautla, Mexico State; on December 22nd and 23rd in the Nahua community of Amilcingo, Morelos; on December 24th, 25th, and 26th, in the Frente Popular Francisco Villa Independiente’s space, in Mexico City; on December 28th and 29th in the community of Monclova, Campeche; on December 31st and January 1st in the Zapatista Caracol of Oventic, Chiapas; on January 2nd and 3rd in CIDECI, San Cristóbal de las Casas. We gathered to carry-out exchanges, which is not only sharing, but learning and building together. Contributions which were grown with a profound pain which is ours and a rage which is ours, for the disappearance and murder of the students from the Raul Isidro Burgos Normal School in Ayotzinapa, Guerrero. The criminal act which is in-turn the reflection of the politics of death which the evil governments and the capitalists have projected upon each corner of the country and of the world, as they, those who we are missing, are our disappeared and we will not stop fighting until we find them, from what we are in the National and International Sixth Declaration, in the Indigenous National Congress, in the Zapatista Army of National Liberation.
The capitalists and their evil government foremen have left destruction in the heart of the individuals who we are and have left great destruction in the collective heart which we are, since we are the peoples, the fathers and mothers of the young people which they tore from us, and the solidary organizations determined to rebuild life where the powerful have sown grief and death.
In the indigenous communities which we are, the ravages of the capitalist system are suffered with the blood and with the pain of our children, who are also the only possible future for this planet which we call Earth, in which amidst the distances and different colors which they make us be and make us exist, we maintain the certainty that it is our mother and that it is alive, and for it to continue being so, justice is a demand which is woven with the actions and the convictions of we who are the world of below, we who do not aspire to rule it but to walk building it.
From the oceans, the beaches, the mountains, the cities, and the countryside, we build and rebuild together the assemblies, organizations, and collectives which weave, in various autonomous ways, the spaces and forms of organization and solidarity which are capable not only of containing this capitalist destruction which does not distinguish peoples or colors and which in its chronic blindness only recognizes all those who feed this very destruction dressed in permanent wars, unjust markets, and disproportionate profits for a certain few, values foreign to the peoples and against the ancient agreements with our mother Earth which gives meaning to life in the world, which give us freedom and make us dignified, dignified of living and defending life.
But the capitalists who claim to govern and who in reality only seek to dominate, administer, and exploit, have a limit, a great barrier, in the dignity of a person, of a family, of a collective, of a society which they have harmed deep down, have torn and killed part of its heart, detonating an explosion of rebellion like that illuminated by this Global Festival of Resistances and Rebellions Against Capitalism, which we call, “Where those from above destroy, we from below rebuild,” because we are below, from below we understand the world, below we care for it, below we look at one another, and from there, together, rebuild the destiny which we believed to be our own until the powerful tore it from us, and only then do we learn, only then do we know that what is truly ours is what we can build or rebuild where capitalism has destroyed.
The pain which turns into dignified rage in the family members of the murdered and disappeared students from the Raul Isidro Burgos Normal School is the pain which also kidnapped us and disappeared us, so we will never stop fighting until we find ourselves, together with the murdered, disappeared, tortured, exploited, despised, or plundered brother or sister in whichever point of the savage capitalist geography, on whichever border of the world, in whichever prison.
The paths of the world’s peoples both in the countryside and in the city with their own course go along on the trail left by their own ancestors, paths which divide, intersect, cross with ours, until they find a single course, marked by the rebel dignity which speaks in so many languages and has as many colors as nature itself which is woven with tiny embroideries to be able to build what we need to be.
Like so, brothers and sisters of this world, pained, but also joyous due to the rebellion which nourishes us, we invite you to continue walking with a small but firm step, to continue finding us, sharing, building, and learning, weaving the organization from below and to the left of the Sixth Declaration which we are. Only from our rebellion and from our resistance will the death of capitalism be born, will a new world for all live.
San Cristóbal de las Casas, Mexico, on January 3rd, 2015.
INDIGENOUS NATIONAL CONGRESS
ZAPATISTA ARMY OF NATIONAL LIBERATION
INTERNATIONAL SIXTH DECLARATION
NATIONAL SIXTH DECLARATION
Translated from Spanish by Henry Gales.
Posted by Henry Gales at 3:34 PM
January 6, 2015
Words of the EZLN on the 21st Anniversary of the Beginning of the War Against Oblivion. Subcomandante Insurgente Moisés.
ZAPATISTA ARMY OF NATIONAL LIBERATION.
December 31st, 2014 and January 1st, 2015.
Compañeras and compañeros, family members of the students from Ayotzinapa murdered and disappeared by the evil government of this capitalist system:
Compañeras and compañeros of the Indigenous National Congress:
Compañeras, compañeros, and compañeroas of the Sixth Declaration in Mexico and in the world:
Compañeras and compañeros Support Bases of the Zapatista Army of National Liberation:
Compañeras and compañeros comandantes and comandantas, leaders of the Indigenous Revolutionary Clandestine Committee-General Command of the EZLN:
Militia compañeras and compañeros:
Insurgent compañeras and compañeros:
Through my voice speaks the voice of the Zapatista Army of National Liberation.
May all who are and are not present receive the greeting of the Zapatista men, women, boys, girls, and elderly.
May the step, the voice, the ear, the look, the collective heart from below and to the left, be welcome.
We have as guests of honor the family members of those who we are missing in Ayotzinapa, in Mexico, and in the world.
We are grateful at heart for the honor which they give us by being present here with our Zapatista peoples which we are.
Their silences and words honor us also.
Their pain and their rage make us family.
We the Zapatistas do not lose sight of nor close our ears to the sorrow and the anger of Ayotzinapa which the family members show us and speak of.
The sorrow because of the deaths and disappearances. The anger because of the evil governments which hide the truth and deny justice.
What we know and remember in this struggle for Ayotzinapa is that only as organized peoples are we going to find the truth.
Not only the truth which disappeared in Ayotzinapa, also all the truths which have been kidnapped, imprisoned, and murdered in all corners of planet Earth.
Over that now-absent truth we will be able to build justice.
Because we the Zapatistas, think that we must no longer trust the evil governments which there are throughout the world.
Those evil governments which only serve the great capitalists.
Those evil governments which are only employees of capital. The foremen, stewards, and corporals of the great capitalist plantation.
Those evil governments are never going to do any good for the peoples.
It does not matter how many words they say, those evil governments do not command, because the head honcho is neoliberal capitalism.
That is why we must not believe the evil governments at all.
Everything that we want as peoples we have to build among ourselves.
Just as the family members of the murdered and disappeared from Ayotzinapa are building their search for truth and justice.
Just as they are building their own struggle.
We want to tell the fathers and mothers of the disappeared compañeros not to rest, to fight, and not to stop fighting for truth and justice for the 43.
The struggle of the Ayotzinapa family members is example and nourishment which they give to those of us who want truth and justice on all the planet’s soils.
And so we are to take the example of the fathers and mothers, of leaving the home and the family to work and encounter other families who have their same pains, rages, and resistances.
Hope is not in an individual man or woman, as they make us believe and say “vote for me” or “come to this organization because we are going to win the fight.”
That’s what they say.
But, what fight? If we know that what they want is to rise to power and then later they forget about everything and everyone.
That is why it is better for us to take the example of the family members of Ayotzinapa, of organizing.
It is necessary to build and grow organization in each place where we live.
Let us imagine how the new society could be.
For that we have to study how we are in this society in which we live.
We the Zapatistas say that we are in a society where we are exploited, repressed, disappeared, and plundered by centuries of bosses and leaders, and as of today, the end of 2014 and beginning of 2015, society remains this way.
Since then they have wanted to cheat us telling us that they, those from above, are the baddest of badasses and that we are good for nothing.
That we are stupid, that is what they tell us.
That they know how to think, imagine, create, and that we are only peons in what they do.
“To hell with that!” “Enough!” That is what we the Zapatistas said in the year 1994, and so we had to govern ourselves autonomously.
Like so we the Zapatistas see that the disappeared students’ family members’ effort of work and struggle with rebellion and resistance with dignity, it is that they are calling us to organize so that the same does not happen to us.
Or so we may know what to do before the same happens to us.
Or what to do so that what happened to them because of this capitalist system which we are in never happens to anyone.
Because the family members of Ayotzinapa have explained it very well. Like good teachers the family members have explained that the one responsible for the crime is this system by way of its foremen.
And the system too has its schools for foremen, stewards, and corporals, and those schools are the political parties which only seek positions, posts.
There is where the evil governments’ servile ones are prepared, there they learn to steal, to cheat, to impose, to command.
From there emerge those who force these laws to be fulfilled with violence, who are the presidents, governors, and mayors, with their armies and police.
From there emerge those who judge and condemn those who do not obey these laws, who are the judges.
And well we see that it does not matter if those foremen, stewards, and corporals are men or women, if they are white, black, yellow, red, green, blue, brown, any color.
The work of those above is to not let those of us below breathe.
At times the one who orders to kill has the same skin color as the one who is killed.
At times the murder and the victim have the same color and language.
And neither the calendar nor the geography matters.
What the struggle of the family members and compañeros from Ayotzinapa has made us think is that those who kidnap, murder, and lie are the same.
That those who preach lies are not going to seek the truth.
That those who impose injustice are not going to make justice.
And it is that we think that it cannot continue like this forever, everywhere and at all levels.
And this is what the family members from Ayotzinapa teach us, that it is better for those of us who suffer from this disease which is called capitalism to seek and find each other.
Hand in hand with the family members of Ayotzinapa we seek the disappeared which there are in all the worlds which we are.
Because those disappeared and murdered every day and at all times and in all places are truth and justice.
Hand in hand with the family members of the 43 we understood that Ayotzinapa is not in the Mexican state of Guerrero, but rather is everywhere in the world of below.
Hand in hand we understand that the common enemy of the countryside and of the city is capitalism, not only in one country but throughout the world.
But this capitalist world war encounters, in all corners, people who rebel and resist.
These people in rebellion and resistance go along organizing according to their own thought, according to their place, according to their history, according to their way.
And in these struggles of rebellion and resistance they go along meeting each other and making their agreements to achieve what is desired.
They meet but do not judge each other.
They do not enter into competition to see who is better. They do not ask each other who has done more, who is going forward, who is the Vanguard, who commands.
What they ask each other is if there is some good in what is capitalism.
And as the response which they find it’s that there is NOTHING good, but entirely the opposite, it creates for us a thousand forms of evils, so it is logical that we have a thousand forms of response to this evil.
In other words, the question goes on to be, what is to be done to rebel against evil? How does one resist so that that evil of capitalism does not destroy? What is to be done to rebuild what was destroyed in a way that it is not the same but better? How are the fallen to be raised? How are the disappeared to be found? How are the prisoners to be freed? How do the dead live? How are democracy, justice, and freedom constructed?
There is no one response. There is no manual. There is no dogma. There is no creed.
There are many responses, many ways, many forms.
And each one goes along seeing their results and learning from their own struggle and from the struggles of others.
While those from above enrich themselves with payment, those from below enrich themselves with experiences of struggle.
And, sisters and brothers, we tell you clearly that we the Zapatistas have learned from watching you and listening to you, and from watching and listening to the world.
It has not been, nor is it, nor will it be from an individual that the gift of freedom, of truth, of justice, is going to arrive to us.
Because it turns out, friends and enemies, that freedom, truth, and justice are not gifts, but rights which must be conquered and defended.
And collectives are what achieve them.
We already are the peoples, men, women, and others of the countryside and the city, those who have to have freedom, democracy, and justice in-hand for a new society.
That is what the fathers and mothers of the disappeared compañeros are posing to us.
We will have to struggle with a thousand ways to conquer this new society. We will have to participate with different levels of commitment for that new society.
We all must accompany the family members of Ayotzinapa in the struggle in their search for truth and justice, plainly and simply because that is the duty of anyone from below and to the left.
And we say accompany, because it is not a matter of leading them, of manipulating them, of managing them, of using them, of scorning them.
It is a matter of struggling together with them.
Because no honest human being can celebrate this pain and this rage, this injustice.
Sisters and brothers, family members of those absent from Ayotzinapa:
The Zapatistas support you because your struggle is just and is true. Because your struggle must be all of humanity’s.
It has been you and no one else who has put the word “Ayotzinapa” into global vocabulary.
You, with your simple word. You with no leader other than your pained and infuriated heart.
And that which you have shown has given much strength and spirit to us simple folk from below and to the left.
Because there outside they say and shout to each other that only the great minds know how, that only with leaders and bosses, the only with political parties, that only with elections.
And there they are in their clamor which even they do not hear, they do not even hear reality.
And so your pain, your rage, appeared.
And so you taught us that it was and is our pain also, that it was and is our rage also.
That is why we asked you to have our representation in those days of the First Global Festival of Resistances and Rebellions Against Capitalism.
We do not only wish for the achievement of the noble objective of those who we are still missing today returning with life.
We also will continue supporting with our small forces.
As Zapatistas we are sure that your absent ones, who are also ours, when they make themselves present again they will be amazed not so much because their names took many languages and many geographies. Nor because their faces traveled the world. Nor because the struggle for their appearance with life was and is global. Nor because their absence has demolished the lie made government and denounced the terror made system.
They will be amazed indeed, but upon realizing the moral stature of their family members, of you, who at no point let their names fall. And who, without giving up, without selling out, without giving in, continued looking until finding them.
So, that day or that night, your absent ones will give you the same embrace that we the Zapatistas now give you.
An embrace of love, of respect, of admiration.
And in addition, we give you 46 embraces, one for each one of the absent.
- Abel García Hernández
- Abelardo Vázquez Peniten
- Adán Abraján de la Cruz
- Antonio Santana Maestro
- Benjamín Ascencio Bautista
- Bernardo Flores Alcaraz
- Carlos Iván Ramírez Villarreal
- Carlos Lorenzo Hernández Muñoz
- César Manuel González Hernández
- Christian Alfonso Rodríguez Telumbre
- Christian Tomás Colón Garnica
- Cutberto Ortiz Ramos
- Dorian González Parral
- Emiliano Alen Gaspar de la Cruz.
- Everardo Rodríguez Bello
- Felipe Arnulfo Rosas
- Giovanni Galindes Guerrero
- Israel Caballero Sánchez
- Israel Jacinto Lugardo
- Jesús Jovany Rodríguez Tlatempa
- Jonás Trujillo González
- Jorge Álvarez Nava
- Jorge Aníbal Cruz Mendoza
- Jorge Antonio Tizapa Legideño
- Jorge Luis González Parral
- José Ángel Campos Cantor
- José Ángel Navarrete González
-José Eduardo Bartolo Tlatempa
-José Luis Luna Torres
-Jhosivani Guerrero de la Cruz
-Julio César López Patolzin
-Leonel Castro Abarca
-Luis Ángel Abarca Carrillo
-Luis Ángel Francisco Arzola
-Magdaleno Rubén Lauro Villegas
-Marcial Pablo Baranda
-Marco Antonio Gómez Molina
-Martín Getsemany Sánchez García
-Mauricio Ortega Valerio
-Miguel Ángel Hernández Martínez
-Miguel Ángel Mendoza Zacarías
.-Saúl Bruno García
.- Julio César Mondragón Fontes
.- Daniel Solís Gallardo
.- Julio César Ramírez Nava
.- Alexander Mora Venancio
You are here with us, the sisters and brothers of the native peoples who struggle in the great agreement which is called the Indigenous National Congress.
Since more than 500 years ago we have sought each other as native peoples in the paths of rebellion and resistance.
Since more than 500 years ago pain and rage have been the day and the night in our path.
Since more than 500 years ago it has been our endeavor to conquer freedom, truth, and justice.
Since more than 18 years ago we have found each other as the Indigenous National Congress by the hand of the late Comandanta Ramona.
Since then we have tried to be students of her wisdom, of her history, of her endeavor.
Since then we have been revealing, together, the passage of capitalism’s dismal carriage over our bones, our blood, our history.
And we name exploitation, plunder, repression, and discrimination.
And we name the crime and the criminal: the capitalist system.
But not only, also with our bones, blood, and history we name the rebellion and the resistance of the native peoples.
With the Indigenous National Congress we raised the dignified color of the land that we are.
With the Indigenous National Congress we learned that we have to know how to respect each other, that we are going to have our place in our demands.
We understand that now the most urgent thing is truth and justice for Ayotzinapa.
Today the most painful and infuriating thing is that the 43 are not with us.
Tomorrow we do not want such things to happen to us to, for this, let us spread the word there in our towns, nations, neighborhoods, and tribes.
Let us call upon our peoples to no longer allow them to continue cheating us with miserable handouts, only to keep us quiet, and for the head honchos to continue enriching themselves at our expense.
Let us join our rages and organize and struggle with dignity without selling out, without giving up, and without giving in, for our political prisoners, who they have in prison for struggling for the injustices in which we live.
As native peoples we fight for what is our right, we know how to do this, our great great grandparents taught us this, that they cannot do away with us as the native peoples that we are on these soils.
That is why we exist in so many languages, because our ancestors knew how not to let themselves be done away with, now the same thing is our responsibility.
We all must say NO to the transnationals.
From our towns, nations, neighborhoods, and tribes, we all have to think what we are going to do, how we are going to do it, we have to think how we have to communicate about what the evil governments are doing to us.
And so we are to organize and take care of each other.
Because they will want to buy us, want to give away handouts, want to offer us positions.
They are going to look for all the ways to divide us and for us to fight and kill each other.
They are going to want to dominate and control us with other ideas.
They are going to spy on us and want to introduce all types fear.
And they are going to put thousands of traps for us to fall and no longer struggle for our people.
But are we really going to allow them to continue another 520 years of treating us like their garbage?
We only want to live in peace, without the exploitation of man by man, we want equality among men and women, respect for those who are different, and to decide together our destiny, the world which we want in the countryside and the city.
We are sure that we are going to know the best way of life which we want other than that which they impose upon us.
We the Zapatistas, want to ask the native peoples of the Indigenous National Congress to reach out to the family members of Ayotzinapa receiving them in their territories.
We ask you to invite their steps and their hearts.
We ask you, for them, for the honor of their word and of their ear.
Great is the knowledge which roosts in the hearts of the native peoples, and it will grow more upon sharing the word of pain and rage with these people.
As the guardians of mother Earth which we are, we know well that our step is long and needs company.
There is much to walk still and we cannot stop.
So we will continue walking.
As native peoples we know the earth well, let us work mother Earth, let us live with what she gives us, without exploiting.
Let us care for, love, and rest in peace in her.
We are the guardians of mother Earth.
With her we can do everything, without her everything dies uselessly.
As native peoples it is our time now and forever.
Compañeras, compañeros and compañeroas of the national and international Sixth Declaration:
In these days, being and not being present, an exchange has taken place which is not but one more of the steps which we have to take together as the Sixth Declaration and each one in their own place of struggle, with their ways, with their history.
There are times in history which run, put us before something in which we unite, without matter for the geography which our dream travels and without matter for the calendar of our struggle.
Ayotzinapa has been a point where we have reunited.
It is not enough.
Let us work, organize, and struggle for our disappeared compañer@s and struggle for our prisoners.
Let us form a whirlwind in the world, so that they give us our disappeared alive.
Let us make one. We are in fact one as human beings, but there are some beasts who disappear us, they are the capitalists.
Let us form one wave and envelop those beasts and drown those wicked ones who have done us so much harm in the world.
Let us matter to each other, as the family members from Ayotzinapa are teaching us.
Like them, without resting, without taking advantage to get a cut for other interests.
Compañeros and compañeras, let us remove from our heads the bad meaning of the phrase “take advantage.”
Let us think of the good meaning of the word, let us take advantage of our common good. We already live the bad which those who have taken advantage make by exploiting us.
And still it disappears us, tortures us, imprisons us.
Freedom, justice, democracy, and peace is our destiny.
It is now time for us the poor of the world to begin by constructing another more just world, where we leave the generations prepared to not allow Savage neoliberal capitalism to return.
Let us hear the cry of the 43 young student compañeros, who tell us “look for us and find us, do not allow them to cover our cry, the 43 who are the same as you, they deprive us of our freedom, we are seeing if you are going to fight for us, and if you do not fight, it means that you are not going to fight for the rest, that it is going to come for theirs.”
The cry of the 43 compañeros is telling us, “help, accompany, struggle, organize, work, move together with our family members, for they are already leaving you alone because the elections are now approaching, this is what it is doing to us for them to forget about us.”
Let us join our struggles which we have, the struggle for the disappeared. Let us name the absent. Let us point out the crime clearly. Let us point out the criminal.
The family members of Ayotzinapa have nourished our force of rebellion and resistance, they have opened our eyes more and they have made our dignified rage grow.
They are indicating a path and they are saying that giving their lives does not matter if it is necessary for their disappeared.
And they show us also about how all of us must organize, those with disappeared and also those without disappeared for now, but who are going be with disappeared if we do not organize, because the narco-governments are still there.
They show us that it is necessary to struggle, not to care if we do not appear in the paid media, what matters to us is life and no more deaths and disappearances.
They show us that it is time for us to organize.
That it is time to decide for ourselves, our destiny.
It is that simple and that complicated.
Because that means organization, work, struggle, rebellion, and resistance.
Only with movement and organization will we from below defend ourselves and free ourselves.
Compañeras and compañeros of the Zapatista Army of National Liberation:
It has been a difficult year.
The war against our spirit of peace continues.
The head honcho continues wanting to kill our freedom.
The lie continues wanting to hide our endeavor.
Our blood and our death continue fertilizing our mountains.
Like since some time ago. Pain and death which before were only for us continued extending themselves to other places and reaching others in the country and the city.
Darkness is made longer and heavier in the world which corresponds to each one of us.
We, in fact, knew.
We, in fact, know.
For this we prepared for years, decades, centuries:
Our look does not only look close.
It does not only look at today nor only at our soil.
We look far in the calendar and the geography and like so we think.
Ever more pain unites us, but also rage.
Because now and since some time ago, we see that in many corners lights are lit.
Lights of rebellion and resistance.
Sometimes small like ours.
Sometimes they last.
Sometimes they are only a flicker which quickly goes out.
Sometimes they continue and continue, without going out in memory.
And in all those lights it is predicted that the tomorrow which follows will be very other.
We, in fact, knew it 21 years ago, 31 years ago, 100 years ago, 500 years ago.
We, in fact, know that we have to struggle every day, at all times, in all places.
We, in fact, know that we will not give up, that we will not sell out, and that we will not give in.
We, in fact, no that what is lacking is lacking.
In the following days, weeks, months, more of our word, of our thought on how we see the small world and the large world, will be released.
They will be difficult words and thoughts because they are simple.
Because we see clearly that the world is not that of 100 years ago, well it is not even the same as 20 years ago.
As the Zapatistas that we are, although small, we think the world.
We study it in its calendars and geographies.
Critical thought is necessary for struggle.
Theory is what they call critical thought.
Not idle thought, which conforms with what there is.
Not dogmatic thought, which makes itself head honcho and imposes.
Not crooked thought, which argues lies.
Thought which asks, which questions, which doubts.
Not even in the most difficult conditions should the study and analysis of reality be abandoned.
Study and analysis are also weapons for the struggle.
But not only practice, not only theory.
Thought which does not struggle, makes nothing more than noise.
Struggle which does not think, repeats its errors and does not get up after falling.
And struggle and thought gather in warriors, in the rebellion and resistance which today shake the world even if its sound is silenced.
We the Zapatistas think and struggle.
We struggle and think in the collective heart which we are.
Compañeras, compañeros, compañeroas:
There is not only one path.
There is not a sole step.
Those who walk and struggle do not have the same way.
The walker is not one.
The times and the places are varied and many are the colors which shine below and to the left in the land which hurts.
But the destination is the same: freedom. Freedom. FREEDOM.
Compañeros, compañeras, compañeroas:
Sisters and brothers:
21 years after the beginning of our war against oblivion, this is our word:
TRUTH AND JUSTICE FOR AYOTZINAPA!
TRUTH AND JUSTICE FOR MEXICO AND THE WORLD!
MAY THE DEATH WHICH CAPITALISM IMPOSES DIE!
LONG LIVE THE LIFE WHICH RESISTANCE CREATES!
FOR HUMANITY AND AGAINST CAPITALISM!
REBELLION AND RESISTANCE!
From the mountains of the Mexican Southeast.
For the Indigenous Revolutionary Clandestine Committee-General Command of the Zapatista Army of National Liberation.
Subcomandante Insurgente Moisés.
Mexico, January 2015.
Translated from Spanish by Henry Gales.
Posted by Henry Gales at 5:27 PM