Two Very Intense Weeks in Chiapas

Posted in Uncategorized on July 26, 2016 by floweroftheword

It began on Monday, July 11, in Tuxtla Gutiérrez with the teachers’ mega-march. Then, the EZLN issued 2 comunicados, one to the teachers containing 2 videos and the other announcing that they will present some of their artistic works on one day. On Monday, July 18, Pueblo Creyente marched again in support of the teachers, while the only remaining roadblock continued to build support and become a people’s movement in San Cristóbal de las Casas. Suddenly, it was violently evicted on Wednesday, July 20 and the EZLN issued a strong letter to the Governor of Chiapas.

1. Mega-March fills Tuxtla Gutiérrez– This article describes the statewide reach that the teachers’ movement in Chiapas has achieved.

En español: http://www.jornada.unam.mx/2016/07/12/politica/005n1pol

2. EZLN: For the teacher with affection – This Zapatista comunicado is dedicated to the teachers and sends them 2 videos of music and dance that they prepared for CompArte.

En español: http://enlacezapatista.ezln.org.mx/2016/07/13/a-la-maestra-con-carino/

3. The geography? Oventik. The calendar? July 29, 2016 – This comunicado announces that the Zapatistas have decided to participate in the CompArte Festival for one day – July 29 – in the Caracol of Oventik!

En español: http://enlacezapatista.ezln.org.mx/2016/07/17/la-geografia-oventik-el-calendario-29-de-julio-del-2016/

4. In Chiapas, thousands march in support of the CNTE – Pueblo Creyente (Believing People) demonstrated its strong support for the teachers from indigenous Catholics belonging to the Diocese of San Cristóbal de las Casas and their parish priests.

En español: http://www.proceso.com.mx/447687/marchan-miles-catolicos-indigenas-en-respaldo-a-la-cnte-en-chiapas

5. Violent eviction of the CNTE from Chiapas occupation – Masked thugs arrived at the occupation and roadblock with sticks, machetes and guns. They drove the occupation out, destroyed the encampment and burned it. The teachers and citizens returned the same evening and re-installed the occupation and encampment.

En español: http://www.jornada.unam.mx/2016/07/21/politica/005n1pol

6. EZLN: Open letter on the San Cristóbal attacks – The full title of this Zapatista comunicado is: "Open letter on the aggressions against the People’s Movement in San Cristóbal de Las Casas, Chiapas." It is an important letter to the Governor of Chiapas!

En español: http://enlacezapatista.ezln.org.mx/2016/07/21/carta-abierta-sobre-la-agresion-al-movimiento-popular-en-san-cristobal-de-las-casas-chiapas/

Velasco’s Disregard for the Lives of Indigenous People

Posted in Uncategorized on July 25, 2016 by floweroftheword

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Chiapas, Mexico. July 23, 2016

With the violent death of five people after a dispute between members of the Green and PRI political parties, affiliated with the government, in the county seat of San Juan Chamula, once again the state administration of Velasco Coello has demonstrated its disregard for the lives of members of the indigenous communities in Chiapas, whether or not they are their allies. Since the government assumed power, the administration has continually stimulated and incentivised conflicts for the political benefit of itself and its “green Ecology” party.

In the municipality of Chenalhó they also have had deaths in consequence of the party political disputes between the Greens and PRIistas. Last May, a child died from injuries received as the result of a fight between sympathizers and groups opposed to the ex-mayor Rosa Pérez.

And, as a result of the climate of fear present in the region, on June 23, 2015, a member of the civil society organization Las Abejas de Acteal was assassinated. The organization said that Manuel went to the municipal head of Pantelhó. Upon returning and accompanied by his 11 year old son Juan López Guzmán, in the height of the Sibaluk´um bridge about a kilometre from the municipal head of Pantelhó, seven people dressed in military clothing with firearms ambushed the public transport vehicle in which he was travelling, killing him with three shots.

The events in San Juan Chamula also bring to mind the death of Zapatista teacher Galeano, on May 2nd, 2014, after a series of manipulations by the governments of Velasco and Peña Nieto to create tension between other indigenous communities and the Zapatistas.

Another issue is the displaced indigenous families in the region, like the cases of the community Primero de Agosto in Las Margaritas, and Banavil in the municipality of Tenejapa, and the colonia Puebla, in Chenalhó; the government does not see or hear their demands for justice and return to their communities.

Photo: Isain Mandujano.

Posted by Dorset Chiapas Solidarity

From a translation by Palabras Rebeldes

http://www.pozol.org/?p=13137

Manuel Velasco killed the mayor of Chamula

Posted in Uncategorized on July 25, 2016 by floweroftheword

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By Chiapas Uncensored, 25th July 2016

The social extravagance, the lack of support and the zero fulfilment of campaign promises were the main reasons why the indigenous of San Juan Chamula staged a confrontation with gunshots, sticks and stones, which killed the mayor Domingo López González, his assistant Narciso Lunes and the justice of peace and reconciliation, Sebastian López. The true guilty party has not been nor will be arrested; it is Manuel Velasco Coello.

Although the Attorney General of the State (PGJE), is working to arrest the perpetrators of the killings in Chamula, the one truly responsible continues to enjoy his life of luxury and excesses, the governor will not go to San Juan Chamula, and this has provoked the anger and resentment of the people.

Here a photo is inserted of the Mayor after he was killed in the central square of Chamula

While nothing justifies depriving another human being of life, Manuel Velasco set off a time bomb, he was warned that trouble would break out unless measures were taken in the matter; this was not done, and the bomb exploded; the result as we all know, is several people dead and wounded.

Currently the majority of the inhabitants of Chamula live in inhuman and precarious conditions. They live in one room made of wood and cardboard, sheets of plastic and rags, with an earth floor and a roof of old plastic and tin, which along with the low temperatures (1°C), makes them ill. This along with the lack of adequate food makes them more vulnerable to disease, they have no means of livelihood, much less education and health.

When Velasco Coello was campaigning for governor, he said he would take up this matter, he would support them and they would have better living conditions; this did not happen.

In a few months Velasco will leave the governorship, and the state remains the same or in worse conditions. This means it is up to us to decide who will lead the direction of our state to where we want it to go.

Translated by Dorset Chiapas Solidarity

https://www.facebook.com/notes/chiapas-sin-censura/manuel-velasco-mat%C3%B3-al-alcalde-de-chamula/1043063372444127

Insumisión: from Teachers’ Strike to People’s Rebellion

Posted in Uncategorized on July 25, 2016 by floweroftheword
nochixtlan-indigenous-peoples-caravanIndigenous Peoples Caravan passing through Nochixtlán.

July 24, 2016

Originally published by It’s Going Down
By Scott Campbell

With the ongoing teachers’ strike that has morphed into a widespread rebellion, primarily in Oaxaca and Chiapas, we haven’t put together a more general roundup of resistance and repression in Mexico in some time. While that struggle is very much alive and well, the intensity with which it is unfolding has diminished some. This column will first take a look at the past three weeks of that conflict (if you need to get up to speed, check out this piece) and then cover some of the other recent events around the country.

The teachers belonging to the National Coordinator of Education Workers (CNTE) have now been on strike for more than two months. Since the massacre by federal and state forces in Nochixtlán, Oaxaca on June 19, in which eleven people were killed, the conflict has taken on an increasingly popular dimension. This has looked like direct actions, marches, material support and expressions of solidarity from across Mexico and beyond, in numbers far too large to recount individually.

By way of example, here are some of the actions that have occurred over the past few weeks. Parents and teachers took over toll booths in both Mexico City and Durango for a day, allowing cars to pass through for free. On July 3, an explosives device was detonated at the headquarters of business associations in Mexico City who have been lobbying the government to crush the uprising. There were three days of intense mobilizations from July 5-7 in Mexico City. On the first day, there were at least 70 simultaneous blockades and marches, followed by four mass marches on July 6, and at least ten blockades on July 7.

The Zapatistas have continued releasing statements in support of the teachers’ struggle, stating, “To say it more clearly: for us Zapatistas, the most important thing on this calendar and in the very limited geography from which we resist and struggle, is the struggle of the democratic teachers’ union.” They also went further and announced that they were suspending their participation in the July 17-23 CompArte Festival for Humanity, which they had called for earlier this year. Instead, they sent delegations from all the Zapatista caracoles to donate the food they would have eaten during the seven-day festival to the teachers in resistance in Chiapas. This amounted to 290,000 pesos (15,600 USD) worth of food.

In recognition of the contribution of the people to their struggle and the fact that the people have demands which extend beyond the immediate concerns of the union, on July 9, Section 22 of the CNTE in Oaxaca called for a gathering of teachers and indigenous leaders to “build a peoples’ agenda against structural reforms.” The union met with authorities from 90 municipalities in the state. Important to note is that these authorities are selected as the moral leadership of their communities not through a vote based on political party, but through nominations, discussions and agreements reached in community assemblies. The first outcome of that gathering was the Indigenous Peoples Caravan, which traveled from Oaxaca to Mexico City from July 17-19, with the participation of more than 120 municipal authorities and the teachers’ union. The union is making a similar effort in Chiapas, where they announced union delegates will visit every community in the state to meet with parents and members of civil society. Also in Chiapas, 52 church parishes, primarily adherents to liberation theology, marched in support of the teachers on July 19.

Along with Oaxaca, Chiapas and Mexico City, Michoacán has been holding it down. On July 11, teachers blockaded train tracks at seven different points throughout the state. (Michoacán is home to Lázaro Cardenas, Mexico’s biggest port and one of the largest seaports along the Pacific.) A week later, on July 19 and 20, state and federal forces attacked teachers’ highway blockades there, with 25 teachers being arrested on July 20. More by coincidence than coordination, an attack also occurred on the highway blockade outside of San Cristóbal de las Casas, Chiapas on July 20. In that incident, state and municipal police loaded armed and masked members of the Green Party (PVEM – a right-wing party distinct from international Green Parties) from San Juan Chamula into a tractor trailer, drove it to the blockade and opened it up, providing cover while the paramilitaries attacked and burned the blockade and encampment. Fortunately there were no deaths, though one teacher was shot in the shoulder by a paramilitary. In response, teachers and supporters regrouped in the city center of San Cristóbal, taking over the old city hall and flying a red and black flag from it. (Along with the anarchist connotations, a red and black flag flying from a building in Mexico typically signals that the workers in that building are on strike.) They then marched back to the site of the blockade and built it up once again, where it remains. More context on San Juan Chamula to come later in this piece.

At the same time that all these actions have been occurring, the CNTE and the Interior Ministry have been holding negotiations. They have met a total of six times, addressing political, educational and social issues. At each meeting the teachers come prepared with specific proposals and ask the government to do the same. After each meeting the end result has been the same: no progress. They will meet again on July 26.

In an attempt to subvert the mobilization of the CNTE, the Public Education Ministry has begun negotiations with the National Union of Education Workers (SNTE), the union that all teachers in Mexico belong to and of which the CNTE is considered a “dissident faction.” While telling the CNTE that the educational reform is non-negotiable, the government has indicated to the SNTE that is it willing to modify it. The CNTE responded to this by referring, in an official statement, to the SNTE leadership as “the system’s rats” who “are being increasingly exposed as true mercenaries and scabs.”

The last bit of news from the electoral realm is that on July 14, Andrés Manuel López Obrador (AMLO) – who for Mexican politics is something like a never-ending Bernie Sanders – proclaimed, “You can’t repeal the educational reform; that would be a failure of government and doesn’t serve anybody. There must be authority.” AMLO’s latest party, MORENA (he used to be PRI, then PRD), has tried to capitalize on the teachers’ strike to grow their numbers yet its partisans have been notably silent regarding their leader’s rejection of the main demand of the strike.

In some sad news, a teacher, José Caballero Julián, who was wounded on June 11 when state forces attacked the teachers’ encampment in front of the Oaxaca State Institute of Public Education (IEEPO), died of his injuries on July 5. In addition to the eleven massacred in Nochixtlán, Azarel Galán Mendoza who was killed in Viguera and Salvador Olmos García, the anarchist and journalist murdered by police in Huajuapan, Caballero’s death brings the total to fourteen killed by the state in Oaxaca during the course of the rebellion so far.

While the growing national mobilizations initiated by the teachers’ strike has dominated headlines and coverage from Mexico, there are of course numerous ongoing resistances that at least on the surface can be seen as independent of that struggle. The matter pending before the union and the people in resistance is if and how these fights, most of which are directed against neoliberal capitalism and the state, can be coherently integrated into a broader movement. As mentioned above, steps have been taken in that direction, but for the most part it is still the teachers union at the wheel.

okupa-su-destino“Occupy your destiny.” Recent street art in Oaxaca.

Students from the Xochimilco, Azcapotzalco and Iztapalapa campuses of the Autonomous Metropolitan University (UAM) in Mexico City won a major victory earlier this month after occupying the university President’s Offices. The takeover was in response to cuts in scholarships for studying aboard or elsewhere in Mexico. After holding the building and following a twelve hour meeting with the administration, they left with the university agreeing to fund 100 percent of scholarships. Also in Mexico City, riot policeattacked a gathering of indigenous peoples at the Monument to the Revolution on July 15. The organizations and communities were protesting their exclusion and the exclusion of indigenous practices from the process Mexico City is currently going through to restructure its form of governance.

The violence continues unabated in Veracruz, where on July 7, Jairo Guarneros of the Colectivo Feminista Cihuatlahtolli in Orizaba,survived an assassination attempt that occurred one day after he denounced the police murder of a woman riding in a taxi. After killing the woman, the police fled the scene. Pedro Tamayo Rosas became the 17th journalist murdered in Veracruz during the reign of Governor Javier Duarte. Shot eleven times at his home on July 20, Tamayo lived in and reported on the Tierra Blanca region. He had previously fled the state following threats he received for his coverage of the disappearance of five young people by police in that region in January.

With his legacy of oppression, violence and exploitation, Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto certainly has a lot to make amends for. So what did he actually decide to apologize for? On July 18, he asked forgiveness for the “perception” of wrongdoing that occurred when in 2014 his wife purchased a $7 million mansion – known as the White House – in Guerrero from a corporation that had tens of millions of dollars’ worth of government contracts. Two days later, the well-known journalist who broke the story, Carmen Aristegui, was sued by her former employer, MVS Radio, to stop the publication of a book on the Casa Blanca scandal. MVS fired Aristegui in 2015 after she first reported on the story. Naturally, MVS and the federal government deny any collusion.

In Cuidad Ixtepec in Oaxaca, organizing continues against attempts by the Canadian mining company Linear Gold Corporation to mine in the area, a project that would not only damage the environment but also archeological sites. On July 12, indigenous women from Ixtepec destroyed a concrete topographical marker put in by the company, followed by a 500-person protest a week later.

This weekend, Oaxaca is seeing three days of festivities for the Tenth Annual Teachers-Peoples Guelaguetza. Guelaguetza is both an indigenous concept and celebration premised on mutual aid and community participation, where communities from around the state come to the city of Oaxaca and hold marches, banquets and dances conveying the traditions of each community. The biggest festival of the year, the Guelaguetza became commercialized by the state, with tickets to attend costing $40, well beyond the reach of the average Oaxacan. Following the 2006 uprising, the Popular Assembly of the Peoples of Oaxaca (APPO) announced a boycott of the official Guelaguetza and ever since the teachers union and civil society groups have been organizing their own free version. Here’s the promo trailer for this year:

As was mentioned above, the Zapatistas stated they were suspending their participation in the CompArte (a spin on the words “art” and “sharing”) Festival for Humanity. In one statement, they offer a breakdown of the original plans for the 1,400-plus artists who were going to participate (along with a video of Zapatistas dancing to Ska-P). In response, CIDECI-Unitierra, who often assists in the organization of Zapatista events in San Cristóbal, announced they’d still be holding an abridged version of the festival. In response to that response, the Zapatistas backed off their decision to not participate at all and invited everyone to come to Oventik on July 29 to participate in a condensed presentation of what they had prepared for the festival.

The last piece of news from Chiapas brings us back to San Juan Chamula, some of whose residents attacked the teachers’ blockade on July 20. Following that incident, several communities in the municipality of Chamula released a statementcondemning the attack, expressing their support for the teachers, and threatening, “The municipality of Chamula will rise up in arms if necessary. If the government doesn’t want peace, then we won’t give them peace.” The Zapatistas also presciently stated, “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.”

And then three days later it happened. On July 23, a group of individuals affiliated with the PRI showed up at the town hall demanding that the mayor – affiliated with the PVEM – pay them the money he owed them for their artisanal work. He refused to do so at that moment and the PRIistas stormed the building. The mayor and his bodyguards opened fire and an hours-long shootout commenced in the center of the town. In the end, five people were killed, including the mayor.

San Juan Chamula is a popular tourist destination due to its religious festivities and proximity to San Cristóbal. It is also a deeply divided Tzotzil municipality. This began decades ago following the conversion of growing numbers of Chamulans to evangelical Christianity by outside missionaries. They clashed with those who remained adherents to the indigenous-Catholic tradition that emerged following colonization, using the pretext of religion to settle disputes over land and territory, leaving dozens dead. Political parties – primarily the PRI and PVEM – have supported or attacked these factions depending on the needs of power, leading to events like the ones seen on July 20 and 23. Another conflict between the PRI and PVEM caused the deaths of two people and the displacement of 81 in Chenalhó, Chiapas on May 26. Manipulation of internal divisions by political parties within a context of neoliberal exploitation is one of the main factors pushing many indigenous communities to organize for autonomy, to ban political parties and to return to making decisions using community assemblies according to practices generically referred to as usos y costumbres.

In our last bit of news, some anarchists in Tijuana published a roundup of some of their activities in recent months, including sabotage attacks and banner drops – some in solidarity with anti-police and anti-fascist mobilizing in the US and anarchist political prisoners worldwide.

Posted by Dorset Chiapas Solidarity on 25/07/2016

https://itsgoingdown.org/insumision-strike-rebellion/

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Compañerxs from San Sebastian Bachajon support the teachers by delivering supplies

Posted in Uncategorized on July 25, 2016 by floweroftheword

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FROM THE EJIDO SAN SEBASTIAN BACHAJON, ADHERENTS TO THE SIXTH DECLARATION OF THE LACANDON JUNGLE, CHIAPAS, MEXICO 21st JULY 2016

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.

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https://youtu.be/z3sGdAg4TaM

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!

JUSTICE FOR AYOTZINAPA, ACTEAL, ABC, ATENCO, NOCHIXTLÁN, OAXACA!

JUSTICE FOR OUR COMPAÑERO JUAN VAZQUEZ GUZMAN!

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

Posted in Uncategorized on July 25, 2016 by floweroftheword

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ZAPATISTA ARMY OF NATIONAL LIBERATION

MEXICO

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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

http://enlacezapatista.ezln.org.mx/2016/07/21/carta-abierta-sobre-la-agresion-al-movimiento-popular-en-san-cristobal-de-las-casas-chiapas/

Chiapas: Vigilante Group Violently Removes Dissident Teacher Blockade of Highway

Posted in Uncategorized on July 22, 2016 by floweroftheword

Chiapas: Vigilante Group Violently Removes Dissident Teacher Blockade of Highway

by dorsetchiapassolidarity

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Chiapas: Vigilante Group Violently Removes Dissident Teacher Blockade of Highway

005n1pol-1
About 200 masked men attacked teachers and parents with stones, sticks and pistols, removing their blockade on the toll road between San Cristobal de Las Casas
and Tuxtla Gutierrez Photos: Colectivo Tragameluz and Elio Henriquez
San Cristobal de Las Casas, Chiapas

La Jornada: Elio Henríquez and Hermann Bellinghausen

On Wednesday afternoon, about 200 people carrying sticks, machetes and guns attacked the blockade being maintained by teachers, students, parents, representatives of more than fifty neighbourhoods of the city of San Cristóbal and members of various organizations on the toll road between San Cristóbal and Tuxtla Gutierrez. They have maintained the blockade since June 27 to demand the repeal of the education reform.

Accompanied by municipal and state police, the attackers attacked the blockade’s tarpaulins and tents, kicking them and destroying them with machetes, and setting them on fire, while the police surrounded them to allow them to carry out their action.

During the attack, a bullet wounded the elementary school teacher, Romualdo Guadalupe Urbina, who received a 22 calibre bullet wound in the collarbone. Another participant of the blockade was run over and suffered a fractured tibia and fibula. Both were admitted to the clinic of Institute for Social Security and Services for State Workers, while residents of the neighbourhood where the clinic is located blockaded the Santa Martha bridge and the clinic access roads "to protect the wounded".

The attack was perpetrated by several dozen people who are officials of San Juan Chamula and involved over a hundred indigenous men from San Cristobal. The teachers identified them as part of the Association of Tenants of Traditional Markets of Chiapas (Almetrach), headed by Narciso Ruiz Sántiz, who, in previous days had threatened to attack the blockade. These groups are identified with the Ecologist Green Party of Mexico (PVEM), which governs both municipalities [and the state government].

The teachers of Section 7 of the National Union of Education Workers (SNTE), who belong to the National Coordinating Committee of Education Workers (CNTE), and parents supporting them did not respond to aggression and were forced to retreat and regroup in the central park of the San Cristóbal.

The violent eviction began at 12:30pm. Carrying a few small banners and brandishing sticks, machetes and stones, the attackers arrived assuring it was "in peace", but immediately they began to lash out against the installations of the blockade and remove logs, tyres, rocks and other obstacles.

Behind them came a heavy truck and several pickup trucks sounding their sirens and carrying state and municipal police. The police did not directly involve themselves in the eviction; they only protected the indigenous men who destroyed and burned the tarps and tents.

Some attackers assaulted Dolores Rodriguez, a reporter for Noticiero Networks, for taking photographs. One of the assailants pointed a gun at her head. Others shot firecracker rockets [used to announce neighbourhood fiestas] in horizontal paths into the woods.

Shortly after, the police left and the place was under the control of the attackers. Adalberto Hernandez Rabanales, leader of Section 7 in the Highlands Region [of Chiapas], described them as a "shock group" and blamed the government at all three levels [municipal, state and federal].

When the local police withdrew, the teachers and members of civic organizations regrouped a hundred meters away, near the Hospital of Cultures. When they returned to try to rescue vehicles, the masked men fired at them. It was then that Urbina Estrada was wounded.

Later, six Federal Police (PF) patrol cars arrived. The burning and destruction of the encampment continued under the surveillance of the police. The action ended at 3pm, when the masked indigenous men left the place. The group from San Juan Chamula boarded a bus belonging to the Christopher Columbus bus line and the largest group marched in formation back to San Cristobal. The place remained under the charge of the three Federal Police patrol units until 4pm, when dozens of residents from the south side of San Cristobal returned with sticks and stones which they threw at the patrol cars.

The police then left in their vehicles and stopped a kilometre away. Within minutes, the blockade was restored. During the evening, more people kept arriving, and they extended the obstruction of the roads with bonfires, logs and pieces of iron. Again, there were several hundred parents, teachers and residents of different neighbourhoods, all in an atmosphere of excited tension.

During the afternoon, in Central Park, Hernandez Rabanales said that earlier "there were rumours that people from Chamula would evict us, but supporters from social organizations told us that they had communication with government agencies who told them that the indigenous would only pass through on their way to an activity in Tuxtla Gutierrez."

In an interview with La Jornada, the teacher leader added: "It seems that the idea was to provoke a breakdown in the negotiations [with the federal government in Mexico City], because yesterday the unified negotiating committee said there was no point in talking because the government was only trying to impose [its position]."

In the afternoon, the teachers marched in the streets of the centre [of San Cristóbal], while in the park a group of hooded youths set fire to the wooden doors of the old city hall (which is being turned into a museum) and entered the building, breaking all the windows. Smoke came out of some windows.

Meanwhile, unidentified indigenous masked men, unrelated to the organizations that support the teachers, ransacked an Oxxo [convenience store] located half a block from the former city hall. They handed out cigarettes, drinks and other products to children and youths, creating a commotion.

According to the state government, the police rushed to the eviction as a deterrent to avoid a confrontation between residents of San Juan Chamula and CNTE demonstrators. In a statement, it claimed that "in response to an alert issued by the State Centre for Control, Command, Communication, Computation and Intelligence (C4I), which reported the presence of people from Chamula on the highway near the CNTE blockade, 200 agents were sent to protect the integrity of citizens, avoiding any reason for confrontation."

In fact, police and attackers arrived together. According to the government version, the indigenous men came "to dialogue peacefully and request the free movement of citizens, merchants and transportation workers, such that the protesters chose to leave the area voluntarily and the road was freed."

The mayor of Chamula, Marco Antonio Gonzalez Cancino, disavowed any responsibility in the eviction.

Posted by Dorset Chiapas Solidarity 22/07/2016

Translated by Reed Brundage

http://www.jornada.unam.mx/2016/07/21/politica/005n1pol

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