Zapatistas Respond to Criticism Regarding Election Proposal

Posted in Uncategorized on October 24, 2016 by floweroftheword
submarcoshorsefromafar-jpg_1718483346EZLN Subcomandante Marcos, now known as Galeano, in Chiapas in 1996. | Photo: Creative Commons

The Zapatista response appeared to reaffirm that their goal in presenting a candidate would be to expose the contradictions of the Mexican political system.

Not long after the Zapatista National Liberation Army and the National Indigenous Congress resolved to present an Indigenous woman as an independent candidate for the 2018 presidential elections, the rebel group began to receive criticism.

The decision made at the Fifth National Indigenous Congress caught many by surprise, as the Zapatistas had long rejected any formal participation in electoral politics.

One of the first to respond was leftist former Mexico City Mayor Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador who suggested the EZLN, as the Zapatistas are also known, were trying to divide the left.

Lopez Obrador is widely expected to run for president a third time in the upcoming election and an “independent candidate” could draw away votes that might otherwise go to him.

In the 2006 election, Lopez Obrador lost in a disputed, though tightly contested, election. That year the Zapatistas organized “The Other Campaign,” which called on Mexicans to participate in political activity that went beyond voting.

During “The Other Campaign,” Zapatistas — including the group’s most recognizable figure, Subcomandante Marcos — travelled throughout Mexico meeting with activists and social movement leaders in order to build a broad front against capitalism.

In a letter posted online, Marcos, now known as Subcomandante Galeano, responded to the criticism.

“How solid can the Mexican political system be, and how well-founded and reliable the tactics and strategies of the political parties, if, when someone says publicly that they are thinking about something, that they are going to ask their peers what they think of what they are thinking, the entire political party system becomes hysterical?” read the letter.

When the decision to consider running a candidate was first announced by the Zapatistas, they specified that it was not being done as a means of securing power.

“We confirm that our struggle is not for power, we do not seek it,” read the joint statement from the National Indigenous Congress and the Zapatistas.

Galeano’s letter appeared to reaffirm that their goal in presenting a candidate would be to expose the contradictions of the Mexican political system.

Referring to Margarita Zavala, the wife of ex-president Felipe Calderon and likely candidate for the presidency in 2018, Galeano presented a juxtaposition.

“You who are reading this: would you be bothered by watching and listening to a debate between the Calderona (Zavala) from above, with her ‘traditional’ luxury brand clothing, and a woman below, of Indigenous blood, culture, language, and history? Would you be more interested in hearing what the Calderona promises or what the Indigenous woman proposes? Wouldn’t you want to see this clash of two worlds?” asked Galeano.

The letter gave no indication the EZLN and the National Indigenous Congress intend to withdraw their proposal.

The idea of running a candidate must still, however, be approved by the grassroots of the organization.


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

Posted in Uncategorized on October 24, 2016 by floweroftheword
ez1CNI at Oventik Caracol (@SIPAZ)

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

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

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

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

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


Prisoner Roberto Paciencia Cruz Denounces the Denial of Visits for Second Time

Posted in Uncategorized on October 24, 2016 by floweroftheword
pacienciaPilgrimage of the youth of Chenalho in support of the unjustly imprisoned. Photo @SIPAZ

On October 14, unjustly imprisoned Roberto Paciencia Cruz, Tsotsil indigenous, adherent to the Sixth Declaration of the Lacandon Jungle of the EZLN, held in CERESO No. 5 of San Cristobal de las Casas, Chiapas, again suffered unfair treatment. In a letter, he publicly denounced that the prison director, Jorge Antonio Utrilla Muñoa, along with his guard, Ernesto Guzman Lopez, denied entry to his visits “although the director had authorized permission the day before so they could go inside the prison”. Roberto reported threats and intimidation on the part of the prison director in order to deny the inmates their right of expression and to [make them] suffer in silence the ill-treatment both to prisoners and their visitors “[…] he tells us, if we complain to some dependency he can move us to another CERESO (sic.)”. It is the second time in less than two months that Roberto has been denied his “sacred visits” arbitrarily. In his letter, Roberto declares that, “the injustices, humiliations, threats, psychological torture, is the daily bread that the authorities give us in different jails of the state (sic.)”.

It should be recalled that despite the numerous pieces of evidence of his innocence, more than three years after his detention Roberto Paciencia Cruz has still not had his sentence delivered, given that the prosecution has not presented [its case], although it has been called several times to testify before the judge.

According to the NIV News Group, the current director of CERESO No. 5, Jorge Antonio Muñoa Utrilla, had already been denounced by guards and custodians for mistreatment and abuse of authority while he was director of CERESO No. 8. Through a letter they sent to local media, the complainants claimed that Utrilla “behaves in a despotic and rude manner with the staff of the prison and the families of inmates”, that, under threat of dismissal or being moved to another prison if orders are not carried out, he makes guards do personal work of the direction, neglecting the security of the jail, that he uses “the prison vehicle for emergency transfers of inmates as if it were his personal bus” so that they have had to “bring the inmate in private cars to hospital, a situation that puts the safety of the transfer at risk .” According to the complainants, the worst is that Antonio Jorge Utrilla Muñoa “blames them for mistakes that he deliberately causes.” On February 22, 2015 in CERESO No. 8, “several inmates went on hunger strike and sewed their mouths to denounce Utrilla Jorge Antonio Muñoa’s abuse.” According to the NIV News Group, during Antonio Jorge Utrilla Muñoa’s term as head of CERSS Comitan No. 10 “there was evidence of corruption and drug trafficking.”

Posted by Dorset Chiapas Solidarity


Community of Las Brisas Denounces Threat of Dispossession

Posted in Uncategorized on October 24, 2016 by floweroftheword


Community of Las Brisas, Municipality of La Trinitaria, Chiapas

October 17th, 2016

To the sister organizations that have accompanied our struggle

To the adherents of the sixth declaration of the Lacandona jungle

To Chiapas civil society

To the EZLN

To the Indigenous Tojolabal, Tzeltal, and Tsotsil peoples

Brothers and sisters, compañeras and compañeros, we want to denounce the threats that we have faced in the “community Las Brisas” in the last few months. Since June, our representatives have received telephone calls from Sr. Oscar Arranda, with support of Sr. José Alfredo Espinosa López, to intimidate us. Aranda has asked us to give up the land for which we have struggled for 11 years. He says to us that if we do not give in and sell the lands, they will come to displace us and will also cause us to lose our harvest.

José Alfredo Espinosa knows of our struggle and of the forces we have gathered to better organize ourselves. We do not have another profession. We are campesinos, but we have the capacity to fight because the land is not for those who buy it, but for those who work it. We are campesinos who know how to care for the land because we live for the land, and thus, we think that the land does not have a price.

During all of this time of struggle, we recognize ourselves as the descendants of the labourers who were exploited by the landowners of the Palestina Ranch, afterwards named Esmeralda, and then La Yuria. Right now, those lands make up our community of Las Brisas.

For 11 years, we have received many threats from diverse people that all have the same interests: for us to leave our lands. And in the face of all of these threats, we have always responded that the land is not a commodity, it won’t be sold, and we will maintain the land for our families. We want to send a public message to Aranda and Espinosa saying that they are wasting their time. We will not be willing to take money for something that does not have a price because the land is the value of our community and that which sustains our children.

We thank those that listen and understand our message. We also invite you to be attentive to what could happen next.

We also want to say that as adherents we join and support the initiative of the Fifth National Indigenous Congress because we believe that an Indigenous woman presidential candidate could have the necessary voice to represent us.

Translated by Palabras Rebeldes

Posted by Dorset Chiapas Solidarity

EZLN: Questions Without Answers, Answers Without Questions, Councils and Counsel

Posted in Uncategorized on October 23, 2016 by floweroftheword


(Pages from the Notebook of the Cat-Dog)

October 20, 2016

To Whom It May Concern:

Questions without answers:

—So what about the women murdered for the grave crime of being women? Will the fact that they have demanded that the attacks stop and, with their blood, raised the topic not just to the national agenda but the global one, make them the object of mockery, disdain, and accusations that they are playing to the right? Because they aren’t dying, they are being killed. What if they refuse to accept that this is a problem that can be solved by addressing corruption? And if they dare to say that the origin of this murderous hate is located in the system itself? What if they come up with the crazy idea to side-line men with regard to the most vital decisions (yes, as in questions of life of death)? And if they decide to take their destiny into their own hands? Would any part of that, or all of it, be a governmental manoeuvre to avoid… etcetera?

—What about the others (loas otroas)? Must they wait for the political class to turn its haughty gaze on one of the most vilified peoples below? Must they resign themselves to be knocked off until the murder rate finally gets high enough to attract attention? And what if they organize themselves and demand respect, if they decide they’ve had enough of the fact that being disrespected means being killed? Would they be told that their problems are not a priority, that their position is not generally politically correct and is in fact counterproductive with regard to the electoral race, and that their demands should unite and not detract?

—The parish priests, nuns, and laypeople of the progressive church see and feel first-hand, without intermediaries, the pain, angst, and desperation of migrants, the families of the disappeared, and entire peoples under attack, as well as the rage concerning impunity and the frustration of suffering injustice which has been made law with pomp and circumstance. Are they trying to use this pain to their own benefit? What would they gain by making those cries theirs, by identifying themselves with that rage? And if from that perspective, formed not just in the face of threats of all kinds but at the risk of their own earthly lives, they claim openly and reflectively that the solutions offered on the horizon are not sufficient, are they thus opposed—being who they are and accountable to what they are—to a real change?

—If the mere possibility of an indigenous woman existing as a citizen (with all of its rights and obligations) has the effect of causing “the earth to tremble at its core,” what would happen if her ear and her word travelled through all of Mexico below?

—You who are reading this: would you be bothered by watching and listening to a debate between the Calderona [i] from above, with her “traditional” luxury brand clothing, and a woman below, of indigenous blood, culture, language, and history? Would you be more interested in hearing what the Calderona promises or what the indigenous woman proposes? Wouldn’t you want to see this clash of two worlds? Imagine, on the one side, a woman from above, born and raised with every luxury, educated to feel superior in race and colour, complicit and promised heiress of a psychopathic enthusiast of alcohol and blood,[ii] representative of an elite that is steering the Nation toward total destruction, and chosen by the Ruler to be his spokesperson. Imagine on the other hand a woman who, like many, made her way working and struggling every day, every hour, and everywhere, not only against a system that oppresses her as indigenous, as poor, and as a worker, but also as a woman who has faced a system reproduced in the image and likeness of the brains of men, and not just a few women. Wouldn’t she, with everything against her, today, without yet knowing it, have to now aspire to represent not only herself, her collective, or her originary people, tribe, nation, or barrio, but also millions of women who are distinct in their language, colour, and race but equal in their pain and rage? Would this not be a situation in which on one side would appear a white criolla woman, the symbol of oppression, mockery, scorn, impunity, and shamelessness, and on the other a woman who would have to lift her indigenous spirit above the racism that permeates every level of social strata? Isn’t it true that, almost without knowing it, you would cease to be a spectator and desire, from the deepest part of you, that the victor of this debate, after a good battle, would be the one who had everything against her? Would you not applaud that, in the name of this indigenous woman, it was truth that won and not the power of money?

—Are you worried that the indigenous woman won’t speak Spanish well, but not that the current head of the federal executive branch doesn’t know how to speak at all?

—How solid can the Mexican political system be, and how well-founded and reliable the tactics and strategies of the political parties, if, when someone says publicly that they are thinking about something, that they are going to ask their peers what they think of what they are thinking, the entire political party system becomes hysterical?

—To what degree does the proposal that an indigenous governing council (concejo with a “c”),[iii] that is, a collective and not an individual, be in charge of the federal executive bolster-presidential-rule-become-complicit-in-the-electoral-farce-contribute-to-reinforcing-bourgeois-democracy-play-to-the-oligarchy-and-to-Yankee-Chinese-Russian-Judeoislamic-millenarian -imperialism-in-addition-to-betraying-the-highest-principles-of-the-global-proletarian-revolution?

—Should we follow the inertia of the political class, “thinking” heads and acrobats of all kinds, and respond to the unfounded criticism—as well as well-founded critiques that challenge us and provoke thought—with dismissals that, in addition to being lazy, are boring (like peñabots, paniaguados, pejezombis, perderistas,[iv] and etceterists)?


—A million-dollar idea (or an effort to raise money to collect signatures and for the campaign—oh, oh, looks like they’re serious): an application that self-censors on twitter when one writes something stupid. Handy, because the screen shots are unforgiving. What? That’s already occurred to you? Well, get to it, because when the CNI authorizes us to explain, erasing those tweets will be useless.


Rankings for the first week:

Finalist for the best meme: El Deforma [v] (not really much of a prize for them, because El Deforma is like the Barcelona F.C. of memes).

Finalist for the best tweet on a well-founded suspicion: “What seems most suspicious to me is that the #EZLN always becomes fashionable in the winter and then the fucking ski masks get really expensive.”

Finalist for the best series of tweets on the topic: “Hey listen, with regard to all this, do the Zapatistas even use Twitter?/ I’m asking because we’re here scolding them, mocking them, ridiculing them, telling them, ordering them what they should and shouldn’t do/ and if they aren’t even paying attention/ if they aren’t hearing us, then it’s like/ masturbating while watching, aroused, a box of cereal, you know/ heads up, don’t forget to erase this series of tweets/. Warning! Your Twitter account has suffered an attack by a screen shot.


Listen, a bit of well-intentioned counsel (consejo with an ‘s’): a lesson in reading comprehension wouldn’t hurt you. And speaking of letters, a composition lesson wouldn’t be a bad idea either… providing it is one with a limited horizon of the 140 characters.

—A non-Confucian maxim: “although it may seem unbelievable, it seems there is not just one but many worlds outside of social networks.”

Defensa Zapatista, Chicharito Hernández, and Lionel Messi.


I don’t know how the hell the ball ended up in my tent, but the thing is that behind it came a little girl about… how old? I estimate between 8 and 10; in the communities that could be years or decades. It’s not the first time that the irreverent and happy tone of Zapatista childhood erupts in the solitary room where I at times stay, so I didn’t pay too much attention and continued reviewing and reading the storm across social networks and free and paid media. I wouldn’t even have noticed the little girl’s presence if she hadn’t said, in a knowing voice, “it’s like the thing with Chicharito and Messi.” I realized that the little girl was looking over my shoulder at the screen of my laptop. Remembering that old maxim that the best offense is defence, I asked her: “And you, who are you? I don’t know you.” The little girl responded, “my name is Defensa Zapatista,” as if stating the obvious, as if she had said “energy equals mass times the speed of light squared.” Pointing to the screen she added, “Chicharito doesn’t play for Barcelona and Messi doesn’t play for the Chiapas Jaguars.” I turned back around to see if I had switched hashtags without realizing it, but no, the header still read #ezln. What occurs in the head of a Zapatista little girl is not so much a world but rather a Big Bang in continual expansion. Nevertheless, I asked her, “And what the hell does that have to do with anything.” The little girl answered with a face that says, “You know nothing, Jon Snow.”

“It’s like they’re criticizing Chicharito for not scoring goals for Barcelona and Messi for not doing anything to help the Jaguars. Some say that Chicharito is going to recover; others say he’s done. Some say that Messi is sad because his home country doesn’t support him; others say it’s that his shoe is too tight and if he changes it he’s going to shoot well again.

But the thing is Chicharito doesn’t play for Barcelona, nor Messi for the Jaguars. Meaning, they’re getting all worked up for nothing.”

I was evaluating the change in paradigm underlying Defensa Zapatista’s line of reasoning when she started in again: “Hey Sup, why don’t we organize a soccer game for when those who are like us show up here? Well, we haven’t actually finished putting together our team and sometimes Pedrito, the little jerk, thinks he’s really tough, and the cat-dog barely obeys orders, and the one-eyed horse falls asleep a lot, and the other players, well sometimes they come and sometimes they go. But look, I already thought about what song we should play we win the final. Do you know the tune? What would you know, you’re the sup!” I advise you to study the sciences and the arts, so that you can see clearly that the problem is that Chicharito doesn’t play for Barcelona, and Messi doesn’t play for the Jaguars, and so you shouldn’t worry, to hell with the lot of them. I have to go now because the team isn’t complete yet and what if we’re up to play for, like they say, the inauguration.”

Already at the door, the little girl turned around and said: “Hey Sup, if my mom comes and asks if you saw me, you just tell her clearly that Chicharito doesn’t play for Barcelona and Messi doesn’t play for the Jaguars. I mean don’t tell lies, because mothers always know when you’re lying. So what you have to do is change the game, pretend you’re headed one way, but really you’re going in another. I can explain that to you later, but study first, because if you are going to go to the autonomous school they are going to make fun of you, and Pedrito will be the worst, because the little jerk is bragging that he finished grade school. But he’ll see that I’m going to finish too and then get outta here, to hell with him. About the team, don’t worry, there will be more of us. Sometimes it takes a while, but there will be more of us.” The little girl left.

SubMoy showed up and asked me, “Do you have the text with the explanation ready?”

No, but Chicharito doesn’t play for Barcelona, nor Messi for the Jaguars,” I answered, following Defensa Zapatista’s advice.

SubMoy looked at me and took out his radio, giving the order, “send someone from the health commission with an injection.”

I ran, what else could I do?



[i] A reference to Margarita Zavala, the wife of ex-president Felipe Calderón (2006-2012) and likely PAN candidate for the presidency in 2018.

[ii] A reference to her husband, ex-president Felipe Calderón (2006-2012).

[iii] Concejo with a “c” means council, often referring to some level of governing council. Consejo with an “s” means advice or counsel, or is used to refer to an entity like a board of directors.

[iv] Derogatory terms used to discredit supporters of the various institutional political parties.

[v] A reference to the Mexican national newspaper Reforma.


The EZLN, the CNI and the elections

Posted in Uncategorized on October 22, 2016 by floweroftheword


Luis Hernández Navarro

La Jornada, 18th October, 2016

The EZLN and the CNI [Indigenous National Congress] agreed to consult with peoples and communities about the nomination of an indigenous woman as candidate for the Presidency of the Republic in the elections of 2018. The decision has raised a huge debate. Some see it as a complete u-turn; others as an entry into politics; and yet others, as a manoeuvre in the formation of a coalition against Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador.

These three opinions are not only mistaken but also prejudiced. They are based on misinformation and an analytical scheme that has as its starting point: who is not with me is against me. These views ignore the history and political trajectory, of both the EZLN and the indigenous organizations that are part of the CNI.

Since the EZLN emerged into public life it has not been a force for abstention. It has not called for abstention or electoral boycotts, but to organise and struggle. And, at least on one occasion, it promoted the vote for a candidate.

In presidential elections on 21 August 1994, it called for a vote against the PRI, as part of its fight against the state-party system and presidentialism. Moreover, on 15 May of that year, in Guadalupe Tepeyac, the Zapatistas and Subcomandante Marcos received the PRD candidate Cuauhtemoc Cardenas and his entourage. The rebels welcomed them and recognised that the then candidate had listened to them with attention and respect. Incidentally, they criticized the Aztec Sun.

A few days later, in the Second Declaration of the Lacandon Jungle, they called a National Democratic Convention leading to provisional or transitional government, either through the resignation of the federal Executive or by the electoral process. This process – they then said – should lead to the drafting of a new constitution and the holding of new elections.

Soon, the EZLN supported the nomination of journalist Amado Avendano as a civil society candidate for governor of Chiapas. And, following the electoral fraud that blocked his triumph, they recognized him as governor in absentia and treated him as such.

In late 2005 the Zapatistas called for the organisation of a large national movement to transform social relations, develop a national programme of struggle and create a new political constitution. In this context, they launched the other campaign, an initiative of popular politics from below and to the left, independent of official political parties and with an anticapitalist stance.

Although the other campaign never called on people to abstain or boycott the elections, it sharply criticised the candidates of the three main political parties, including Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador. In the run-up to the elections of 2 July, 2006, and following the repression in San Salvador Atenco (on 3 and 4 May of that year) which changed the dynamics of this political initiative, at a ceremony at the Revolution cinema in Mexico City, Subcomandante Marcos personally opposed any questioning of people who were thinking of voting. Whoever wants to vote, let them vote, he said.

Some wanted to hold the Zapatistas responsible for the final outcome of the 2006 elections and even for the fraud that snatched victory at the polls from Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador. A few days ago, the leader of Morena reported that in those days, the EZLN and the progressive church had recommended not voting for him (which never happened), indirectly helping to steal victory from him. Since then, the debate has been bitter and intense. It has not ceased to be this way although more than 10 years have passed.

For years, the position of the Zapatistas did not change. This was corroborated by what Subcomandante Moises said in the communique entitled On elections: Organise, dated April 2015. There he warns: "These days, each and every time there is this thing they call ‘electoral process’, we hear and see people saying that the EZLN calls for abstention, in other words the EZLN says not to vote. They always come out with that and other kinds of nonsense."

Later on, he clarifies the rebel position on the electoral situation of that year: As Zapatistas we do not call on people to vote or not to vote. As Zapatistas what we do, whenever possible, is to tell people to organise to resist, to struggle, to have whatever is needed.

The recent joint document from the EZLN and the CNI, ‘May the earth tremble at its core’ [quote from Mexican national anthem] represents a change in the rebels’ position. But not 180 degrees, because they have never been abstentionists.

The document calls for a new form of action, whose central theme is direct participation in the electoral context, as a form of resistance, organisation and struggle. Placing indigenous people and their problems at the centre of the national political agenda. Making visible the attacks against indigenous peoples. Building the power of those at the bottom. The decision does not mean the entry of the EZLN in the political struggle. The Zapatistas have always been there. They have never stopped doing politics since they burst into public in the armed uprising of 1994. One may or may not agree with the politics they have done, but to reduce political participation to electoral activity is nonsense.

The same can be said of the organisations that make up the CNI. The mobilisation of the Purepecha people of Cheran (a key experience in the new course of the indigenous struggle) for recognition of their self-government and autonomy is essentially political. Also the experience of self-defence by Nahuatl people in Ostula, or the Otomi community’s defence of its territory and natural resources in Xochicuautla.

Nobody has a monopoly of political representation of the Mexican left. This representation is won day by day in the struggle. Accusing the Zapatistas and the CNI of playing the government’s game because they intend to participate in the 2018 elections, outside the political parties, it is a sign of arrogance and intolerance. Ultimately, it will be Mexican society in general and indigenous peoples in particular who will decide whether this path is useful or not in order to transform the country.

San Sebastián Bachajón denounces the deeds of the officialist Ejido Commission

Posted in Uncategorized on October 22, 2016 by floweroftheword


Communiqué from Bachajón: “They are allowing the Police and Army into our territory!”

Our organisation, the autonomous ejido San Sebastián Bachajón has been defending the Earth and our territory for many years. We have been struggling in defence of Nature since the 14th of March 2007. That’s 11 years of dignified struggle. A lot of compañeros have lost their lives defending Mother Earth and other people have also been unjustly imprisoned for doing the same. The bad government has incarcerated 130 of our compañeros simply for their uncompromising commitment to defending Mother Earth. At the moment 3 compañeros are unjustly held as prisoners in different penitentiary centres, where they are denied their freedom. For all of this, we demand that you respect our struggle, our organisation, our autonomous authorities and the spilled blood of our fallen compañeros.

Ejido San Sebestián Bachajón, Adherents to the Sixth Declaration of the Lacandon Jungle, Chiapas, Mexico 11 October 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 National Indigenous Congress

To all compañer@s in Mexico and the World, adherents of the Sixth Declaration of the Lacandon Jungle

To the mass media and alternative media

To the Network against Repression and for Solidarity

To Movement for Justice in el Barrio, New York

To national and international human rights defenders

To the people of Mexico and the world.

Jmololabex ants winiketik icha spatil a wotanik ta pisilik machatik nokol skoltabel te lum kinalik te yuun ta skuenta te nokol spojbel te chopol ajwalil.
Combative greetings to all compañeros and compañeras and your organisations and communities in resistance from the ejido San Sebastián Bachajón, adherents to the Sixth Declaration. We celebrate the 20th anniversary of the National Indigenous Congress and send a combative greeting to all compañeros and compañeras who are present in Chiapas for this.
We want to use this opportunity to tell you what’s been happening in our community San Sebastián Bachajón. We want to share our outrage about what the official commissioner Manuel Guzmán Álvaro, elected by the ejidatarios’ general assembly 18 April of this year, has done. As an indigenous and organised community we are aware that the bad government wants to displace us and that Manuel Guzmán Álvaro is part of that plan. On the 23rd of September 2016 the officialist ejido commissioner Manuel Guzmán Álvaro, along with a group of ejido residents, entered into our ejido’s territory, which has access to the Agua Azul waterfall, with the intention of displacing us. Another group of compañeros headed up by Manuel Jiménez Moreno, Juan Álvaro Moreno, Daniel Moreno Gómez, Carmen Aguilar and others had been collecting the fee to visit the Agua Azul waterfalls. This is the same place where our organisation had had its headquarters until it was burned down on 21 March 2015.
Immediately after Commissioner Manuel Guzman Alvaro’s arrival, the State Preventive Police took control of our headquarters, and for this we declare our rejection of police presence and the fact that the commissioner facilitated this incursion. This act demonstrates the desire to displace us from our land, and sends signals that Manuel Guzmán Álvaro is a servant of the bad government and a threat to the autonomy of San Sebastián Bachajón.

This is the same commissioner Manuel Guzmán Álvaro, who along with his supervisory board, publicly circulated on the 30th of September 2016 via the web page “Chiapas denuncia pública” ( his version of what happened at the Agua Azul Waterfall toll booth. They demand to be recognised as the authorities and are carrying out blockades in various points in order to be heard. But in reality, they are not respecting our dignified struggle, our territory and autonomy as a community. Nor does the commissioner respect his own campaign commitment when he said he would not permit the bad government and their police entry to our land. But in reality what is happening is a trick to fool public opinion that this movement is one for truth, when in reality it is follows the same interests of the out-going commissioner Alejandro Moreno Gómez and the former commissioner Francisco Guzmán Jiménez also known as “el goyito”. Their actions are moving in the same direction as the bad government, and follow the lines as signed in agreement by Francisco Guzmán Jiménez with Juan Sabines Guerrero.

Our organisation, the autonomous ejido San Sebestián Bachajón has been defending the Earth and our territory for many years. We have been struggling in defence of Nature since the 14th of March 2007. That’s 11 years of dignified struggle. A lot of compañeros have lost their lives defending Mother Earth and other people have been unjustly imprisoned for also defending Mother Earth. The bad government has incarcerated 130 of our compañeros simply for their uncompromising commitment to defending Mother Earth. At the moment 3 compañeros are unjustly held prisoner in different penitentiary centres, where they are denied their freedom. For all of this, we demand that you respect our struggle, our organisation, our autonomous authorities and the spilled blood of our fallen compañeros. The dignified struggle is not for sale. It is built day after day, it is built in the memory of compañeros. We will continue standing and we will not permit the bad government to continuing buying the conscience of our indigenous communities. This is actually what is happening when the ejido commissioner allows the police and army to enter into our territory. We are aware that what he wants to do is create a paramilitary force to finish off our struggle. He wants people to think that his struggle is also dignified when in reality what he does is contrary to what he says. Further he has no knowledge about what the bad government really wants to do to our community and territory.
No more unjust imprisonments. We demand immediate freedom for our compañeros Esteban Gómez Jiménez imprisoned in Cintalapa de Figueroa, Chiapas (amate #14) Santiago Moreno Pérez and Emilio Jiménez Gómez, prisoners in Playas de Catazaja, Chiapas (ceress #17) who were imprisoned for having a commitment to struggle for and defend Mother Earth. We also demand freedom for all men and women political prisoners in Mexico and the world.
The women and men from the northern zone in the state of Chiapas, from the community of San Sebastián Bachajón send all of you compañeros and compañeras, communities and people of Mexican and the world who struggle and resist against the bad governments combative greetings.

Never again a Mexico without us

Land and Freedom

Zapata Lives!

Hasta la victoria siempre!

Freedom for Political Prisoners!

Juan Vázquez Guzmán Lives, the Struggle for Bachajón continues!

Juan Carlos Gómez Silvano Lives, the Struggle for Bachajón continues!

No to the Dispossession of Indigenous Lands!

State Police Out of Our Indigenous Territory!

Immediate return of our disappaired and murdered compañeros from the Teachers School – Normal Raúl Isidro Burgos de Ayotzinapa!

Long live the Chol compañeros and compañeras from the Ejido Tila’s dignified struggle!

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

Long live communities that fight for autonomy and freedom!