“Second Annual Commemoration in El Barrio, New York in Memory of Juan Vázquez Guzmán”

Message from Raúl Zibechi


On 23rd April, 2015, family members of the 43 disappeared Ayotzinapa students visited Movement for Justice in El Barrio in New York. During this special meeting, they commemorated together the beloved compa Juan Vázquez Guzmán, community leader, spokesperson and activist from the ejido San Sebastián Bachajón.

During this commemoration in New York in honour of Juan Vázquez Guzmán, the writer Raúl Zibechi from Uruguay also sent his word by means of the following letter:

To: Movement for Justice in El Barrio.

On the second anniversary of the assassination of Juan Vázquez Guzmán

Compañeros, Compañeras:

It has been a year full of resistances, of struggles, of the dignity of those from below.

It has been a year of repression and death, destruction and forced disappearances. Those from above, fearful of losing their power, want to destroy us.

It has been one of the most difficult years in the recent history of Mexico. So hard that it recalls 1968, when the Tlatelolco massacre took hundreds of students from us.

It has been the year in which they could no longer hide the war of extermination against the peoples.

Two years since the assassination of Juan Vázquez Guzmán. They want to take away the land from the community of San Sebastián Bachajón to build tourist complexes, roads, airports … to continue accumulating riches and to continue plunging the peoples into more abject poverty.

2014 has been the year of the disappearance of the 43 from Ayotzinapa, in order to destroy the normal schools, in order to disappear the teachers committed to their peoples -teachers who accompany the struggles from below, who work together to reclaim memory – and, above all, in order to prevent the teachers and peoples, together, from building a new world.

But it has also been the year of resistance with dignity, of dignified rebel rage.

In this year the common landholders of San Sebastián Bachajón not only kept up their resistance but also recuperated their lands, the lands that had been stolen from them, they defended them against the bad government and will continue to do so. By acting in this way, determined and peaceful, they became an example of dignity to other community members who decided to join the struggle.

The families and friends of the 43 of Ayotzinapa, in this very difficult year, gave demonstrations of dignity to Mexico, Latin America and the world. They turned their pain into political action by winning the streets to share their rage, which has become a collective rage, the rage of everyone. In doing so they showed us a path, the only path able to overcome fear: to move collectively, to turn ourselves into communities in movement.

In streets and fields, in cities and ejidos, we are sisters and brothers struggling, resisting, making ourselves one with others who resist. First pain brought us together. Now rage continues to unite us in fellowship. Walking in dignity, we meet each other.

Today we walk, holding hands, the common landholders of San Sebastián Bachajón, the families and and friends of the 43 of Ayotzinapa and Movement for Justice in El Barrio. We come from distant geographies, from different places, but we share the same pain and now also we walk the same steps though our rhythms are different. Walking together, we leave footprints that draw a new map, a new geography: one of the dignity that unites us, of the rage that drives us.

We are all Aytozinapa!!!

We are all San Sebastián Bachajón!!!

Raúl Zibechi

Montevideo, April 21, 2015

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