Zapatistas Say Don’t Vote, Organize
The social movement rejected claims that it supports spoiling ballots, but also denies that it supports the electoral process. The Zapatista Army of National Liberation (EZLN) reject calling for an abstention of Mexico’s upcoming midterm summer elections, emphasizing instead the need for people in Mexico to organize.
“As the Zapatistas that we are, we do not call for not voting, nor for voting. As the Zapatistas that we are, we do what we do, all that can be done, that is to tell the people that they should organize to resist, to struggle, so as to have what they need,” said the group in Wednesday’s communique, read by Subcomandante Moises at the Critical Thinking Against the Capitalist Hydra Seminar in San Cristobal de las Casas, Chiapas.
The indigenous social movement that rose up in arms in 1994 after the North American Free Trade Agreement was put into effect, denounced assertions made that they backed a growing campaign to boycott the state, federal and municipal elections on June 7.
The Zapatista spokesman reiterated the call to organize for results outside of the electoral process. “We the Zapatistas never tire in saying that you should organize yourselves, organize ourselves, each one in their place, we struggle to organize, we work to organize, we think to begin to organize … to unite our organizations for a world where the peoples govern and the government obeys,” affirmed Moises.
In the wake of the September attack and forced disappearance of the 43 Ayotzinapa students by police in Iguala, Guerrero, as well as recent spikes in organized crime violence and documented human rights abuses by the authorities, various citizens movements have organized campaigns to nullify the elections.
In the states of Guerrero and Oaxaca, members of the National Coordinator of Education Workers; Section 22 of the National Teachers Union; and the Regional Coordinator of Communal Authorities, or the “Community Police”; are organizing to ensure that elections are not carried out in various regions of the two southwestern states. A poll last month revealed that less than half of the population of Mexico has faith in the electoral process.
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