Food as Art of Resistance: the EZLN deliver food to the teachers in Comitan, Chiapas
Comitan Chiapas. 9 July. This morning a commission from the Zapatista “caracol” of La Realidad brought the teachers in resistance food, cooking utensils, and medicine. This support from the men and women rebels of Chiapas takes place in the context of the teachers strike. They are protesting the self-proclaimed “education reform” imposed by President Peña Nieto and supported by Velasco Coello’s state government.
The food supplies are to support the educators belonging to the “Coordinadora Nacional de Trabajadores de la Educación (CNTE – or National Coordinator of Education Workers) and “are the result of the collective farm work of the Zapatista towns, regions and zones, like the MAREZ (Municipios Autónomos Rebeldes Zapatista – Autonomous Rebellious Zapatista municipalities) and the Councils of Good Government. So it’s an ‘honest’ contribution obtained, as the majority of people in Mexico and the world get rewards: through work,” the EZLN emphasised in a 6 June communique titled “Food as Art of Resistance”.
Amongst the items donated by the Zapatista Base Communities to Sections 7 to 40 of the dissident teachers’ union are 570 kilos of beans; 420 kilos of rice; 350 kilos of sugar; 15 litres of cooking oil; 21 kilograms of soap; 21 kilograms of salt; 28 kilograms of coffee; 1,571 kilos of non-genetically modified corn; 840 kilos of “tostadas”; 400 kilograms of “pinole” (a type of cornmeal); 5 cooking pots; 5 ladles; 5 storage containers and 4 boxes of medicine.
“The support from the EZLN is an injection of energy into the teachers’ movement and it gives us courage to move forward” stated teachers in Comitan upon receiving the supplies. “The movement is alive and as relevant as when it began the past 15th of May,” added the teachers, now almost 2 months out on strike.
“In total, the 5 ‘caracoles’ delivered 10 tons of food with a value of approximately 290 thousand Mexican pesos” detailed the EZLN, who also delivered food to the men and women teachers today in San Cristobal de las Casas and yesterday in the community of Palenque and to be delivered tomorrow in the capital of Tuxtla Gutierrez.
Translated by the UK Zapatista Translation Service for Dorset Chiapas Solidarity
. The Coordinadora Nacional de Trabajadores de la Educación (CNTE) is a teachers union in Mexico founded on December 17, 1979 as alternative to the mainstream Sindicato Nacional de Trabajadores de la Educación (SNTE) by teachers of the SNTE in the poorer, southern states of Mexico.
. MAREZ represent small self-proclaimed territories under the control of the Zapatista Base Communities as declared in December 1994. The EZLN (military body) states that it does not participate in these spaces of self-government and that its interest is not in taking power and that no member or leader of the Clandestine Indigenous Revolutionary Army can occupy any (civil) positions or roles of authority.