Archive for the Uncategorized Category

The announcement of the creation of an Indigenous Council of Government (CIG)

Posted in Uncategorized on February 20, 2017 by floweroftheword

Ruby Zajac

UK Zapatista Translation Service

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The announcement of the creation of an Indigenous Council of Government (CIG), on the 1st of January this year, has generated a great deal of debate in the Mexican Left and excitement in the international ranks of the Sexta. Indeed, the debate has been underway, in parallel to the consultations in 523 indigenous communities, since the proposal was first made by EZLN and the CNI (National Indigenous Congress) during the first half of the 5th CNI, in October last year. Here, we consider some of the reactions to the proposal and its implications in the wider context of the Mexican left. In order to locate the proposal in the broader landscape of political struggle in Mexico, we must first establish the historic relationship between the CNI and EZLN.

The CNI is a transitory body; it has never existed permanently, but rather in the moments its delegates have come together. The first National Indigenous Congress took place in 1996, when, in the midst of debating the San Andrés Accords, with Zedillo’s government, the Zapatistas called the different indigenous peoples of the country together to share the progress of this crucial dialogue with the State about indigenous rights. It enabled the revolutionary group to adopt a more representative posture, in so far as they were arguing for indigenous rights, not Zapatista rights. Ten years later, in 2006, the CNI met for the 4th time, in San Pedro Atlapulco, State of Mexico, where it announced its affiliation to the Sexta. The Sextathe colloquial name for the extended community of Zapatista supporters and associates in Mexico and the across the world, which originated in 2005 with the release of the Sixth Declaration of the Lacandon Jungle. The San Andrés Accords remained, and remain, unfulfilled.

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In October 2016, ten years after they joined the Sexta, the CNI met once more. Again, the Zapatistas would play an important role. On the 13th of October, the congress decided to adopt the Zapatistas’ proposal to form an Indigenous Council of Government, led by an indigenous woman, who would run as an independent candidate in the 2018 presidential elections. Between October and December last year, the proposal was up for debate in indigenous communities across Mexico, before delegates met again to report back. The significance of EZLN for the CNI and the over 60 indigenous peoples in Mexico can be summed up in the words of Álvaro Sebastián Ramírez, a political prisoner who wrote in an open letter to the CNI and EZLN, that the colonisers “may have chopped down the trunk of our tree, but they couldn’t pull out its roots, and it began to sprout again with the Indigenous Uprising of the Zapatista Army of National Liberation”.

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So, it’s the eve of 2017, Trump is soon to be inaugurated and Brexit is on its way; from where we’re sitting in the UK it seems this year is already destined to turn politics as we know it on its head. With that in mind, this unprecedented event in Mexican politics doesn’t seem quite so incredible. The so-called ‘post-truth’ age might actually just be the revealing in the West of “Democracy’s” longstanding shortcomings, which in Mexico they know only too well. Indeed, that is part of the drive for this new strategy of those from below; Trump was hardly mentioned while I was at the Zapatista science conference ‘ConCiencias’ and surrounded by supporters of the Zapatistas and the CNI over Christmas, which I think says something about the distance of the alternative left from mainstream Mexican politics and the absence of the state. The moment was marked by the oppression of indigenous environmental defenders, the eviction of autonomous cultural centre Chanti Ollin in Mexico City and the challenging, inspiring dialogue between the Zapatistas and academics like Kirsten Vogeler and Pablo González Casanova, and community science projects like Colectivo Alterius, in ConCiencias. On the 1st of January 2017, with all of this and more in the background, the CNI took centre stage and voted in the proposal.

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For those who followed the Otra Campaña (Other Campaign) in 2005/6 (the first call for Mexicans to think outside the political box, embodied in a nationwide consultation by the Zapatistas that ran parallel to the 2006 general elections), this new proposal will set some bells ringing. It will also flag up some pretty fundamental differences. Didn’t EZLN always claim to be against participating in the electoral process? Didn’t they adopt the poignant slogan of a collective of the Sexta, ‘Our dreams don’t fit in your urns’? Haven’t they always insisted that they will not become a political party?

Yes, all of this is still true (although John Gibler writes that the Zapatista position on abstention has been treated with carefully chosen words). That’s why it is so important to recognise the germination of this proposal as a collaborative effort “EZLN–CNI”, which is ultimately to be spearheaded by the CNI not EZLN. Members of the collective Indigenous Council of Government will be elected through a consultation in all of the communities who send delegates to the CNI, including the female spokesperson. She will run as candidate in the elections because the system demands individual candidacy, but ultimately, and crucially, she will be representing the collective body; and if elected, Gustavo Esteva writes, the council as a whole must undertake the mammoth task of dismantling the state apparatus.

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But the proposal is about more than the 2018 presidential elections. It is challenging Mexicans to come together and struggle for freedom side by side with the 16 million indigenous people of their society, giving them a bastion around which to organise, a common purpose that will unite them, a purpose that neither beings nor ends in those urns, but which, as Josefa Contreras so astutely points out, is a “direct confrontation with an asymmetric political logic” (Ojarasca, La Jornada).

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Or as Subcomandante Galeano, the Zapatista spokesperson-come-double translator, put it in a November communiqué: “We told them that it didn’t matter if they won the presidency of the Republic or not, that what mattered was the challenge, the irreverence, the revolt, the total rupture with the image of the indigenous as object of pity and charity […] What mattered was that their audacity would shake the entire political system and that they would hear echoes of hope not from one but from many of the Mexicos below… and the belows of the world.”

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Of course, the leader of recently-formed leftist party MORENA, the Movement for National Renewal, the self-professed ‘hope of Mexico’, born out of the 2006 left-wing coalition for the presidency, isn’t a fan. Andrés Manuel López Obrador, quickly denounced the proposal, accusing EZLN and the CNI of playing the government’s game, and highlighting their inconsistency, since they detracted from his campaigns in 2006 and 2012, encouraging abstention from what, despite the end of single-party rule in 2000, is still widely considered to be the electoral farce.

But since the last general elections, Ayotzinapa has shaken civil society to its core and put a spotlight on the chronic, systematic human rights abuses of the Mexican state. Political observers said it was the straw that broke the camel’s back, causing the Mexican public to explode out onto the streets in protests that reached the 10,000s in November 2014.

But it didn’t, and the impunity has continued.

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The teachers’ strikes against the supposed ‘educational reform’, which many maintain is really a neoliberal and neocolonial labour reform led, in June 2016, to the death of at least ten people (although some sources say eleven) in a confrontation between police and protesters in Nochixtlán, Oaxaca, reminiscent of the oppression of mass protests in the same state in 2006. Three months before Ayotzinapa, 22 civilians were victims of extrajudicial execution by members of the army in Tlatlaya. The community of Atenco, where 2 young men were killed, 27 women raped and over 200 locals injured and arrested in 2006 continues to resist the building of a new airport on their land and state actors continue to commit acts of sexual violence. This incident was what put the breaks on the Other Campaign, as adherents rushed to protect the community in resistance.

Political commentators reason that the new proposal will undermine Obrador and MORENA. The counterargument, of course, is that any change brought about through MORENA would be superficial. For various historical reasons including the collaboration of the institutional leftist party the PRD with the PRI and PAN in governorship coalitions and corruption scandals, most activists I’ve come across from within the alternative left consider all professional politicians to be as bad as each other. An esteemed Mexican intellectual from the Sexta told me the same, that to save the future of the country the people must look towards a completely new avenue of change, one that comes from their millenary cultural heritage.

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Seemingly embodying a middle ground, the poet and activist Javier Sicilia recently called for a Popular Front for 2018; the coming together of various leftist elements in Mexico ranging from the solidly institutional (Cuauhtémoc Cárdenas – first leader of the ‘leftist’ institutional party, the PRD, in 1989) to the openly anti-systemic (EZLN) and including potential brokers between these two poles such as migrant advocate Father Alejandro Solalinde. Obrador would neither lead nor not be excluded from this front, Sicilia insisted, tapping into concerns about Obrador’s charismatic leadership. The charismatic leader model of populist leftism has come under significant critique recently, in cases like Venezuela and Bolivia, and it is important to recognise just how much the EZLN-CNI collective governance proposal veers away from this path, proposing a much more fundamental change to the system than MORENA does. But although Sicilia evoked similar collective ideals, he made no explicit mention of the EZLN-CNI proposal.

It may be early days to be analysing the response to the EZLN-CNI proposal; the candidate to lead the CIG is to be chosen and announced in May, which I imagine will provoke further comment and debate. One thing that did jump out at me while researching this article was the lack of coverage of this historic event in the English speaking international press (the Guardian, BBC, NY Times and Washington Post haven’t run articles on it for a start) – everyone’s news on Mexico has been Trump-related. The EZLN-CNI proposal is a world away from mainstream politics; will it galvanize interest and support from across the political spectrum or remain in the network of resistance from below? We will have to wait and see.

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Bachajón community members keep up the struggle

Posted in Uncategorized on February 20, 2017 by floweroftheword

The San Sebastián Bachajón Ejido: 6 years after the police operation to evict and dispossess us of our ejido land

6 years after the dispossession of their land, Bachajón community members keep up the struggle

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THE SAN SEBASTIÁN BACHAJÓN EJIDO, ADHERENTS TO THE SIXTH DECLARATION OF THE LACANDON JUNGLE, CHIAPAS, MEXICO, 8 FEBRARY 2017

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 Adherents to the Sixth Declaration of the Lacandon Jungle in Mexico and the world

To the 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 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.

Compañeros and compañeras, the Adherents of the Sixth Declaration from the ejido San Sebastián Bachajón send you, your organisations and your communities in resistance combative greetings.

In this month of February 2017, we remember that 6 years have gone by since the operation ordered by Juan Sabines Guerrero and Noé Castañón León to evict and dispossess us of our territory was carried out by more than 800 agents from different state and federal police forces.

This violent, abusive and invasive police operation into our indigenous territory was with the clear objective of definitively appropriating our land for their economic gain. Among other consequences were the persecution of Sixth Bachajón comrades, the arbitrary arrest and unjust imprisonment of more than 100 of our comrades, who were separated from their families and deprived of their freedom. All on the whim of the bad government because we did not obey its order to release control of the collection booth and access to the Agua Azul Waterfalls, which we had built on our ejido lands. This access point is strategically located. The Bad Government seeks control of the booth to serve interests completely indifferent to the social benefits and the collective indigenous community of the ejido.

This mega police operation was being schemed and prepared since the end of 2010 in Tuxtla Gutiérrez, Chiapas by Noé Castañón León and the San Sebastián Bachajón PRIist ejido commissioner Francisco Guzmán Jiménez also known as ‘el Goyito’. ‘El Goyito’ is also the same person who threatened to kill our compañero Juan Vázquez Guzmán before his actual murder on 24 April 2013. For approximately a year before this operation was carried out, our organisation had maintained a land defense camp on the road that leads up to the Agua Azul Waterfall. This was done through collective training, organisation and work, we also charged tourists for the entry to our lands on the ejido San Sebastián Bachajón, and this was for the general benefit of all the ejido and not just our organisation.

The operation took place then because the Bad Government took advantage of the moment to repress, persecute and violate the human rights of our people. This was when Tatik Samuel Ruiz passed on to a better life and the director of the Human Rights Center Fray Bartolomé de Las Casas Diego Cadenas Gordillo went to work with the Bad Government alongside Juan Sabines Guerrero in the State Human Rights Council just a few days after the death of Tatik Samuel. This is what the former director of Frayba Marina Patricia Jiménez Ramírez also did, and she earns approximately 100 thousand pesos per month. The death of Tatik Samuel created conditions which allowed the Bad Government to intensify attacks on indigenous communities living in resistance in Chiapas, including the defense of the land of San Sebastian Bachajón and all of this contributed to the chain of events that have so far occurred.

Our organization continues to stand up and defend our territory. We are more aware of our rights as an indigenous people, we seek to build an autonomy as an organization and as human beings. We support all people who live any injustice, whether you belong to the Sixth or not, Zapatista or not Zapatista, Catholic or non-Catholic. If you are a person who lives injustice as we do, we will do what we can to support you.

We also continue to fight for our prisoners who belong to everyone, not just us. And all other prisoners too; these prisoners can count on San Sebastian Bachajón’s word of solidarity and unselfish interests. It takes a lot of organization, coordination and solidarity to liberate our compañeros who have been in prison for many years, and becoming poorer, sicker and less hopeful. Despite our economic poverty we are full of pride and enthusiasm to provide legal and political accompaniment to our our compañeros and to contribute something to their freedom. We humbly ask for your support in your own way that allows them to get out of the Bad Government’s dungeon and to free other fellow prisoners in Mexico and the world.

Santiago Moreno Pérez, prisoner in Playas de Catazajá Prison, is originally from La Pimienta and was serving as an Adviser to the Sixth’s Autonomous Security Council in 2009 when a serious problem occurred in the community. He and his son Sebastian were accused of murdering another La Pimienta resident. The community gathered to lynch them, but then decided not to kill them and turned them over to jail, but they also took all of their possessions before doing so. Some days later Santiago’s wife died and his children were orphaned. Apprehension orders have also been issued for the children accusing them of the same crime as Santiago. The compañero’s current situation is that he is still on trial. Many of his rights have been violated, and they rescheduled his case once, and that is why he has been unjustly detained for almost 8 years.

Emilio Jiménez Gómez, prisoner in Playas de Catazajá Prison, originally from Xanil, Chilón, Chiapas, is accused of assaulting an Italian tourist who was passing through Xanil community. Emilio, along with his father, were detained without an apprehension order by PRIista residents of the community. His father was released by the Palenque Public Prosecutor’s Office, but Emilio has been jailed since 2014. The compañero is awaiting sentencing and we expect that it may happen any day soon.

Esteban Gómez Jiménez, prisoner in the San Cristóbal de Las Casas Prison in Chiapas. He is originally from Salto de Tigre, Chilón, Chiapas, and he is accused of several serious crimes, like felony homicide, two violent assaults on tourists, and possession of a weapon of exclusive use to military. So far, he has been cleared of the charge of murder and possession of the military weapon, but the two charges of assault are still pending. Because he was attacked by other prisoners when he was in El Amate Prison, he asked to be transferred to the San Cristóbal de Las Casas Prison, which is where he is at the moment.

Considering the local and the national situation, we reaffirm our commitment and belief in the preparatory work that we are carrying out alongside the National Indigenous Congress and the Zapatista Army of National Liberation. The work is urgent and necessary in order to transform the reality of the country. Dispossession, repression, and contempt of the Bad Government is what will continue to be our reality unless we but brakes to their injustices.

From the Northern Zone in the state of Chiapas, the women and men of San Sebastián, we send you combative greetings.

Never again a Mexico without us

Land and freedom

Long live Zapata!

¡Hasta la victoria siempre!

Freedom for political prisoners!

Long live Juan Vázquez guzmán, and Bachajón’s struggle!

Long live Juan Carlos Gómez Silvano, and Bachajón’s struggle!

No to the dispossession of indigenous lands!

State police, Out of indigenous lands!

Immediate return of the disappeared and murdered “compañeros” from the teachers’ school Normal Raúl Isidro Burgos de Ayotzinapa!

Justice for our compañero Juan Vazquez Guzman, Ayotzinapa, Acteal, ABC, Atenco!

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The walls above, the cracks below (and to the left)

Posted in Uncategorized on February 17, 2017 by floweroftheword

February 2017

The Storm on Our Path

For us, the Native Zapatista peoples, the storm, the war, have gone on for centuries. It came to our lands with the fictitious accounts of the dominant civilization and religion. In that time, the sword and the cross both bled our people dry.

With the passage of time, the sword was modernized and the religion of capital dethroned the cross, but it continued demanding our blood as an offering to the new god: money.

We resist, we always resist. Our rebellions were supplanted in the dispute between some against others for Power. Both, always above, demanded of us struggling and dying to serve them, they demanded obedience from us, and submission under the lie of liberating us. Like those who said and say to fight, they came and they come to command. Thus there were supposed independences and false revolutions, past and the future. Those above took turns and take turns, ever since, to govern poorly or to aspire to do it. And in past and present calendars, their proposal continues being the same: that we will give the blood; while they govern or simulate governing.

And before and now, they forget that we don’t forget.

And the woman is always below, yesterday and today. Even in the collective that we were and are.

But the calendars not only brought pain and death to our peoples. Upon expanding their dominion, the Power created new brotherhoods in misfortune. We then saw the worker and the campesino become one with our pain, and lie under the four wheels of Capital’s mortal wagon.

As the Power advanced in its passage through time, more and more grew below, expanding the base over which the Power is the Power. We then saw teachers, students, artisans, small businesses and professionals, etcetera added on, with different names but identical regrets.

It wasn’t enough. Power is an exclusive, discriminatory and select space. Differences were also openly persecuted then. Color, race, creed, sexual preference, were expelled from the paradise promised, being that that their permanent home was in hell.

Youth, childhood and old age were next. The Power thus converted the calendars into a matter of persecution. Everyone below is guilty: for being ma woman, for being a child, for being young, for being an adult, for being old and for being human.

But, by expanding exploitation, dispossession, repression and discrimination, the Power also expanded the resistances… and rebellions.

We saw then, and now, the view of many rising up, different but similar in their rage and insubordination.

The Power knows that it’s just about those who work. It needs them.

It responded and responds to each rebellion by buying or deceiving the least, incarcerating and murdering the most. It doesn’t fear their demands; it’s their example that causes it horror.

It wasn’t enough. In the dominating nations, the Power of Capital wanted to put all of humanity under its heavy yoke.

It wasn’t enough either. Capital now intends to manage nature, tame it, domesticate it and exploit it; in other words, to destroy it.

Always with war, in its destructive advance the Capital, the Power, first demolished fiefdoms and kingdoms. And nations rose up over their ruins.

Later it devastated nations, and over their shambles it erected the new world order: a big market.

The entire world became an immense warehouse for merchandise. Everything is bought and sold: water, wind, land, plants and animals, governments, knowledge, fun, desire, love, hate and people.

But not only merchandise is exchanged in the grand market of Capital. “Economic freedom” is only an illusion that simulates mutual agreement between those who sell and those who buy. In reality, the market is based on dispossession and exploitation. The exchange is then of impunities. Justice is transformed into a grotesque caricature and on its scale money always weighs more than truth. And the stability of that tragedy called Capitalism depends on repression and contempt.

But that’s not enough either. Dominating in the material world is not possible if one does not dominate in ideas. The imposition of religions deepened and reached the arts and sciences. Philosophies and beliefs emerged and emerge like clothing styles. The arts and sciences stopped being what is distinctive about being human and became a shelf of the global supermarket. Knowledge became private property, the same as recreation and pleasure.

Capital thus consolidated itself as a giant shredder, using not only all of humanity as raw material for commodity production, but also knowledge, art, and…nature.

The destruction of the planet, the millions of displaced, the rise in crime, unemployment, poverty, the weakness of governments and the wars to come are not products of the excesses of Capital, or of a mistaken detour of a system that promised order, progress, peace, and prosperity.

No, all of these tragedies are the essence of the system. It feeds on them; it grows at their cost.

Destruction and death are the fuel for the great machine of Capital.

Attempts to “rationalize” or “humanize” its functioning were, are, and will be futile. Irrationality and inhumanity are its key parts. There is no possible repair. There wasn’t before, and there is no way now to mitigate its criminal path.

The only way to stop the machine is to destroy it.

In the current world war, the dispute is between the system and humanity. That is why the anticapitalist struggle is a struggle for humanity.

Those who still try to “fix” or “save” the system are really proposing a mass global suicide, like a posthumous sacrifice to Power.

But, there is no solution in the system.

Neither the horror, the condemnation, nor resignation are enough; nor is the hope that the worst has passed and things can only get better.

No. What is certain is that things will get worse.

For these reasons, in addition to what each of us can add from our particular calendars and geographies, we must resist, rebel, say “no,” one must struggle, one must organize.

That is why we must raise the wind from below with resistance and rebellion, with organization.

Only then will we be able to survive. Only then will it be possible to live.
And only then, as we said 25 years ago, will we be able to see that….
“When the storm calms, when the rain and fire leave the earth in peace once again, the world will no longer be the world, but something better.”

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The War and the Walls Outside and Inside

Provoked by the greed of big money, the intention above is to make those suffering the current nightmare pay for it. Borders are no longer just lines drawn on maps and customs checkpoints, but walls of armies and police, of cement and brick, of laws and persecution. In the world above, the hunting of human beings increases and is celebrated with clandestine competitions: whoever expels, incarcerates, confines, and murders the most wins.

As we have been saying for more than 20 years, neoliberal globalization did not bring about a global village, but rather the fragmentation and dissolution of the so-called “Nation-States.” Then and now we called this process by the name that best describes it: “world war” (the fourth, according to us).

The only thing that was globalized was the market, and with it, war.

For those who operate the machines and bring the land to life, borders continue to exist and continue to be what they always have been: prisons.

Two decades ago, our assertion of this reality provoked mocking smiles from the international intelligentsia, tied to its old and expired dogmas.

Those same people today stutter in the face of a frantic reality, or they recommend old recipes, or they move on to a currently trendy idea that, through complex theoretical elaboration, hides the only truth at hand: they haven’t the slightest idea what is happening, nor what is coming, nor what brought on the current nightmare.

They lament this. The thinking from above had promised them a world without borders, and the result was instead a planet crammed with chauvinist trenches.

The world was not transformed into a gigantic metropolis without borders, but rather a great sea writhing in an unprecedented storm. In that sea, millions of displaced (who are grouped together by the media paintbrush as “migrants”) flail in small boats, waiting to be rescued by the gigantic ship of big Capital.

Not only will it not rescue them, but big Capital is the principal cause of the storm that threatens the existence of humanity in its entirety.

Under the awkward disguise of fascist nationalism, the most retrograde dark times return, claiming privileges and attentions. Tired of governing from the shadows, big Capital dismantles the lies of “citizenship” and “equality” before the law and the market.

The flag of “freedom, equality, and fraternity” with which capitalism adorned its conversion into the dominant world system is merely a dirty rag, tossed in the garbage bin of history from above.

Finally the system unmasks itself and shows its true face and vocation. “War Always, War Everywhere,” reads the name on the proud ship that navigates through a sea of blood and shit. It is money and not artificial intelligence that fights humanity in the decisive battle: that of survival.

No one is safe. Not the naive national capitalist who dreamed of the bonanza that was offered by open global markets, nor the conservative middle class surviving between the dream of being powerful and the reality of being the flock for the shepherd in turn.

Then there are the working classes of the city and countryside who increasingly find themselves in even more difficult conditions, if that were possible.

And, to round out the apocalyptic image, the millions of displaced and migrants piling up at the borders that have suddenly become as real as the walls that governments and criminals raise with every step.

In the global geography of the mass media and the social networks, the displaced, nomadic ghosts without name or face, are merely a statistic that identifies their location.

The calendar? Just one day after the promise of the end of history, of the solemn declaration of the supremacy of a system that was to have guaranteed wellbeing to those who worked for it, of victory over the “communist enemy” who sought to restrict freedom, impose dictatorships and create poverty, of the promised eternity that would annul all genealogies. The same calendar that announced just yesterday that world history was only getting started. And it turns out that no, it was all nothing more than a prelude to the most frightening nightmare.

Capitalism as a world system is collapsing, and the great captains, now desperate, can no longer figure out where to go. That’s why they are withdrawing into the lairs from which they came.

They offer the impossible: local salvation against global catastrophe. And this rubbish sells well among a middle class that is blurring into those from below in terms of its income, but which aspires to make up for its unmet economic needs with authentications of race, creed, color and sex. Salvation from above is Anglo-Saxon, white, religious, and masculine.

Now, those who lived on the crumbs that fell from the tables of big capital watch desperately as walls are erected against them, too. And the worst part is that they intend to head the opposition to this warlike policy. Here we see the intellectual right making contrary gestures and attempting timid and ridiculous protests. Because, no: globalization was not the triumph of freedom. It was and is the current age of tyranny and slavery.

Nations are not Nations anymore, although their respective governments might not have noticed it yet. Their flags and emblems are threadbare and discolored. Destroyed by globalization from above, sick with the parasite of Capital and with corruption as their only sign of identity, the national governments try with inept haste to protect themselves and attempt the impossible reconstruction of what they once were.

In the airtight compartments created by their walls and customs checkpoints, the system drugs the middle sectors of society with the opium of a reactionary, nostalgic nationalism, with xenophobia, racism, sexism, and homophobia as a plan for salvation.

Borders multiply within every territory. Not just the ones that are drawn on maps; also, and above all, the ones that are erected by corruption and crime turned into government.
The postmodern bonanza was nothing but a balloon inflated by finance capital. And then reality came to pop it: millions of people displaced by the great war fill the land and waterways, they pile up in customs and begin making cracks in the walls already raised and the ones still to be built. Encouraged before by big Capital, fundamentalisms find fertile ground for their proposals for unification: “from terror will be born a single way of thinking: ours.” After being nourished with dollars, the beast that is terrorism threatens the house of its creator.

It’s the same thing in the United States as in Western Europe or neo-czarist Russian; the beast writhes and tries to protect itself. It extols then (and not only then) the crudest stupidity and ignorance, and synthesizes its proposal in its government figureheads: “Let’s go back to the past.”

But no, America will not be great again. Never again! Nor will the whole system in its entirety. It doesn’t matter what those above do. The system has already arrived at the point of no return.

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Against Capital and its Walls: All the Cracks

The international offensive of Capital against racial and national differences, in promoting the construction of cultural and legal walls as well as those of cement and steel, seeks to shrink the planet even further. In this way they are trying to create a world where the only ones who fit are those above who are alike.

It may sound ridiculous, but this is how it is: to face the storm, the system is not looking for roofs to protect itself, but rather walls behind which to hide.

This new period of Capital’s war against Humanity must be faced, yes, with organized resistance and rebellion, but also with solidarity and support for those whose lives, freedoms, and property are being attacked.

Therefore:

Considering that the system is incapable of stopping the destruction,

Considering that below and to the left there must be no room for conformity and resignation,

Considering that it’s time to organize to struggle and to say “NO” to the nightmare they impose on us from above,

THE SIXTH COMMISSION OF THE EZLN AND THE ZAPATISTA BASES OF SUPPORT CONVOKE:

  1. – A global campaign: Facing the walls of Capital: resistance, rebellion, solidarity and support from below and to the left.

With the objective of calling for organization and global resistance in the face of the aggressiveness of big money and its respective overseers on the planet, which already terrorize millions of people all around the world:

We call to organize autonomously, to resist and rebel against persecutions, detentions, and deportations. If someone has to go, let it be those above. Every human being has the right to a free and dignified existence in the place that they deem best, and has the right to fight to stay there. Resisting detentions, displacements, and expulsions is an obligation, just as it is an obligation to support those who are rebelling against those arbitrary actions REGARDLESS OF BORDERS.

It is necessary to let all those people know that they are not alone, that their pain and rage are seen even from a distance, that their resistance is not only welcomed, it is also supported, even with our limited possibilities.

It’s necessary to get organized. It’s necessary to resist. It’s necessary to say “NO” to persecutions, expulsions, prisons, walls and borders. And it’s necessary to say “NO” to the national bad governments that are and have been accomplices to that policy of terror, destruction and death. Solutions will not come from above, because that’s where the problems were born.

For this reason we are calling on the Sixth in its entirety to organize itself, according to its times, ways, and geographies, to support activities for and by those who are resisting and rebelling against expulsions. This may be by supporting their return to their homes, by creating “sanctuaries” or supporting the ones that already exist, through legal advice and support, with money, through the arts and sciences, through festivals and mobilizations, through commercial and media boycotts, in cyberspace, wherever and however possible. In all the spaces we move through it is our duty to support and be in solidarity with each other.

The time has come for creating committees in solidarity with criminalized and persecuted humanity. Now, more than even before, your house is also our house.

Like the Zapatistas that we are, our strength is small and, although our calendar is wide and deep, our geography is limited.

Because of that and to support those who resist the detentions and deportations, since several weeks ago the EZLN’s Sixth Commission has initiated contacts with individuals, groups, collectives and organizations adhered to the Sixth in the world, to see the way of making a little aid reach them in a way that is useful to them as a basis for launching or continuing all sorts of activities and actions in favor of the persecuted.

To begin, we’ll send you artistic works created by the indigenous Zapatistas for CompArte last year, as well as organic coffee produced by the indigenous Zapatista communities in the mountains of the Mexican Southeast, so that, with its sale, you realize artistic and cultural activities for concretizing support and solidarity with the immigrants and the displaced that all over the world see their lives, their liberty and their property threatened by the xenophobic campaigns promoted by governments and the ultra right in the world.

That’s it for now. We’re already planning new forms of support and solidarity. Zapatista women, men, children and elderly won’t leave you alone.

  1. – We also invite all adherents to the Sixth and all those who are interested to the seminar of critical reflection “THE WALLS OF CAPITAL, THE CRACKS OF THE LEFT” to be celebrated April 12 – 15, 2017, in the installations of the CIDECI-UniTierra, San Cristóbal de Las Casas, Chiapas, Mexico. Those participating are: Pablo González Casanova, Paulina Fernández C., Alicia Castellanos, Magdalena Gómez, Gilberto López y Rivas, Luis Hernández Navarro, Carlos Aguirre Rojas, Arturo Anguiano and Sergio Rodríguez Lascano, as well as Christian Chávez, Carlos González and María de Jesús Patricio Martínez, from the CNI.

We’ll give more details soon.

III. – We call all artists to the second edition of “CompArte for Humanity” with the theme: “Against Capital and its walls: all the arts” to be celebrated all over the world and in cyberspace. The “real” part will be on the dates of July 23 to 29, 2017 in the Caracol of Oventik and CIDECI-UniTierra. The virtual edition will be from August 1 to 12, 2017 in the Internet. We’ll give more details soon.

  1. – We also ask that you be attentive to the activities that the National Indigenous Congress convenes as part of its own process of formation of the Indigenous Government Council
  2. – We convoke the scientists of the world to the second edition of the “ConSciences for Humanity” with the theme: “The sciences versus the wall,” to be celebrated December 26 – 30, 2017 in CIDECI-UniTierra, San Cristóbal de Las Casas, Chiapas, Mexico, and in cyberspace. We’ll give the details soon.

That’s not all. One must resist, one must rebel, one must struggle and one must organize.

From the mountains of the Mexican Southeast,

Subcomandante Insurgente Moisés | Subcomandante Insurgente Galeano

Mexico, February 14 (also the day of our dead), 2017

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Originally Published in Spanish by Enlace Zapatista

February 14, 2017

http://enlacezapatista.ezln.org.mx/2017/02/14/los-muros-arriba-las-grietas-abajo-y-a-la-izquierda/

Zapatistas Demand ‘Grassroots Resistance’ Against Trump’s Walls

Posted in Uncategorized on February 17, 2017 by floweroftheword

digitallpost_ezlnpresidencia-1024x683-jpg_1718483346-1Signed by Subcomandante Moises and Subcomandante Galeano, the document reinforced the idea that migrants and refugees are “not alone.” | Photo: EFE

“We call for grassroots movements to resist, resist and rebel against the persecution, the arrests and deportations."

The Zapatista Army of National Liberation, EZLN, called on all of its members and supporters to rally behind the immigrants currently facing arrest, deportation and human rights abuses at the hands of U.S. President Donald Trump’s administration.

“We call for grassroots movements to resist, resist and rebel against the persecution, the arrests and deportations … Because every human being has the right to live in freedom and dignity in the place he finds the best for himself, and has the right to fight to stay there,” said the communique, calling resistance an act of "duty.”

Signed by Subcomandante Moises and Subcomandante Galeano, the document reinforced the idea that migrants and refugees are “not alone” and that the Zapatistas, "even with our limited possibilities," fully support their struggle.

It also includes a series of suggested actions, including the provision of free legal advice and support for immigrants as well as commercial and media boycotts.

“From up there," states the document, referring to governments, "solutions won’t come … because from there came the problems.”

Over the past few weeks, the Zapatistas’ Sixth Commission has been reaching out to activists, collectives and organizations in a drive to develop closer cooperation on various solidarity actions in support of the "persecuted."

http://www.telesurtv.net/english/news/Zapatistas-Demand-Grassroots-Resistance-Against-Trumps-Walls-20170215-0035.html

Believing People Pilgrimage

Posted in Uncategorized on February 9, 2017 by floweroftheword

believing-popleBelieving People Pilgrimage in San Cristóbal, 2016 Photo: El Heraldo de Chiapas

On January 25, members of Believing Peoples of the Diocese of San Cristóbal de Las Casas held a pilgrimage on the fifth anniversary of the death of Jtatik Samuel Ruíz and also for the commemoration of the 25th anniversary of the Diocesan Coordination of Women (CODIMUJ).

About 4,000 people came from the municipalities of Comitan, Frontera Comalapa, Chicomuselo, Altamirano, Tila, Las Margaritas, Ocosingo, Chilon, La Trinitaria, La Independencia, San Cristóbal, Chenalho, San Juan Chamula, Larrainzar, Oxchuc, among others. They met in the Cathedral Square of San Cristobal de las Casas to remember Jtatik Samuel in prayer.

As Believing Peoples, they proposed building autonomy in the communities, recovering the structure of government, resisting the projects and recovering the autonomous and community governments, facing the 2018 elections, as the political parties are already controlling and organizing their people in communities.

Believing Peoples denounce “the poverty that is increasing through the rise of [the price of] gasoline, gas, electricity, tortilla, transportation and everything. We denounce the nationalist egotism of the new government in the United States, which excludes emigrants and who only look out for their economic interests, without solidarity with less developed countries.

https://sipazen.wordpress.com/2017/02/05/chiapas-believing-people-pilgrimage/

UNO Special Rapporteur Visits Mexico to Evaluate Human Rights Situation

Posted in Uncategorized on February 9, 2017 by floweroftheword

February 5, 2017

unoMichael Forst, UNO Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights defenders. Photo@MuralChiapas

The United Nations Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights defenders, Michel Forst, visited Mexico from January 16 to 24 with the aim of assessing the situation of human rights defenders and evaluating the efforts made by the Mexican authorities for their protection. After traveling the country from Mexico City to the states of Chihuahua, Guerrero, Oaxaca and the State of Mexico, and meeting more than 800 defenders from 24 states, 60% of whom were women, the UNO Rapporteur noted “high levels of insecurity and violence faced by defenders in the country” in a “complex context marked by organized crime, corruption and state repression.”

Based on his observations, Forst points out that, “the situation of human rights defenders is marked by the criminalization of their activities through the undue and deliberate use of criminal law and manipulation of punitive power by both state and non-state players, to prevent and even avoid the legitimate activities of defenders to promote and protect human rights.” He also added that “the use of arbitrary arrests and detentions as an instrument to silence dissident voices and to curb social movements is also worrying (…) in many cases, those who defend human rights by reporting violations committed by the authorities are criminalized and face indirect reprisals through attacks or criminal proceedings directed against their families or people close to them.”

The Special Rapporteur expressed concern about the fact that “98% of crimes in Mexico are not solved”: “The low rate of successful investigations and solution of crimes committed against human rights defenders has generated a generalized sense of impunity.” He continued and warned that, “The lack of investigation and sanction of the aggressors sends a dangerous message that there are no consequences for committing such crimes. This creates an environment conducive to the repetition of violations.”

“Impunity has become the cause and effect of the general insecurity of human rights defenders in Mexico,” the Special Rapporteur warned at the close of his official visit to the country and presented a preliminary report with a series of recommendations to the authorities and other players to strengthen the protection of human rights defenders and facilitate their important work. Forst concluded by reaffirming his willingness to provide assistance to all players interested in combating impunity and ensuring the protection of defenders in Mexico.

https://sipazen.wordpress.com/2017/02/05/national-uno-special-rapporteur-visits-mexico-to-evaluate-human-rights-situation/

Urgent Action: Rarámuri Indigenous Leaders Murdered

Posted in Uncategorized on February 9, 2017 by floweroftheword

Sign the urgent action here on-line: http://redtdt.org.mx/?p=7884

juanontiverosramos_isidrobaldenegro

The National Network of Civil Society Human Rights Groups, All Rights for Everyone (in Spanish: ‘Red Nacional de Organismos Civiles de Derechos Humanos, Todos los Derechos para Todas y Todos’ and known by the acronym Red TDT)

2 February 2017

  • This is an urgent call to action to protect the safety and integrity of members of the Choreachi community following the murder of indigenous leader Juan Ontiveros Ramos, 15 days after the murder of Isidro Baldenegro, another indigenous leader from the same municipality.
  • We demand that the investigation begun into these events be diligently integrated into this case, in order to identify, prosecute and punish all those responsible; and to ensure the non-repetition of similar events.

Recent Events Prior to the Murder

Red TDT has received information from the Alianza Sierra Madre A.C. and the Women’s Human Rights Centre about the murder of the human rights defender Juan Ontiveros Ramos.

On February 1, 2017, Juan Ontiveros Ramos was found dead after he and his brother Isidro were attacked the day before by armed individuals. On January 20, Juan took part in a meeting with personnel from the Human Rights Section of the Ministry of the Interior and other authorities. There were two rounds of analysis discussing the community’s security situation and dispossession of their territory.

In October 2015 Juan Ontiveros had also presented his testimony about the local problems in a video that was given to the IACHR (Inter-American Commission on Human Rights) in a meeting implementing precautionary measures. The aggressions suffered by the communities and human rights defenders of the region have been a trend identified by organizations working in the region.

What happened

The Choréachi community in the municipality of Guadalupe and Calvo, Chihuahua has a grave history of attacks on human rights defenders, as well as general harassment of villagers. This is due to the approximately 40 years of occupation of their territory by groups of organized crime and others. In such a context of reoccurring serious violence, it is imperative to issue an emergency call to protect the life and integrity of the rest of the inhabitants of the Choréachi commuinty.

The homicide of Juan Ontiveros Ramos took place 15 days after Isidro Baldenegro, another indigenous leader from the same municipality, was also assassinated. These two cases bring to 18 the total number of homicides that the community has suffered since 1973. Four of these murders took place last year, and this reveals that territorial dispossession in the Tarahumara Sierra continues without being addressed.

The aggressions against the Choréachi community are a longstanding problem. Since two years ago, an emergency situation had already been reported. On 20 February 2014 several organizations in the region sent a request for precautionary measures to the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights in support of Prudencio Ramos Ramos and Ángela Ayala Ramos and their respective families. After determining the seriousness of the case, the commission requested Mexico to take the necessary measures to preserve life and to enable them to carry out their human rights defence work without being subjected to violence. It also requested that the facts of the case be investigated so as to avoid the situation repeating.

Again, we value the words Rapporteur Forst delivered in his report on the closure of his mission of January 24:

‘During my visit to Chihuahua, I became familiar with the situation faced by human rights defenders protecting the rights of the Rarámuri indigenous people, in particular the risks posed by organized crime and the lack of protection by the authorities.’ For these reasons, the expert ‘Call[ed] on the federal and state authorities to ensure that all crimes against the defenders of the rights of the Sierra Tarahumara peoples are properly investigated.’ The signatory organizations of this communiqué make the same call as Michel Forst and urge the state and federal authorities to act accordingly.

Given these facts we demand the following:

  1. Protect the Choréachi community and provide security for the life and natural and cultural heritage of the Rarámuri people.
  2. Guarantee the physical and moral integrity of Juan Ontiveros Ramos’s family.
  3. Follow through and act on the arrest warrants pending in connection with the murder of Jaime Zubías and Socorro Ayala as they relate to these events.
  4. That the investigation initiated by these events be diligently integrated, in order to identify, prosecute and punish all those responsible; and to ensure similar events do not happen again.
  5. That the agreements adopted at the different rounds of meetings be complied with and result in both the guarantee that the community recovers its territory, and the compliance of the precautionary measures adopted by the IACHR result in the safety of those who are under the protective mechanisms of human rights defenders and journalists.
  6. That the contingency plan drawn up from the preventive alert, to support human rights defenders and journalists in Chihuahua, and adopted by the government representatives of the protective mechanisms be put into action.

Translated by the UK Zapatista Translation Service

centrodemedioslibres.org/2017/02/04/accion-urgente-ante-asesinatos-de-lideres-indigenas-raramuri/