By Tim Russo, June 3, 2014. Source: Upside Down World
Photo by: Tim Russo
Subcomandante Insurgente Marcos rides horseback in front of the Zapatista support base members in La Realidad during an homage to fallen compañero – Galeano – killed in a paramilitary attack against Zapatista members in La Realidad on May 2, 2014. Thousands gathered in La Realidad to show there digna rabia, dignified rage, demand justice and an end to the on-going violence directed towards Zapatista indigenous communities in Chiapas. The May 2nd attack was the first such attack directly in a Zapatista Caracol – Cultural Center of Resistance and Autonomous Governance. SupMarcos made his final speech as spokesperson for the EZLN and announced that he was being relieved of duty, bringing an end a character that had become a “distraction” to the movement. Continue reading
Note: While the main stream coverage below (all we could find in English) insufficiently explains this momentous announcement, this article in Spanish explains that Marcos’ stepping down is related to the recent assassination of Galeano, a Zapatista teacher and the desire for a new generation of Zapatista leaders to take hold.
From Marcos’ final communique:
“Pensamos que es necesario que uno de nosotros muera para que Galeano Viva. Así que hemos decidido que Marcos debe de morir hoy”
“We think it is necessary that one of us dies so Galeano may live. So we decided that Marcos should die today”
-The GJEP Team
By Michael O’Boyle and Tomas Sarmiento, May 26, 2014. Source: Reuters
The leader of the Zapatista National Liberation Army (EZLN), Subcomandante Marcos (C) smokes a pipe during opening of the forum to mark the fifteenth anniversary of the Zapatista uprising in San Critobal de las Casas in Mexico’s state of Chiapas, January 2, 2009.
Photo: REUTERS/JORGE DAN LOPEZ
Subcommandante Marcos, who led an indigenous uprising in southern Mexico and became one of Latin America’s most iconic revolutionaries, on Sunday said he was stepping down as spokesman for the Zapatista rebels and would disappear.
The ski-masked, pipe-smoking guerrilla leader became an idol of the anti-globalization movement after he led the 1994 Zapatista rebellion in the southern state of Chiapas, but he had avoided public appearances in recent years.
“We have decided that today Marcos no longer exists,” he wrote in a lengthy statement published on the Zapatista website that he said was his last message as the rebel leader.
Marcos denied rumors he had become ill, saying he was making way for a new generation to take over speaking for the rebels, who still hold a handful of communities deep in Chiapas.
Source: An attack on the Zapatistas is an attack on us all
Image: An Attack On Us All
Week of action: May 18th-24th, (Day of remembrance May 24th)
SUMMARY OF RECENT EVENTS:
On May 2, 2014, in the Zapatista territory of La Realidad, Chiapas, Mexico, the group CIOAC-Histórica [with the participation of the Green Ecological Party and the National Action Party (PAN)], planned and executed a paramilitary attack on unarmed Zapatista civilians. An autonomous Zapatista school and clinic was destroyed, 15 people were ambushed and injured and Jose Luis Solis Lopez (Galeano), teacher at the Zapatista Little School, was murdered. The mainstream media is falsely reporting this attack on the Zapatistas as an intra-community confrontation, but in fact this attack is the result of a long-term counterinsurgency strategy promoted by the Mexican government.
Given the experience of the 1997 massacre at Acteal, we are concerned about the mounting paramilitary activity against Zapatista bases of support. It is clear that if we do not take action now, the current situation in Chiapas may also lead to an even more tragic end. Continue reading
Note: A belated celebration of International Women’s Day!
-The GJEP Team
March 7, 2014. Source: Schools for Chiapas
By Jessica Davies, February 14, 2014. Source: Upside Down World
Photo: Upside Down World
Following recent events in Chiapas, the Network for Solidarity and against Repression has urged “adherents to the Sixth Declaration of the Lacandón Jungle, and every organization, collective, and honest person in Mexico and the world who, from your own places, extend your embrace to the dignified rage of the Zapatistas,” to participate in the Week of National and International Solidarity, “If they touch the Zapatistas, they touch all of us”, to be held from February 16 to 23, to “denounce the counterinsurgency war” and express that “the Zapatista communities are not alone.”
This call results from great concerns about recent events, denounced by the Fray Bartolomé de las Casas Human Rights Center as: “the Chiapas government’s failure to prevent attacks on the support bases of the Zapatista National Liberation Army (EZLN) from the 10 de Abril community,” leading to “an imminent possibility of new attacks and an intensification of the violence, which would be a risk to life and personal integrity, in addition to the violations of the right to territory and autonomy of the Zapatista peoples.” Continue reading
December 29, 2013. Source: World War 4 Report
Eight municipalities in southern Mexico’s Chiapas state on Dec. 10 were declared territories free of mineral or hydro-electric development, asserting principles of local autonomy and prior consultation. The joint statement was issued by 56 communities, ejidos (communal agricultural settlements) and popular organizations in the municipalities of Tapachula, Motozintla, Huehuetán, Cacahoatán, Mazapa, Comalapa, Chicomuselo and Tuzantán.
The officially notarized statement directed to President Enrique Peña Nieto, Chiapas Gov. Manuel Velasco Coello and other authorities protested illegal entry onto communal lands by personnel from development interests, attempts at corruption of local officials, the pending neoliberal reform of the energy sector, and high electric rates. The statement was read aloud in a public gathering in the central plaza of Tapachula—after which, hundreds of attendees occupied the town’s municipal palace to demand that the mayor endorse the statement.
“Official” authorities in the eight municipalities generally did not endorse the statement. The municipalities are in the state’s rugged Sierra Madre, headwaters of the Rio Grijalva, already under major hydro-electric exploitation. The Grijalva hydro-dams are a major source of power for Mexico, yet impoverished Chiapas is the state’s least electrified state, and high rates have repeatedly sparked protests. (Rebelión, Dec. 24)
By Gilberto López y Rivas, 23 September, 2013. Source: Chiapas Support Committee
Photo: Chiapas Support Committee
It was a privilege to attend the first grade course “Freedom according to the Zapatistas” as a student, which was paralleled in various territories of the autonomous governments, as well as in the Indigenous Center of Integral Capacity Building –Unitierra, in San Cristóbal de Las Casas, Chiapas, from August 12 to 17.
Because of its multiple political, strategic, programmatic and tactical meanings in the current tragedy of a country devastated by the government of national treason and its corporate-repressor associates (including organized crime), the course imparted by Indigenous peoples from the different ethnicities that make up the autonomous Zapatista governments constitutes an urgent call to the national conscience, to men and women with dignity and integrity to organize, resist and struggle for a better world where those that govern obey the peoples, departing from the seven principles: 1. Serve and don’t self-serve, 2. Represent and don’t supplant, 3. Construct and don’t destroy, 4. Obey and don’t order, 5. Propose and don’t impose, 6. Convince and don’t conquer, 7. Go down and not up, and based on the maximum ethic that reigns in the EZLN: “Everything for everyone, for us, nothing,” that is, the opposite poll of conduct with which the Mexican political class acts. Continue reading