WORLWIDE CALL TO ACTION FOR THE ZAPATISTAS OF COMANDANTE ABEL, UNIÓN HIDALGO, SAN MARCOS AVILÉS, MOISÉS GANDHI AND FRANCISCO SÁNTIZ LÓPEZ
WORLDWIDE ECHO IN SUPPORT OF THE ZAPATISTAS
From Truth to Action, Stopping the Repression
October 12th until November 17th
To our sisters and brothers of Comandante Abel:
To our sisters and brothers of Unión Hidalgo:
To our sisters and brothers of Moisés Gandhi:
To our sisters and brothers of San Marcos Avilés:
To our sisters and brothers, the family members and allies of Francisco Sántiz López:
To our Zapatista sisters and brothers:
To the Committees of the True Word in Mexico and the World:
To our compañer@s of The Other Campaign:
To our compañer@s of the Zezta Internazional:
To our compañer@s, adherents to the International Campaign in Defense of El Barrio and all our allies from around the world:
To Civil Society in Mexico and in the world:
The following is an urgent call to action from Movement for Justice in El Barrio, The Other Campaign New York, to carry out the:
From Truth to Action, Stopping the Repression
“Worldwide Echo in Support of the Zapatistas”
Sisters and brothers:
To all our compañer@s, we send warm greetings and embraces on behalf of Movement for Justice in El Barrio, The Other Campaign New York.
In response to the global demand for justice incited by the recent attacks on the Zapatista Support Base Communities (BAZ) carried out by the bad government and its armed death packs, it is with anguished and troubled hearts that we write these words, which are for your immediate consideration.
The most recent acts of repression against the Zapatista Support Base communities of Comandante Abel, Unión Hidalgo, and Moisés Gandhi, in addition to the ongoing terror and threats of displacement endured by the San Marcos Avilés community, have been alarmingly violent. As a direct consequence of the invasions and violence of the attack groups “Peace and Justice” and the Regional Coffee Growers Organization of Ocosingo (Orcao), which operate in paramilitary fashion and as coyotes of the bad government, there are displaced BAZ populations, destruction and theft of food and personal belongings, and profound suffering.
As such, our compas from the Juntas de Buen Gobierno (Good Government Councils) and the affected communities have issued numerous denouncements and have urgently called for the mobilization of global solidarity actions targeting all levels of the bad government of Mexico.
In light of this, and given the continued threat of forced displacement hanging over San Marcos Avilés, it is incumbent upon us to add and bring together all of our hands and voices to prevent another act of aggression from happening against our compas from San Marcos Avilés.
If those from above believe that they can continue waging their violent war against our Zapatista sisters and brothers without repercussions, they are deeply mistaken. This time around, the dignified peoples of the world will have their say.
Before the growing global demand for justice and an end to the current and possible attacks, and in order to expand the reach of the ongoing activities taking place as part of the current First Phase of our Campaign: “Walking the True Word”, which will continue until October 11, we are writing to you to propose that we join forces once more to carry out the Second Phase: “From Truth to Action, Stopping the Repression.” This new phase will be different from the current first one – which aims to raise awareness in our communities about the dire situation that our Zapatista compas of Comandante Abel, Unión Hidalgo, San Marcos Avilés, and Moisés Gandhi, and the Zapatista political prisoner, Francisco Sántiz López, are facing – in that it will be a period of direct action and protest from October 12 to November 17. As you will understand, these dates were chosen for their great significance in the history of indigenous struggles throughout the world: the Day of Indigenous Resistance and the anniversary of the Birth of the Zapatista Army of National Liberation (EZLN).
If you would like to join our efforts and accept our proposal, please let us know as soon as possible by sending an e-mail to:
For further background and to keep up-to-date with the phases and developments in this campaign, we invite everyone to read the first call to action, released on July 25, which is available here:
SECOND CALL TO ACTION
“FROM TRUTH TO ACTION, STOPPING THE REPRESSION”
First and foremost, we would like to thank all the people who are continuing to give light and life to this worldwide campaign, which for over a month now we have been creating and shaping together. Thank you for sharing this path with us and for continuing to walk alongside us.
Since its beginning at the end of July, when the first call to action was released, the “Worldwide Echo in Support of the Zapatistas” International Campaign has been a meeting point for thousands of people of good heart who have responded to the call of the Zapatistas for support and solidarity.
In addition, in many countries, solidarity cells called “Committees of the True Word” have been organized around this meeting point, and are continuing to build support networks and raise public awareness about the repression currently being faced by the Zapatista communities and the Zapatista political prisoner Sántiz López.
More of these “Committees” continue to be set up every day, as more groups and people of good conscience join the campaign.
Together, we have all started the work of, to borrow a phrase from the wise Old Antonio, “walking the true word”, by organizing in our respective communities, ejidos, towns, neighborhoods, and countries to sow the words of San Marcos Avilés and Francisco Sántiz López like seeds which will grow, in their turn, into a struggle to support them.
More and more people are finding each other every day, seeking and meeting in the darkness and obscurity of lies and indifference which those from above have constructed in order to keep us divided. Fumbling in the dark, we continue to meet each other, and searching, day after day, for a way to break through into the light. As our ancestors say, our collective words contain the essence of life on this planet: memory – and, once spoken and shared, our words become fire.
We remember that this darkness was both born in and gave rise to, that time the EZLN describe as “the long night of those 500 years.” While the political, economic, cultural, and social systems of those from above continue to move our lives and Mother Earth closer towards total extinction, the resistances of those from below continue to build other exits to escape this obscurity.
To prevent us from joining hands and rising from this darkness, those from above have committed to douse out all the lights radiating from dignified people. This is why they are deploying their strategies of violence and destruction, and are attacking, imprisoning, repressing, assaulting, violating, robbing, silencing, and lying to us.
This is also why those from above, those who have created this long night, have chosen as their main target the indigenous peoples of the world, who have made such significant contributions to the struggle against the darkness.
Faced with this threat of planetary extinction, we must mobilize urgently to defend each and every light that illuminates our path towards the construction of another possible world. And as the True Word was and is the first form of light, it is vital that we defend those words which Old Antonio tells us were the first three in every language: “democracy, freedom, justice.”
It is no coincidence that these three words cannot be found in the governments, jails, schools, mass media, or the other institutions serving the privileges of those from above. Nor is it a coincidence that these same three words are alive, in many different ways, among the dignified people from below, especially the indigenous people of Mexico and the world. While those from above continue to attack and destroy these lights, we will continue to defend and create more lights, more solutions, more worlds.
Even though those from above are using the lies which give the night its darkness to keep us divided, in our hearts we carry that which makes the light shine…This is called truth.
In order to actively support the defense of the light that shines from the Zapatistas, an exemplary indigenous movement, whose struggle has always been for and with both indigenous and non-indigenous peoples alike, we call on and invite everyone once again to join this campaign, and to carry out its second phase, which will consist of a month of strategic and direct actions.
Beginning on October 12, the Day of Indigenous Resistance, and lasting until November 17, the Anniversary of the Birth of the EZLN, we invite everyone to organize actions – according to our own ways and abilities – in our respective communities and countries during this period, so as to echo the call of the indigenous Zapatista communities of Comandante Abel, Unión Hidalgo, San Marcos Avilés, and Moisés Gandhi, and the indigenous Zapatista political prisoner Francisco Sántiz López.
During these days of action, compas, let us unite, honor, remember, and support all the Zapatista communities and in particular, the following ones, as they are presently under siege:
- Comandante Abel: Beginning on September 6th and 7th, and until the present, the paramilitary group “Peace and Justice” has carried out an armed invasion into Zapatista territory in the Comandante Abel ejido (BAZ). As a result, the entire community was violently displaced and several people were missing for some time while they sought refuge from the violence. Many remain severely ill. The Zapatistas’ land remains occupied by the aggressors, who are currently constructing their own houses as a way to perpetuate the occupation.
- Unión Hidalgo: Similarly, this Zapatista community was displaced by the violent aggressions of “Peace and Justice.” With the use of firearms, the aggressors have managed to occupy and expand their invasion throughout a significant section of the community. The situation is made worse because many compas are ill.
- Moisés Gandhi: Throughout the month of August, the Zapatista Support Base members of this community have suffered violent attacks and threats of forced displacement by the group of “coyotes” called the Regional Coffee Growers Organization of Ocosingo (Orcao).
- As our compas from San Marcos Avilés detail in their video-message, available below, they have lived in a constant nightmare at the hands of a local attack group, with backing from political party members, for having opened their own autonomous school “Emiliano Zapata” in 2010. From forced displacement to sexual assault, these compas have suffered numerous forms of violence and repression solely for wanting to live with dignity and freedom as indigenous peoples.
Their video-message, which has already had over 30,000 views, can be viewed here:
At the same time, our compañero Francisco Sántiz López, a Zapatisa Support Base member and indigenous Tzeltal, has been imprisoned since December 2011 for crimes that he did not commit. His only offense, as has been stated over and over again, is that of being a Zapatista Support Base member. For this reason, he is being held as a hostage of the Mexican State.
For more background, please consult the video-message from the Zapatistas about Francisco Sántiz López here:
For those who wish to learn more about the background and progress of this campaign, we invite you to visit the San Marcos Avilés website, which also features information on Comandante Abel, here:
We hope that the videos and website continue to be useful tools in this struggle, which is already spoken in 10 languages and is seen in dozens of countries the world over. Hopefully it will continue to grow, reaching new places and peoples.
In closing, if you accept this proposal and will participate in the Second Phase, we ask that you please let us know as soon as possible by sending an email to:
From our brown and dignified hearts, from this Barrio of migrants, we send you our warmest greetings and embraces.
FREEDOM AND JUSTICE FOR THE ZAPATISTA COMMUNITIES
AND FRANCISCO SÁNTIZ LÓPEZ!
LONG LIVE THE ZAPATISTAS!
LONG LIVE THE INDIGENOUS PEOPLES!
With love and solidarity,
Movement for Justice in Barrio
The Other Campaign New York