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Tercios Compas

(Español) Alto a las guerras. Ecos del domingo 13

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Fuente: Enlace Zapatista

Música: Cumbia De La Paz (rebajada) – Chico Cervantes – Diego Balcázar

YAJALÓN

(Continuar leyendo…)

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Comisión Sexta Zapatista

(Español) Comisión Sexta Zapatista | DOMINGO 13

Sorry, this entry is only available in Mexican Spanish. For the sake of viewer convenience, the content is shown below in the alternative language. You may click the link to switch the active language.

Fuente: Enlace Zapatista

COMISIÓN SEXTA ZAPATISTA
México.

9 de marzo del 2022.

DOMINGO 13

A la Sexta Nacional e Internacional:
A quienes firmaron la Declaración por la Vida:
A las personas honestas de todo el mundo:

En acuerdo con algunas individualidades, grupos, colectivos, organizaciones y movimientos de SLUMIL K´AJXEMK´OP, las comunidades zapatistas han acordado convocar a movilizaciones y manifestaciones contra TODAS LAS GUERRAS capitalistas, actualmente en curso en varios rincones del planeta.  No es sólo en Ucrania.  También en Palestina, el Kurdistán, Siria, el pueblo Mapuche, los pueblos originarios en todo el planeta, y tantos y tantos procesos libertarios que son agredidos, perseguidos, asesinados, silenciados, distorsionados.

Respondiendo a ese llamado, hemos acordado participar en las movilizaciones del día domingo 13 de marzo del 2022, y así seguir con las acciones en contra de las guerras que el sistema perpetra en todo el mundo.

Planteamos entonces el arranque de una campaña mundial en contra de las guerras del capital, cualquiera que sea su geografía.  Organizar conciertos, encuentros, festivales, reuniones, etc.  En fin, las artes contra las guerras.

Llamamos a todas las personas honestas, grupos, colectivos, organizaciones y movimientos en México y en el mundo a que, de acuerdo a sus tiempos y modos –y conservando su independencia y autonomía-, se sumen a las actividades para exigir alto a las guerras, iniciando el domingo 13.

Por su parte, las comunidades zapatistas se manifestarán, el día domingo 13 de marzo del 2022, en sus caracoles, en las cabeceras municipales de San Cristóbal de las Casas, Yajalón, Palenque, Ocosingo, Las Margaritas, Altamirano y en las comunidades a pie de carretera, con algunos miles de zapatistas.

¡Contra todas las guerras: todas las artes, todas las resistencias, todas las rebeldías!

Desde las montañas del Sureste mexicano.
Comisión Sexta Zapatista.
México, marzo del 2022.

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Subcomandante Insurgente Moisés | SupGaleano

After the battle, no landscape will remain. (On the Russian army’s invasion of Ukraine)

Source: Enlace Zapatista

Zapatista Sixth Commission
Mexico

After the battle, no landscape will remain
(On the Russian army’s invasion of Ukraine)

March 2, 2022

To those who signed the Declaration for Life:
To the Sixth in Mexico and abroad:
Compañer@s, brothers and sisters:

These are our words and thoughts about what is occurring now in the geography called Europe:

First: There is an aggressor: the Russian army. Big capital’s interests are at play on both sides. It is the peoples of Russia and Ukraine (and soon, perhaps, the peoples of other geographies near or far) who are suffering because of the crazed delusions of some and the cunning economic calculations of others. As Zapatistas, we do not support either state but rather those who are struggling for life against the system.

During the multinational invasion of Iraq (nearly 19 years ago), headed by United States’ army, there were protests all over the world against that war. No one in their right mind thought that opposing the invasion meant supporting Saddam Hussein. The situation today is similar, though not the same. Neither Zelensky nor Putin. No to the war!

Second: Different governments have allied themselves with one side or the other based on economic calculations devoid any of humanist considerations. For these governments and their “ideologues” there are good and bad interventions, invasions and destructive acts. The good ones are those carried out by their allies and the bad ones are those perpetrated by their opponents. The applause for Putin’s criminal arguments justifying the military invasion of Ukraine will become laments when the same words are used to justify the invasion of other peoples whose destruction does not please big capital.

(Continuar leyendo…)

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CNI-CIG | EZLN

Stop the Repression of the Indigenous Peoples of Mexico!

Source: Enlace Zapatista

Ελληνική μετάφραση  (Griego)
Deutsch Übersetzung (Alemán)
Traduzione Italiano (Italiano)
Original en español (Español)

Stop the Repression of the Indigenous Peoples of Mexico!

To the Mexican people:
To the peoples of the world:
To the Sixth in Mexico and abroad:
To the media:

We denounce that on February 15 at approximately 1:20hrs, the repressive agents of the bad government including the National Guard, the state police of Puebla and the municipal police of Juan C. Bonilla, invaded and dismantled the space of resistance and organization of the Altepelmecalli People’s House, an autonomous political and cultural space that until March 22, 2021 was a factory owned by Bonafont. Bonafont is a transnational corporation that has for years stolen and hyper-exploited the aquifers in the Cholulteca region.

We fervently condemn the heightened repression by the capitalist government, which calls itself the “4T,”[i] of the resistance and struggle for life waged by our brothers from the United Peoples of the Cholulteca and Volcanos Region [Pueblos Unidos de la Región Cholulteca y de los Volcanes], who converted that landscape of death into a space of encounter and exchange despite determined efforts to impose the Integral Project for Morelos in the states of Morelos, Puebla and Tlaxcala[ii]. That megaproject would put a natural gas pipeline through the territories of the peoples of the volcano, where old and new forms of organization are sprouting seeds of hope and rebellion.

We are on high alert given the possible persecution of our brothers and sisters from the Altepelmecalli People’s House. We hold the Federal Government responsible for using its armed National Guard thugs to intensify the war of money against life. We hold the government responsible for protecting the Bonafont company, which displaces, steals, privatizes and immorally profits off our people’s waters, creating harm in the form of sinkholes and the running dry of wells, springs, rivers and gullies. This is what has happened to the Metlapanapa river, which the People’s Front of the Cholulteca and Volcano Region [Frente de Pueblos de la Región Cholulteca y los Volcanes] has defended against the river’s exploitation and pollution by industry.

We denounce this repressive offensive on the part of Mexico’s neoliberal bad government against our compañeros and compañeras who are raising the flag of organization from below in their geographies and convoking us to struggle for life. We condemn the following:

  1. The assassination of our compañero, Francisco Vázquez, president of the ASURCO Monitoring Counsel[iii], who raised his voice against the theft of water from the ejidos of the Ayala region as part of the operations of the thermoelectric plant in Huexca, Morelos.
  2. The criminalization of the Otomí people, and of our compañero Diego García by the head of that shadowy institution of the bad government called INPI [National Institute for Indigenous Peoples], which has served to extend the indigenist and clientelist control of our peoples, and whose offices used to be located in what is today the Samir Flores Soberanes People’s House.[iv]
  3. The persecution of the Indigenous Supreme Council of Michoacán for their recent mobilizations against disrespect, racism, and dispossession and for the removal of the appalling monument known as Los Constructores (The Builders) in Morelia, Michoacán[v].
  4. The indifference and criminal complicity of the National Guard in the face of violence in Guerrero where drug cartels attack the communities of the Indigenous and Popular Council of Guerrero- Emiliano Zapata who oppose the extractive megaprojects and denounce the governments’ complicity with narco-paramilitary groups that kill and disappear our brothers[vi].
  5. The militarization of the Isthmus of Tehuantepec in order to impose the Salina Cruz-Coatzacoalcos Interoceanic Corridor megaproject[vii] as well as the illegal occupation of our communities’ lands for this project like what’s happening in the Binnizá community in Puente Madera[viii] belonging to the commons of San Blas Atempa, Oaxaca.
  6. The utilization of the National Guard and armed state and municipal groups to stifle the demands of normalistas[ix] students in Ayotzinapa, Tiripetío and Mactumatzá for justice[x] and for recognition of their terms for the escuelas normales.

We hold the Mexican federal government responsible for the escalation of repression against our peoples, and we demand that the National Guard and police forces cease actions against those who oppose the exploitation and destruction of nature and the plundering of the territories and community heritage of originary peoples in order to impose megaprojects of death promoted by the Mexican State.

We call on the peoples, nations, and indigenous tribes of Mexico, as well as on allied organizations and collectives, to be on alert for this wave of neoliberal repression announced by the capitalist government of this country in an agreement published in the Official Journal of the Federation on November 22, 2021.[xi] This agreement also declares the projects and federal governmental works matters of public interest and national security which they can then use as a pretext to exercise armed force against peoples who oppose this unprecedented dispossession and destruction of Mexican territory.

We call on the people, groups, collectives, organizations, and movements in the territory of SLUMIL K´AJXEMK´OP (also known as “Europe”) to mobilize and come out against the transnational corporation Bonafont-Danone, headquartered in France, and the agencies of the current Mexican federal government in Europe.

For life!
Solidarity and support for the originary peoples of the National Indigenous Congress!

Sincerely,
February 16, 2022
For the Full Reconstitution of our Peoples
Never Again a Mexico Without Us
National Indigenous Congress—Indigenous Governing Council
Zapatista Army for National Liberation
Sixth Commission.


[i] The López Obrador campaign has deemed its governing project the “Fourth Transformation” (4T), supposedly on par with historic events such as Mexican Independence (1810), a period of reform in the mid-19th century, and the Mexican Revolution (1910).
[ii] “The Integral Project for Morelos, for example, consists of two thermoelectric plants and well as gas and water pipelines that will dispossess the Nahua indigenous peoples who inhabit the Popocatépetl Volcano region in the states of Morelos, Puebla, and Tlaxcala of their land, water, security, health, identity, and life on the land. The State, along with Elecnor, Enagas, Abengoa, Bonatti, CFE, Nissan, Burlington, Saint Gobain, Continental, Bridgestone and many other companies have imposed this project via the use of state, federal, and military violence, instilling terror in the inhabitants through torture, threats, imprisonment, judicial persecution, the closing of community radios, and now the murder of our brother Samir Flores Soberanes.” https://enlacezapatista.ezln.org.mx/2019/03/12/samir-lives-the-struggle-continues-declaration-from-the-third-national-assembly-of-the-national-indigenous-congress-the-indigenous-governing-council-and-the-ezln/
[iii] Francisco Vázquez was assassinated on February 11, 2022 in Ayala. ASURCO is the Asociación de Usuarios del Río Cuautla [Cuautla River Users’ Association].
[iv] The Otomí community in Mexico City has occupied the INPI offices in Coyoacán since October 12, 2020, renaming it the Samir Flores Soberanes People’s House at the anniversary of the occupation in October 2021. https://enlacezapatista.ezln.org.mx/2021/10/06/cdmx-invitacion-a-celebrar-con-resistencia-y-rebeldia-un-ano-de-la-toma-del-inpi/
[v] On February 14, 2022 the Indigenous Supreme Council of Michoacán tore down the statue known as “The Builders” [Los Constructores] that depicted the Spanish priest Fray Antonio de San Miguel giving orders to a group of enslaved indigenous people, symbolizing domination and genocide of the indigenous by the Spanish.
[vi] Most recently, on January 30, 2022, the Indigenous and Popular Council of Guerrero-Emiliano Zapata was attacked by the narco-paramilitary organization called Las Ardillas (The Squirrels). The attack lasted for two hours during which the governmental authorities never responded or intervened.
[vii] The Salina Cruz-Coatzacoalcos Interoceanic Corridor is one of the largest proposed megaprojects that would connect the Pacific Ocean to the Atlantic Ocean by a rail line between two ports in the states of Oaxaca and Veracruz.
[viii] On February 4, 2022, two people were caught deforesting and fencing off areas of Pitaya communal lands without the community’s permission.
[ix] Normalista refers to students that participate in the Escuelas Normales which are teaching colleges that principally train rural and indigenous young people to be teachers in their own communities.
[x] In 2014, 43 students from the Escuela Normal in Ayotzinapa in Guerrero were abducted and disappeared.
[xi] The announcement is posted here in Spanish: https://dof.gob.mx/nota_detalle.php?codigo=5635985&fecha=22/11/2021

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Subcomandante Insurgente Moisés / Comisión Sexta Zapatista

Subcomandante Insurgente Moisés: Thank you

Source: Enlace Zapatista

Dansk (Danés)
Deutsch Übersetzung (Alemán)
Tradução em portugês (Portugués)
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Original en español (Español)
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فارسی (Farsi)
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Перевод на русский язык (Ruso)

Zapatista Sixth Commission
Coordinating Team for the Journey for Life: Europe Chapter

December 14, 2021

To the organizations, movements, groups, collectives, originary peoples and individuals from the different geographies of the land today known as “Slumil K’ajxemk’op”.[1]

From the Zapatista Extemporaneous [La Extemporánea][2] delegation:

Compañeras, compañeroas, compañeros:

Hermanoas, sisters, and brothers:

We send you warm greetings from the mountains of southeastern Mexico and can report that all of the compañeras and compañeros from the airborne delegation who visited you all in each of your geographies during the months of September, October, November, and December of 2021 have returned to their respective towns and positions.

As of 9:34 PM Zapatista time (8:34 PM Mexico time) on December 14, or 3:34 AM on December 15 Slumil K´ajxemk´op time, everyone had arrived at their respective villages, towns, and positions.

Each of us returned in one piece and in good health. We are all moved and touched by the days and nights that you allowed us to share with you, and we return with a life-long wound in our hearts which we will not allow to close.

It is now time for us to review our notes to inform our towns and communities of all that we learned and received from you: your histories, your struggles, your resistance, your indomitable existence, and above all, the embrace of humanity we felt from each of your hearts.

Everything we brought you came from our people. Everything we received from you is for our communities.

For all this–for your hospitality, your fellowship, your word, your listening, your gaze, your food and drink, your lodging, your company, your history and for the collective embrace from the heart that you are–we say:
(Continuar leyendo…)

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Enlace Zapatista

THERE IS A WOMAN. Against the destruction of nature. Vienna, Austria

WORDS OF THE ZAPATISTA COMMUNITIES AT THE MARCH AGAINST THE DESTRUCTION OF NATURE
Vienna, Austria. In the voice of compañera Libertad, September 24, 2021.

Good afternoon.

These are our brief words in the form of a short story:

There is a woman.

The color of her skin does not matter, because she has all colors.

Her language does not matter, because she understands all languages.

Neither her race nor her culture matter, because all ways of being live in her.

Her size does not matter, because she is huge and nevertheless fits in one hand.

Every day and at all moments that woman is assaulted, beaten, wounded, raped, mocked and despised.

A male exerts his power over her.

Every day and every hour, she comes to us [nosotras, nosotros, nosotroas].

She shows us her wounds, her pain, her grief.

And we only give her words of consolation and pity.

Or we ignore her.

Perhaps as alms we give her something with which to treat her wounds.

But the man continues his violence.

We all know how this ends.

She will be murdered and with her death everything will die.

We can continue to give her only words of encouragement and medicine for her wounds.

Or we can tell her the truth: the only medicine that can cure her and heal her completely is for her to confront and destroy the one who is hurting her.

Knowing this, we too can unite with her and fight by her side.

We Zapatistas call that woman, “Mother Earth.”

As for the man who oppresses and humiliates her, give him whatever name, face, or shape you want.

We, the Zapatista peoples, call that murderous man capitalism.

And we have arrived at these geographies to ask, to ask of you:

Are we going to go on thinking that we can treat today’s blows with salve and painkillers, even though we know the wound will be bigger and deeper tomorrow?

Or are we going to fight alongside her?

We the Zapatista communities have decided to fight together with her and for her.

That is all we can say.

Thank you for listening to us.
Vienna, Austria, Europe, Planet Earth.
September 24, 2021.

 

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Comité Clandestino Revolucionario Indígena-Comandancia General del EZLN

Chiapas on the Verge of Civil War

Tradução em portugês (Portuguese)
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Original en español (Spanish)
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Ελληνική μετάφραση (Greek)
Bahasa Indonesian (Indonesian)

Communique from the Indigenous Revolutionary Clandestine Committee-General Command of the Zapatista Army for National Liberation

September 19, 2021

To the people of Mexico:
To the peoples of the world:
To the Sixth in Mexico and abroad:
To the Networks of Resistance and Rebellion:

First: On September 11, 2021, in the early morning, while the Zapatista air delegation was in Mexico City, members of ORCAO – a paramilitary organization serving the Chiapas state government – kidnapped the compañeros Sebastián Nuñez Pérez and José Antonio Sánchez Juárez, autonomous authorities from the Good Government Council of Patria Nueva [New Homeland], Chiapas.

The ORCAO is a political-military organization with paramilitary characteristics: they have uniforms, equipment, weapons, and ammunition purchased with money they receive from [government-sponsored] “social programs”. They keep part of the money for themselves and use part of it to pay off government officials for reporting that they [the ORCAO] are complying with the terms of the social programs. They fire on the Zapatista community of Moisés y Gandhi every night with these weapons.

The EZLN has waited patiently as all avenues toward a solution were attempted and exhausted. While the Chiapas state government tried to sabotage and impede freedom for our compañeros, it was human rights organizations and the progressive Catholic church who made an objective assessment of what might happen.

Second: The compañeros were deprived of their liberty for eight days and then freed today, September 19, 2021, thanks to the parish priests of San Cristóbal de las Casas and Oxchuc, of the San Cristóbal diocese. The compañeros were robbed of a walkie-talkie and six thousand pesos in cash belonging to the Good Government Council.

Third: Kidnapping is a crime under both the bad government’s laws and Zapatista law. While the Chiapas state government has supported and covered up these crimes, the Zapatista Army of National Liberation took the necessary steps to free those who were kidnapped and to detain and sanction those who committed the crime.

Fourth: The only reason the conflict did not escalate into a tragedy was due to the intervention of the parishes mentioned above, human rights organizations, and the mobilizations and denunciations carried out in Mexico and, above all, Europe.

Fifth: The misgovernment of Rutilio Escandón is doing everything possible to destabilize the southeastern Mexican state of Chiapas:

It violently represses the normalistas [1].

It sabotages the agreements made between the organized teachers and the federal government, forcing the teachers to take more radical action to demand the agreements be complied with.

Its alliance with narcotraffickers forces indigenous communities to create their own self-defense groups, as the government does nothing to protect the life, liberty, and property of the population. It not only protects the narcotrafficking gangs, but also encourages, promotes, and finances paramilitary groups like those that are constantly attacking communities in Aldama and Santa Martha.

Its vaccination campaign is purposefully slow and disorganized, creating unrest in rural communities that it will no doubt exploit. Meanwhile, the rising covid deaths in these communities are ignored.

Its officials are stealing everything they can from the state treasury, perhaps preparing for a federal government collapse or betting on a new party coming into power.

And now they want to sabotage the departure of the Zapatista delegation participating in the European chapter of the Journey for Life. They ordered their ORCAO paramilitaries to kidnap our compañeros, leaving the crime unpunished, and trying to provoke a reaction from the EZLN, all in a state where governability hangs by a thread.

Sixth: If what the Ecologist Green Party of Mexico (PVEM) wants is to provoke a crisis with international repercussions so that it can destabilize the regime currently in power, they should call a referendum to revoke the presidential mandate.

The PVEM is one of the names used around here by the same old PRI. Sometimes they say it’s the PAN, sometimes the PRD, and now it’s the PVEM badly disguised as the Movement for National Regeneration [MORENA]. But it’s the same criminals as ever, and now they’re part of the misnamed “opposition” movement, a “fifth column” within the 4T [2].

Those responsible are: Rutilio Escandón and Victoria Cecilia Flores Pérez.

If what they want is to topple the federal government, or to cause problems in retaliation for the current federal criminal investigations against them, or to support one of the factions competing for power in 2024, then they should use the available legal channels and stop playing with the life, liberty, and property of the people of Chiapas. They should call for a vote to revoke the presidential mandate and stop playing with fire because they’re going to get burned.

Seventh: We call on Europe below and to the left and on the Sixth in Mexico and abroad to protest in front of Mexican embassies and consulates and at the government offices of the state of Chiapas, demanding an end their provocations and renunciation of their death cult. The date is Friday, September 24, 2021.

Given the actions and omissions of the state and federal governments regarding these crimes and previous ones, we will take the necessary measures to bring justice to the criminals in the ORCAO and the government officials who sponsor them.

That is all. Next time there won’t be a communique. That is, there won’t be words, only actions.

From the mountains of southeastern Mexico,
In the name of the Indigenous Revolutionary Clandestine Committee-General Command of the EZLN

Subcomandante Insurgente Galeano.
Mexico, September 19, 2021.

[1] Students at the Escuelas Normales, or rural teachers’ colleges.
[2] The López Obrador campaign deemed its governing project the “Fourth Transformation” (4T), supposedly on par with historic events such as Mexican Independence (1810), a period of reform in the mid-19th century, and the Mexican Revolution (1910).

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Subcomandante Insurgente Galeano

The Popcorn Commando Unit

The Popcorn Commando Unit

 September, 2021.

I don’t know for sure, but legend has it that the birth of this elite unit of the EZLN began some moons ago.

While the General Command of the EZLN has repeatedly denied its existence and classifies the rumors about it in the “Funny-And-Not-So-Funny Myths” folder (together with the legends of the Sombrerón[i], the Xpakinté[ii] and recipes from the late SupMarcos’ kitchen), the rumors place the emergence of the famous Popcorn Commando Unit in the caracol of Tulan Kaw towards the end of 2019.

According to this legend, SupGaleano was hoarding all the popcorn kernels in the Southeastern Mexican state of Chiapas. Though he insisted his plan was to sabotage the large movie theater chains and force them to reduce the price of the highly-prized commodity (and to ban the absurd varieties of rancid, fried popcorn flavors), later investigations supported the hypothesis offered by the district attorney (a being with an extraordinary resemblance to a beetle), who presented the following motive for the crime at the trial: SupGaleano wanted to stuff himself full of popcorn. The sudden and incomprehensible shortage of hot sauce only increased suspicions.

The district attorney, Don Durito, who dressed like the Almohada Brothers’ Iron Sherrif[iii] (not to be confused with the Almada brothers[iv], they’re different), delivered a brilliant piece of oratory full of cinematographic references, at times alluding to Al Pacino, Tom Cruise, John Travolta and Matthew McConaughey (see these actors’ films related to jurisprudence). The accused, acting as his own legal representation, was no less well-spoken, and additionally included references to the dramatic arts. He was arguing like Shui Ta/Shen Te in front of the gods (see “The Good Person of Szechwan” by Berthold Brecht) when the clock struck pozol time and the entire jury vanished.

(Continuar leyendo…)

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EZLN

(Español) Itinerario de La Extemporánea

Source: Enlace Zapatista

Itinerary of La Extemporánea

September 10, 2021: The airborne delegation [La Extemporánea] will depart the Jacinto Canek caracol early in the morning.

September 10, 2021: At an unspecified time after 18:00hrs, La Extemporánea[i] will arrive at the location on Carmona y Valle Street in Mexico City.

September 11, 2021: PCR testing of La Extemporánea.

The 421st Squadron will arrive from Europe on Lufthansa flight LH498 at 18:30hrs to the Mexico City airport, Terminal 1.

We invite everyone to come to welcome the 421st Squadron.

September 12, 2021: Preparations.

September 13, 2021: The first airborne group will leave for the airport from the Carmona y Valle Street location at 08:00hrs. They will depart Mexico at 12:10hrs and have a layover in Madrid, Spain, after which they will take Iberia flight IB6400 to their destination of Vienna, Austria.

The second group will leave for the airport from the Carmona y Valle Street location at 16:00hrs. They will depart Mexico at 20:45hrs and have a layover in Madrid, Spain, after which they will take Iberia flight IB6402 to their destination of Vienna, Austria.

September 14, 2021. La Extemporánea will arrive in Vienna, Austria, in that geography called Europe.

That’s all.

 

[i]See the EZLN’s August 17, 2021 communique for an explanation of the use of “La Extemporánea” [the extemporaneous]: https://enlacezapatista.ezln.org.mx/2021/08/17/only-500-years-later/

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Subcomandante Insurgente Galeano

After 17 (The Miliciana Ixchel-Ramona Division)

Source: Enlace Zapatista

After 17
(The Miliciana Ixchel-Ramona Division)

September 2021

La Extemporánea [1] includes a division of milicianas [female members of the Zapatista civilian militia or reserves]. Apart from being one of the “Listen and Share our Word” groups, they will be in charge of security during the flight and will play one or more soccer matches with women’s teams on the European continent.

One hundred ninety-six milicianas signed up to travel. About twenty were less than 18 years old, so they prepared for the later journeys to the continents of Asia, Oceania, Africa, and America, expecting to be of age by then and able to obtain a passport.

The difficulties with getting their papers (they’re all extemporaneous) and the never-ending runaround at the whim of the government “officials” forced many to abandon the effort. Some are single mothers who have to work to provide for their children. The majority work to support their mothers and younger siblings. Training was also a problem, because it turns out it wasn’t a walk in the park, but rather required preparation for “Listen and Share our Word” work. What was most difficult for them was learning to listen.

Thirty-seven remained. Plus two minors: Defensa (15 years old) and Esperanza (12). So in all there are 39 milicianas. They have been quartered at the Seedbed for three months, practicing, learning, rehearsing, and waiting for the chance to travel: a place to arrive to in Europe. All are of Mayan origin and speak Tzeltal, Tzotzil, Cho´ol, Tojolabal and Castilla [Spanish]. A few are over 25; the majority are between 18 and 21. Their soccer skills are a State secret, but their willingness to struggle is obvious.

No adult male could enter their barracks without permission. If some lost dude entered, he was immediately surrounded by a group of milicianas and “encouraged” to leave at once with solid arguments from batons and slingshots.

The first days of their preparation and adaptation were difficult. The days to follow were even harder. Far from their families, partners, and familiar foods of their villages, they had to endure uncertainty, hunger, sickness, a new climate, the confusion of living with others who are different, the surprise of learning new things, and the astonishment of seeing they could do things they didn’t know they could. For example: listening. And pardon me for insisting again and again about listening, but I look outside and hear the whole world trying to talk – or rather, shout – and find no one, or almost no one, with the willingness to listen.

These combatant compañeras have left behind their first 17 years of life, whether they marked that year on their calendar recently or long ago. There is no doubting their identity: they are ZAPATISTAS.

-*-

As It Turns Out, No

A miliciana speaks during the General Assembly of the Extemporánea, during the evaluation of what was and was not achieved during the “Listen and Share our Word” preparatory course:

I didn’t know about anything that you all have described. I thought that it had always been this way, that I could go to school, have a boyfriend without the obligation to get married, that I could get married if I wanted or not get married if I didn’t, that I could dress how I wanted, that I could participate, learn and teach. I thought it had always been like it is now, where we have rights and not just responsibilities. But now I’ve heard what the compañera said about what life was like in the time of the finqueros [plantation owners]. I heard what it took to prepare to struggle. I heard what it took to go to war. I heard how autonomy was built. So I think I have to get ready to defend what we have built so that those times never return. I thought that’s just how it was, that women were born into freedom. But it turns out that, no, they had to fight, they have to keep fighting. So there’s no rest.”

(Continuar leyendo…)

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