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Subcomandante Insurgente Moisés

Invitation to the Thirty Anniversary of the Beginning of the War against Oblivion


December 2023.

The Zapatista communities and the EZLN invite all people, groups, collectives, associations, organizations and movements that signed the so-called Declaration for Life, the indigenous peoples gathered in the National Indigenous Congress, the International Sixth, the non-governmental organizations defenders of human rights and, especially, those whose destiny is in artistic creation, to the celebration of the thirtieth anniversary of the beginning of the war against oblivion.

The celebration will be on December 30 and 31, 2023 and January 1 and 2, 2024. Guests will be able to arrive from the 29th, not before that day.

Registration of attendees will be at the CIDECI in San Cristóbal de Las Casas, Chiapas. Press, guests and the National Indigenous Congress register there, or directly at the caracol headquarters.

The central celebration of the 30th anniversary will be at the Caracol “Resistance and Rebellion: A New Horizon”, inaugurated 3 years ago in the town of Dolores Hidalgo, founded on recovered land. Climate from temperate to hot during the day. From cool to cold at night-early morning.

Location: one hour from the head of the official municipality of Ocosingo, highway to Monte Líbano. About 4-5 hours from San Cristóbal de las Casas. In Ocosingo there are hotels of different prices. From San Cristóbal, the route through Chanal-Altamirano towards the head of Ocosingo is recommended. Then take the road to Mount Líbano. They pass the federal barracks of Toniná and further on, always on the road to Mount Líbano, there will be signs on the different GALs that are at the foot of the road. From Ocosingo, in one hour-hour and 20 minutes you will arrive at the Caracol of the celebration.

Dates: December 30 and 31, 2023. Cultural festival with participation of Zapatista youngsters and children. There will be plays, songs, dances and poetry. Dance in the afternoon and evening.

January 1, 2024. At 00:00: central Zapatista words. In the afternoon and evening cultural participation by family guests from all over the world. Those whose vocation is art and culture will be able to present their creations in front of the Zapatista communities and guests on January 1 and 2, 2024. Dance, Theater, Cinema, Music, Murals, etc., will be welcome.

January 2, 2024. Cultural participation from family members from around the world. Dance.

It is recommended to bring something to put between the floor and your battered anatomy at bedtime. Here, in addition to being dignified, the ground is hard.

There will be internet service by tokens, so that they can notify their relatives that they arrived safely. There will be non-specialized food stalls (that is, there are no vegan or vegetarian food stalls). Look into it.

We recommend that people with special diet and medication bring what they need. There will be ambulance service and primary medical care.

For the assignment of rest areas and bedrooms, people of sound mind (what you call “seniors” or “golden age” or “elders” or “people in the process of aging”), and minors, have preference.

Minors are warned that it is prohibited to stone, harass or hunt whales, unicorns, crocodiles, dragons, dogs, cats, ‘cuches’, chickens, roosters, rabbits, cows, oxen (without harm), mules (without harm) ), horses, mares, sheep, bicycles and other fantastic animals you may find. The 3 times T “Popcorn Command” will be patrolling and ensuring that no living being is attacked by thought, word or deed. On the other hand, it is allowed to attack the stones, as long as it is with the head. Be warned.

We remind you that in the Zapatista territories the consumption, trade, transfer and planting of drugs is prohibited. Likewise, the consumption of alcohol in any of its forms is prohibited.

The exhibition, distribution, propaganda and apology of any of the electoral political parties of any geography is also prohibited.

Also prohibited are sexist, religious, nationalist, racist, ideological, political and sporting manifestations that promote mockery, bullying, harassment, aggression and violence against people because of their color, race, sexual orientation, religion, language, culture, social origin, size, nationality, ideology, etc.

The celebration is of and for the Zapatista peoples. Respect is required for our uses and customs, for our ways and times, for our struggle.

From the mountains of the Mexican Southeast.

Subcommander Insurgent Moisés.
Mexico, December 2023.

Zapatista militiamen and militiawomen working on preparing the place for the 30th anniversary celebration. Zapatista bicycle workshop. The 3 times T “Comando Popcorn” reinforced with the ‘pelusa colocha’ on its canine wing. Images courtesy of Los Tercios Compas, copyleft December 2023. Music: Armad@s de Baile. Bossanonimos. Original and Copla ℗ 2014 Bossanónimos Released on: 2014-10-23



Twentieth and Last Part: The Common and Non-Property

Twentieth and Last Part: The Common and Non-Property

“Open wide your eyes, son, and follow the Pujuy bird. He is not wrong.
His destiny is like ours: to walk so that others do not get lost.”
Canek.  Ermilo Abreu Gómez

On some past occasion, a few years ago, the Zapatista people explained to themselves the struggle “as the women that we are” pointing out, not a matter of mere will, disposition or study, but the material basis that made this change possible: economic independence of Zapatista women. And they were not referring to having a job and salary or the alms in coins with which governments across the political spectrum buy votes and memberships. They pointed to collective work as the fertile ground for this change. That is, organized work that was not intended for individual well-being, but for that of the group. It was not just about getting together for crafts, commerce, raising livestock, or planting and harvesting corn, coffee, and vegetables. Also, and, perhaps, above all, it was about their own spaces, without men. Imagine what in those times and places they spoke and speak among themselves: their pain, their anger, their ideas, their proposals, their dreams.

I will not go into more detail about it – the companions have their own voice, history and destiny. I only mention it because it remains to be known what is the material base on which the new stage that the Zapatista communities have decided will be built. The new initiative, as outsiders would classify it.

I am proud to point out that not only was the entire proposal the product, from its very conception, of the Zapatista organizational leadership collective- all of it of indigenous blood with Mayan roots. Also, that my work was limited to providing information that my bosses “crossed” with their own, and, later, to look for and argue objections and probable future failures (the aforementioned “hypothesis” to which I referred in a previous text). In the end, when they finished their deliberation and they specified the central idea, to submit it for consultation with all the peoples, I was as surprised as perhaps you will be now that you are going to know about it.

In this other fragment of the interview with Subcomandante Insurgente Moisés, he explains to us how they came to this idea of ​​“the common.” Perhaps some of you can appreciate the deeply rebellious and subversive meaning of this in which, for the same reason, we risk our existence.

The Captain.




Well, in summary this is our proposal: to establish extensions of the recovered land as common. That is, without property. Neither private, nor ejidal, nor communal, nor federal, nor state, nor business, nor anything. A non-ownership of land. As they say: “land without papers.” So, in those lands that are going to be defined, if they ask who owns that land or who is the owner, the answer will be: “nobody’s”, that is, they are “common”.

If you ask if it is the land of Zapatistas, or ‘partidistas’ or who, well, none of them. Or all of them, it’s the same. There is no commissioner or agent to buy, kill, disappear. What there is, is people who work and take care of those lands. And they defend them.

An important part is that, in order for this to be achieved, there has to be an agreement between the residents regardless of whether they are ‘partidistas’ or Zapatistas. In other words, they have to talk between themselves, not to bad governments. Seeking permission from bad governments has only brought divisions and even deaths among peasants themselves.

So, respecting the lands that are personal-family property, and those that are for collective work, this non-ownership is created on land recovered in these years of war. And it is proposed that it is worked together in shifts, regardless of what party you are, or what religion, or what color, or what size, or what gender you are.

The rules are simple: it has to be an agreement between the residents of a region. Do not grow drugs, do not sell the land, do not allow the entry of any company or industry. Paramilitaries are excluded. The product of the work of those lands belongs to those who work it in the agreed time. There are no taxes, nor payment of tithes. Each facility that is built is left for the next group. They take only the product of their work. But we will talk more about all this later.

This, very summarized, is what was presented and consulted with all the Zapatista towns. And it turned out that the vast majority agreed. And also that, in some Zapatista regions, it had already been done for years.

And what we did was, well, propose a path to cross the storm and reach the other side safely. And not to take that path alone as Zapatistas, but together as the indigenous peoples that we are. Of course, more will come out about this proposal: about health, about education, about justice, about government, about life. Let’s say that we see this as necessary to be able to face the storm.



How did it get into our heads? Well, I’ll tell you. We saw several things. So this idea didn’t just come out at once. As if they came together and as if we saw it part by part and then everything together.

One was the storm. Everything that refers to the unconformity of nature. Its way of protesting, increasingly louder and increasingly terrible. Because we say destruction, but many times what happens is that nature kind of recovers a place. Or that it attacks invasions of the system: dams, for example. Tourist places, for example, that are built over the death of the coasts. Megaprojects that hurt, injure the earth. So, there comes a response. Sometimes it responds quickly, sometimes it takes a while. And the human being, well, what the system has done with the human being, is as if stunned. Does not react. Although he sees that misfortune is coming, that there are warnings, that there are alerts, he continues as if nothing had happened and, well, things do happen. They say that such misfortune was surprising. But it turns out that for several years now people have been warning that the destruction of nature is going to take its toll. Science, not us, analyzes it and proves it. We, then, as people of the earth see it. Everything is useless.

Misfortune does not suddenly appear in your house, no. First it gets closer, it makes its noise so you know it is coming. Knocks on your door. Breaks everything. Not only your house, your people, your life, but also your heart. You are no longer calm.

Another thing is what they call social decomposition, or as they say, the social fabric breaks, because of violence. In other words, a community of people is related to certain rules or norms or agreements, as we say. Sometimes written laws are made and sometimes there is nothing written, but nonetheless, people know. In many communities they say “act of agreement” that is, it is put into words. “This can be done, this cannot be done, this has to be done,” and so on. For example, whoever works advances. He who doesn’t work stays poor. That it is wrong to force someone to do something that he or she does not want to do, for example, in the case of men against women. That it is wrong to abuse the weak. That it is wrong to kill, steal, rape. But what happens if it’s the other way around? If evil is rewarded and goodness is persecuted and punished. For example, an indigenous farmer who sees that the destruction of a forest is wrong, then becomes its guardian. He protects the forest, therefore, from those who destroy it to make a profit. Defending is a good thing, because that brother or sister is taking care of life. That is humane, it is not religious. But it happens that this guardian is persecuted, imprisoned and, not infrequently, murdered. And if you ask what his crime is, why they killed him, and you hear that his crime was defending life, like brother Samir Flores Soberanes, then it is clear that the system is sick, that it no longer has a remedy, that you have to look elsewhere.

What does it take to realize this disease, this rottenness of humanity? You don’t need a religion, or a science, or an ideology. Just look, listen, feel.

And then we see that the big bosses, the capitalists, don’t care what happens tomorrow. They want to earn pay today. As much as possible and as quickly as possible. It doesn’t matter if you tell them: “hey, but what you do destroys and the destruction spreads, grows, becomes uncontrollable and returns to you. As if you were spitting up into the air or urinating against the wind. It comes back to you.” And you may think that it is good that misfortune happens to a scoundrel. But it turns out that, before that, it takes away quite a few people who don’t even know why. Like babies, for example. What will a child know about religions, ideologies, political parties or whatever. But the system holds those babies responsible. It makes them pay. It destroys in their name, it kills in their name, it lies in their name. And they inherit death and destruction.

So, it doesn’t seem like it’s going to get better. What we know is that it will get worse. And that, whatever happens, we have to cross the storm and get to the other side. Survive.

Another thing is what we saw on the Journey for Life. What is going on in those parts that are supposed to be more advanced, that are more developed as they say. We saw that all that talk about “Western civilization”, “progress” and things like that is a lie. We saw that there was what is necessary for wars and crimes. Now we actually saw two things: one is where the storm is headed if we don’t do anything. The other is what other organized rebellions are building in those geographies. In other words, those people look at the same thing that we look at. That is, the storm.

Thanks to these brother peoples we were able to broaden our vision, make it wider. That is, not only look further, but also look at more things. More world, that is.

So we, as indigenous peoples, ask ourselves what will we do, if it is already over, if it is every man for himself. But we see those brothers who act like they don’t care what happens to others, that they only look out for themselves, and then it reaches them anyway. They believe they are safe locked inside themselves. But that does not work at all.



So we think, we remember how it was before. We talked about it to our elders. We asked them if it was like this before. We ask them to tell us if there has always been darkness, death, destruction. Where did that idea of ​​the world come from? How come everything got fucked up. We think that if we know when and how the light, the good thought, the complete knowledge of what is good and what is bad was lost, then maybe we can find that and with that fight for everything to become complete, as it should be, respecting life.

And then we saw how that came to be and we saw that it came with private property. And it is not about changing the name and saying that there is ejidal property or small property or federal property. Because in all cases it is the bad government that gives the papers. In other words, it is the bad government that says if something exists and, with its trick, whether it ceases to exist. As it did with the reform of Salinas de Gortari and with the blows against communal property, which only existed if it was registered and that, with the same laws, they diminish it until it disappears. And communal property, let’s say registered, also causes divisions and confrontations. Because those lands legally belong to some, but against others. Property papers do not say “this is yours”, what they say is “this is not that person’s, attack him”.

And there you have the peasants going round and round to be given a piece of paper that says that what is theirs is theirs because they already work for it. And peasants waging war against peasants not even over a piece of land, no, it’s over a piece of paper that says who owns that land. And whoever has more papers, well, has more paid support, that is, more deception. Because it turns out that if you have a paper they give you a social program, but they ask you to support, for example, a candidate because that candidate is going to give you the paper and give you money. But it turns out that that same government is deceiving you, because it sells that paper to a company. And then it turns out that the company comes and tells you that you have to leave because that land is not yours because the ‘pinche’ businessman now has the paper. And you leave either willingly or forcefully. And there they have armies, police and paramilitaries to convince you to leave.

It is enough for the company to say that it wants such land, for the government to decree the expropriation of those lands and tells the company to do its business “for a while.” That’s what they do with megaprojects.

And all for a ‘pinche’ piece of paper. Although the paper is as old as New Spain, the paper is worthless to the powerful. It’s a hoax. It is so that you can trust and be calm until the system discovers that, beneath your poverty, there is oil, gold, uranium, silver. Or that there is a spring of pure water, and now it turns out that water is already a commodity that is bought and sold.

A commodity like your parents, your grandparents, your great-grandparents were. A commodity like you are, and your children, your grandchildren, your great-grandchildren will be, and so on for generations.

So the paper is like the labels of merchandise in the markets, it is the price of the land, of your work, of your descendants. And you don’t realize it, but you’re already lined up in line at the cashier and you’re going to arrive. And it turns out that not only are you going to have to pay, you are also going to leave the store and find that they have taken your merchandise, that you don’t even have the paper that you and your ancestors fought so hard for. And that maybe you will inherit a paper for your children, and maybe not even that. Government papers are the price of your life, you have to pay that price with your life. So you are a legal commodity. That’s the only difference with slavery.

Then the older ones tell you that the problem, the division, the arguments and the fights, came when the property papers arrived. It’s not that there weren’t problems before, it’s that they were resolved by making an agreement.

And the problem is that you can make many papers that split the earth many times, but the earth does not grow like the papers. A hectare is still a hectare, even if there are many papers.

Then what happens now with that thing they call ‘Cuarta Transformación’ and its “Sembrando Vida” program: in the ejidos there are the ‘right-holders’ – who are the ejidatarios who have the aforementioned paper of agrarian certificate -, and the ‘applicants’ who, although they participate in the community , they have no paper, because the land is already distributed. Supposedly, the applicants are requesting a piece of land, but in reality, they are requesting a piece of paper that says they are peasants who work the land. So, it is not that the government comes and tells them that such land is theirs. No. It tells them that, if they prove ownership of 2 hectares, they will be given financial support. But where do those 2 hectares come from? Well, from the ‘right-holders’.

In other words, the land that the paper says is one’s property has to be broken into pieces for the applicants. It has to be broken up so that there can be several papers of the same paper. There is no agrarian distribution, there is fragmentation of property. And what happens if the ‘right-holder’ doesn’t want to or can’t? His children want the financial support, but they need the paper. Then they fight with the father. The daughters? Not even taking into account, women do not count in the pieces of paper. And children fight to the death against parents. And the children win and with that paper, because the land remains the same and continues to be where it was, they receive their money. With that payment they go into debt, buy something, or get together to pay the coyote to go to the United States. Since they can’t afford it, they sell the paper to someone else. They go to work abroad and it turns out that they are earning to pay back those who lent them. Yes, they send remittances to their relatives, but their families use that to pay the debt. After a while, that child returns or is returned. That is if they don’t kill him or kidnap him. But he no longer has land, because he sold the paper and now that land belongs to the person who has the paper. So he murdered his father for a paper he no longer has. And then he has to find the payment to buy the paper again.

The population grows, but the land does not grow. There are more papers, but it is only the same area of ​​land. What is going to happen? That right now they are killing each other between right-holders and applicants, but later they are going to kill each other between applicants. His children are going to fight among themselves, just as he fought against his parents.

For example: you are a right-holder with 20 hectares and you have, let’s say, 4 children. It is the first generation. You distribute the land or rather the paper and there is now a 5-hectare paper for each one. Then those 4 children have four other children each, second generation, and they distribute their 5 hectares and they get a little more than one hectare each. Then those 4 grandchildren have another 4 children each, third generation, and they divide the paper and each one gets about a quarter of a hectare. Then those great-grandchildren have 4 children each, fourth generation, and they divide the paper and they get a tenth of a hectare each. And I no longer continue, because just in 40 years, in the second generation, they are going to kill each other. That’s what bad governments are doing: they are sowing death.



What has what they say about “material base” been like in our history of struggle?

Well, first was the food. With the recovery of the lands that were in the hands of the large landowners, the diet improved. Hunger was no longer the guest in our homes. Then, with the autonomy and support of people who are “good people,” we say, health followed. Here the support of the fraternal doctors was and is very important, which is what we call them because they are like our brothers who help us not only with serious illnesses. Also, and, above all, in preparation, that is, in health knowledge. Then education. Then the work on the land. Then what is the government and administration of the Zapatista people themselves. Then what is government and peaceful coexistence with those who are not Zapatistas.

The material basis of this, that is, the form of production is a coexistence of individual-family work with collective work. Collective work made it possible for the colleagues to take off and participate in autonomy.

Let’s say that the first 10 years of autonomy, that is, from the uprising to the birth of the Juntas de Buen Gobierno, in 2003, were years of learning. The next 10 years, until 2013, were about learning the importance of generational change. From 2013 up to date it has been about verifying, criticizing and self-criticizing errors in operation, administration and ethics.

In what follows now, we will have a stage of learning and readjustment. In other words, we will have many errors and problems, because there is no manual or book that tells you how to do it. We will have many falls, yes, but we will get up again and again to continue walking. That is, we are Zapatistas.

The material base or production base of this stage will be a combination of individual-family work, collective work and this new thing that we call “common work” or “non-ownership.”

Individual-family work is based on small and personal property. A person and his/her family work their piece of land, their little store, their mobile phone, their livestock. The profit or benefit is for that family.

Collective work is based on the agreement between colleagues to do work on collective land (assigned before the war and expanded after the war). Work is distributed according to time, capacity and disposition. The gain or benefit is for the collective. It is usually used for parties, mobilizations, acquisition of health equipment, training of health and education promoters, and for the movements and maintenance of authorities and autonomous commissions.

The common work begins, now, in tenure of land. A portion of the recovered lands are declared as “common work.” That is, it is not parceled out and is not owned by anyone, neither small, nor medium, nor large property. That land belongs to no one, it has no owner. And, in agreement with nearby communities, they “lend” each other that land to work on. It cannot be sold or bought. It cannot be used for the production, transfer or consumption of narcotics. The work is done in “shifts” agreed upon with the GALs and the non-Zapatista brothers. The benefit or gain is for those who work, but the property is not, it is a non-property that is used in common. It doesn’t matter if you are Zapatista, ‘partidista’, Catholic, evangelical, Presbyterian, atheist, Jewish, Muslim, black, white, dark, yellow, red, woman, man, ‘otroa’. You can work the land in common, with the agreement of the GALs, CGAL and ACGal, by town, region or zone, who are the ones who control compliance with the rules of common use. Everything that serves the common good, nothing that goes against the common good.



A few hectares of this Non-Property will be proposed to sister nations in other geographies of the world. We are going to invite them to come and work those lands, with their own hands and knowledge. What happens if they don’t know how to work the land? Well, the Zapatista comrades will teach them how, and the times of the land, and its care. We believe that it is important to know how to work the land, that is, to know how to respect it. I don’t think it hurts anyone that, just as they study and learn in laboratories and research centers, they also study and learn field work. And it is even better if these brother peoples have knowledge and a way of working the land and they bring us that knowledge and ways, and that is how we also learn. It’s like a sharing, but not just words, but in practice.

We do not need people to explain exploitation to us, because we have experienced it for centuries. Nor for them to come and tell us that we have to die to achieve freedom. We know that and have practiced it every day for hundreds of years. What is welcome is knowledge and practice for life.

Look, the delegation that went to Europe learned many things, but the most important thing we learned is that there are many people, groups, collectives, organizations that are looking for a way to fight for life. They have another color, another language, another custom, another culture, another way. But they have the same thing as us, which is the heart of struggle.

They are not looking for who is better, or to be given a place in bad governments. They are seeking to heal the world. And yes, they are very different from each other. But they are equal, or rather we are equal. Because we really want to build something else, and that thing is freedom. That is, life.

And we, the Zapatista communities, say that all of these people are our family. It doesn’t matter that they are very far away. And in that family there are older sisters, older brothers, little sisters and little brothers. And there is no one better. But same family. And as a family we support each other when we can, and we teach each other what we know.

And all, women, men and ‘otroas’ are people from below. Why? Because those at the top preach death because that gives them profits. Those at the top want things to change, but for their benefit, although it is getting worse and worse. That is why it is those below who are going to fight and are already fighting for life. If the system is one of death, then the fight for life is the fight against the system.

What comes next? Well, everyone builds their idea, their thinking, their plan of what is best. And each person perhaps has a different thought and a different way. And that must be respected. Because it is in organized practice where everyone sees what works and what doesn’t. In other words, there are no recipes or manuals, because what works for one may not work for another. The global “common” is the sharing of stories, of knowledge, of struggles.

In other words, as they say, the journey for life continues. That is, for the struggle.

From the mountains of the Mexican Southeast.
Subcommander Insurgent Moisés.
Mexico, December 2023. 500, 40, 30, 20, 10, 3, a year, a few months, a few weeks, a few days, just a while ago. After.


P.S.- At the end of the interview and after he had checked whether the meaning of his explanations was complete and correct, Subcommander Insurgent Moisés – who received command and the Zapatista spokesperson 10 years ago, in 2013 – lit the umpteenth cigarette. I lit the pipe. We stood looking at the lintel of the ‘champa’ door. Early morning gave way to dawn and the first lights of day woke up the sounds in the mountains of southeastern Mexico. We didn’t say more, but maybe we both thought: “and what’s missing is yet to come.”

P.S. WHICH DECLAREs UNDER OATH. – At no moment or stage of the deliberation that led to the decision made by the Zapatista peoples, did quotes or footnotes or references, even distant ones, come to light from Marx, Engels, Lenin, Trotsky, Stalin, Mao, Bakunin, Che, Fidel Castro, Kropotkin, Flores Magón, the Bible, the Koran, Milton Freidman, Milei, progressivism (if it has any bibliographical reference other than its ‘cagatintas’), Liberation Theology, Lombardo, Revueltas, Freud, Lacan, Foucault, Deleuze, whatever is fashionable or fashionable on the left, or any source from the left, right, or from the non-existent centers. Not only, I also know that they have not read any of the founding works of the isms that fuel the dreams and defeats of the left. For my part, I give unsolicited advice to those who read these lines: everyone is free to make a fool of themselves, but I would recommend that before starting with their nonsense like “the Lacandona laboratory”, “the Zapatista experiment”, and to categorize this in one sense or another, they think about it a little. Because, speaking of ridiculous, they have already been making a big deal for almost 30 years by “explaining” Zapatismo. Maybe you don’t remember now, but what’s left over here, in addition to dignity and mud, is memory. Sorry.

I attest
The Captain


Eighteenth Part: The Rage

Eighteenth Part: The Rage

Is it inherited? It is acquired? Grown? Is it lost? Does it change? Is it spread? What channels is it transmitted through? How is it done collectively? Is it creative?

At what point does she become worthy? When do you begin to distance itself from resentment and revenge? Is it getting closer to justice?

How does it become the historical root of entire peoples, different in geography, language, culture, history, time?

Is rage the bridge between pain and rebellion?

At what moment do anguish, desperation, and helplessness turn into rage?

What if the disappeared men and women, conversely, inherit the rage to those who search for them? What if they give birth to their parents?

What if the seekers do not seek consolation, pity, sympathy, the alms of another’s ear? What if they also seek our rage?

What if all anger has the same root and they, we, the people, find each other at that root?

Will we greet each other? Will we have the strength to smile at each other, hug each other, exchange not only pain, but also the details of the person responsible – his same face (although different), his sardonic laugh, his mocking look, his cynicism, his way of knowing he goes unpunished, the flag of money?

What if sometime, in the unfinished book of history, someone looks at a light, any one, that, without any fuss or slogans, points out “this light was given birth to by rage”?

What if what unites us, despite all the differences, is the same rage? Who will face us? Who will sentence us to the same defeat as in the past, now, today? Who will threaten us with a tomorrow which looks exactly as yesterday?

Who will lose and who will find?


Zapatista youngsters practicing a play to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the beginning of the war against oblivion. Images courtesy of Los Tercios Compas, copyleft December 2023. Music by Keni Arkana: “La Rage”.

The Captain.
Mexico, December 2023.
40, 30, 20, 10, 1 year later.


EZLN | Seventeenth part: Never more…

Seventeenth part: Never more…
Tercios compass and the Captain

Memory is not only the food of dignified rage, it is also the root of the tree of dignity and rebellion. In the case of the indigenous peoples, it is a root that sinks into centuries of darkness, and that, with the peoples of the world, says and is said: “never again.”

Those at the top look at the past with the same nostalgia with which a mature humans sees photos of his/her birth and childhood.

Those below look at the past with rage. As if every humiliation, every wound, every affront, every mockery and every death were part of a present wound that must be healed.

Those at the top thus choose their heroes, and they split and distribute history where they are the culmination of the whole thing. They disguise as “justice” what is nothing more than alms.

Those at the bottom see history as a single page that has not yet been finished writing yet, and there are no heroes, only a constant rewriting where the hand that scribbles changes, but not the collective heart that dictates horrors and errors, and, of course, accounts receivable.

When Zapatista towns look to the past, they look and speak to their dead. They ask them to question the present – themselves included. And this is how they pick into the future.

This is how the Zapatista communities fight and live, who have not read Walter Benjamin. And I think they don’t need it…


Zapatista youngsters practicing a play that describes, not a distant past, but something that happened on a common basis just about 40 years ago in Chiapas. In other parts of Mexico and the World, it is the present… and perhaps the future. When Zapatismo says that it is against the patriarchal system, it does not do so because it is fashionable, a novelty or a matter of political correctness. It does so because of memory. And, dear friends and enemies, few things are as subversive as memory… and dignity.

Preparatory rehearsal for the celebration of the 30 years since the beginning of the war against oblivion. Images courtesy of Tercios Compas, copyleft December 2023. Music by León Gieco “La Memoria”, voices by León Gieco and Víctor Heredia. Embracing all of ‘latin america’, the one that is written and lived with lowercase letters, the one from below, the sister despite borders and neoliberal and progressive governments.

The Captain
Mexico, December 2023. 40, 30, 20, 10, 2, 1 year, a month after.

Tercios Compas

Sixteenth Part: Bertold Brecht, Cumbias and Non-Existence

Zapatista youths practicing a cumbia-dance-theater for the celebration of the 30 years of the beginning of the war against oblivion. Yes, we don’t understand either how this is possible, if they say all Zapatista youths migrated to the north and there are no youths–or zapatistas in general. A mystery. Huh? Cumbia theater? Well Don Durito (DD for legal matters) said it: “Cumbia is the continuation of politics by other means.” Images courtesy of the Tercios Compas, copyleft December 2023. Music: fragments of cumbias by Zapatista musical groups. To the dance floor, everyone! A step forward, a step backward. Hip. Turn. To the side. Turn. Repeat. Here I go! The rust, my friend, the rust. A polka? Or a corrido tumbado? I mean, to support anthropologists. Where’s my hat and my cowboy boots?! Didn’t I tell you? Such things…

Tercios Compas

EZLN | Fifteenth Part: At Night and In Plain Light

Quinceava Parte por Enlace Zapatista en Vimeo.

Images of the craftmanship by insurgents in preparation for the celebrations of the 30 years of the beginning of the war against oblivion. Photos and videos, courtesy of Tercios Compas. Copyleft; December 2023. Music Dan Dan Kokoro Hikareteku (Mi corazón encantado), Piano: RuRu, Violin: Kathie


(Español) Informe del Congreso Nacional Indígena y el Ejército Zapatista de Liberación Nacional sobre lo recaudado para las comunidades de Guerrero afectadas por el huracán Otis

Sorry, this entry is only available in Español. 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.




A partir del llamado de solidaridad por el Huracán Otis realizado en el mes de octubre, hemos contactado a nuestras hermanas y hermanos que sufrieron los estragos de dicha catástrofe, para hacer llegar la ayuda que con la solidaridad de muchas compañeras y compañeros de México y el mundo se ha generado.

A esta fecha hemos recibido, en la Casa de los Pueblos “Samir Flores Soberanes”, un aproximado de tonelada y media de víveres, ropa, agua y medicamento que se entregó a la Organización Campesina de la Sierra del Sur-Tepetixtla (OCSS) con presencia en la Costa Grande del estado de Guerrero.

También en la cuenta bancaria hemos recibido al corte de la tercera semana de noviembre la cantidad total de 332,597.99 pesos a través de 196 depósitos y transferencias bancarias.

Todos estos donativos se recibieron no sólo de personas de nuestro país, sino de varios países del mundo, lo que nos habla de una solidaridad internacionalista y nacional, entre los de abajo y a la izquierda. Distintas cantidades, distintos esfuerzos individuales y colectivos que no alcanzan a reflejarse cabalmente en solo unos números y cantidades recibidas. Pero nosotros lo sabemos hermanas y hermanos, nos tendieron la mano en estos duros momentos, de eso no hay duda.

Estas donaciones se han destinado del siguiente modo:

-$200,000.00 (doscientos mil pesos) entregados a la OCSS-Tepetixtla que se destinaron a la adquisisción de 7 toneladas de semillas, así como abarrotes y enseres para el apoyo a 13 comedores comunitarios del municipio de Coyuca de Benítez, distribuidos en 5 colonias de la cabecera municipal, en 2 albergues y en 6 comunidades del municipio.

-$32,000.00 (treinta y dos mil pesos) entregados al Consejo Indígena y Popular de Guerrero-Emiliano Zapata (CIPOG-EZ) destinados a la adquisición de láminas y madera para la reparación de techos en 50 viviendas de las comunidades de Pie de Tierra, Barrios de Guadalupe y Tierra Blanca en la región de la Montaña Alta, estado de Guerrero.

Actualmente existe un remanente de estos donativos que se usará para seguir apoyando a estas organizaciones y comunidades del estado de Guerrero y pertenecientes al Congreso Nacional Indígena, razón por la que llamamos a los hombres y mujeres de buen corazón, a los colectivos de la Sexta Nacional e Internacional y a los pueblos de México y del mundo, a continuar la solidaridad en apoyo a los pueblos originarios del estado de Guerrero afectados, pudiendo entregar donativos en especie en el domicilio de la Casa de los Pueblos “Samir Flores Soberanes”, ubicado en Av. México-Coyoacán 343, colonia Xoco, Alcaldía Benito Juárez, Ciudad de México, CP03330; y depósitos y transferencias bancarias en apoyo a estos pueblos y comunidades en la cuenta número 0113643034, CLABE 012540001136430347, código SWIFT BCMRMXMMPYM, del banco BBVA México, sucursal 1769. A nombre de: Ciencia Social al Servicio de los Pueblos Originarios. Teléfono: 5526907936.






Capitán Insurgente Marcos

Fourteenth Part and Second Approach Alert: The (other) Rule of the Excluded Third

Fourteenth Part and Second Approach Alert:
The (other) Rule of the Excluded Third

November 2023

The meeting was a year ago. One early morning in November. It was cold. Subcommander Insurgent Moisés arrived at the Captaincy chamber (yes, you are not wrong, by that time SupGaleano had already died, only his death had not been made public). The meeting with the bosses had ended late, and the SubMoy took time to stop by and ask me about what I had progressed in the analysis that had to be presented the next day at the assembly. The moon was moving lazily towards its first quarter and the world population reached 8 billion. Three notes appeared in my notebook:

The richest man in Mexico, Carlos Slim, to a group of students: “now, what I see for all of you is a buoyant Mexico with sustained growth, with many opportunities for job creation and economic activities” (November 10, 2022). (Note: perhaps he refers to Organized Crime as an economic activity that generates employment. And with export goods).

“(…) the number of people who are currently reported missing in Mexico, since 1964, now amounts to 107,201; that is, 7 thousand more than last May, when the 100 thousand threshold was exceeded. (November 7, 2022). (Note: Seek for the seekers).

In Israel, the UN set the number of Palestinian prisoners at around 5,000, including 160 children, according to the report by the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Palestinian territory occupied since 1967. Netanyahu takes over as head of the government for the third time. (November 2022). (Note: he who sows winds will reap storms).


A crack as a project.

It was not the first time we had discussed the topic. What’s more, during the last few moons it had been the constant: the diagnosis that would help the assembly make a decision about “what’s next.” They had also been discussing this for months, but the idea-proposal of Subcommander Insurgent Moisés had not landed jet, or materialized. It was still a kind of intuition.

«It’s not that all the doors are closed,» I began. – There are no doors. All those that appear as “true” do not lead anywhere other than to the starting point. Any attempted route is just a trip through a labyrinth that, at best, takes you back to the beginning. At worst, to disappearance.

So? SubMoy asked, lighting the umpteenth cigarette.

-Well, I think you’re right, all that remains is to open a crack. It’s not good to look elsewhere. You have to make a door. It’s going to take time, yes. And it’s going to cost a lot. But yes, it is possible. Although not just anyone. What you are thinking, no one, ever. I myself didn’t think I would get even to hear it – I pointed out.

SubMoy remained thoughtful for a while, looking at the floor of the champa, full of cigarette butts, tobacco residue from the pipe, a burnt match, wet mud, some broken twigs.

Then he got up and, heading to the door, he only said: «Well, there’s no way, we need to see… what’s missing is yet to come.»


Failure as a goal.

To understand what that brief dialogue meant, I must explain a part of my job as captain. In this case, a work that I inherited from the late SupGaleano, who in turn received it from the late SupMarcos.

A thankless, dark and painful task: foreseeing the Zapatista failure.

If you are considering an initiative, I look for everything that could make it fail, or, at least, reduce its impact. Look for the contradictory opposite. Let’s say something like “Marcos Contreras”. I am, therefore, the maximum and only representative of the “pessimistic wing” of Zapatismo.

The objective is to attack the initiatives with all types of objections from the moment they begin to be born. We suppose that this causes this proposal to be refined and consolidated, whether it be an internal organizational, or an external initiative, be it a combination of these two.

To put it clearly: Zapatismo prepares itself to fail. That is, it imagines the worst-case scenario. With that horizon in perspective, plans are drawn up and proposals detailed.

To conceive these “future failures”, the sciences that we have at our disposal are used. You have to look everywhere (and when I say “everywhere” I mean everywhere, including social networks and their bot farms, fake news and the tricks that are carried out to get “followers”), obtain the greatest amount of data and information, cross it and thus obtain the diagnosis of what the perfect storm would be and its result.

You must try to understand that it is not about building a certainty, but rather a terrible hypothesis. In terms of the deceased: “suppose everything goes to shit.” Contrary to what one may believe, this catastrophe does not include our disappearance, but something worse: the extinction of the human species. Well, at least as we conceive it today.

This catastrophe is imagined and we begin to look for data that confirms it. Real data, not the prophecies of Nostradamus or the biblical Apocalypse or equivalent. That is, scientific data. Scientific publications, financial data, trends, records of facts, and many publications are then used.

From this hypothetical future, the clock is set in reverse.


The rule of the excluded third.

Already in possession of the drawing of the collapse and its inevitability, the rule of the excluded third begins to work.

No, it is not the known one. This is an invention of the late SupMarcos. In his time as a lieutenant, he said that, in the event of a failure, a solution was first attempted; second, a correction; and third, since there was no third, it remained as “there is no remedy.” Later, he refined that rule until he reached the one that I now explain to you: if a hypothesis is supported by true data and scientific analysis, it is necessary to look for two elements that contradict the aforementioned hypothesis in its essence. If these two elements are found, the third is no longer sought, then the hypothesis must be reconsidered or confronted with the most severe judge: reality.

I clarify that, when the Zapatistas say “reality,” they include their actions in that reality. What you call “practice”.

I then apply that same rule. If I find at least 2 elements that contradict my hypothesis, then I abandon the search, discard that hypothesis and look for another one.

The complex hypothesis.

My hypothesis is: there is no solution.


Balanced coexistence between humans and nature is now impossible. In the confrontation, the one who has the most time will win: nature. Capital has turned the relationship with nature into a confrontation, a war of plunder and destruction. The objective of this war is the annihilation of the opponent, nature in this case (humanity included). With the criterion of “planned obsolescence” (or “expected expiration”), the commodity “human beings” expires in each war.

The logic of capital is that of greater profit at maximum speed. This causes the system to become a gigantic waste machine, including human beings. In the storm, social relations are disrupted and unproductive capital throws millions into unemployment and, from there, into “alternative employment” in crime, and into migration. The destruction of territories includes depopulation. The “phenomenon” of migration is not the prelude to the catastrophe, it is its confirmation. Migration produces the effect of “nations within nations”, large migratory caravans colliding with walls made of concrete, of police, military walls; criminal walls, bureaucratic walls, racial and economic walls.

When we talk about migration, we forget the other migration that precedes it on the calendar. That of original populations in their own territories, now converted into merchandises. Have the Palestinian people not become migrants who must be expelled from their own land? Doesn’t the same thing happen with the indigenous peoples around the world?

In Mexico, for example, the native communities are the “strange enemy” that dares to “desecrate” the soil of the system’s farm, located between the Bravo and the Suchiate. To combat this “enemy” there are thousands of soldiers and police, megaprojects, buying of consciences, repression, disappearances, murders and a veritable factory of guilty people (cf. The murders of brother Samir Flores Soberanes and dozens of nature guardians define the current governmental project.

The “fear of the other” reaches levels of frank paranoia. Scarcity, poverty, misfortunes and crime are responsible for a system, but now the blame is transferred to the migrant who must be fought until annihilated.

In “politics” alternatives and offers are offered, each one falser than the next. New cults, nationalisms – new, old or recycled -, the new religion of social networks and its neo prophets: the “influencers”. And war, always war.

The crisis of politics is the crisis of alternatives to chaos. The frenetic succession in governments of right wing, extreme right wing, the non-existent center, and what is presumptuously called «left», is only a reflection of a changing market: if there are new models of cell phones, why not «new” political options?

Nation-States become customs agents of capital. There are no governments, there is only one Border Patrol with different colors and different flags. The dispute between the “Fat State” and the “Starving State” is just a failed concealment of its original nature: repression.

Capital begins to replace neoliberalism as a theoretical-ideological alibi, with its logical consequence: neo-Malthusianism. That is, the war of annihilation of large populations to achieve the well-being of modern society. War is not an irregularity of the machine, it is the “regular maintenance” that will ensure its operation and duration. The radical reduction in demand to compensate for supply limitations.

It would not be about social neo-Darwinism (the strong and rich become stronger and richer, and the weak and poor become weaker and poorer), or Eugenics, which was one of the ideological alibis for the Nazi war of extermination of the Jewish people. Or not only. It would be a global campaign to annihilate the majority population of the world: the dispossessed. Dispossess them of life too. If the planet’s resources are not sufficient and there is no spare planet (or it has not been found yet, although they are working on it), then it is necessary to drastically reduce the population. Shrink the planet through depopulation and reorganization, not only of certain territories, but of the entire world. A Nakba for the entire planet.

If the house can no longer be expanded nor is it feasible to add more floors; if the inhabitants of the basement want to go up to the ground floor, raid the cupboard, and, horror!, they do not stop reproducing; if “ecological paradises” or “self-sustaining” (in reality they are just “panic rooms” of capital) are not enough; if those on the first floor want the rooms on the second and so on; in short, if “modern civilization” and its core (private ownership of the means of production, circulation and consumption), is in danger; well, then you have to expel tenants – starting with those in the basement – until “balance” is achieved.

If the planet is depleted of resources and territories, a kind of «diet» follows to reduce the obesity of the planet. Searching for another planet is having unforeseen difficulties. A space race is foreseeable, but its success is still a very big unknown. Wars, on the other hand, have demonstrated their “effectiveness.”

The conquest of territories brought the exponential growth of the «surplus», «excluded», or «expendable». The wars over distribution continue. Wars have a double advantage: they revive war production and its subsidiaries, and eliminate those surpluses in an expeditious and irremediable manner.

Nationalisms will not only re-emerge or have new breath (hence the coming and going of far-right political offers), they are the necessary spiritual basis for wars. “The person responsible for your shortcomings is whoever is next to you. That’s why your team loses.» The logic of the “cliques”, “gangs” and “hooligans” -national, racial, religious, political, ideological, gender-, encouraging medium, large and small wars in size, but with the same objective of purification.

Ergo: capitalism does not expire, it only transforms.

The Nation-State long ago stopped fulfilling its function as a territory-government-population with common characteristics (language, currency, legal system, culture, etc.). National States are now the military positions of a single army, that of the capital cartel. In the current global crime system, governments are the “Jefes de plaza” that maintain control of a territory. The political fight, electoral or not, is to see who is promoted to head of the plaza. The “cobro de piso” is through taxes and budgets for campaigns and the electoral process. Disorganized crime thus finances its reproduction, although its inability to offer its subjects security and justice is increasingly evident. In modern politics, the heads of national cartels are decided by elections.

A new society does not emerge from this bundle of contradictions. The catastrophe is not followed by the end of the capitalist system, but by a different form of its predatory character. The future of capital is the same as its patriarchal past and presents: exploitation, repression, dispossession and contempt. For every crisis, the system always has a war at hand to solve that crisis. Therefore: it is not possible to outline or build an alternative to collapse beyond our own survival as indigenous communities.

The majority of the population does not see or does not believe the catastrophe is possible. Capital has managed to instill immediatism and denialism in the basic cultural code of those below.

Beyond some native communities, peoples in resistance and some groups and collectives, it is not possible to build an alternative that goes beyond the local minimum.

The prevalence of the notion of the Nation-State in the imaginary below is an obstacle. It keeps struggles separate, isolated, fragmented. The borders that separate them are not only geographical.


The Contradictions.


First series of contradictions:

The struggle of the brothers from the Cholulteca region against the Bonafont company, in Puebla, Mexico (2021-2022). Seeing that their springs were drying up, the residents turned to look at the person responsible: the Bonafont company, from Danone. They organized and took over the bottling plant. The springs were recovered and water and life returned to their lands. Nature thus responded to the action of its defenders and confirmed what the peasants said: the company deprecated water. The repressive force that evicted them, after a time, could not hide the reality: the people defended life, and the company and the government defended death. Mother Earth responded to the question like this: there is a remedy, I correspond with life to those who defend my existence; we can coexist if we respect and care for each other.

The pandemic (2020). The animals recovered their position in some abandoned urban territories, although it was momentary. The water, the air, the flora and fauna had a break and remade themselves, although they were once again overwhelmed in a short time. They thus indicated who the invader was.

The Journey for Life (2021). In the East, that is, in Europe, there are examples of resistance to destruction and, above all, of building another relationship with Mother Earth. The reports, stories and anecdotes are too many for these notes, but they confirm that the reality there is not only that of xenophobia and the idiocy and petulance of their governments. We hope to find similar efforts in other geographies.

Therefore: balanced coexistence with nature is possible. There must be more examples of this. Note: look for more data, review the Extemporánea reports again upon returning from the Journey for Life – Europe Chapter, what did they see at and what did they learn, follow the actions of the CNI and other organizations and movements of sister indigenous peoples in the World. Pay attention to alternatives in urban areas.

Partial conclusion: the contradictions detected put one of the premises of the complex hypothesis in crisis, but not yet the essence. The so-called “green capitalism” could well absorb or supplant these resistances.

Second series of contradictions:

The existence and persistence of the Sixth and the people, groups, collectives, teams, organizations, movements united in the Declaration for Life. And many more people in many places. There are those who resist and rebel, and try to find themselves. But it is necessary to search. And that is what the Seekers teach us: seeking is a necessary, urgent, vital struggle. With everything against them, they cling to the remotest hope.

Partial conclusion: the mere possibility, minimal, tiny, improbable up to a ridiculous percentage, that resistance and rebellion coincide, makes the machine stumble. It is not its destruction, it is true. Not yet. The scarlet witches will be decisive.

The percentage probability of the triumph of life over death is ridiculous, yes. Then there are options: resignation, cynicism, the cult of the immediate (“carpe diem” as vital support).

And yet, there are those who defy walls, borders, rules… and the law of probabilities.

Third series of contradictions: Not necessary. The Excluded Third Rule applies.

General conclusion: therefore, another hypothesis must be raised.


Ah! Did you think that the initiative or step that the Zapatista people announced was the disappearance of MAREZ and JBG, the inversion of the pyramid and the birth of the GAL?

Well, I’m sorry to ruin your peace of mind. It is not so. Go back to before the so-called “Fist Part” and the discussion about the motives of wolves and shepherds. Already there? Now put this:

Permissu et gratia a praelatis dico vobis visiones mirabiles et terribiles quas oculi mei in his terris viderunt. 30 Anno Resistentise, et prima luce diei viderunt imagines et sonos, quod nunquam antea viderant, et tamen litteras meas semper intuebantur.  Manus scribit et cor dictat.  Erat mane et supra, cicadae et stellae pugnabant pro terra…

With the permission and grace of the superiors I tell you the wonderful and terrible visions which my eyes have seen in these lands. In the year 30 of the resistance, and at the first light of the day they saw images and sounds which they had never seen before, and yet they always looked at my letters. The hand writes and the heart dictates. It was dawn and above, crickets and starlings were fighting for the land…

The Captain.

He did not appear then because you did not know about the death of SupGaleano, nor about the other necessary deaths. But that’s how we Zapatistas are: what we keep silent about is always more than what we say. As if we were determined to design a puzzle that is always unfinished, always with a pending piece, always with that extemporaneous question: what about you?

From the mountains of the Mexican southeast.

The Captain.

40, 30, 20, 10, 2, 1 year later.

P.S.- So what is missing? Well… what’s missing is yet to come.

Capitán Insurgente Marcos



“Football is the continuation of politics by other means.”
Don Durito de La Lacandona (“DD”, for legal purposes).

November 2023

I.- Eve of the Journey for Life – Europe chapter.

A football challenge has been received from a European women’s team that resists and fights.

SupGaleano has appointed himself “technical director” of the “Ixchel – Ramona” team, made up of militiawomen. As it should be, the Sup has studied the rival team. He gathers the compañeras who will make the trip. Analyzes in detail the skills and characteristics of each of the players. He goes to Subcommander Moisés and gives his diagnosis: “they are going to tear us into pieces.” SubMoy looks at it with a “so?” face, as if taking it for granted. But the now deceased has not finished: “But I have a secret plan, as Dení says. With that we will revolutionize football and redefine it in its essence: the game.”

Subcommander Insurgent Moisés, coordinator of the tour, is quite busy with the preparation courses, birth certificates, passports and the design of the route to follow, so he leaves SupGaleano to proceed “at his discretion.” The future deceased smiles and says: “Discretion is my second last name” (don’t ask me what his first last name was because it would take several pages to explain it to you).

The deceased in the making begins the preparation of the women’s team. But, for his strategy to be successful, he needs the support of the fearsome, terrible and terrifying “Popcorn Commando”, which, at that moment, is trying to open a hole in the training ship in which the so-called “Squadron 421” was prepared. Disillusioned because, before finishing the work below the waterline, the ship had been transformed into an imposing two-engine plane, they went to consult with SupGaleano what they could do to set the aircraft on fire. The Sup convinced them that it was not advisable to burn it, that it was better to wait until it was in full flight to shoot it down from within. The beloved Amado and Chinto objected: if the plane falls, Commando Palomitas will also fall. The Sup responded that it was not the time to dwell on trifles. Furthermore, the Command was required for a higher task, than sabotaging an air trip that did not even complete the payment for the tickets, not to mention the lack of passports, and that the majority of the so-called “Division Aerotransportada La Extemporánea” was getting dizzy in the truck.

When the Popcorn Commando, the Sup, Tzotz, Tragón and Pelusa met in the ultra-secret bunker that is in the Puy platform of the Tzotz Choj area, they proceeded to refine the details of what, from then on, would be known worldwide as the “Brilliant and Excellent Plan to Defeat a Rival Better Prepared, Trained and Equipped than Us” (BEPDRMPEEN, for its acronym in Spanish), subtitle “And that they have better technique and control of the ball.”

The top secret meeting continued its normal course. That is to say, Chuy took away Lupita’s chamoy lollypop, Verónica gave Chuy a slap and, as if it were the Supreme Government, she kept Chuy’s lollypop, Lupita’s and her own. El Chinto and the beloved Amado insisted that their bicycles had broken down “just like that” and that the Monarch had to fix them. Pelusa, Tragón and Tzotz looked at the table looking for cookies, and Sup gave a master class on “How to win a soccer game with everything against you.”

The apparent chaos subsided when the Sup took out, from who knows where, a box of “Choki The Devil’s Cookie”, and only then – after 5 packages had been dispatched – the missions were distributed, the schedule was made, and they stuffed themselves with the sixth package “in honor of the future fallen men.” “And women,” Chuy felt obliged to add, only to receive from Verónica another zap model “gender equality does not apply in misfortune.” Lupita approved the action with the chamoy lollypop that Sup gave her so she wouldn’t continue crying.

The “three times T” Popcorn Command, the Sup and the canine wing of the command then went to the hotbed and, with the militia members gathered, the new “passive-aggressive” scheme was explained and practiced, which, as it should be, had in a leading role the aforementioned Command.

Following the old and proven Zapatista rule of “Do not play with the enemy’s rules”, the Sup developed a kind of mixture of rugby, with nineteenth-century dramaturgy, with some Anime, with cinema very much like Hollywood corner with Cannes, with Monet’s impressionism, a pinch of Allan Poe crossed with Conan Doyle, something of Cervantes’ epic, the brevity of Joyce, the perspective of Buñuel, a pinch of Brecht mixed with Beckett, the seasoning of some tacos al pastor, a very rebajada cumbia, Anita Tijoux and Shadia Mansour breaking borders -free Palestine-, and, well, I didn’t take note of everything, but the only thing missing was the ball.

The strategy in question had 3 phases:

The first was that Verónica grabbed a Zapatista doll and headed determinedly towards the opposing goal, she stood in front of the enemy goalkeeper and spoke to her in Cho’ol. The goalkeeper, of course, world not understand anything, but there stood Lupita and Esperanza Zapatista who would translate with signs that the girl was giving her the doll. And Esperanza, as her name indicates, offered to take a photo with the girl and the doll. For the photo, they should tell the goaly to put the ball down, because Verónica wanted her to hug her. At the moment this happened, Esperanza kicked the ball “into the back of the net” and the entire team shouted “Goal!” It was practiced countless times with success. The only thing that could not be achieved was for Verónica not to take the doll from the goalkeeper and run away.

The second variant consisted of the Zapatista goalkeeper receiving the ball, placing it under her sports shirt, as if she were pregnant, and beginning to walk as if pregnant. The entire Zapatista team came to help her and take her to medical services. Of course, since they were in foreign territory, the teammates made a mistake and went to face the enemy goal, where, miraculously, the Zapatista goalkeeper dropped the ball that, barely rolling, went beyond the enemy line and gave birth to a Goal that he forgot from Messi and Cristiano. Meanwhile, the TTT Popcorn Commando surrounded the sister responsible for the board and “exhorted” her to accept the goal achieved “with the sacrifice of the Zapatista comrade and her little ball.”

The third variant implied a risk for the protagonist, since she had to fake fainting. It was practiced only once in the seedbed because the terrain there is gravel (stone and sand), and it was expected that there would be grass in the enemy field. The compañera had to faint in the middle of the field. Subcommander Moisés, alarmed, would run to see his companion and, with him, the entire Zapatista bench would run. All the compañeras cried out, in their respective mother tongues, for medical service. As expected, the enemy would have no medical service, so a stretcher would be prepared in advance. The referee would like to call the paramedics, but SubMoisés would allege practices and customs of the native peoples, so the Zapatistas themselves lift the fainted woman and place her on the stretcher. Confused by the pain and sorrow of seeing their sister fall in combat, the militia members would not succeed in heading to the bench carrying the stretcher, so they would end up reaching the enemy goal. At that moment, the first gods, those who made the world, would do their work and the injured compa would wake up without the need for any male toad, commoner or royalty, to kiss her, and she would find the ball at her feet, just on the goal line and with a kick she would seal the fate. It was to be expected that, animated by the joy of seeing their companion safe, the militiawomen would shout “Goal!” By that time, the Popcorn Commando would already be at the foot of the scoreboard to ensure that life was celebrated.

I don’t really remember the fourth – I know I said there were 3, but weren’t the three musketeers actually 4? -, although it was similar in wit, creativity and mischief to the other three.

According to what the militia women told me upon their return, in the territories they call “Italy” and “Spanish State”, the enemy sisters quickly understood what the matter was about and began to play with the same style. I don’t know whether FIFA could classify it as football but, judging by the photos and videos they showed me, it was a party. Result: there was no winner or loser… and Verónica returned with the doll that, presumably, belonged to the now deceased SupGaleano. No, she didn’t give it back.

And that was the message for geographies around the world: do not play with your enemy’s rules, create your own rules,” SupGaleano declared to me before his last sigh.


II.- How many Cyprus can fit in a soccer game?

This was told to me by Subcommander Insurgent Moisés, when he told me details and anecdotes from the so-called “Europe chapter” of the Journey for Life. What I tell below is what I managed to rescue from the narration, full of admiration and respect, of Subcommander Moisés.

“There is a geography called Cyprus. Well, it’s broken, that is, in pieces. There are Cypriots, there are Greek Cypriots and there are Turkish Cypriots and I don’t remember how many more people have the last name Cypriot. The capitalists divided that land, cut it into pieces. And they also cut up their people, their language, their history, their culture. And it turns out that, although it is a small island, all the money wants it and, as they do, they divide it, but each party wants the other’s share. In other words, in the midst of the powerful and their wars, the people remain.

Well, then there is a soccer team in that geography called Cyprus. They have good players and they are professionals. So their job is to play soccer. So they are losing several games and they meet among themselves to analyze and they say that they are losing because the games’ strategy is wrong. They go and tell the owner of the team, that is, the boss, that they are losing because of that, that they already thought of a better strategy and that way they will win more games.

The boss, that is, the owner of the team, looks at them with contempt and tells them: “you win or lose as it suits me. Sometimes it suits me that you lose and that’s how it will continue.»

The players know how to play very well, but they also have a good heart. So, as they say, they rebel. They tell themselves resistance and rebellion, but in their language. And they send the owner of the team, that is, the boss, to hell. Then they make their own soccer team. And they organize themselves and make a stadium. That land is divided, so, in the middle, they say “no man’s land”, they make their stadium there and then they invite anyone who wants to play and practice. The other groups and collectives that fight, support them and are well organized. It doesn’t matter if you are Cypriot, Greek Cypriot, Turkish Cypriot or Cypriot I don’t know what. There is no charge, it is voluntary what each person wants to give. So, as they say, the pay is not what matters. So, from time to time they have their matches and there are no divisions of nationalities, no religions, no flags, there is only football. And it’s like a party.

In other words, as they say, those brothers broke those boundaries that the bosses and owners put in place.

“So they kind of made their Caracol. They have a football Caracol! I told them let’s see when we can have a soccer game there in their land or here in no man’s land,» says Subcommander Insurgent Moisés, spokesperson for the Zapatista communities, chief of the EZLN, and coordinator of the Journey for Life.


  1. Cheers and that the games, like the rides, are not a competition but rather excuses to coexist among different people.

I attest
From the mountains of the Mexican southeast.

The Captain
Mexico, November 2023. 40, 30, 20, 10, 2 years later.

Music: «Somos Sur», for Ana Tijoux and Shadia Mansour
Images of the soccer match between the Ixchel-Ramona team and the enemy Italian sisters taken in the geography they call Rome, Italy, in November 2021. Added to images of mobilization of the Zapatista peoples against the wars in 2022. Tercios Compas . Copyleft November 2023


EZLN | Twelfth part: Fragments.

Twelfth part: Fragments
Fragments of a letter written by Subcommander Insurgent Moises, sent a few months ago, to a geography distant in space but close in thought:

“Sixth Zapatista Commission.

April 2023


Because then it would be something like, in the face of the terrible storm that is already hitting every corner of the planet, even those who thought themselves safe from all evil, we did not see the storm.

I mean, we don’t just see the storm, and the destruction, death and pain that it brings. We also see what comes next. We want to be the seed of a future root that we will not see, which will then be, in turn, the grass that we will not see either.

The Zapatista vocation, if someone pushes us to a laconic definition, is “to be a good seed.”

We do not intend to leave for inheritance a conception of the world to the next generations. Neither to inherit our miseries, our resentments, our pain, our phobias, or our philias. Nor for them to be a mirror with a more or less approximate image of what we assume is good or bad.

What we want to leave for inheritance is life. What other generations do with it will be their decision and, above all, their responsibility. Just as we inherited life from our ancestors, we took what we considered valuable, and we assigned ourselves a task. And, of course, we take responsibility for the decision we made, for what we do in order to accomplish that task, and for the consequences of our actions and omissions.

When we say that “It is not necessary to conquer the world, it is enough to do it again”, we move away, definitively and irremediably, from the current and previous political conceptions. The world we see is not perfect, not even close. But it is better, without a doubt. A world where everyone is who they are, without shame, without being persecuted, mutilated, imprisoned, murdered, marginalized, oppressed.

What is that world called? What system supports it or is dominant? Well, that will be decided, or not, by those who live there.

A world where the desires to hegemonize and homogenize learn from what they caused in this time and other times, and fail in that world to come.

A world in which humanity is not defined by equality (which only hides the segregation of those who “are not equal”), but by difference.

A world where difference is not persecuted, but celebrated. A world in which the stories told are not those of those who win, because no one wins.

A world where the stories that are told, whether in intimacy, or in the arts, or in culture, are like those that our grandmothers and grandfathers told us, and that teach not who won, because no one won and, therefore, nobody lost.

Those stories that allowed us to imagine terrible and wonderful things and in which, between the rain and the smell of cooking corn, coffee and tobacco, we managed to imagine an incomplete world, yes, clumsy too, but much better than the world that our ancestors and our contemporaries have suffered and are suffering.

We do not intend to leave for inheritance laws, manuals, worldviews, catechisms, rules, routes, destinations, steps, companies, which, if you look closely, is what almost all political proposals aspire to.

Our goal is simpler and terribly more difficult: to leave life for inheritance.


Because we see that this terrible storm, whose first gales and rains are already hitting the entire planet, is arriving very quickly and very strongly. So, we don’t see the immediate. Or yes, but according to what we see in the long term. Our immediate reality is defined or in accordance with two realities: one of death and destruction that will bring out the worst in human beings, regardless of their social class, their color, their race, their culture, their geography, their language, their size; and another of starting over, from the rubble of a system that did what it does best, that is, to destroy.

Why do we say that the nightmare that already exists, and that will only get worse, will be followed by an awakening? Well, because there are those, like us, who are determined to look at that possibility. Minimal, it’s true. But every day and at all hours, everywhere, we fight so that this minimal possibility grows and, although small and unimportant –just like a tiny seed—, it grows and, one day, it becomes the tree of life that will be of all colors or won’t be at all.

We are not the only ones. In these 30 years we have leaned out into many worlds. Different in ways, times, geographies, own stories, calendars. But equal only in the effort and the absurd gaze placed on an untimely time that will happen, not because of destiny, not because of divine design, not because someone loses so that someone wins. No, it will be because we are working on it, fighting, living and dying for it.

And there will be a meadow, and there will be flowers, and trees, and rivers, and animals of all kinds. And there will be grass because there will be roots. And there will be a girl, a boy, a child who will be alive. And the day will come when she/he will have to take responsibility for the decision she/he makes about what to do with that life.

Isn’t that freedom?


And we will tell you the story of the indigenous woman of Mayan roots, over 40 years old, who fell dozens of times while learning to ride a 20-wheeled bicycle. But also, got up the same number of times and is now riding a 24 or 26-wheeled bicycle and, with it, she will reach the medicinal plants courses.

Of the health promoter who will arrive on time, to a remote community without a paved road, to administer anti-viper serum to an elderly man attacked by a nauyaca viper.

Of the indigenous, autonomous authority who, with her ‘nagüa’ and her ‘morraleta’, will arrive on time to an assembly of “as women that we are” and will be able to give the talk on feminine hygiene.

And that, when there was no vehicle, gasoline, driver or passable road, to the extent of our development and possibilities, health would reach a champa in a corner of the Lacandon jungle.

A champa where, around a stove, raining and without electricity, the education promoter will arrive, also by bicycle, and, among the smell of cooked corn, coffee and tobacco, she will hear a terrible and wonderful story, told in the voice and tongue of an old woman. And in that story there will be talk about Votán, who was neither man nor woman nor “otroa”. And it was not one, but many. And she will hear her say: “that is what we are, Votán, guardian and heart of the people.”

And that, already at school, that education promoter will tell the Zapatista boys and girls that story. Well, more like the version that she will make of what she remembers having heard, because it couldn’t really be heard, due to the noise of the rain and the muffled voice of the woman who was telling the story.

And about “the cumbia of the bicycle” that some musical youth group will create and that will relieve us all from hearing “the cumbia of the frog” for the umpteenth time.

And our dead, to whom we owe honor and life, perhaps will say “well, we have finally entered the age of the wheel.” And at night they will look at the starry sky, without clouds to hide it, and they will say “Bicycles! From there, the spaceships follow.” And they will laugh, I know. And someone alive will start a tape recorder and a cumbia will be heard that all of us, the living and the dead, hope is not “la del moño colorado.” 


From the mountains of the Mexican southeast.
In the name of the Zapatista boys, girls, men, women and ‘otroas’.
Subcommander Insurgent Moisés.
General Coordinator of the “Tour for Life”.
Mexico, April 2023.”

These fragments are taken from the original, and with the authorizations of the sender and recipient.
I attest.

The Captain.
November 2023