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Rebobinar 1: Cuando los muertos callan en voz alta

When the Dead Silently Speak Out

(Rewind 1)

(A text which reflects on those who are absent and on biographies, narrates Durito’s first encounter with the Cat-Dog, and talks about other things that may or may not be relevant, as the impertinent postscript dictates).

November-December 2013

Methinks we have hugely mistaken this matter of Life and Death.
Methinks that what they call my shadow here on earth is my true substance. Methinks that in looking at things spiritual,
we are too much like oysters observing the sun through the water,
and thinking that thick water the thinnest of air.
Me thinks my body is but the lees of my better being.
In fact take my body who will, take it I say, it is not me.
Herman Melville “Moby Dick.”

For a while now I have maintained that most biographies are merely a collection of documented, well-written (well, sometimes) lies. The typical biography is based on a pre-existing belief and the margin of tolerance for anything that strays from that conviction is very narrow, if not inexistent. The author, starting from that previously held belief, begins the search through the jigsaw puzzle of a life unfamiliar to him or her (which is why the bibliography interests them to begin with), and goes about collecting the false or ill-fitting pieces that allow him or her to document their own belief, not the life they are talking about.

(Continuar leyendo…)


Rebobinar 2: De la muerte y otras coartadas

Rewind 2:

On Death and Other Alibis.

December 2013.

“One knows one has died when
everything around them has
stopped dying.”
Elías Contreras.
Profession: EZLN Investigation Commission.
Civil Condition: Dead.
Age: 521 years old and counting.

It is before dawn, and, if they should ask me, which they haven’t, I would say that the problem with the dead is the living.

Because in their absence, you tend to get that absurd, meaningless, and outrageous argument: “I knew them/ saw them/ was told by them,” really just an alibi that hides the real statement “I am the administrator of that life because I administer its death.”

It’s something like having a “copyright” on death, thus converting it into merchandise that can be possessed, exchanged, circulated, and consumed. There are even historiographical books, biographies, museums, commemorations, theses, newspapers, magazines, and colloquia for this.

(Continuar leyendo…)



Here we explain the reasons behind this strange title and those that will follow, narrate the story of an exceptional encounter between a beetle and a perplexing being (that is, more perplexing than the beetle) and the reflections of no immediate relevance or importance which occurred therein; and finally, given a particular anniversary, the Sub tries to explain, unsuccessfully, how the Zapatistas see their own history.

(Continuar leyendo…)



November 2013.

To the students who took or want to take the first grade course of the Zapatista Little School:

To whom it may concern:

Compañeros, compañeras and compañeroas

As is now custom, I have been designated to give you the bad news. So here goes.

FIRST – The accounts (and here I advise you to double check the additions, subtractions, and divisions because math isn’t one of my strengths. That is, it also isn’t one of my strengths):

A) Expenses from the first grade course in August of 2013 for 1281 students:

– Support materials (4 textbooks and 2 DVDs) for 1281 students: $100,000.00 (one hundred thousand Mexican pesos).

– Food and transport for 1281 students to go from CIDECI to the communities where their course was held and back: $339,778.27 (three hundred thirty-nine thousand seven hundred and eight pesos and 27 cents), which breaks down as the following:

Expenses for each zone to take students in vehicles from CIDECI to their host communities and back to CIDECI, in addition to food for the children of the students.

Realidad ————-  $    64,126.00

Oventik—————- $   46,794.00

Garrucha————–  $ 122,184.77

Morelia—————-  $   36,227.50

Roberto Barrios—-     $   70,446.00

Total overall —–        $ 339,778.27

Note: Yeah that “77 cents” also caught my eye, but that’s how it appeared in the report. Meaning, we don’t do any rounding up around here.

-Transportation for 200 guardians to CIDECI, where they gave a course, and home again: $40,000.00 (forty thousand pesos). Their food was covered by the compañer@s of CIDECI-Unitierra. Thank you to Dr. Raymundo and all of the compas of CIDECI, especially those in the kitchen (note: you still owe me some tamales).

Total expenses for the Zapatista communities for the first grade course in August of 2013 for 1281 students: $479,778.27 (four hundred seventy-nine thousand seven hundred and eight pesos and 26 cents). Average expense per student: $374.53 (three hundred seventy-four Mexican pesos and 53 cents).

B) Income for the Zapatista Little School: Registration payments (from the donation container that was in CIDECI): $409,955.00 (four hundred nine thousand nine hundred and fifty-five Mexican pesos).

National pesos: $391,721.00

Dollars: $1,160.00

Euros: $175.00

Average per student payment at registration: $320.02 (three hundred twenty pesos and 20 cents).

SECOND— Summary and consequences:

On average, the remaining $54.51 (fifty-four Mexican pesos and 51 cents) per student was covered through solidarity donations. That is, some students covered others. But that means that the numbers don’t work out, compas. It was thanks to some students who gave more than the 100 required pesos (and some didn’t give anything), as well as to generous donations from others that we could more or less break even.

For those who gave more and those who made extra large donations, we thank you from the bottom of our hearts. And we should also thank those who didn’t pay the full 100 pesos or didn’t give anything at all.

But we know very well that we can’t expect this to work out again this way, where some students pay the course for others, which leaves us with the following options:

a) – We close the Little School.

b) – We reduce the number of students to what we Zapatistas can pay for ourselves. Subcomandante Insurgente Moisés tells me this would be about 100 per caracol, or 500 total.

c) – We raise the cost and make it obligatory.

We think that we shouldn’t close the Little School because it has permitted us to meet more people and for other people to meet us, people who we didn’t know before and who didn’t know us.

We think that if we reduce the number who can come, many people will be sad or mad because they already have everything ready to attend and it could be that they wouldn’t make the list. And above all, as you now know, the essence of the course is found in the communities and the guardians and guardianas, and if we reduced the number of students I would have to give them the bad news, and I would get the backlash.

So the only solution is to ask that you pay for your own transport and food. We know that this, in addition to bothering some people, might leave others out. That is why we are letting you know ahead of time so that you can find a way to pay your fee and/or the fee for other compas who want to come but can’t pay.

The cost now will be $380.00 (three hundred eighty Mexican pesos) per student, and should be paid at registration in CIDECI on the designated registration days. If on top of that you want to bring a pound of rice and a pound of beans, we would appreciate that too.

And please, we beg you, we plead with you, we implore you to clarify who is coming with you, how many of you there are, and each person’s age. The thing is that we get emails that say “I’m coming with my kids” and then they arrive and well, it’s like the cast for the “The Walking Dead.” All those who are going to attend must register ahead of time, this includes kids, adults, elders, and the walking dead.

Also please clarify the dates on which you will come. There are two dates now, one at the end of December and another at the beginning of January. It is important for us to know which one you are signing up for because, as you know, there is an indigenous family that is preparing to host and attend to you, a guardian or guardiana that is preparing to orient you, a driver who is getting his or her vehicle ready to transport you, and a whole village preparing to receive you. And clarify if you want to take the course in a community or in CIDECI in San Cristóbal de Las Casas, Chiapas.

Oh also, come to listen and learn, because there are some who came to give seminars on feminism, vegetarianism, Marxism, and other “isms.” And now they’re upset because we Zapatistas don’t obey them, these people who came to tell us that we should change the revolutionary law for women to their liking and not as determined by the Zapatista women, that we don’t understand the advantages of marijuana, that we shouldn’t make our houses out of cement because it’s better to make them out of adobe and palm, or that we shouldn’t wear shoes because by going barefoot we would be better in touch with mother earth. In sum, that we should obey those who come to give us orders… that is, that we should not be Zapatistas.

SPECIAL CASES: the Anarchists

Given the anti-anarchist campaign launched by those of “good conscience” and the well-behaved left united in a holy crusade with the old right to accuse the anarchists, young and old, of challenging the system (as if anarchism had another option), including the dismantling of their shows (this thing about turning the lights off, was that so we wouldn’t see the anarchists?), and the repetition ad nauseum of epithets such as “anarcho-hardliners,” “anarcho-provocateur,” “anarcho-thugs,” “anarcho-etcetera” (somewhere I read the epithet “anarcho-anarchist,” isn’t that sublime?), the Zapatista men and women cannot ignore the climate of hysteria that so firmly demands respect for windowpanes (which don’t reveal but rather hide what happens just behind the counter: slave-like work conditions, a total lack of hygiene, poor quality, low nutritional value, money laundering, tax evasion, and capital flight).

Because now, apparently, the robbery poorly disguised as “structural reform,” the assault on the teachers union, the national patrimony “outlet” sale, the theft imposed by the government on the governed through taxation, and the fiscal asphyxiation – which only favors the large monopolies – is the anarchists’ fault.

This includes blame for the fact that now “decent people” don’t go out into the street to protest anymore (“hey but what about the marches, sit-ins, roadblocks, graffiti, flyers…” “Yes, but those are teachers-bus drivers-vendors-students, that is, country bumpkins, and I’m talking people really-truly-from-the Federal District.” “Ah, the mythical middle class, so courted and yet so despised and cheated by the entire political spectrum and all of the media…”), the fact that the institutional left also evicts the protest rallies, the fact that the “only opposition to the regime”[i] has been overshadowed by the nameless again and again, the fact that the arbitrary imposition is now called “dialogue and negotiation,”[ii] the fact that the murder of migrants, women, youth, workers, children – all of this is the anarchists’ fault.

For those who fight as and claim the “A,” a flag without a nation or frontiers, and who are part of the SIXTH—but who really are in the struggle, not just as a fashion or a fad—we have, in addition to an embrace of solidarity, a special request.

Anarchist Compas: We Zapatista men and women aren’t going to blame you for our shortcomings (or lack of imagination), nor are we going to hold you responsible for our mistakes, much less persecute you for being who you are. Actually, I should tell you that various invitees to the August course cancelled because, they said, they couldn’t share the classroom with “young people who are anarchist, ragged, punk, pierced, and tattoo-covered,” and that they (those who are not young, nor anarchist, nor ragged, nor punk, nor pierced, nor tattoo-covered) expected an apology and a purging of the registry. They continue to wait in vain.

What we would like to request is that when you register, you submit a text, maximum one-page in length, where you respond to the criticism and accusations that they have leveled against you in the for-profit media. That text will be published in a special section of our website ( and in a magazine-fanzine-or-whatever-it’s-called soon to appear in the globally global world, written and run by indigenous Zapatistas. It will be an honor for us to have your word together with ours in our first issue.


Yes, even a page with a single word taking up the whole space counts: something like “LIARS!!” Or something longer, such as “We would explain to you what Anarchism is if we thought you would understand;” or, “Anarchism is incomprehensible to those with little brains;” or, “Real change first appears in the police blotter;” or, “I shit on the thought police;” or the following citation from the book “Golpe y contragolpe” by Miguel Amorós: “Everyone should know that the Black Bloc is not an organization but a tactic of street struggle similar to “Street Fighting [Kale Baroka] that a constellation of libertarian, “autonomous” or alternative groups have been using since the struggles for the squats (“okupations”) in the 1980s in various German cities,” and add something like, “if you are going to criticize something, first do your research. Well-written ignorance is like well-pronounced idiocy: equally useless.”

In any case, I’m sure that you won’t be lacking in ideas.

THIRD – Some not-so-bad-news: a reminder of the dates and how to request your invitation and registration code.

Dates for the second round of the Little School:

Registration: December 23rd and 24th, 2013.

Classes: from December 25th until December 29th of this year. Return on the 30th.

For those who want to stay for the 20th anniversary of the Zapatista uprising, to celebrate and commemorate the dawn of January 1st, 1994, the party will be on December 31st and January 1st.

Dates for the third round of the Little School:

Registration: January 1st and 2nd, 2014.

Classes: from January 3rd through 7th, 2014. Return on January 8th, 2013, everybody back to their corners of the world.

To request your invitation and registration, send an email to:

FOURTH – More not-so-bad-news is that I was going to begin this phase with a very different text, saluting our dead, SubPedro, Tata Juan Chávez, Chapis, the children of the ABC daycare, the teachers in resistance, and also with a story by Durito and the Cat-dog. But they told me that this business about the accounts and the finalization of the dates was urgent, so it will have to wait for another time. As you can see, the urgent leaves no time for the important. And so you have escaped reading about things that are not “significant-for-the-present-conjuncture”…for now.

Vale. Cheers and, believe it or not, the world is bigger than the most scandalous media conglomerate. It is a question of broadening the step, the gaze, the sound…and the embrace.

From the mountains of the Mexican Southeast.


Little School Concierge, in charge of giving bad news.

Mexico, November 2013


Listen to and watch the videos that accompany this text.

Keny Arkana with this rap titled “V pour Verités.” In one part he says, “Blessed are those who stand up for something, those who construct something else.”

A clip from the movie “V for Vendetta” about the relationship between the media and obedience, and another way of understanding the words “justice” and “liberty.”


Pedro Infante with the song “I am who I am” by Manuel Esperón and Felibe Bermejo, in the movie “The Third Word” with Marga López, Sara García, and Prudencia Grifell, 1955, directed by Julián Soler. I’m including this one just to piss off those who want to make us do things their way.

[i] Translators’ note: The reference here is to Andrés Manuel Lopez Obrador, ex PRD politician (former Mexico City mayor and PRD presidential candidate) and now leader of MORENA, the “National Regeneration Movement.”

[ii] Translators’ note: The “arbitrary imposition” refers to the installation of PRI candidate Enrique Peña Nieto as president in 2012 in what was widely denounced as a fraudulent election. The “dialogue and negotiation” refers to Peña Nieto’s initiative for an agreement or “pact” between the three major political parties in Mexico, the PRI, PAN, and PRD, regarding how best to roll out the latest round of privatizations.


Votán IV. Día Menos 7.

Votán IV.

D-Day Minus 7.

Revelations of what the Zapatista heart admires in others, announcement of some exemptions to the Zapatista Little School, and some pointless advice that no one is going to follow.

August of 2013.

Okay so, there’s not much left now. I mean that there are not many days left until the Little School starts, not that we don’t have much more to do and say.

If anyone out there can find a school that assigns each individual their own teacher, 24 hours a day, a school that is laicized [secular] and free of cost, that provides lodging and meals during the teaching and learning, well good luck.

(Continuar leyendo…)



Votán III.

IAQ Section (Infrequently Asked Questions).

What you always wanted to know (or be warned) about the Zapatistas, their renowned Little School, and the potential consequences of attending.

July 2013.

So, it seems it is becoming more or less clear what the hell the Zapatistas are thinking when we talk about the little school.

But it is as expected that you would now have more questions than answers. Perhaps you are no longer worried about your footwear, but now you have other questions. It occurs to you that perhaps it is true what they say about Zapatismo being a 21st century rebellion, that they are skilled in all things cybernetic (they even have a graffiti artist for virtual walls). So you go to the nearest internet café, turn on the computer, and search “Zapatista little school, doubts, common questions, FAQ, etc.”

(Continuar leyendo…)




The Guardians.

July of 2013.

Now we want to explain to you how the little school will work (the list of school items you’ll need, the methodology, the teachers, the course subjects, the schedules, etc.), so the first thing is…

(Continuar leyendo…)


Votán I. UN ESCARABAJO EN LA RED (Durito versión freeware).

Votán I.

A Beetle in the Network

(Durito version freeware).

July of 2013.

Before we explain how the Little School is going to work (at which point we’ll send a kind of “route manual” or “manual of bad manners” or “survival manual”), let’s take a look at what they’re up to “above.” Not because we’re a little scattered (which we are, no doubt), but because we look at their calendars and geographies above, that is, we try to understand.

So, please be kind and patient and accompany us in this gaze from here below to there above.

(Continuar leyendo…)


Comunicado del CCRI-CG del EZLN y el Congreso Nacional Indígena en solidaridad con la Tribu Yaqui

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.

A la Tribu Yaqui,

Al Pueblo de México,

A la Sexta nacional e Internacional

A los gobiernos de México y del Mundo.

Desde las montañas del sureste mexicano en territorio rebelde zapatista emitimos nuestra palabra conjunta como Pueblos, Naciones y Tribus Indígenas que conformamos el Congreso Nacional Indígena, a través de la cual enviamos un saludo fraterno de fuerza y solidaridad a los miembros de la Tribu Yaqui, a su Gobierno y Guardia Tradicional, esperando que se encuentren todos con bien.

Saludamos la movilización histórica de la Tribu Yaqui en la defensa de su existencia y de su territorio, misma que en los últimos 40 días se ha manifestado en el establecimiento de un campamento en resistencia en torno a la Carretera Internacional en Vicam, Primera Cabecera de la Tribu Yaqui, ante el robo del agua que el mal gobierno pretende concretar a través del Acueducto Independencia, mismo que afecta no solo al yaqui sino a todo el sur de Sonora; lo anterior a pesar de que la Tribu Yaqui ha recorrido los caminos legales necesarios, en los que ha obtenido triunfos que el propio gobierno no ha respetado. Su lucha, compañeros es nuestra también, pues, al igual que ustedes, mantenemos la certeza de que la tierra es nuestra madre y el agua que corre por sus venas no se vende, pues de ella depende la vida que es un derecho y que no nos ha sido dado por los malos gobierno ni por los empresarios.

Exigimos la cancelación inmediata de las órdenes de aprehensión y de la fabricación de delitos en contra de integrantes de la Tribu Yaqui y condenamos la criminalización de su lucha, diciendo a los malos gobiernos emanados de los partidos políticos que el río Yaqui ha sido históricamente el portador de la continuidad ancestral de la cultura y territorio de la Tribu Yaqui y los que conformamos el Congreso Nacional Indígena, reiteramos que si nos tocan a unos nos tocan a todos, por lo que responderemos en consecuencia ante cualquier intento de reprimir esta digna lucha o cualquier otra lucha.

Finalmente, hacemos un llamado a la comunidad internacional y a los hermanos y hermanas de la Sexta Internacional a permanecer atentos a los acontecimientos que se presenten en lo futuro en el territorio de la tribu Yaqui, sumándose a la solidaridad con la Tribu y a sus exigencias.


A 7 de julio de 2013

Desde el Caracol Zapatista número 2 – Resistencia y Rebeldía por la Humanidad, de Oventic, Chiapas

Nunca más un México sin nosotros

Comité Clandestino Revolucionario Indígena- Comandancia General del EZLN

Congreso Nacional Indígena



June 2013.

To the adherents of the Sixth in Mexico and the world:

To the students of the Zapatista Little School:

Compañeros, compañeroas, and compañeras:

The following people won’t be your classmates in the little school, because we didn’t invite them:

The legislators who made up the Peace and Reconciliation Commission (COCOPA) in 1996-1997. It would, however, have been beneficial for them to realize that they had not been mistaken in their initiative for the constitutional recognition of indigenous rights and culture, which was betrayed by all of the political parties, as well as the legislature, the executive, and the judiciary.

The current legislators of COCOPA. Although it would have helped them to discover where the door to reactivate dialogue with the EZLN is located.

The presidents of the registered political parties (PRI, PAN, PRD, PVEM, PT, MC and NA). Because we don’t have enough antacids to alleviate the outrage it would cause them to see the evidence of what can be done, not only without the political parties, but despite them.

The chairmen of the legislature committees and the coordinators of the parliamentary factions. Although it would have been good for them to see what even their counter-reform of the indigenous law could not prevent.

The Secretary of National Defense, the Secretary of the Navy, the Center for Research and National Security (CISEN), the Attorney General (PGR), the National Security Commission, the Secretary of Social Development, and the Supreme Court of Justice of the Nation. Although they would have been able to confirm their intelligence reports, which tell them that the standard of living in the Zapatista indigenous communities has risen significantly despite their counterinsurgent efforts, their support for paramilitary groups, and their policing approach to a just and legitimate struggle. Beyond that, they could have confirmed first hand the persistence of that which they have tried so hard to destroy: indigenous autonomy.

The North American State Department, the CIA, the FBI. Although it would have helped them understand their repeated failures…and those yet to come.

The various espionage agencies languishing in boredom in San Cristóbal de Las Casas, Chiapas, where their only occupation is to encourage the raging gossip among the local [Coleta] NGOs.

The Boss,[i] who really gives orders to all of them, and to whom they bow and flatter. Although he would have shuddered to see that his recurrent nightmare has become a reality.

They have never been, nor are, nor will be our guests.

Rather, they have been, are, and will be our persecutors, those who search for a way to destroy us, to break us, to buy us, to force us to surrender.

They will always be spying on us, watching us, and cursing us, as they are now, as they were yesterday, and as they have been for 10, 20, 30, 500 years.

We are not inviting them not only because curriculum doesn’t include groups with no learning capacity, or so as not to encourage the ‘bullying’ to which they would be subjected by the other students (I know, what a shame), or because we have better ways to waste our time.

We are not inviting them because, just as we will not stop resisting and struggling, neither will they stop despising us, trying to exploit us, repress us, to strip us of what is ours, and to make us disappear.

And just as we will never learn the language of money, they will never learn to respect that which is different.

Above all, we are not inviting them because they, and he who commands them, will never understand why, instead of dying, we live.


And so, oh well, you can’t count among your classmates such ‘illustrious’ people. And therefore you won’t appear in the written media, or on the radio, or on television, and there won’t be roundtables, debate, or brainy analysis. That is, as they say, the air will be clean. And the land, which birthed us and nurtured our growth, will appreciate the dignified step that walks upon it: yours.

Vale. Health and freedom, the step of those below is welcome here, as is their heart.

From the mountains of the Mexican Southeast.


Mexico June 2013


Watch and listen to the videos that accompany this text:

Oscar Chávez and los Morales pointing to the chupacabras, which, as you see, are the same as ever.

A brief explanation of the Mexican government’s counter-insurgent strategies and the use of paramilitary groups.

Guillermo Velázquez and los Leones de la Sierra de Xichú, accompanying Oscar Chávez in this long “Pleito entre el peso y el dólar” (dispute between the peso and the dollar).

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