ZAPATISTA ARMY FOR NATIONAL LIBERATION
March 1, 2020
To: Women who struggle in Mexico and around the world
From: The Zapatista indigenous women of the EZLN
Compañera and sister:
We greet you in the name of all of the Zapatista indigenous women of all ages, from the youngest to the wisest—the oldest, that is. We hope you are well and are struggling along with your families, sisters, and compañeras.
Here we are having a lot of problems with the paramilitary forces who now come out of the MORENA party, just like before they came from the PRI, PAN, PRD, and Verde Ecologista parties.
But that’s not what we wanted to talk to you about. We wanted to talk to you about something more urgent and more important: the incredible violence waged against women, which has not only not ceased but actually increased in quantity and in cruelty. The murders and disappearances of women have reached a level that we could not have imagined before, and no woman of any age, class, political affiliation, color, race, or religion is safe. We might think that rich women, women politicians or famous women are safe because they have their security guards and police to protect them, but no, not even they are safe, because the violence that kidnaps, disappears, or kills us often comes from family members, friends, and acquaintances.
We have to stop this violence, wherever it comes from, and that is why we had called for women’s demonstrations on March 8, 2020, in which everyone would organize their actions according to their own ways, times, and places. We had said that the principal demand of these demonstrations should be to stop violence against women, and to declare that we would not forget those murdered and disappeared by all governing administrations, from any party of any color (striped, blue, green, yellow, maroon, orange, brown, or anything else) because they are all the same. We also proposed that we all wear something black on our clothes as a symbol of our mourning for the mass murder of women all over the world and to remind the bad governments and our missing and disappeared compañeras that we would not forget them. The worst part is that even the littlest ones among us are not safe.
Sister and compañera:
A few days ago we learned that a group of feminist sisters from the collective “Witches of the Sea” [Brujas del Mar] in Veracruz had a good idea and called for a women’s strike on March 9, to make clear what things looked and felt like without women. The idea is that we don’t go to work, or buy anything, or move around, that we aren’t seen at all, because that is in fact what it seems like the system is trying to do: annihilate us women as its principal enemy.
Then we saw the reaction of all those patriarchal and macho men and women in the bad government, the political parties, and the big corporations. We saw that they don’t care about the tragedy in which women in Mexico live and die, but only about using that pain for their own gain, then covering it up and arguing over who among them is the biggest badass.