(Third Letter to Don Luis Villoro in the Exchange on Ethics and Politics)



July-August 2011.

To: Don Luis Villoro.

From: SupMarcos

Don Luis:

Receive greetings from all of us and a big hug from me. We hope you are in better health and that the pause in this exchange has been useful for attempting new proposals and reflections.

Although current reality seems to rush headlong at a dizzying rate, a serious theoretical reflection should be capable of “freezing” it for a moment in order to discover tendencies within it that permit us, revealing its gestation, to see where it is going.

(And speaking of reality, I remember that it was in the Zapatista La Realidad where I suggested to Don Pablo Gonzalez Casanova an exchange: he should send me a packet of Pancrema biscuits, and I would send him an alleged and improbable book of political theory (to call it something). Don Pablo complied, and the delayed walk of our calendar has prevented me from fulfilling my part of the exchange … yet. But I think that in the coming rains there will be more words.)

As perhaps has been insinuated in our correspondence (and in the letters of those who, generously, have joined the debate), theory, politics, and ethics are intertwined in ways not too obvious.

We are certainly not discussing discovering or creating TRUTHS, those millstones that abound in the history of philosophy and its bastard children: religion, theory, and politics.

I think we would agree that our efforts are aimed more towards trying to make the not-so evident but substantial lines stand out from those tasks.

“Downloading” theory into concrete analysis is one of the paths. Another is to anchor it in practice. But that practice is not being done in these epistles, as may be realized. So I think we should continue to insist on “anchoring” our theoretical reflections in concrete analysis or, more modestly, trying to limit their geographical and temporal coordinates. In other words, insisting that the words are spoken (written, in this case) from a specific place and time.

From one calendar and in one geography.

I. The Local Mirror.

The year 2011, Chiapas, Mexico, the World.

And in this calendar and this geography, we continue attentive around here to what happens, what is said and, above all, to what is silenced.

We continue in resistance in our lands. The attacks against us continue from across the political spectrum. We are an example that it is possible for all the political parties to have a common goal. Sponsored by federal, state and municipal governments, all political parties attack us.

Prior to each attack or after it, there is a meeting between government officials and “social” or party leaders. Little is said, just enough to agree on a price and the method of payment.

Those who criticize our Zapatista position that “all politicians are alike” should take a trip around Chiapas. Although it is certain that they will say this is something strictly local, that this does not happen at the national level.

But the political class in Chiapas repeats, with local variations, the same ridiculous routines of pre-election times.

There is an internal settling of scores (just like among the criminal gangs), which in the political class they disguise as “justice”. But everywhere it’s the same: to clear the path for the one who is elected this time. Everything that happens below is suspected of being a plot by one or more rivals. Everything that happens above is deformed or silenced.

With media policy to pay compliments, when it comes to Chiapas there is no difference between the press in the nation’s capital and in the state capital.

Can anyone seriously talk about justice in Chiapas when one of those responsible for the Acteal Massacre, namely Julio Cesar Ruiz Ferro, remains free? “Don’t worry, my president, let them kill each other, I’m going to send the public security services to pick up the dead”, the then governor of Chiapas, Julio Cesar Ruiz Ferro, replied to Jacinto Arias Cruz, mayor of Chenalho, who warned of an imminent confrontation in Acteal on December 19, 1997. (See: Maria de la Luz Gonzalez, El Universal, December 18, 2007.)

And what about “croquettes”[1] Roberto Albores Guillen, – the one responsible for the El Bosque killings, in addition to having built an empire of crime and corruption that now permits him to play second to Juan Sabines Guerrero and his “cock,” the coleto[2] Manuel Velasco, – returning to the governorship of Chiapas? (Speaking of “cocks,” Will López Obrador ever account for having helped to recycle the worst of Chiapas PRI politics?)

Ah, the old rivalry between the ancient political classes of Comitan, San Cristobal de las Casas and Tuxtla Gutiérrez (indeed, its history can be found in the book by Antonio García de León, “Resistance and Utopia: memory of grievances and chronicle of revolts and prophecies which occurred in the province of Chiapas during the last five hundred years of its history” in the ERA editorial of the endearing Neus Espresate).

While inklings of a storm proliferate in the politics of the Chiapas of above, Juan Sabines Guerrero seems to continue to be committed to the line that gave so many failures before to “croquettes” Albores: to encourage groups, paramilitary and non-paramilitary, to assault the Zapatista communities, cloaking the power of criminal mafias with or without the alibi of a political party; maintaining impunity for close [friends]; simulation as a government programme.

A local and national press, well “oiled” with money, does not succeed in hiding, under the guise of unanimity, the internal war in the politics of above.

About all this, suffice it to point out the following: that the internal rules of the political class were broken a while ago. The jailers of yesterday are those jailed today, and the pursuers of today will be pursued tomorrow.

It’s not that they don’t cut “deals,” but they no longer have the ability to fulfill them.

And a political class that does not comply with its internal agreements is a corpse awaiting burial.

No, the political class of above understands nothing. But above all it does not understand the basics: your time is up.

Ruling stopped being a political function. Now the work par excellence of the rulers is simulation. More important than political and economic advisers are image, advertising and marketing advisors.

So behave the leaders in Mexico nowadays, while the local, regional and national realities go to pieces.

Neither can the government bulletins disguised as “reporting” and “journalistic notes” manage to cover up the economic crisis: in the principal cities of real Chiapas begin to appear and grow destitution and more marginal “jobs.” Poverty that seemed to be unique to rural communities begins to increase in urban areas of the Mexican Southeast.

Just like in the rest of national territory.

Does it seem like I’m talking about the politics of above on the national level and not the local level?

Ah, the fragments of the broken mirror, irremediably broken …

II. An epitaph for a political class or for a Nation?

When Felipe Calderón Hinojosa, (who became president through the – now confessed – crime of Elba Esther Gordillo), disguised as a tourist guide so that people other than the military and the police would come to Mexico, looked out at the Cave of the Swallows in Aqusimón, San Luis Potosí, and shouted out “Oh my God!” (, he could very well say the same thing if he looked out at the hole the country has fallen into during his administration.

According to statistics revealed by the National Council for the Evaluation of Social Development Policy (CONEVAL), the number of poor people in Mexico has increased from 48.8 to 53 million. Almost half the Mexican population lives in poverty. Almost 12 million people live in extreme poverty.

And if you study the maps of CONEVAL itself, you could realize that the marks of poverty, which used to be confined mainly to the South and South-Eastern states of Mexico (Guerrero, Oaxaca, Chiapas), are now spreading to the Northern states as well.

The prices for basic items have doubled and trebled during the last 6 years.

Variation in the increase in prices of some products
PRODUCT Increase from 1/12/06 to 01/3/11 Price in 2006 Price in 2011
1 Avocado 239.04% $12.09 $28.90
2 Lemon 230.45% $6.01 $13.85
3 Sugar 199.31% $7.24 $14.43
4 Beans 199.50% $10.03 $20.01
5 Tomato 141.74% $9.75 $13.82
6 Eggs 144.65% $11.58 $16.75
7 Cheese 193.55% $40.77 $78.91
8 White bread 175.00% $1.00 $1.75
9 Tortilla 153.26% $6.74 $10.33
Minimum wage 22.90% $48.67 $59.82
Taken from Centre for Multidisciplinary Analysis (CAM)  “Report of Investigation No 90 Mexico: Results of economic policy applied to the workers (2006-2011)”

According to data from the The Centre for Multidisciplinary Analysis, in order to have enough money to buy the recommended basic food basket during the first year of Felipe Calderón Hinojosa’s administration, it was necessary to work for 13 hours and 19 minutes per day. Five years later, in 2011, it would be necessary to work for 22 hours and 55 minutes per day.

Meanwhile, millionaires’ earnings have quadrupled during the last 10 years.

Source: Prepared by Nubia Conde M with data from Forbes Magazine, several years of CEFP, the Bank of Mexico and SHCP, SAT.

On top of this, add up the job losses due to the closure of job sources. Among them, the criminal blow to the Mexican Electricians Union. The attack was led by the villainous secretary of work Javier Lozano Alarcón (who will also be remembered for his gangster-like extortions – Zhenli Ye Gon and the 205 million dollars that paid for the 2006 election fraud -), and was “applauded” by the mass media.

Certainly, the huge campaign against the workers of the Mexican Electricians Union (including the threat of penal actions against its leaders), which accuses them not only of being lazy, but at the same time of being terrorists, should compare itself with reality: if these workers were actually lazy and useless, how come the central zone of the country had electricity? How could the TV companies, radio stations and newspapers that now attack them and defame them operate? What about the deficiencies that, with the Federal Electricity Company, most of the homes in that part of Mexico are now facing? What about the ridiculously high new bills they are now getting?

Nonetheless, the resistance of these workers is not ignored. Not by us.

And while the world crisis is barely affecting the national economy, the political class continues in its idleness.

The year 2012 reached the calendar of those of above on December 1st 2006, and throughout all these 5 years it has only been proof that those past calendars are not even good for decorating the destroyed walls of this big house we still call “Mexico.”

In the PRI, a Beltrones and a Paredes are figuring out how to displace a Peña Nieto, who spends more time performing for the media (there is money involved) than in politics (he has no function).

In the PRD, the odd couple of López Obrador and Marcelo Ebrard are starting to realize that everything depends on the party bureaucracies of the self-styled institutional “left.”

Finally, in the PAN of the national nightmare, a little man, surrounded by death and destruction, is looking for someone to back him up now the presidential guards and the national palace will no longer do so.

Although the discredit and waste of the party in government is huge, Felipe Calderón Hinojosa is gambling, and gambling high, to use all the resources he can get hold of to impose his proposal. If he did it already in 2006, he could do it again in 2012. And he will need to, because his playing cards are worn out:  a Cordero (lamb) promising his shepherd he’ll keep being a lamb; a Lujambio waiting to avoid the thrust of the stream of light; a Creel who looks good in grey (a colour that defines him); and a Vázquez Mota whose only argument is the fact that she is a woman.

(I recall an argument when Barack Obama and Hillary Rodham Clinton were running for the presidential candidacy. Some feminists were looking for support for Hillary because she was a woman; some Afro-Americans were supporting Obama because he was black. Time proved that above neither gender nor colour are important).

Meanwhile, like a brothel madam would do, Elba Esther Gordillo picks the leaves off the daisy…and she is still considering joining the race, instead of supporting someone else.

With such a pathetic panorama, it is only logical, and even expected, that other pre-candidates will show up…and with their own supporters.

In reality, the replacement government seems to interest no one, other than the party cliques, the economic power and an occasional militant.

Bitterness is replacing apathy, and not a few dreams finally bury the Mexican political system, and worker’s hands are engraving on its tomb the epitaph: “they did it the hard way, but the game is finally over.”

In the meantime the war continues…and with it, its victims…

III. Blaming the victim

In 1971, the north American psychologist William Ryan, wrote a book called “Blaming the Victim”. Although his initial intention was a criticism of the so-called “Moynihan Report”, which suggested that the black population of the USA were responsible for their own poverty due to their cultural patterns, rather than the social structure being to blame, this idea has been used more often to excuse acts of sexism and racism (even more so in rape cases, where the female is accused of provoking the rapist by her clothing, attitude, place, etc.)

Similarly, but using a different name, Theodor Adorno describes “Blaming the victim” as one of the defining characteristics of fascism.

In contemporary Mexico, the church, government, artists and people from the mainstream media, have used the same nonsense to condemn innocent victims (mainly women and young people).

Felipe Calderόn Hinojosa’s war has converted this characteristic of fascism into a whole programme of government and the dispensing of justice. Moreover, most of the media coverage holds to the same strategy, permeating through the minds of those who still believe what the newspapers, radio and television report.

Someone somewhere said that crimes against innocent people commit a triple injustice: death, guilt, and oblivion.

The whole system that we currently endure cares, keeps, and cultivates the killers and their names, whether it is to condemn or to glorify them.

However, the victim’s name and story are left behind.

Far beyond the victim’s relatives and friends, the victims are killed once again when they are reduced to a number, a statistic. Some others don’t even reach that.

In the war that Calderόn has imposed on the whole of Mexican society, across race, belief, social class, gender, political ideology, another grief is added: innocent victims are labeled as criminals.

The empire of impunity is disguised under the name of “settling of scores amongst narcos”.

And this heavy weight falls onto the relatives and friends too.

The reigning injustice not only guarantees impunity for all those working in the federal, state and municipal governments. It also overburdens the families and friends of the victims.

Other deaths are also their deaths, when society omits their names and stories. An honest life is distorted when [criminal] adjectives are lavished on those lives by the authorities and repeated ad nauseam by the media.

Then the victims of the war become the culprits and the crime of chopping their limbs off or killing them becomes a quasi-divine justice: “they asked for it”.

Felipe Calderόn Hinojosa will be remembered as a war criminal, even though today he is surrounded by embraces and congratulations, he thinks he is a great statesman, or the country’s saviour.

He will be remembered with bitterness.

It will even surpass the lack of justice, the derision and the usual scorn that follows the governor’s departure.

His pathetic imitation of a “tourist guide”, the illegality and illegitimacy of becoming president, his failed policies, his responsibility for the economic crisis, his surrounding of himself with a team of hitmen and security guards dressed in politician’s clothing; the nepotism that consolidates what is already known as the “los Piňos Cartel”[3], all these misrepresentations will be left in the background.

What will remain will be his war, lost, with its trail of collateral victims: the defeat, wearing down and discredit of the federal armed forces (which TV series could do very little to counter); the handing over of national sovereignty to the empire of stripes and blurred stars (we have said this before: the USA will be the sole winners of this war); the wiping out of local and regional economies; the breakdown of the social fabric; and innocent blood, always innocent blood…

It may be that death has no cure.

That nothing can fill the void of loneliness and despair that is left by the death of an innocent.

It may be that nothing can be done to bring back to life the tens of thousands of innocents killed in this war.

But one thing that can be done is to fight against this fascist idea of “blame the victim”, to name the dead and thus to recover their stories.

To free them from guilt and from oblivion.

To provide comfort for their absence.

IV. Naming the dead and their history

Mariano Anteros Cordero Gutierrez was his name. He was about 20 years old when, on June 25, 2009, he was murdered in Chihuahua.

When Mariano’s father, Mariano Cordero Burciaga, met with the then governor of Chihuahua, José Reyes Baeza, the latter said that the murder had been the result of a street fight. A few weeks after the events, a representative of the College of State Lawyers of the Bar asked the appropriate authorities for an explanation of the facts. They said they had been “a settling of accounts between drug traffickers”.  Blame the victim.
Here are a few fragments of his story:

Mariano was studying at the Institute of Technology in Parral (ITP) for an engineering degree in business management and had received a letter of acceptance to study for a law degree at the Autonomous University of Durango in Spain, Parral Campus.

Prior to these studies he was a missionary volunteer at the Marist boarding school in the town of Chinatú, in the municipality of Guadalupe y Calvo, Chihuahua. He was responsible for 32 indigenous children in the primary section of this boarding school.

Mariano was a young Zapatista, one of those who struggle without masks. In March 2001, along with his father, he participated as a member of the ‘belt of peace’ during the March of the Colour of the Earth. In 2002, he took part in the various anti-globalization (altermundismo) demonstrations in Monterrey, Nuevo León, during a summit of heads of state attended by Bush but also by Fidel Castro. At the time of his death, Mariano kept in a bag for daily use a copy of the Sixth Declaration of the Lacandon Jungle, the Communist Party Manifesto and his most recently-acquired book, “Nights of Fire and Sleeplessness”[4]

When we did our Other Campaign tour of northern Mexico, we passed through the state of Chihuahua, and the young Mariano attended a meeting. At the end of the meeting, he asked to speak with me alone.

What was the date? November 2, 2006. A few weeks earlier, on October 17 of that year, Mariano had reached the age of seventeen.

We sat in the same room where the meeting had been. More or less, what Mariano told me was that he wanted to come to live in a Zapatista community. He wanted to learn.  I was surprised by his simplicity and humility, he did not say he wanted to come to help, but to learn.

I told the truth: that it was best to study for a college degree and to finish it, because here (and there and everywhere), people of honour finish what they have started; meanwhile they do not stop fighting, there in their land with their people.

That once he had finished his studies, if he still felt the same, he would have a place with us, but by our side, not as teacher or as a student, but as one of us.

We closed the deal with a handshake.

Seven years earlier, on May 8, 1999, when Mariano was 9, I had written him a message on a sheet of paper from a notebook:

“Mariano:The time will come, (not yet, but it will come, that is certain), when your path crosses others, and you have to choose one. When that time comes, look inside you and know that there are no options, there is only one answer: to be true to what you believe and say. If this is true, then the path and the speed of walking do not matter. What matters is the truth of the path walked”.

Today we name Mariano, and his story, and from this geography we send his family a hug from his Zapatista brothers and sisters, which, although it will not cure it, will relieve the pain…

V. Judging or trying to understand?

From our geography we have also tried to follow closely the course of the Movement for Peace with Justice and Dignity that Javier Sicilia heads.

I know that judging and condemning or absolving is the way preferred by the commissioners of thought that appear on either side of the intellectual spectrum, but around here we think that one must make an effort to try to understand several things:

The first is that we’re dealing with a new movement that, in its project of becoming an organized movement, is constructing its own paths, with its own achievements and failures. Like anything new, we think it deserves respect. They can say, rightly, that the ways and means can be challenged, but not the causes.

And it deserves attention to try to comprehend, instead of making the summary judgments so dear to those who do not tolerate anything that is not under their direction.

And to respect and understand you have to look up, but also down below.

It’s true that above the shows of affection received by those directly responsible for so much death and destruction call attention and irritate.

But below we see that, in the family members and friends of the victims, awakens hope, comfort and companionship.

We thought maybe it was possible for a movement to rise up that would stop this absurd war. It doesn’t seem to be so (or not yet).

But what can be seen, of course, is that made tangible to the victims.

It lifted them out of the page of police reports, out of the statistics of the mythical “triumphs” of the government of Felipe Calderon Hinojosa, out of the blame, the forgetting.

Thanks to that mobilization, the victims begin to have a name and a history. And the hoax of the “fight against organized crime” falls apart.

For sure we still don’t understand the reason they spend so much energy and effort in dialogue with a political class that have long lost the will to govern and are nothing but a gang of outlaws. Perhaps they will discover this for themselves.

We do not judge and, therefore, neither do we condemn or absolve. We try to understand their steps and the longing that animates them.

In short, the dignified pain that embodies and moves them deserves and has our respect and admiration.

We think it is logical to dialogue with those responsible for the problems. In this war, it is reasonable to address those who unleashed it and escalated it. Critics of that dialogue with Felipe Calderón Hinojosa forget this fundamental.

Criticism of all kinds has rained on the forms that dialogue has taken.

I do not think that Javier Sicilia loses any sleep over the vile criticism of, for example, the Paty Chapoy of La Jornada, Jaime Avilés (just as frivolous and hysterical), or the vileness of Dr. ORA (who nowhere says that he is on the left or that he is congruent), who only lacks saying that Sicilia ordered the killing of his son to “push” the image of Felipe Calderon Hinojosa; or the signals that reproach him for not being radical, made precisely by those who hoist as an achievement “not having broken one pane of glass.”

In his correspondence (and it seems to me in some public events), Javier Sicilia likes to recall a poem by Cavafy, especially the verse that says: “Thou shalt not fear either Laestrygonians or Cyclops, or the wrath of angry Poseidon.” And these hysterical critics get nowhere near this, so that the bitterness of these pathetic little men does not reach beyond their few readers.

The reality is that this movement is doing something for the victims. And that is something that none of the “judges” can claim to do.

As for the rest, neither Javier Sicilia nor any of those close to him disdain the critical observations that they receive from the left, which are not few but are serious and respectful.

But one must not forget that they are observations, not orders.

I transcribe the end of one of the private letters that we have sent to him:

“Personally, if I may, I would tell him to continue with poetry, and art in general, at his side. In it are found stronger handles than those that seem to abound without rhyme or reason from the palaver of political “analysts”.

So I finish these lines with the words of John Berger:

‘I cannot tell you what art does and how it does it, but I know that art often prosecutes judges, cries out for vengeance for the innocent and projects into the future what the past has suffered, in a way that is never ever forgotten.

I also know that the powerful fear art, in any of its forms, when it does this, and that art sometimes runs like a rumour and a legend among the people because it gives meaning to what the brutality of life cannot, a meaning that unifies us, because in the end it is inseparable from justice. Art, when it functions like that, becomes the meeting place of the invisible, the irreducible, the enduring, the courage and the honour’ ”

In the end, maybe all this will not come to be the case (or the thing, depending)[5] …..

VI. A little story.

And perhaps this little story I am now going to tell you, Don Luis, will not come to be the case (or thing, depending,) either:

In the early morning of May 7, 2011, a column of vehicles left the zapatista Tzots Choj zone, ferrying men and women of the EZLN support bases to participate, along with people from other areas, in a demonstration in support of the Movement for Peace with Justice and Dignity headed by Javier Sicilia. At 6 o’clock, our compañero Roberto Santis Aguilar lost his life when one of the cars overturned in an accident. When he was very young, Robert became a Zapatista and chose “Dionisio” as his struggle name.

The story seems simple, when listening to it being told by his parents and his wife. His father says that Dionisio was the first member of his family to join the Zapatistas.

“So, since we were working here in the cornfield, the time came when we were chatting here in the cornfield, he looked to see that there was no one around and said, we’ll talk a while, there is an organization, I heard it is very good. Then he started to say, he began to talk with us, with his brothers, then he began to say that there is this organization which is very good, it seems that there is help for us and this is what he said. So this is how we joined, but first we heard the word, and then we joined ourselves, it was gradually coming closer to all of the people. So, we joined the organization then.

We joined the organization at that time because we were very fucked up for living then, and there was no more land for us to work, we were very poor then. Then the bad government did this, we were talking about if there was a way to grab a piece of land, since there was no way the bloody government would give us one, so this organization heard we were on this path and then we joined this organization yes, we joined in the year, the year 1990, yes”.

Four years later, now as a member of the Zapatista militia, compañero Dionisio, carrying a 20-gauge shotgun, was part of the regiment which took the municipalities of Altamirano, Chanal and Oxchuc. The government garrisons were defeated in those places, but afterwards Dionisio and other milicianos were taken prisoner and tortured by the PRI in Oxchuc.

You may remember, Don Luis, the images repeated ad nauseam by the national media and international organizations: the Zapatistas severely beaten, tied up in a building at the headquarters of Oxchuc, the PRI mob shouting and threatening to burn them alive. A government helicopter flew them to the Cerro Hueco prison, where they continued to be interrogated under torture. They had 15 days without food, with hardly any water, and being taken out at 4 in the morning to wash in cold water. He did not give them any information. He was released later, along with other Zapatista prisoners, in exchange for the Prisoner of War General Absalόn Castellanos.

There followed the Dialogue in the Cathedral, the Dialogue of San Andres, the signing of the accords, the government’s failure to ratify them, and the Zapatista resistance.

Tens of thousands of men, women, children and old people refused to receive government aid and began the process of building their autonomy through their own efforts and with the support of national and international civil society.

Compañero Dionisio was elected an authority of the Rebel Zapatista Autonomous Municipality and chairman of the commission of municipal production. When the Good Government Juntas were born, he was a member of one of them. Completing his community service as an autonomous authority, he remained a local promoter in his community.

His wife tells us how he fulfilled his duties:

“Before starting work the compañero said that it did not matter to him how much time he lost or if he would not earn enough money, not even the time when he was going to do the work and he did not mind that he would lose his time, even with pozol, because that’s what he said before doing the work, that that is what our struggle needs. And he said that he was in himself quite convinced of the struggle, he did not want to give up, or mind whether there was any suffering, but he was quite convinced to fight. The compañero would like more work, would not mind if he had no money, but what he liked most is the work, and always when he goes out in the commission or in the council to work, many people there in the ejido were against the compañero, because work is what is making the organization, because, as an ejidatario he was always asked for a fine because he did not attend the meetings, doing other jobs in the community”.

When compañero Dionisio was doing his job as an autonomous authority, his wife stayed behind working in the cornfield or carrying firewood. And they shared the job: when the compañero returned from work in his office, he came home and the next day left at four or five in the morning to go to his work, either in the cornfield or other jobs, but always accompanied to work by his wife, and so they shared the work between them.

The day of the march, on May 7 this year, they got up at 2am and began to get ready: to grind the [flour for] dough for the tortillas, to prepare food to leave for the children, and to prepare pozol to take on the march. His wife says that whenever he went out to do work for the commission, Dionisio said he never knew whether he would return. That morning he left happily. The body of the compañero came back along with many Zapatista support bases.

They accompanied him back home.

When we spoke to the family of the late Dionisio, they asked us to pass these messages on to those who are struggling against the bad government’s war:

The father: this message is for compañero Javier Sicilia and other compañeros whose children have died as a result of looking for the good, then I send this message to encourage them in their struggle, so perhaps they can defeat the bad government.

The wife: this message to the compañero Javier Sicilia and other compañeros whose children have died, to encourage them in their struggle, not to stop fighting, the message is to fight together.

The mother: to keep struggling, their struggles and courage, as always with this situation if we are willing to fight it is going to happen, to continue to struggle, and they are not alone.

Truly, they are not alone.

The story of Dionisio is a simple one and, like that of all the Zapatistas can be summarized as follows: they neither surrendered nor sold out nor gave up.

-*Hmm … it came out as a long letter. Imagine what will be sent to Don Pablo Gonzalez Casanova, to whom I owe not a letter but a book.

And now that I re-read it before sending, it occurs to me that all it says may not come to be the case as we reflect on ethics and politics.

Or perhaps it will?

Vale. Good health to you and hopefully there will be more effort put into understanding and less into judging.

From the mountains of the Mexican Southeast

Subcomandante Marcos

Mexico,  July – August  2011

[1] Nickname referring to the individual’s shape

[2] Coleto – a term used to describe those in San Cristóbal, Chiapas, who think of themselves as descendants of the Spanish invaders.

[3] The president’s residence’s drug cartel

[4] Title of a book by Marcos

[5] caso (o cosa, segun)…. this is a phrase often used by Marcos, which is a play on letters almost impossible to translate