Zapatista Sixth Commission
August 30, 2021.
To the Europe below and to the left:
To the Sixth in Mexico and abroad:
To the organizations, groups, and collectives that seek truth and justice for the victims of forced disappearance:
Sisters, brothers, and hermanoas:
Compañeroas, compañeras, compañeros:
We would like to begin by saluting the struggle and the commitment of all those people who search for the disappeared, for their missing loved ones. Their struggle is also, and above all, a struggle for life. It is no coincidence that on this day, we announce the following:
First, after an endless string of paperwork, obstacles, and problems, we hereby announce that the Zapatista Airborne Company, which we have called “La Extemporánea,”[i] will leave Mexico City for Europe on September 13, 2021.
Second, the destination is the city of Vienna, in that geography called Austria, and we will travel in two groups.
Third, a first group will leave the Mexico City airport on September 13, 2021, at approximately 12:10hrs. It will arrive in the city of Madrid, in that geography called Spain, at 06:00hrs on September 14. After a 2-hour layover and connection, the flight will resume at 08:20hrs, to land in the city of Vienna, Austria, at 11:05hrs on September 14. A second group will depart on the same day, September 13 at 20:45hrs with a layover, also in Madrid, at 14:35hrs on September 14, resuming the flight at 16:00hrs and landing in Vienna at 19:00hrs on September 14. Fourth, La Extemporánea is organized into 28 “Listen and Share our Word” teams (made up of 4-5 compas each), plus one Play and Mischief team, and one Coordination team. La Extemporánea can thus cover 28 corners of the European geography simultaneously. A few days later, we will be joined by the delegation of the National Indigenous Congress-Indigenous Governing Council and the Peoples’ Front in Defense of Land and Water. Along with that delegation of sister organizations, we will continue the work started by the 421st Squadron, which is currently covering that geography they call Switzerland.
Fifth, in a few days we will announce the date on which we will leave the Semillero “Comandanta Ramona” to gather in the caracol of Jacinto Canek in San Cristóbal de las Casas, Chiapas. From there we will travel by land as a vehicle caravan to Mexico City where we will garrison at the premises on Carmona y Valle street until the day and time of departure. We include this in case anyone wants to accompany the departure and trip from San Cristóbal to Mexico City. Sixth, we dedicate this effort (which included many non-Zapatistas and some even anti-Zapatistas), to all the disappeared, to the families who suffer in their absence and, above all, to the women and men who fight to find them and achieve the truth and justice that we all need and deserve. Know that your example, your tireless work, and your refusal to give up, give in, or sell out are for us, the Zapatista peoples, a lesson in human dignity and authentic commitment to the struggle for life. While we are in Mexico City, we will deliver the minutes of the assemblies of the Zapatista, non-Zapatista and anti-Zapatista communities, with their agreements to support the fight for truth and justice for the victims of violence, according to the popular referendum that was held on the first day of August of this year, 2021.
From the mountains of the Mexican Southeast,
Subcomandante Insurgente Moisés
General Coordinator of the Journey for Life—Europe Chapter
Still Mexico. Year 501.
[i] See the EZLN’s August 17, 2021 communique for an explanation of the use of “La Extemporánea” [the extemporaneous]: https://enlacezapatista.ezln.org.mx/2021/08/17/only-500-years-later/
Only 500 years later
Words of the Zapatista Peoples
August 13, 2021.
Sisters, brothers, hermanoas:
Compañeros, compañeras, compañeroas:
The Zapatista communities speak through our voices.
First, we would like to express our thanks.
Thank you for having invited us.
Thank you for having welcomed us.
Thank you for having housed us.
Thank you for having fed us.
Thank you for having taken care of us.
But above all, we’d like to express our gratitude for the fact that despite differences and obstacles you have all agreed to what we’re doing today. Perhaps it seems small to you, but for us Zapatista communities it is huge.
We are Zapatistas of Mayan descent.
We are from a geography called Mexico, and we crossed the ocean to share these words with you, be with you, listen to you, and to learn from you.
We are from Mexico and in and with you we find love, care, and respect.
The Mexican state and their administrations don’t recognize us as citizens of this geography. We are strangers, foreigners, undesirable and unwelcome in the same lands that were farmed by our ancestors.
For the Mexican state we are “extemporaneous.” That’s what it says on the birth certificates that we managed to obtain after we made many trips and incurred many expenses on visits to the offices of the bad government. And we did all that to be able to come to where you are.
But we didn’t come all this way to complain or even to denounce the bad government we have to put up with.
We only share this because it is this same bad government which has demanded that the Spanish State apologize for what happened 500 years ago.
You should understand that in addition to being shameless, the bad government of Mexico is also ignorant of history, twisting and adapting it to its liking.
So let’s leave aside the bad governments that each of us have to put up with in our geographies.
They are just overseers, obedient employees of a greater criminal.
Those of us who make up the Zapatista Maritime Squadron, known as the 421st Squadron, are here in front of you today, but we are just the first wave of a much larger group. There will be up to 501 delegates. There are 501 of us just to show the bad governments that we are ahead of them: while they simulate a false celebration of 500 years, we [nosotros, nosotras, nosotroas] are already heading towards what’s next: life.
In the year 501, we will have explored the corners of this rebellious land.