Travesía por la vida

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¡Compas arriba!, Radio Pozol, Radio Zapatista, Juana Machetes, Idalia Ríe, Espoir Chiapas

(Español) “¡Viva el Ejército de Liberación Mundial!”

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.

“¡Viva el Ejército de Liberación Mundial!”

26 de Abril. Ocosingo, Chiapas.

Fue una de las frases y vivas de los compañeros y compañeras bases de apoyo zapatista de Patria Nueva, el Caracol número 10, quienes esperaban a pie de carretera para recibir y darle ánimo a la Delegación marítima zapatista en su paso hacia el Caracol de Roberto Barrios como segunda parada en el trayecto rumbo al puerto que les llevará a alta mar.

Las emblemáticas cartulinas volvieron a sobresalir con diferentes mensajes que iban desde palabras de ánimo hasta leyendas reivindicativas, pues algo que le queda claro a los compañeroas zapatistas, es que no van a pedir permiso para llegar a donde quieran llegar y encontrarse con quienes luchan en una apuesta por la Vida.

De parte de los y las compañeras zapatistas, mujeres, hombres, niños, niñas y pichit@s en brazos de sus papá o mamá… les mandaron muchos saludos a los compañeroas europeoas, en consignas incluyentes como “¡Viva Europa!”

“La Historia nos lo pide” fue uno de los mensajes que les dieron en el estrado, y que abrazan y dan sentido en esta travesía que emprenden hacia la mar y tierras viejas, que el Escuadrón 421, la primera delegación viajera zapatista, lleva como misión de encuentro con Otros Mundos Posibles.

Cobertura Colaborativa:  ¡Compas arriba!, Radio Pozol, Radio Zapatista, Juana Machetes, Idalia Ríe, Espoir Chiapas

El SupGaleano

The Route of Ixchel

The Route of Ixchel

 April, 2021.

The mountain will set sail:

From one of the houses of Ixchel[i]—the mother of love and fertility, the grandmother of plants and animals, a young mother and an old mother, the rage that transforms the pain of the earth when it is hurt and disgraced—the mountain will sail.

According to a Mayan legend, Ixchel stretched herself over the planet as a rainbow in order to teach the world a lesson about plurality and inclusion and to remind us that the earth is many colors, not just one, and that all people, without ceasing to be what they are, together illuminate the wonder and marvel of life. She, Ixchel, the rainbow woman, embraces all colors and makes them part of her.

In the mountains of the Mexican Southeast, in the most ancient of the ancient Mayan-descended languages, one of the stories of Ixchel is told: mother-earth, mother-love, mother-rage, mother-life. Old Antonio tells it like this:

“From the East came death and slavery. That’s what came: we can’t change what happened. But Ixchel spoke thus:

‘Tomorrow let life and freedom travel East in the words of my blood and bone, my children. May no one color rule: let none rule so that none obey, so that each can be who they are in joy. Because pain and suffering come from those who seek mirrors rather than windows through which to look out onto the worlds that I am. Rage will have to break seven thousand mirrors to alleviate the pain. There will be much death until finally life becomes the path. Then, may a rainbow crown my children’s house: the mountain which is the land of my descendants.’

“When oppression arrived via metal and fire to Mayan soil, the ts’ul[ii], he who comes from far away, saw many depictions of the rainbow goddess and named this land accordingly: “Isla Mujeres.”

“One morning in the future, when the talking cross[iii] invokes not the past but the future, the mountain will sail to the land of the Ts’ul and dock in front of the old olive tree that provides shade to the ocean and to the identities of those who live and work on those shores.”


On the third day of May in the 21st year of the 21st century, la Montaña [the Mountain] will set sail from Isla Mujeres, Quintana Roo, Mexico, to cross the Atlantic Ocean on a voyage sure to be filled with challenges but free of reproach. On the sixth month of the year, these voyagers will lay eyes on the coast of the Vigo Port (City of Olívica) in Pontevedra, Autonomous Community of Galicia, Spanish State.


If we are unable to disembark, whether it be because of COVID, immigration laws, straight up discrimination, chauvinism, or because we ended up at the wrong port or with the wrong host, we have come prepared.

We’re ready to wait there in front of the European coast and unfold a large banner that reads “Wake up!” We will wait there to see if anyone reads the message, then wait a little longer to see if anyone wakes up, and then a little longer to see anyone responds.

If those from Europe from below are unwilling or unable to welcome us, then, always prepared, we have brought 4 canoes, each with their own oars, upon which we would begin our return back home. It will of course take awhile before we can see the outlines of the house of Ixchel once again.

The canoes represent 4 phases of who we are as Zapatistas:

—The first canoe represents our culture as Indigenous people of Mayan descent. This is the largest canoe into which all three of the others fit. This canoe is an homage to our ancestors.

—The second canoe represents the time when we were underground and that of our uprising. This canoe is the second largest and is an homage to who have fallen since January 1, 1994.

—The third canoe represents the phase of autonomy. This one ranks third in size (from biggest to smallest) and is an homage to our communities, regions, and zones that, through resistance and rebellion, have organized and continue to organize Zapatista autonomy.

—The last canoe represents Zapatista childhood. This one is the smallest canoe which the Zapatista boys and girls have painted and decorated with drawings and colors of their choosing.


But if we do manage to disembark and embrace with our words those who fight, resist, and rebel there, then there will be a celebration with dancing, songs, and cumbias and the movement of hips will shake heaven and earth and all that’s in between.

And on both sides of the ocean, a short message will inundate the electromagnetic spectrum and cyberspace and echo in our hearts:

вторгнення почалося
bosqinchilik boshlandi
a invasión comezou
Die Invasion hat begonnen
istila başladı
la invasió ha iniciat
l’invasione hè principiata
invazija je započela
invaze začala
инвазията е започнала
invasionen er startet
invázia sa začala
invazija se je začela
la invado komenciĝis
the invasion has started
invasioon on alanud
inbasioa hasi da
hyökkäys on alkanut
l’invasion a commencé
mae’r goresgyniad wedi cychwyn
η εισβολή έχει ξεκινήσει
tá an t-ionradh tosaithe
innrásin er hafin
l’invasione è iniziata
بدأ الغزو
êriş dest pê kiriye
iebrukums ir sācies
prasidėjo invazija
d’Invasioun huet ugefaang
започна инвазијата
bdiet l-invażjoni
de invasie is begonnen
invasjonen har startet
حمله آغاز شده است
rozpoczęła się inwazja
a invasão começou
invazia a început
вторжение началось
инвазија је започела
invasionen har börjat

“La invasión ha iniciado”.
.-.. .- / .. -. …- .- … .. — -. / …. .- / .. -. .. -.-. .. .- -.. —(in Morse code)

And maybe, just maybe, Ixchel, the moon goddess, will then illuminate our journey and, like this very dawn, be our light and destiny.

Form the Center of Zapatista Maritime-Terrestrial Training

Semillero Comandanta Ramona in the Tzotz Choj Zone.

I give my word.


Mexico, April 26, 2021. Full moon.


Soundtrack: “Te Llevaré” Lisandro Meza.


[i]        Mayan goddess of the moon, water, birth, medicine and weaving; known in some Mayan texts as rainbow-woman.

[ii]       Those of Spanish descent; foreigner; outsider.

[iii]      The talking cross (cruz parlante) was a religious movement of Mayans resisting dispossession of their lands starting in the 1850s, when a group of Mayan rebels together with a Spanish officer who had defected to the Mayan side, camped in front of a cross hung atop a tall tree, and the cross spoke to them encouraging them to continue the struggle. The talking cross movement continued for decades as part of the Mayan Caste War in the Yucatan Peninsula, in the area that is now the Mexican state of Quintana Roo.

Radio Zapatista, Radio Pozol, ¡Compas arriba!, Juana Machetes, Idalia Ríe, Espoir Chiapas

(Español) Escuadrón 421, la delegación Zapatista: “¡Semillas llevamos, semillas dejamos, semillas germinarán!”

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.

Morelia, 25 de abr. de 2021

Cobertura Colaborativa:

¡Compas arriba!, Radio Zapatista, Radio Pozol, Juana Machetes, Idalia Ríe y Espoir Chiapas

¡Semillas llevamos, semillas dejamos, semillas germinarán!”

Ante la inminente salida de la delegación zapatista hacia los cinco continentes, este día 25 de abril 2021, en el templete del astillero del Caracol IV “Torbellino de Nuestras Palabras” en Morelia, Chiapas, milicianos zapatistas de los pueblos mayas de la región Zotz Choj colocaron cuatro pequeñas canoas (cayucos), con proas de jaguares, labrados y pintados por manos indígenas y rebeldes.

Además de 24 cuadros de bordados representando navegantes de rostros infantiles cubiertos sobre el oleaje transatlántico, aparecieron obras artísticas representando una balsa así como barcos con su tripulación marítima. En la parte frontal de “Santa María – La Revancha”, la miniatura de una embarcación alusiva a la travesía a las Europas, a realizarse en las próximas semanas, sobresale la mención pintada “Ya no soy Santa pero sí María”. Otra maqueta de la carabela “Niña” indica claramente: “No soy Niña”, rememorando a la inversa el viaje de Colón y, llamando la atención, la ausencia de una tercera carabela que quizás se fue de pinta.

A un costado de la plaza central, surge al horizonte un majestuoso navío recién pintado donde destaca la palabra ¡Despertad!, cuya cúspide exhibe una estrella roja sobre fondo negro y las letras EZLN. Custodiado por milicianas y milicianos sin pasamontaña pero con su cubre-boca y la distancia de rigor en el contexto pandémico, parece que el navío descansa en puerto autónomo rebelde zapatista y está a punto de levantar su ancla con su tripulación enmascarada. Para surcar las aguas libres del océano, después de 500 años de la irrupción de Cortés a las costas de Veracruz, el Escuadrón 421, conformado por 4 delegadas, 2 delegados y 1 delegadoa zapatistas, se preparan a navegar hacia las tierras del viejo mundo para escuchar las voces y los corazones de quienes luchan abajo y a la izquierda.

En el mismo espacio que acogió la celebración de Encuentros de las mujeres que luchan, del Congreso Nacional Indígena – Concejo Indígena de Gobierno con su vocera Marichuy, del tercer CompArte, así como aniversarios del levantamiento armado de 1994, las familias bases de apoyo de estas tierras recuperadas se alistan para una despedida de su primera delegación, con palabras pronunciadas a nombre de las Juntas de Buen Gobierno, seguidas de una bendición por parte de los ancianos y de consignas que empezaron por un ¡Viva la delegación zapatista!, antes del anuncio de un baile popular.

Varias decenas de mujeres y hombres bases de apoyo portaban cartulinas de consignas reivindicativas : “Más de 500 años de humillación y desprecio pero aquí estamos”; “Qué viva nuestro origen de raíz maya”; “¡Vivan l@s compañer@s de la delegación zapatista!”; “¡Viva la buena semilla que se regará en el mundo!”; “¡Viva la semilla de la resistencia y rebeldía por la humanidad!”; “¡Semillas llevamos, semillas dejamos, semillas germinarán!”.

Habría que considerar que al llegar al Caracol de Morelia, después de tres horas de carretera desde San Cristóbal de Las Casas, las y los visitantes reciben un roseado desinfectante, tanto personas como automóviles, para así evitar cualquier tipo de contagio viral. Al salir a cubierta, la tripulación mandó saludos afectuosos con la mano levantada a las personas paradas en el muelle y alzó el puño izquierdo como símbolo unificador de las luchas anticapitalistas.

En su navegar por encontrarse y reconocer las venas abiertas y la insumisión de quienes resisten al neoliberalismo en las viejas tierras de los colonizadores, la tripulación egresada del Semillero Huellas del Caminar de la Comandanta Ramona emprenderá su viaje con osadía y, sin duda, sorprenderá por su capacidad de refrescar y alegrar las nuevas luchas que no se rinden ni claudican ante la barbarie de la hidra capitalista.

Radio Zapatista y Radio Pozol

(Español) Continúan los preparativos en los Caracoles Zapatistas para la travesía a Europa

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Zapatistas continúan con la preparación de su viaje a Europa. En diferentes caracoles zapatistas se han realizado ceremonias de despedida para l@s delegad@s que formarán parte de la delegación de indígenas chiapanec@s que partirán a Europa y a diferentes continentes.

Bordados, maquetas de barcos y cayucos han sido realizados en alusión al viaje de l@s rebeldes chiapanec@s

Tercios Compas

Meanwhile, in the Lacandón Jungle…

Meanwhile, in the Lacandón Jungle…

(Terci@s Compas)

Clips of some of the Zapatista indigenous communities’ farewell for the Zapatista delegation, along the shores of the Jataté, Tzaconejá, and Colorado Rivers, in the mountains of Southeastern Mexico, Chiapas, Mexico, America, Latin America, Planet Earth.

Music from the clip with the boats: La piragua (by José Barros), covered by Trío Los Inseparables (Rebajada[1] Version by Sonido Dueñez / Sabotaje Dub.  Sabotaje Media (2021).

Alright then, cheers, and “if you don’t come, I’ll carry you in my heart, I’ll carry you here in my song.”[2]

SupGaleano cutting a rug to slow-mo cumbia, carving the earth, loving it, defending it, dancing with it (which is similar but not the same). Living life. “See you on another continent of Planet Earth.”


[1] Rebajada refers to a slow-motion cumbia track with heavy bass, a genre which came out of the barrios of northern Mexico.

[2] Lyrics from Colombian singer and accordionist Lisandro Meza’s “Te llevaré”.

Subcomandante Insurgente Galeano

421st SQUADRON (Zapatista Maritime Delegation)


(Zapatista Maritime Delegation)

April 2021.

The calendar? An early morning in April. Geography? The mountains of the Mexican Southeast. A sudden silence overtakes the crickets, the distant barking of dogs, and the echo of marimba music. Here, in the belly of the mountains, it sounds more like a whisper than a shout. If we weren’t where we are, you might think it was the murmur of the open ocean. But it’s not the sound of waves crashing against the coast, the beach, or the cliff edge marked by a sheer drop. No, it’s something more than that. And then… a long wail and a sudden, brief tremor.

The mountain gets up, shyly lifting its skirts a bit and, not without some difficulty, pulls its feet out of the earth. It takes a first step, grimacing in pain. Far from maps, tourist destinations and catastrophes, the soles of the small mountain’s feet are bleeding. But here all are in on the plan, so an unexpected rain falls to wash its feet and cure its wounds.

Take care, daughter,” says the mother Ceiba tree. “You can do it!” says the Huapác tree, as if to itself. The paraque bird leads the way. “Go east, friend, go east,” it says as it hops from side to side. Clothed in trees, birds, and stones, the mountain walks, and with each step, sleepy men, women, persons who are neither men nor women, and boys and girls grab onto her skirts. They climb up her blouse, crown the tip of her breasts, continue up her shoulders, and, when they have reached the top of her head, they awaken.

To the east, the sun, just edging above the horizon, slows its stubborn daily rise. It’s quite a sight to see a mountain, with a crown of humans, walking along. But besides the sun and a few gray clouds that the night left behind, no one here seems surprised.

So it was written,” says Old Man Antonio as he sharpens his double-edged machete, and Doña Juanita nods and sighs. The fire smells like coffee and cooked corn. A cumbia is playing on the community radio. The lyrics speak of an impossible legend: a mountain traversing history against the grain.


Seven people, seven Zapatistas, will make up the maritime division of our delegation to Europe. Four men, two women, and one other (unoa otroa). 4, 2, 1. The 421st Squadron is already stationed at the “Zapatistas Maritime-Land Training Center” located in the Comandanta Ramona Seedbed in the Tzotz Choj zone.

(Continuar leyendo…)

Subcomandante Insurgente Moisés

Journey to Europe…

Traducione Italiano (Italiano)
Türkçe çeviri (Turco)
Ελληνική μετάφραση (Griego)
Nederlandse Vertaling (Holandés)
Tradução em portugês (Portugués)
Deutsch Übersetzung (Alemán)
Original en español (Español)
Traduction en Français (Francés)
فارسی (Farsí)

Journey to Europe…
Sixth Commission of the EZLN

April 10, 2021

To the people, groups, collectives, organizations, movements, coordinating bodies, and indigenous peoples in Europe that await our visit:
To the Sixth in Mexico and abroad:
To the networks in resistance and rebellion:
To the National Indigenous Congress:
To the peoples of the world:
Brothers, sisters, and compañer@s:

On April 10, 2021, the compañer@s who make up the first delegation of our Journey for Life, European Chapter, gathered together at the “Semillero Comandanta Ramona” to begin their voyage across the ocean.

During a small ceremony held in accord with our customs and practices, the delegation received the mandate of the Zapatista people to carry our thought far and wide, that is, to share what is in our hearts. Our delegates carry with them a big heart, not just to embrace those on the European continent who are in rebellion and resistance, but also to listen and learn from their histories, geographies, calendars, and ways of being.

This first group will remain in quarantine for 15 days, isolated in the Semillero to make sure that no one is infected with COVID-19 and also so that they can prepare themselves for the time that it will take to cross the ocean. During these two weeks, they will be living in a replica of the boat that was built in the Semillero for that purpose.

On April 26, 2021, they will leave for a port in the Mexican Republic, arriving no later than April 30, and board the boat that we have named “The Mountain.” For two or three days and nights, they will remain on board the boat, and on May 3, 2021, the day of Saint Cruz, Chan Santa Cruz, “The Mountain” will set sail with our companer@s toward the coast of Europe on a journey estimated to take 6 to 8 weeks. They are expected to land on the European coast during the second half of June, 2021.

Beginning on April 15, 2021, our companer@s who are bases of support from 12 different Zapatistas municipalities will hold activities to send off the Zapatista delegation that will travel across land and water to that geography called “Europe.”

During this part of what we have called the “Journey for Life, European Chapter,” the Zapatista delegates will meet with those who have invited us to discuss our shared histories, pain, rage, successes, and failures. Up until now, we have received and accepted invitations from the following places:

Basque Country
United Kingdom


Starting on that day, Subcomandante Insurgente Galeano will be publishing a series of texts in which we will share who makes up the Zapatista maritime delegation, the work that they have done, some of the problems that they have faced, and so on.

In conclusion: we are off on our journey to Europe.

That’s all for now.

From the mountains of the Mexican Southeast
Subcomandante Insurgente Moisés
Sixth Commission of the EZLN
Mexico, April 2021





Deutsch Übersetzung (Alemán)
Traduction en Français (Francés)
Norsk oversettelse (Noruego)
Перевод на русский язык (Ruso)
Ελληνική μετάφραση (Griego)
Euskarazko Itzulpena (Euskera)
فارسی (Farsí)
Tradução em portugês (Portugués)
Traducione Italiano (Italiano)
Türkçe çeviri (Turco)
Katalánský překlad (Catalán)
Český překlad (Checo)




January 1st, 2021




During these previous months, we have established contact between us by various means. We are women, lesbians, gays, bisexuals, transgender, transvestites, transsexuals, intersex, queer and more, men, groups, collectives, associations, organizations, social movements, indigenous peoples, neighbourhood associations, communities and a long etcetera that gives us identity.

We are differentiated and separated by lands, skies, mountains, valleys, steppes, jungles, deserts, oceans, lakes, rivers, streams, lagoons, races, cultures, languages, histories, ages, geographies, sexual and non-sexual identities, roots, borders, forms of organization, social classes, purchasing power, social prestige, fame, popularity, followers, likes, coins, educational level, ways of being, tasks, virtues, defects, pros, cons, buts, howevers, rivalries, enmities, conceptions, arguments, counterarguments, debates, disputes, complaints, accusations, contempts, phobias, philias, praises, repudiations, boos, applauses, divinities, demons, dogmas, heresies, likes, dislikes, ways, and a long etcetera that makes us different and, not infrequently, opposites.

Only very few things unite us:

That we make the pains of the earth our own: violence against women; persecution and contempt of those who are different in their affective, emotional, and sexual identity; annihilation of childhood; genocide against the native peoples; racism; militarism; exploitation; dispossession; the destruction of nature.

The understanding that a system is responsible for these pains. The executioner is an exploitative, patriarchal, pyramidal, racist, thievish and criminal system: capitalism.

The knowledge that it is not possible to reform this system, to educate it, to attenuate it, to soften it, to domesticate it, to humanize it.

The commitment to fight, everywhere and at all times – each and everyone on their own terrain – against this system until we destroy it completely. The survival of humanity depends on the destruction of capitalism. We do not surrender, we do not sell out, and we do not give up.

The certainty that the fight for humanity is global. Just as the ongoing destruction does not recognize borders, nationalities, flags, languages, cultures, races; so the fight for humanity is everywhere, all the time.

The conviction that there are many worlds that live and fight within the world. And that any pretence of homogeneity and hegemony threatens the essence of the human being: freedom. The equality of humanity lies in the respect for difference. In its diversity resides its likeness.

The understanding that what allows us to move forward is not the intention to impose our gaze, our steps, companies, paths and destinations. What allows us to move forward is the listening to and the observation of the Other that, distinct and different, has the same vocation of freedom and justice.

Due to these commonalities, and without abandoning our convictions or ceasing to be who we are, we have agreed:

First.- To carry out meetings, dialogues, exchanges of ideas, experiences, analyses and evaluations among those of us who are committed, from different conceptions and from different areas, to the struggle for life. Afterwards, each one will go their own way, or not. Looking and listening to the Other may or may not help us in our steps. But knowing what is different is also part of our struggle and our endeavour, of our humanity.

Second.- That these meetings and activities take place on the five continents. That,  regarding the European continent, they take place in the months of July, August, September and October of the year 2021, with the direct participation of a Mexican delegation integrated by the CNI-CIG, the Frente de Pueblos en Defensa del Agua y de la Tierra de Morelos, Puebla y Tlaxcala, and the EZLN. And, at later dates to be specified, we will support according to our possibilities the encounters to be carried out in Asia, Africa, Oceania and America.

Third.- To invite those who share the same concerns and similar struggles, all honest people and all those belows that rebel and resist in the many corners of the world, to join, contribute, support and participate in these meetings and activities; and to sign and make this statement FOR LIFE their own.

From one of the bridges of dignity that connect the five continents.

Planet Earth.
January 1, 2021.

From the various, unequal, different, unlike, dissimilar, distant, and distinct
corners of the world (in art, science, and struggle in resistance and rebellion):

(Continuar leyendo…)


Part Two: The Tavern

Part Two: The Tavern

The calendar? Now. The geography? Any corner of the world.

You don’t quite know why, but you are walking hand in hand with a little girl. You are about to ask her where you are going when you pass in front of a huge tavern. It has a large illuminated sign like a movie theater marquee that reads: “History with a capital ‘H’: Café-bar” and below that, “No women, children, indigenous people, unemployed, people of other genders [otroas], elderly persons, migrants, or other useless people allowed.” A white hand has added: “In this place, Black Lives do not matter[i].” A male hand has scrawled, “Women allowed if they act like men.” Outside the doors of the establishment are heaped cadavers of women of all ages and, judging by their tattered clothes, of all social classes, too. You and the little girl pause, resigned. You peek in the door and see a commotion of men and women, all with masculine mannerisms. A man is standing on the bar with a baseball bat, swinging it threateningly in all directions. The crowd inside is clearly divided: one side is applauding while the other side boos. All of them are drunk, flushed, with furious gazes and drool dripping down their chins.

A man whom you presume is the doorman approaches you and asks:

“You want to come in? You can choose whichever side you like. You want to cheer or boo? It doesn’t matter which you choose, we guarantee you’ll get a lot of followers, likes, thumbs up and applause. You’ll become famous if you come up with something clever, whether in favor or against. And even if you’re not very smart, all you have to do is be loud. It doesn’t matter whether what you say is true or false as long as you make a lot of noise.” 

You consider the offer. It sounds attractive, especially now that no one follows you, not even a dog.

Is it dangerous?” you ask timidly.

The bouncer reassures you: “Not at all, here impunity reigns. Look at the guy who’s up to bat. He says whatever stupid thing and some people applaud him while others criticize him with further idiocies. When he finishes, someone else will take their turn. I already told you that you don’t have to be smart. In fact, here intelligence is an obstacle. Come on in! This is how you forget about all the illnesses, the catastrophes, the misery, the government’s lies, and tomorrow itself. Here, reality doesn’t really matter. What matters is whatever is trendy today.”

You ask: “And what are they debating?”

Oh, any old thing. Both sides are focused on frivolities and superficialities. Creativity’s not their thing, if you know what I mean,” the bouncer responds as he shoots a fearful glance toward the top of the building.

(Continuar leyendo…)

Subcomandante Insurgente Galeano

Part Three: The Mission

How Defensa Zapatista tried to explain Zapatismo’s mission and other happy reasonings to Esperanza  

“All right, I’m going to explain something very important to you. But don’t take notes—just keep it in your head. You might leave the notebook laying around anywhere, but you have to carry your head with you all the time.”

Defensa Zapatista paced back and forth, just like the late SupMarcos used to do when he was explaining something really important. Esperanza was sitting on a tree stump, over which she had wisely placed a piece of plastic tarp to cover the damp wood which was covered in moss, mushrooms, and dry twigs.

“You think we’re going to be able to see where the struggle will take us?” Defensa Zapatista blurted out, gesturing in no particular direction with her little hands.

Esperanza tried to think of how to answer, but it was clear Defensa Zapatista was asking a rhetorical question and wasn’t interested in an answer. She was asking a question that led to other questions. According to Defensa Zapatista, she was following the scientific method.

“The problem isn’t getting to the destination, but making the path. That is, if there is no path, one has to make it. That’s the only way,” she continued, brandishing a machete—who knows where she got that, I’m sure somebody somewhere is looking for it.

“So the thing is that the problem has changed—the most important thing now is the path. If there is no path to where you want to go, well then that’s your principal concern. So, what do we do if there’s no path to where we want to go?”

Esperanza responds confidently: “We wait until it stops raining so we don’t get wet making the path.”

No!” Defensa yells, throwing her hands up and clutching her head, ruining the hairdo her mom had spent a half hour fixing.

Esperanza hesitates and then tries again, “I know: we lie to Pedrito and tell him that there’s a bunch of candy where we want to go, but no way to get there, and whoever makes a path the fastest gets all the candy.”

“You think we’re going to ask the men? Hell no! We’re going to do it ourselves as the women that we are,”Defensa responds.

True,” Esperanza concedes, “plus maybe there will actually be chocolate there.”

Defensa continues, “But what if we get lost as we try to make the path?”

Esperanza responds promptly, “We yell for help? Set off some firecrackers or take the conch shell along so we can call the village to come rescue us?”

Defensa sees that Esperanza is taking the issue quite literally, and worse, getting the approval of everyone gathered around. The cat-dog, for example, is licking his lips imagining the pot of chocolates at the end of the rainbow; the one-eyed horse suspects that there also might be maize with salt and maybe another pot full of plastic bottles; and Calamidad is practicing the choreography designed by SupGaleano called “pas de chocolat,’ which consists of balancing rhinoceros-style over a large pot.

Elías Contreras, meanwhile, had been sharpening his machete on both sides since the very first question.

A little beyond him, an undefined being bearing extraordinary resemblance to a beetle and carrying a sign that reads “call me Ismael,” is debating Old Antonio over the advantages of stasis on dry land, arguing, “Yes indeed my dear Queequeg, no white whale goes near a port.” [i] The old indigenous Zapatista, involuntary teacher of the generation that rose up in arms in 1994, rolls a cigarette and listens attentively to the beetle’s arguments.

Defensa Zapatista assumes that she, just like science and art, is in the difficult position of being misunderstood, like a pas de deux without the embrace to facilitate the pirouettes or the support for a porté; like a film held prisoner in a can, waiting for a gaze to rescue it; like a port without a ship to dock there; like a cumbia awaiting hips to give it action and destination; like a concave Cigala without its convex[ii]; like Luz Casal on her way to meet the flor prometida[iii]; like Louis Lingg without the punk Bombs[iv]; like Panchito Varona looking behind a chord for a stolen April[v]; like a ska without a slam; like praline ice cream without a Sup to do it justice.

But Defensa being defense and also Zapatista, accepts none of this and, in resistance and rebellion, looks to Old Antonio for assistance.

“Storms respect no one; they hit both sea and land, sky and soil alike. Even the innards of the earth twist and turn with the actions of humans, plants, and animals. Neither color, size, nor ways matter,” Old Antonio says in a low voice.

Everyone falls silent, half out of respect and half out of terror.

Old Antonio continues: “Women and men seek to take shelter from wind, rain, and broken land, waiting for it to pass in order to see what is left. But the earth does more than that; it begins to prepare for what comes next, what comes after. In that process it begins to change; mother earth does not wait for the storm to pass in order to decide what to do, but rather begins to build long before. That is why the wisest ones say that the morning doesn’t just happen, doesn’t appear just like that, but that it lies in wait among the shadows and, for those who know where to look, in the cracks of the night. That is why when the men and women of maize plant their crops, they dream of tortilla, atole, pozol, tamale, and marquesote[vi]. Even though those things are not yet manifest, they know they will come and thus this is what guides their work. They see their field and its fruit before the seed has even touched the soil.”

“When the men and women of maize look at this world and its pain, they also see the world that must be created and they make a path to get there. They have three gazes: one for what came before; one for the present; and one for what is to come. That is how they know that what they are planting is a treasure: the gaze itself.”

Defensa agrees enthusiastically. She understands that Old Antonio understands the argument that she could not explain. Two generations distant in calendars and geographies build a bridge that both comes and goes… just like paths.

That’s right!” she almost shouts and looks fondly at the old man.

She adds, “If we already know where we want to go, that means we also know where we don’t want to go. So every step we take moves us toward one path and away from another. We haven’t gotten there yet, but the path we walk shows us what our destination will be. If we want to eat tamales, we’re not going to plant squash.”

The whole crowd makes an understandable gesture of disgust, imagining a horrible squash soup.

“We live out the storm however we know how, but we are already preparing what comes next. We prepare it now. That is why we have to take our word far and wide. It doesn’t matter if the person who said it originally isn’t there anymore; rather what matters is that the seed reaches fertile ground and grows. Our word must support others. That is our mission: to be a seed that looks for other seeds,” Defensa Zapatista declares, and looking at Esperanza asks, “Do you understand?”

Esperanza stands up and with all the solemnity she can muster at 9 years of age, responds:

Yes, of course. I have understood that we are all going to die miserably.”

But then she adds immediately, “But we’re going to make it worth it.”

Everyone applauds.

In order to reinforce Esperanza’s “make it worth it,” Old Antonio takes a bag of chocolate “kisses” out of his bag.

The cat-dog downs a good number of them in one gulp, though the one-eyed horse prefers to continue gnawing on its plastic bottle.

Elías Contreras, EZLN investigative commission, repeats in a low voice, “we’re going to make it worth it,” and his heart and thoughts go to brother Samir Flores and those who confront, with dignity as their only weapon, the loud-mouthed thief of water and life who hides behind the weapons of the overseer, who himself blabbers on and on to hide his blind obedience to the true Ruler, which is first, money, then more money, and in the end, still money.[vii] It is never justice, never freedom, and never, ever life.

The beetle begins to talk about how a chocolate bar kept him from dying on the Siberian steppes as he was traveling from the lands of Sami[viii]–where he sang the Yoik[ix]—in Selkup territory[x]to pay tribute to the Cedar, the tree of life. “I went to learn, that’s what journeys are for. There are resistances and rebellions that are no less important and heroic because they are far away,” he says as he uses his many legs to liberate a chocolate from its aluminum foil, applaud, and gulp down a portion of it, all at the same time.

Calamidad, for her part, has understood perfectly well what it means to think about what comes next and with her hands muddied with chocolate, exclaims enthusiastically, “vamos a jugar a las palomitas!”


From the Zapatista Center for Maritime-Terrestrial Training,

SupGaleano giving a workshop on “Internationalist Vomiting”
Mexico, December of 2020.

From the notebook of the Cat-Dog: The Treasure is the Other

 “Upon finishing, he looked at me slowly with his one eye and said, ‘I was waiting for you, Don Durito. Know that I am the last true, living pirate in the world. And I say “true” because now there are an infinite number of “pirates” in financial centers and great government palaces who steal, kill, destroy and loot, without ever touching any water save that of their bathtubs. Here is your mission (he hands me a dossier of old parchments): find the treasure and put it in a safe place. Now, pardon me, but I must die.’ And as he said those words, he let his head fall to the table. Yes, he was dead. The parrot took flight and went out through a window, saying, ‘The exile of Mytilene is dead, dead is the bastard son of Lesbos, dead the pride of the Aegean Sea.[xi] Open your nine doors, fearsome hell, for there the great Redbeard will rest. He has found the one who will follow in his footsteps, and the one who made of the ocean but a tear now sleeps. The pride of true Pirates will now sail with Black Shield.’ Below the window, the Swedish port of Gothenburg spread out, and, in the distance, a nyckelharpa[xii] was weeping . . .”

Don Durito of the Lacandón Jungle. October 1999.[xiii]

 Section: Three deliriums, two groups, and a rioter.

If we follow Admiral Maxo’s route, I think we’d arrive faster by walking over the Bering Strait:

Just try and stop us:

Motor is ready, now just missing… the boat?!

First crew:

Second crew:

We don’t have the boat yet, but we’ve got the guy who’ll lead the riot onboard:


[i] The first line of Herman Melville’s Moby-Dick. Ishmael is the narrator of the book. Queequeg is another character in the book.

[ii] “Concavo y convexo” (Concave and convex) is the title of a love song by Flamenco singer Diego el Cigala.

[iii] “Flor prometida” (Promised flower) is the title track of Spanish pop artist Luz Casal’s seventh studio album.

[iv] Louis Lingg and the Bombs is a French anarchist punk band named in honor of Chicago anarchist Louis Lingg, who was sentenced to death in 1887 for allegedly making the bombs used in the Haymarket Square riot. Lingg committed suicide in prison using an explosive device rather than be executed.

[v] “Quién me ha robado el mes de abril”, (Who stole the month of April from me?) is a song written by renowned Spanish rock music writer and producer Panchito Varona and sung by Spanish songwriter and musician Joaquín Sabina.

[vi] All maize-based food and drink common in southern Mexico.

[vii] This references the struggle of the communities in Morelos resisting the construction of a thermo-electric plant in their region which is part of the “Integrated Plan for Morelos” mega-project. Samir Flores, one of the leaders of the resistance, was killed in February, 2019, in the course of this struggle. The “overseer” refers to Mexican President Andrés Manuel Lopez Obrador who backs the megaproject and protects the business interests that would divert water supplies from local communities to the plant.

[viii] The Sami are an indigenous people inhabiting what is now the Northern parts of Sweden, Norway, Finland and Russia.

[ix] Yoik is a traditional form of song among the Sami people.

[x] The Selkup are an indigenous people whose traditional territory is in central Russia between the Ob and Yenisey rivers. Trees are an important religious symbol for the Selkup, with cedar personifying the world of the dead.

[xi] This passage refers to Barbarossa (Redbeard) who was born in Mytilene on the island of Lesbos in the Aegean Sea and wound up in Constantinople as the Admiral of the Sultan’s fleet.

[xii] A nyckelharpais a traditional Swedish stringed instrument played with a bow and keys that slide under the strings.

[xiii] The excerpt above is from a 1999 communiqué in which Don Durito, the recurring beetle character in EZLN writings, returns from a long voyage to Europe. Translation and footnotes borrowed from “Conversations with Durito”:

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