Marcos in La Hormiga: “All the Simple and Humble People Should Leave the PRI”
“Delegate Zero” Now Sets Off to Visit Other Troubled Areas of the Mexican Southeast
By Concepción Villafuerte
January 5, 2006
SAN CRISTÓBAL DE LAS CASAS, CHIAPAS, JANUARY 4: Subcomandante Marcos invited the “simple and humble” people to abandon the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI), “which has grown on the blood, humiliation and death of Mexico’s indigenous people.”
On the fourth day of the Other Campaign, “Delegate Zero” met with some 200 evangelical members of the Council of Indigenous Representatives of the Chiapas Highlands (CRIACH), and at night said that he would visit Chiapa de Corzo at noon on Thursday and Tuxta Guriérrez at 4 p.m.
Marcos said that “the PRI is made up of total cabrones, murderers and liars all, from (party chief) Roberto Madrazo to the lowest-level organizer.”
He blamed the priísta political bosses of San Juan Chamula for the religious expulsions that have led to 40,000 displaced people in the Chiapas highlands in the last 30 years.
Hours before the small demonstration in the La Hormiga neighborhood, indigenous groups opposed to the event’s organizers distributed flyers against the arrival of the Zapatista leader.
“What we need to do is tell all the compañeros who are humble and simple people that they should leave that political party, because they are only staining their own hands with blood and making others richer,” said Marcos.
Pascual López Gómez, president of a neighborhood council, asked Subcomandante Marcos in writing to “reflect on the danger of confrontation between the inhabitants of the area as they hold events that cause terror among the people, who are accustomed to living in peace.”
But Marcos responded that the Zapatistas aren’t the ones looking for confrontation or “a clash between brothers from below, no, not us; it is the PRI that has them suffering here, that expelled them from their communities.”
“One government and another comes and goes according to the PRI, and the indigenous continue living here unvalued. Here in La Hormiga, where the PRI wants to stick its nose in and divide the people, I come to tell you: we have tell that political party to piss off, tell them all to get out of here.”
In the afternoon Marcos attended a festival to promote the Sixth Declaration from the Lacandon Jungle in the Cathedral Plaza, which several thousand people attended.
He spoke of how the government will not transform all that is wrong in society, “we have to do it among ourselves down here, which is where a way of thought is born that leads us toward the way society must be transformed, a place that we say is below and to the left.”
That’s why, he said, the Zapatistas chose “the number and name of Zero, of having no worth, so that that the world above is worth nothing; that is what we want to be, we put forward our SubDelegate to be a good-for-nothing below and to the left.”
The Tour Continues Across Chiapas
On January 5 Delegate Zero will be giving his salute in Chiapa de Corzo, where he will meet with a group of people who will report to him on the situation there; the small towns here have so many problems that time is short just for learning about them.
There in Chiapa de los Indios (Chiapa of the Indians), the place’s original name, is the Sumidero Canyon, which was transferred to the hands of private tourism companies, who built an “eco-tourism center.” It now costs Mexican tourists at least $50 per person just to enter that park.
There is also a fly factory there (for mampa flies, as we call them in Chiapas). There they fabricate sterile flies with gringo technology, which they dump all over the state to fight the spread of the Mediterranean fly, a plague that would cause the gringos incalculable harm if it were to reach that far north. So, it is easier for them to maintain this polluting factory, whose waste they dump into the waters of the Grijalva River. The workers are also in danger because of the radioactive materials they are constantly exposed to.
They are also building an international airport there. It will cost millions of dollars, though the local residents won’t see a single gringo dollar, as the construction companies only use the cheapest labor possible.
There is much to say about Chiapa, but Marcos knows it already, and is just there to confirm his information.
Later he will move on to Tuxtla Gutiérrez, the Chiapas state capital. There, teachers from the seventh section of the National Education Workers’ Union will receive him. Not all the teachers, just a small sector, or, rather, sect of teachers, because although the union is “democratic,” some of its members are “more democratic than others,” and the EZLN usually visits them in secret. But this time, if they resolve to participate, it will have to be out in the open.
Marcos will sleep in Tuxtla and arrive January 6 in Tonalá, one of the 41 coastal municipalities (counties) that were affected by Hurricane Stan. The extent of that damage is unknown, though the area was not left as damaged as the municipalities toward the Guatemalan border. He will then continue on toward Huixtla.
The next day he will enter Comitán and arrive at the village of Moisés Gandhi, headquarters of the 17 of November autonomous municipality. There will undoubtedly be a party, because it is a base of support for the Zapatistas, and there he will wait for the Yucatán Delegation, which will come to take him to the peninsula, where other compañeros from “the Other Journalism” will cover the tour.
With this report, I bid goodbye to the Chiapas tour (others from the Other Journalism will follow the rest of the tour in this state). The Amado Avedaño Figueroa Brigade will change its name when it begins to work in Yucatán, as our journalistic comrades there take up the project and continue reporting.
Thank you for your attention. This is Concepción Villafuerte signing off. See you soon.
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