"Our Path Doesn't Depend on Media Coverage"
The Zapatistas and Their Coming Strategy Together with Mexico's Original Peoples
By Subcomandante Insurgente Marcos
From the Mountains of the Mexican Southeast
December 30, 2012
Communiqué from the Clandestine Revolutionary Indigenous Committee-General Command of the Zapatista National Liberation Army.
Mexico. December 30, 2012.
To the people of Mexico:
To the peoples and governments of the world:
Brothers and Sisters:
Last December 21, 2012, in the early morning hours, tens of thousands of indigenous Zapatistas mobilized ourselves and peacefully and quietly occupied five municipalities in the southeastern Mexican state of Chiapas.
In the cities of Palenque, Altamirano, Las Margaritas, Ocosingo and San Cristobal de las Casas, we looked at them and we looked into ourselves in silence.
This was not a message of resignation.
It’s not one of war, death and destruction.
Our message is one of struggle and resistance.
After the media coup that set up the federal executive branch into poorly disguised ignorance, we showed our presence to let them know that although they never left, neither did we.
Six years ago, a segment of the political and intellectual class went searching for a scapegoat responsible for their defeat. At that time we were in cities and communities, fighting for justice for Atenco, which was not fashionable then.
In that past, first they slandered us and then wanted to silence us afterwards.
Deluded and unable to see that they themselves had and have the yeast for their ruin, tried to disappear us with lies and complicit silence.
Six years later, two things are clear:
They do not need us for them to fail.
We do not need them for us to survive.
We never left, although that it what is the media from all over the spectrum was determined to make you believe, we rise as indigenous Zapatistas that we are and will be.
In these years we have strengthened and we have significantly improved our living conditions. Our quality of life is higher than of those indigenous communities that are close with the different governments and receive coins that are then squandered on alcohol and useless items.
Our homes are improved without hurting nature by imposing roads that do not belong there.
In our villages, the land that once was to fatten the cattle of ranchers and landowners, is now for the corn, beans and vegetables that brighten our tables.
Our work yields twice the satisfaction by providing us with enough to cover our necessities and live honorably, and contributing to the collective growth of our communities.
Our girls and boys go to a school that teaches them their own history, that of their country and that of the world, and the science and technology necessary to thrive while staying indigenous.
Zapatista Indigenous women are not sold as commodities.
PRI-affiliated indigenous people go to our hospitals, clinics and laboratories because the government-run clinics have no medicine, no machines, no doctors or qualified personnel.
Our culture flourishes, not in isolation but enriched by the contact with the cultures of other peoples of Mexico and the world.
We operate as a government and we govern ourselves, always seeking agreement first rather than confrontation.
All of this has been achieved not only without the government, the political class and the media that accompany them, but also resisting their attacks of all kinds.
We have demonstrated, once again, that we are who we are.
With our silence we became present.
Now with our words we announce that:
First. – We will reaffirm and strengthen our membership in the National Indigenous Congress, a meeting space with the native peoples of our country.
Second. – We will resume contact with our colleagues in Mexico and the world that adhere to the Sixth Declaration of the Lacandon Jungle.
Third. – We will try to build the necessary bridges to social movements that have arisen and will arise, not to direct or supplant them, but to learn from them, their history, their paths and destinations.
For this we have the support of individuals and groups in different parts of Mexico, who will function as support teams for the EZLN Sixth and International Commissions. These support teams will serve as communication channels between Zapatista base of supporters and individuals, groups and collectives adherents to the Sixth Declaration, in Mexico and in the world, who still maintain their belief and commitment to building a non-institutional leftist alternative.
Fourth. – Maintain our critical distance from the Mexican political class that as a whole, has only thrived at the expense of the needs and hopes of humble and simple people.
Fifth. – Regarding the bad government at the federal, state and municipal, executive, legislative and judicial levels, and accompanying media, we say the following:
The bad governments across the political spectrum, without exception, have done everything possible to destroy us, to buy us, and to make us surrender. PRI, PAN, PRD, PVEM, PT, CC and the future party of RN, have all attacked us militarily, politically, socially and ideologically.
The mainstream media tried to make us disappear, first with opportunistic and servile slander, and with cunning and conspiratorial silence later. Those who they served and whose money they breastfed on, are no longer there. And those who have replaced them with will not outlast their predecessors.
As was evident on December 21, 2012, all of them have failed.
It is for the federal, executive, legislative and judicial governments, to decide if they resort again to counterinsurgency policy, which was a complete farce and sustained insipidly by the media; or recognizes and meets its commitments to raising constitutional rights and indigenous culture, as established in the so-called “San Andrés Accords” signed by the federal government in 1996, then led by the same party now in the Executive branch.
It is for the state governor to decide whether to continue the dishonest and despicable strategy of his predecessor, also corrupt and a liar, who took money from the people of Chiapas to enrich himself and his accomplices, and was devoted to the purchase of voices and pens in media, while the people of Chiapas plunged into poverty, while making use of police and paramilitaries trying to stop the advance of the Zapatista organization; or, instead, with truth and justice, accepts and respects our existence and recognizes that there is a new and blossoming social way of life in Zapatista territory in Chiapas, Mexico. Blossoming that attracts the attention of honest people from all over the planet.
It is up to local governments to decide whether to continue paying organizations supposedly Anti-Zapatista or Zapatistas to attack our communities, or to rather use that money to improve the lives of the governed.
It is up to the people of Mexico that organizes their struggle in ways of elections and also in resistance, to decide whether they see us as rivals to take out their frustrations on, for the fraud and aggressions that at the end we all suffer, and if in their struggle for power they continue partnering with our persecutors; or to finally recognize in us another way of doing politics.
Sixth. – In the coming days the EZLN, through its Sixth Commission and its International Commission, will announce a series of initiatives, civil and peaceful, to continue walking with the other peoples of Mexico and across the hemisphere, and along with whom, in Mexico and in the world, resist and fight, below and to the left.
Brothers and Sisters:
Before, we had the fortune of an honest and noble attention of various media. We appreciated it then. But that was completely erased later with their attitude that followed.
Those who bet that we only existed in the media, and that we would disappear with the siege of lies and silence, were wrong.
When there were no cameras, microphones, pens, ears and eyes, we existed.
When we were slandered, we existed.
When we were silenced, we existed.
And here we are, existing.
Our walk, as demonstrated, is not dependent upon media impact, but upon understanding of the world and its parts, of indigenous wisdom that governs our steps, unwavering decision that gives dignity to those down and to the left.
From now on, our words will become selective in its recipients and, except in rare cases, can only be understood by those who have walked with us and walk, without surrendering to the latest fashion.
Here, with many mistakes and many difficulties, another way of doing politics is now a reality.
Very few will have the privilege to learn from it directly.
19 years ago we surprised them taking their cities with fire and blood. Now we’ve done it again, but with no weapons, no death, no destruction.
We differentiate ourselves in this way from those who during their government term, spread death among the governed.
We are the same as 500 years ago, 44 years ago, 30 years ago, 20 years ago, and just a few days ago.
We are the Zapatistas, the youngest, who live, fight and die in the last corner of the country, those that do not give up, those who are not for sale, those who do not surrender.
Brothers and Sisters:
We are the Zapatistas, receive our embrace.
From the mountains of the Mexican southeast.
By the Clandestine Revolutionary Indigenous Committee – General Command of Zapatista National Liberation Army.
Mexico. December 2012 – January 2013.
Translation by Jeniffer Calleja, Narco News.
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