HISTORY AND FUTURE OF ZAPATISTAS MOVEMENT SPEACH BY Subcomandante Insurgente MARCOS FOR THE NATIONAL AND INTERNATIONAL CARAVAN IN CARRUCHA CARACOL








Suddenly in the middle of the rain appeared Marcos, Moises and other EZLN insuractioneries like ghosts in the mist, armed and riding strong horses like coming from the world of shadows…

The people gathered and the lecture started…They spoke for about one hour…SCI Marcos made an intoduction mentioning that the International Commitie of Human Rights that visited the areas of Zapatista the last months announced wrongly that the para/military attacks happening in the zapatista communities is not organized by the government

He said that in the next days many people from the caravan they will travel to a Zapatista community that the army and the government accuse the movement that cultivates marihuana and even though there is not any tree of marihuana there they use it as an excuse of repression…He explained about the story of Zapatistas, the process of the building of a political theory through dialogue and action with the indigeneious people, tranformed through the influence of the indigenious from an orthodox marxist army, a minority that believes that ‘will change the society’ into a social non hierarchical and participatory eqalitarian indigenious autonomus movement…He spoke about the critisism that Zapatistas do to the orthodox left logik , to the left parties and organizations… ‘The zapatistas don’t fit in the left puzzle, that’s why they exclude us as they always exclude anyone that doesn’t fit to their puzzle’, he said…He spoke about the “radical” hierarchical and paternalistic left organizations that even though participated in the solidarity of Zapatistas were keeping the movement in distance to the people manifesting an elit of Zapatismo, about the “Zapatologos” intellectuals, artists, university teachers that were using the movement for personal interests and were working as medium between the movement and the people of the world… He explained all those elements of Zapatista movement that changed through 6th Declaration…

After him Tte. Coronell Moises spoke about the building of the Autonomia in the communities and the way that functioning the process of the self / governence, the assemblies and comissions of Zapatista communities

A rough translation of the speach of Marcos for the ´´National and International Caravan of Observation and Solidarity to the Zapatista Communities´´ in English



How it all started…15 years ago, a small group of urban people came from the city to an area inside the jungle, further on, in Montes Assules…In the jungle their were animals with four legs and we were the only big animals with two legs…In 83/84 our logic was the same as the logic of the tradition of the left armed guerrillas, the same with all this that believe in fukism, the belief that a small army of people can become the saviours of a society that follows them and by this way they capture the government…We had no knowledge of the armed guerrilla….Some of us got killed during fights with the police and the Mexican state secret agencies…In that time, no one on this mountain knew these people…This area was completely forgotten by the state…This was a great advantage for us in those times…We were forgotten about and this gave us the opportunity to exist…We were humans and we became monkeys…That’s why we put masks on our faces…Under the mask we are ugly, very ugly…

This group survived mainly cause of the moral weight of the assassinated comrades…But then we had to decide what we will become…A group on the mountains waiting for something to happen, for the society to wake up or we had to become, in the end, normal orthodox left leaders, institutionalised people, candidates in elections and members of a government? This that saved us was our meeting with the indigenous people that transformed an orthodox marxist army to indigenous people’s army…This made us a 99% indigenous army and 1% mexican army….By this way defeated completely our logic of political avand-guardism, the idea that there can be some people that will save the society….We realised that when we were speaking to the indigenous people they were not understanding what we were trying to explain to them and their proposition was much better than ours…We realised that they were a movement of life that had survived from all colonialisms of history, the spanish, the germans, the french, the english, the americans…all colonialisms and empires of the world….They survived, and this proves that they know how to resist…This has to do with the moral weight, with their culture, the nature and their alternative proposition of struggle…We became students of their struggle that was going on for the last 500 years…We found a way, we found escort , we found a velocity. The velocity of our dreams. EZLN owns a lot to the international solidarity movement, and also owns a lot of the indigenous heart. The first contact we made with the indigenous people was based on the classical guerrilla attitude , like if there were in ignorance. But then we found a bridge, we changed the way we speak, we think, we changed our position. From the point of serving the masses to the point of serving the communities. This process was a process of learning that was much stronger than the electroshock that is usually made in the psychiatric clinics. Many of us didn’t survive from this shock, some of us are still under the influence of this shock. But this transformation turned us from a six comrade group, to a revolutionary army of 6000 fighters, determined to take the guns and fight for dignity and freedom. The clear mind analysis of the international situation was telling us that the political conditioning was unsuitable. The socialism had just fallen, the left was crying for the death of Guattari, any logical human being would have said to us not to take the arms. But something was existing inside us that was telling to us to not count on this analysis, to not observe the political geography from upside, but from below. There have been agricultural reforms that issued the rights of the peasants to the earth. But the indigenous people had left always with the bad earth and many diseases were killing their children. Between1990 and 1992 most of the children didn’t survive older than the 5 years old and they were dying from curable diseases like tuberculosis, typhoid and simple fever. In the big cities with the overpopulation problem many people say that “less is better“ but for the indigenous people, this is completely different, as the children become old and they sustain the culture. It was not the revolutionary army that forced the communities into rebellion, it was the women who forced us to take the guns as they were looking at their children dying. They spread all over the mountains the rumour “Ya Basta!” (That’s Enough!) and to this rumour two main women comrades helped a lot. One of them was Ramona, one woman comrade who now is dead. The preparation of the rebellion was creating anxiety and disturbance. We did what we could do. In 1992 we did a consultation without TV, without government members, without politicians, from village to village and from assembly to assembly, we were issuing the problem of, if we will take the guns or not. If we were taking the guns, we would have been defeated, but, it was also possible to improve our lives. If we were not taking the guns, we will be disappeared as indigenous people. The logic of our death didn’t leave us any other choice. After all these years, we say that it is better that we didn’t have any other choice. The people took care of and increased the army, it was not the army which took care of the people. We were making the military preparations and exercises on the mountains and we were thinking what to do. We knew that if we were starting this path, we would not have a way back. And we knew that if we ask the people to take up arms that they would. After 1994, starts a period of armed resistance, instead of an armed battleship, a period of organizing a peaceful resistance. During this period, the change of attitude towards the authority, characterized the EZLN and Zapatistas deeply. The solutions are always a build up from the ground, up. The propositions of the orthodox left, all have had the opposite direction. This change means a lot for us; it means not to vote but to organize, it means to go back to the school, this was what the indigenous explained to us : “The building of the autonomy.”

In the last 12 years, Marcos tried to destroy the image that most of the people had for him, while others took distance from the movement, becoming anti-Zapatistas, many of them that they were going to many different forums and caravans with paid tickets, acting like Zapatologists. In this land we call coyote, the inter-mediums, who buy our products cheap and then resell them more expensive to the market. All around us appeared inter-mediums of solidarity after the revolt. These are the people who they say have the “red telephone” to communicate directly with Sub Commander Marcos and have created a political capital from their solidarity. The appearance of these inter mediums was hiding from us much more important things…We were feeling that was existing something important out there…The insurrection of certain Greeks, Spanish, or Basque were existing but we couldn’t see it. These “coyotes”, the inter mediums, were organising many things as long as we were in fashion and they had their own profit from us…

It is the same as those that come for free with paid expenses from their professional political organisations. We never tried to be something like that…We never wanted to be a hegemonic political power of Mexico or the world…In Italy or as in Mexico, there are those that are still building hope for the traditional left. They have expectations of change on the possibility of the traditional left arriving in the government…In Europe we have understood that whoever is radical before he transforms into something different when he comes to the government. The system will digest you or will defecate you…When there was a possibility of authority the procedure of digestion started to happen to the Zapatistas. For us, maybe, the centre is not the centre, the centre is stuck to the right…And the traditional left has always believed that a small group of enlightened leaders will change society or that 40 thugs on the mountain can save them….It is not that we don’t like this logic, it is that we don’t believe it, we can not be like that…And this is a rupture…When we were saying those things the left was saying that we stand in the right side, now everybody repeats our logic, but still our perception can not fit in the puzzle of the left…For the left is always excluding anything that doesn’t fit in the puzzle and we can not fit, we can not obey to the traditional left logic…Powerful relations were built with the social Italy, with the insurrected Greece…We continue to do not want the authority…We thing that we have to work and organize from bellow…This solidarity inter mediums go to the right, because the authority has specific rules to be maintained…We built an upside down geography…We understood that those they are far away are closer to us…We searched the world and after the 6th Declaration appeared…We searched Mexico and all the world for other people to be like us but to be different…Zapatistas resigned from to be an hegemony…We don’t want all be indigenous…We want our place, to decide what we want to do…We want to built relations of companionship with people like us…This is the 6th Declaration and the Other Campaign…Relations without inter mediums…People from India, Malaysia, Brazil came to Realidad…We saw a meeting of leaders…If our people will not meet then there is no meaning…If you want you can take just some photos…We can not anyway travel to Greece….But we don’t want to beg for help, we don’t want people to feel sorry for us…We want international comrades, in Greece, in Spain, Italy, Belgium, Basque…

Our moral heritage is our struggle for Justice, Freedom and Democracy…We don’t want relations with artists, intellectuals, political representatives…We owe a lot to those who died…We have to be capable to say to our dead people that we didn’t resigned, we didn’t sell out, we didn’t fell…



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