The EZLN – otherwise known as the Zapatistas – have issued a new communique, which is published below. The communique provides an update on their anarchist social revolution – the community projects, the schools. the health services and other social structures which have evolved in rural Chiapas (a largely indigenous province of Mexico). Warning: the communique is rife with Zapatista ironic/ideosyncratic humour (difficult to translate – but you might get the hang of it). Also, to place the communique in context, you may want to read their previous communique – see Part B. Note, too, that the Zapatistas have famously been an inspiration to the Kurds of Rojava (south Kurdistan).
(Above sign on Federal Highway 307, Chiapas. The top sign reads, “You are in Zapatista rebel territory. Here the people command and the government obeys.” The bottom sign: “North Zone. Council of Good Government. Trafficking in weapons, planting of drugs, drug use, alcoholic beverages, and illegal selling of wood are strictly prohibited. No to the destruction of nature.”)
A. Zapatista Communique issued February 26, 2016:
To the compañer@s of the Sixth: To whom it may concern: Compañeroas, compañeros and compañeras:
Now we are going to tell you a little bit about the Zapatista communities, where the bases of support resist and struggle. What we are going to share with you now comes from reports by the Zapatista compañeras and compañeros in the communities who are coordinators for their commissions (for example, health, education, young people, etc), autonomous authorities, or other organizational coordinators. But along with the compas of the Comité [CCRI] we checked to make sure this information wasn’t a lie, that things hadn’t been altered so that the good things would appear and bad things would remain hidden. The work of these writings is not to lie to our compas of the Sixth nor to those who support us and are in their solidarity. We won’t lie to you, to them, nor to anyone else. If things are going badly we will tell you so clearly, but not so that you feel even more sad on top of everything that is happening in your own geographies and calendars. We tell you because it is our way of being accountable, of letting you know what’s happening and so that you know if we are on the path we said we were on or if we have wandered off that path, perhaps repeating the same vices we criticize. But if we are on the right track, well we want you to know that too in order to bring joy to the collective heart that we are. How do we know if we are on a good or bad path? Well, for us as Zapatistas it’s very simple: the communities speak, the communities rule, the communities do, the communities undo. The very moment someone heads down a bad path, the collective quickly gives them what is more or less a knock on the head, and they correct themselves or they’re out. This is our autonomy: it is our path, we walk it, we get things right, we make mistakes, we correct ourselves. In sum, we tell you the truth because we imagine you are sick and tired of lies. And truth, while sometimes painful, is always a relief. So we don’t want to be like the bad governments who over the past days have made themselves up quite extensively, apparently to please the visitor and so he wouldn’t see what was happening below. But all that makeup only served to show how false the government is. That is, what reasonably intelligent person wouldn’t see the truth? Now whether that person admits or denies what they see, that is something else and that’s on them.
Okay then, without more fanfare. What we share with you here is happening in addition to what was already explained in the Zapatista Little School textbooks. If you didn’t attend the Zapatista Little School in community or from elsewhere or you don’t know what the textbooks say, we recommend you read them. There you will learn all about the process of the construction of autonomy. What we are going tell you about now is new, new things that have since appeared, things that weren’t there a year or two ago.
Zapatista growth continues, and more and more young people [jovenes and jovenas] are joining.
In the area of health, the compañeras and compañeros are doing well. We see that there are fewer patients at the autonomous clinics because the work of prevention has grown substantially and the autonomous health promotores [promoters or teachers] attend to the people. Meaning, the people get sick less. Those who are in fact arriving more and more at the Zapatista autonomous clinics are the partidistas [people affiliated with state political parties].
In the area of education, primary school education is equally available everywhere. But there is a new demand from the communities: middle school and high school education. In some zones there is already a middle school, but not everywhere. There are now young people who are demanding higher education. They don’t want workshops, but higher education in the arts and sciences. But they don’t want a capitalist education in the institutional universities, but rather an education that respects our ways. In this sense we still have a lot to do.
In the area of economy, and not counting what already existed and is maintained through collective and individual work (cultivation of corn, beans, coffee, chickens, bananas, sheep, cattle, vegetable gardens, honey, as well as the supply stores, livestock sales, and other products), what we have seen is that overall production has grown, which has improved our nutrition and health, above all for the young people and children.
In some zones the autonomous health promoters are already training in performing ultrasounds, working in the laboratory, holding general medical consultations, and practicing dentistry and gynecology. In addition they carry out preventive health campaigns in their regions. In one zone, the profits from a collective livestock project were used to buy laboratory equipment and an ultrasound machine. They already have compañeras and compañeros trained to operate these devices, which is an outcome of the health promotores of one caracol teaching those of another caracol. That is, they are teaching each other. Another hospital clinic is already under construction where minor surgeries can be carried out, similar to what already exists in La Realidad and Oventik.
Regarding work on the land, the corn cultivation and cattle-raising collectives have grown substantially. With the profits from that work, in addition to buying medicines and equipment for the clinics, the bases of support have bought a tractor.
In the autonomous stores there are no fancy namebrand clothes nor the latest fashions, but there is no lack of slips, dresses, blouses, pants, shirts, shoes (the majority of which are made in autonomous shoemaking shops) and everything anyone might want to cover their private parts.
Those who have advanced the most in production and commercialization are the compañeras. A few years ago, with the fruit of the collective work of the comandancia, the comités and the insurgents (yes, we also work in production in order to generate income), a portion of our earnings were sent to each autonomous municipality so that the compañeras bases of support could start a collective of whatever kind they desired. And they turned out to be much better administrators than the men; in one municipality the compañeras not only put together a successful cattle collective, now they are advanced to a point where they are giving their cattle “al partir” to other communities that have women’s collectives (We Zapatistas say “al partir” to mean that what is earned is divided in half, and one half is given to another party). The same thing has happened with the cooperative stores: now they are making loans to other collectives or communities in the region, and sometimes even to individual compañeras.
All of the autonomous municipalities have collective projects for cultivating corn and some have livestock. All of the regions have collective work that produces profit. For example, in a recent celebration, the regions all contributed to funds for the cow that they ate at the festival and to pay the musicians.
The great majority of the communities have collective projects; in a few the compañeros don’t have collectives but the compañeras do, and in some communities there are two collectives, one of compañeros and one of compañeras. Individually they all struggle to make a living and they have been able to advance. Milician@s as well as insurgent@s work in production collectives in order to support themselves and to help support the communities.
In the Oventik caracol they now have an autonomous tortillería. We don’t know how much a kilo of tortilla costs in your geographies, but in Oventik it’s at 10 pesos a kilo. And these tortillas are made out of corn, not Maseca [processed cornmeal]. Even the public transportation vehicles make special trips to buy their tortillas there. Corn is not produced in the Highlands Zone of Chiapas where the caracol of Oventik is located. The corn is produced in the Jungle regions and then bought and sold between collectives in the zone so that Zapatista families can get corn at a good price and without middlemen. For this commerce they use trucks that were donated to the Juntas de Buen Gobierno [Good Government Councils] by good people who we won’t name here, but they and we know who they are.
In many Zapatista communities around 50% of people work in collectives and the rest work individually. In some, the majority work individually. Although collective work is promoted, individual work that doesn’t exploit other individuals is respected. The collective work as well as the individual work is not only sustaining itself but is growing.
The collectives are organized according to local decisions. There are collectives at the community level as well as men’s, women’s, and young people’s collectives. There are regional and municipal collectives. There are zone level collectives and Junta de Buen Gobierno collectives. When one collective does well, it supports the other collectives that are behind or slower. Or, in some regions, the collective production of food goes to the warehouses that supply the autonomous middle schools.
The news of all these advances made doesn’t come from the Zapatista comandancia; that is, it doesn’t come out of the heads of a few people, but rather from the sharing exchanges between the communities themselves. In these exchanges they talk about their work, their improvements, their problems and their errors. In that process new ideas are generated and shared among them. That is, the compañeros and compañeras are learning from each other.
Of course we as authorities also learn, a lot, from our Zapatista compañeras and compañeros. The things we see and hear are terrible and marvelous, so much that we don’t know what will come of all these advances.
Right now we won’t tell you about the rearming of the paramilitaries, the increase in military, air, and land patrols, and everything the bad governments do to try to destroy us. We won’t enter into details because we know well that you all don’t have things easy either, that your resistances and rebellions suffer aggressions every day, every hour, and everywhere. And we know that nevertheless, you continue rebelling and resisting. But we also know that you know that everything that we are telling you about here takes place in the midst of aggressions, attacks, harassment, slander, and complicit silence. In the midst of a war, that is. And although in dark periods, like that of the present, there emerge all types of “marketers of hope,” the Zapatistas don’t let ourselves be taken in by ecclesiastic, secular, or lay stupidities of those now calling for a “new constituent” that will “save us” and that rely on the same old methods of coercion that say they are critical but lie about the supposed support of the EZLN while trying to revise history under the guise of obsolete “vanguards” that, as of quite awhile ago, ceded their legacy. The EZLN does not support selling people little mirrors. We are in 2016, not 1521, wake up already.
Compas of the Sixth, Sisters and Brothers of the National Indigenous Congress:
With everything that is happening and the threats that pursue us, the Zapatistas are preparing ourselves for the worst, for what is coming. We are not scared. Not because we are foolhardy, but because we trust our compas. Indeed, it looks like in the face of the storm that is shaking heaven and earth all over the world, the Zapatista bases of support have grown. It is as if now is when their ability, wisdom, imagination, and creativity shine brightest. In reality what these words are meant to do, more than inform or provide an accounting, is to embrace you and remind you that here, in this corner of the world, you have compas that, despite the distance of calendar and geography, have not forgotten you.
But not everything is going well. We will tell you clearly that we have identified a failure: the Zapatista women are advancing more than the men. That is, there is not equal development. Everyday less and less remains of that time when the man was the only one who brought money into the home. Now in some zones it is the women’s collectives that are employing the men. And there are more than a few Zapatista homes where the woman is the one who gives money to the man so that he can buy his shirt, his pants, his bandana, and his comb in order to look handsome for the upcoming activities that we will soon announce. Because maybe we are dirty, ugly, and bad, but this is for sure: we are well groomed.
From the mountains of the Mexican Southeast: Subcomandante Insurgente Moisés, Subcomandante Insurgente Galeano. Mexico, February 2016
B. Communique issued beginning of 2016:
Good evening, good day compañeras and compañeros, today we are here to celebrate the 22nd anniversary of the beginning of the war against oblivion. For more than 500 years we have endured the war that the powerful from different nations, languages, colors, and beliefs have made against us in order to annihilate us. They wanted to kill us, be it through killing our bodies or killing our ideas. But we resist. As original peoples, as guardians of Mother Earth, we resist. Not only here and not only our color, which is the color of the earth. In all of the corners of the earth that suffered in the past and still suffer now, there were and there are dignified and rebellious people who resisted, who resist against the death imposed from above.
On January 1, 1994, 22 years ago, we made public the “ENOUGH!” that we had prepared in dignified silence for a decade. In silencing our pain we were preparing its scream. Our word, at that time, came from fire. In order to wake those who slept. To raise the fallen. To incense those who conformed and surrendered. To rebel against history. To force it to tell that which it had silenced. To reveal the history of exploitations, murders, dispossessions, disrespect and forgetting that it was hiding behind the history of above. This history of museums, statues, textbooks — monuments to the lie.
With the death of our people, with our blood, we shook the stupor of a world resigned to defeat. It was not only words. The blood of our fallen compañeros in these 22 years was added to the blood of those from the preceding years, lustrums, decades, and centuries.
We had to choose then and we chose life.
That is why, both then and now, in order to live, we die. Our word then was as simple as our blood painting the streets and walls of the cities where they disrespect us now as they did then.
And it continues to be:
The banner of our struggle was our 11 demands: land, work, food, health, education, dignified housing, independence, democracy, freedom, justice, and peace. These demands were what made us rise up in arms because these were the things that we, the original people and the majority of people in this country and in the entire world, need. In this way, we began our struggle against exploitation, marginalization, humiliation, disrespect, oblivion and all of the injustices we lived that were caused by the bad system. Because we are only of service to the rich and powerful as their slaves, so that they can become richer and richer and we can become poorer and poorer.
After living for such a long time under this domination and plunder we said:
ENOUGH! THIS IS WHERE OUR PATIENCE ENDS!
And we saw that we had no other choice than to take up our arms to kill or to die for a just cause. But we were not alone. Nor are we alone now. In Mexico and the World dignity took to the streets and asked for a space for the word. We understood. From that moment on, we changed our form of struggle. We were and we are an attentive ear and open word, because from the beginning we knew that a just struggle of the people is for life and not for death. But we have our arms at our sides, we have not gotten rid of them, they will be with us until the end. Because we see that where our ear was an open heart, the Ruler used his deceptive word, and ambitious and lying heart against us.
We saw that the war from above continued. Their plan and objective was and is to make war against us until they exterminate us. That is why instead of meeting our just demands, they prepared and prepare, made and make war with their modern weapons, form and finance paramilitaries, provide and distribute crumbs taking advantage of some people’s ignorance and poverty. These rulers above are stupid. They think that those who were willing to listen would also be willing to sell out, surrender, and give up.
They were wrong then. They are wrong now. Because we Zapatistas know full well that we are not beggars or good-for-nothings who hope that everything will simply resolve itself. We are people with dignity, determination, and consciousness to fight for true freedom and justice for all. Regardless of one’s color, race, gender, belief, calendar or geography. That is why our struggle is not local, regional, or even national. It is universal. Because the injustices, crimes, dispossessions, disrespect, and exploitations are universal. But so are rebellion, rage, dignity, and the desire to be better. That is why we understood that it was necessary to build our life ourselves, with autonomy.
In the midst of the major threats, military and paramilitary harassment, and the bad government’s constant provocations, we began to form our own system of governing—our autonomy—with our own education system, our own health care, our own communication, our way of caring for and working on mother earth; our own politics as a people and our own ideology about how we want to live as communities, with an other culture. Where others hope that those above will solve the problems of those below, we Zapatistas began to build our freedom as it is sown, how it is constructed, where it grows, that is to say, from below.
But the bad government tries to destroy and bring an end to our struggle and resistance with a war that changes in intensity as it changes its deceptive politics, with its bad ideas, with its lies, using the media to spread them, and by handing out crumbs in the indigenous communities where Zapatistas live in order to divide and to buy off people’s consciences, thus implementing their counterinsurgency plan.
But the war that comes from above, compañeras, compañeros, brothers and sisters, is always the same: it only brings destruction and death. The ideas and flags may change with whoever is in office, but the war of above always destroys, always kills, never sows anything other than terror and hopelessness.
In the middle of this war, we have had to walk toward what we want. We could not sit and wait for the understanding of those who don’t even understand that they don’t understand. We could not sit and wait for the criminal to repudiate himself and his history and convert himself, repentant, into a good person. We could not sit and wait for a large and useless list of promises that will be forgotten a few minutes after they are made. We could not wait for the other, different, but with the same pain and rage, to look at us and in looking at us, see.
We did not know how to do it. There was no book, manual, or doctrine that told us what to do in order to resist, and simultaneously, to build something new and better. Maybe not perfect, maybe different, but always ours, our people’s, the women, men, children and elders who, with their collective heart, cover the black flag with a red star with five points and the letters that give them not only a name, but also a commitment and destiny: EZLN.
And so we searched in our ancestral history, in our collective heart, and through the stumbles, through flaws and mistakes, we have been building that which we are and that which not only keeps us going with life and resistance, but also raises us up dignified and rebellious.
During these 22 years of struggle of Resistance and Rebellion, we have continued to build another form of life, governing ourselves as the collective peoples that we are, according to the seven principles of leading by obeying, building a new system and another form of life as original peoples. One where the people command and the government obeys. And we see, from our simple heart, that this is the healthiest way, because it is born and grows from the people themselves. It is the people themselves who give their opinions, discuss, think, analyze, make proposals, and decide what is best for them, following the example of our ancestors.
As we will be explaining in more detail later, we see that neglect and poverty reign in the partidista [political party followers] communities, they are run by laziness and crime and community life is broken, now fatally torn apart. Selling out to the bad government not only did not resolve their basic problems, but gave them more horrors to deal with. Where before there was hunger and poverty, now there is hunger, poverty, and desperation. The partidista communities have become crowds of beggars who don’t work, who only wait for the next government aid program, that is, the next electoral season. This doesn’t of course show up in any federal, state, or municipal government report, but it is the truth and can be seen in the partidista communities: peasant farmers who don’t know how to work the land anymore; concrete block houses with aluminum roofs that are empty because one can eat neither concrete nor tin; communities that only come together to receive government crumbs.
Perhaps in our communities there aren’t cement houses, or digital televisions, or brand new trucks, but our people know how to work the land. The food on their tables, the clothes they wear, the medicine they take, the knowledge they learn, the life they live is THEIRS, the product of their work and their knowledge. It isn’t a handout from anyone.
We can say this without shame: the Zapatista communities are not only better off than they were 22 years ago; their quality of life is better than those who sold out to political parties of all colors and stripes.
Before, in order to know if someone was Zapatista, you checked to see if they had a red handkerchief or a balaclava. Now it is enough to see if they work the land, if they take care of their culture, if they study science and technology, if they respect the women that we are, if their gaze is straight and clear, if they know that it is the collective that rules, if they see the job of the autonomous Zapatista government in rebellion as a service and not a business; if when you ask them something they don’t know they respond “I don’t know…yet”; if when someone mocks them saying that the Zapatistas no longer exist or are very few they respond, “don’t worry, there will be more of us, it may take awhile, but there will be more”; if their gaze reaches far in calendars and geographies; if they know that tomorrow is planted today.
We recognize of course that there is much left to do, we must organize ourselves better and organize ourselves more. That is why we must make an even greater effort to prepare ourselves to more effectively and more extensively carry out the work of governing ourselves, because the worst of the worst, the capitalist system, will come back at us again. We have to know how to confront it. We have 32 years of experience already in our struggle of rebellion and resistance.
And we have become what we are. We are the Zapatista Army of National Liberation. This is what we are although they do not name us. This is what we are although through silence and slander they forget us. This is what we are although they don’t see us. This is what we are through our step, on our path, in our origin and our destiny.
We look at what was before, and what is now. A bloody night, worse than before if that is possible, extends over the world. The Ruler is not only set on continuing to exploit, repress, disrespect, and dispossess, but is determined to destroy the entire world if in doing so it can create profits, money, pay. It is clear that the worst is coming for all of us.
The rich multimillionaires of a few countries continue with their objective to loot the natural riches of the entire world, everything that gives us life like water, land, forests, mountains, rivers, air; and everything that is below the ground: gold, oil, uranium, amber, sulfur, carbon, and other minerals. They don’t consider the land as a source of life, but as a business where they can turn everything into a commodity, and commodities they turn into money, and in doing this they will destroy us completely.
The bad and those who carry it out have a name, history, origin, calendar, geography: the capitalist system. It doesn’t matter what color they paint it, what name they give it, what religion they dress it up as, what flag they raise; it is the capitalist system. It is the exploitation of humanity and the world we inhabit. It is disrespect and contempt for everything that is different and that doesn’t sell out, doesn’t give up, and doesn’t give in. It is the system that persecutes, incarcerates, murders. It steals.
At the head of this system there are figures that emerge, reproduce, grow, and die: saviors, leaders, caudillos, candidates, governments, parties that offer their solutions. They offer recipes, as one more commodity, to resolve problems.
Perhaps someone out there still believes that from above, where problems are made, will also come solutions. Perhaps there is still someone who believes in local, regional, national, and global saviors. Perhaps there are those who still hope that someone who will do what we must do ourselves. That would be nice, yes. Everything would be so easy, comfortable, not requiring too much effort. It would mean just raising one’s hand, marking a ballot, filling out a form, applauding, shouting a slogan, affiliating oneself with a political party, and voting to throw one out and let another in. Perhaps, we Zapatistas say, perhaps, we think, we who are what we are. It would be nice if things were like that, but they aren’t.
What we have learned as Zapatistas, and without anyone or anything except our own path as teacher, is that no one, absolutely no one is going to come and save us, help us, resolve our problems, relieve our pain, or bring us the justice that we need and deserve. There is only what we do ourselves, everyone in their own calendar and geography, in their own collective name, in their own thinking and action, their own origin and destiny. We have also learned, as Zapatistas, that this is only possible with organization. We learned that it is good if one person gets angry.
But that if more people, many people get angry, a light ignites in one corner of the world and its glow can be seen, for a moment, across the entire surface of the earth.
But we also learned that if these angers organize themselves… Ah! Then we have not just a momentary flash that illuminates the earth’s surface. Then what we have is a murmur, like a rumor, a tremor that begins quietly and grows stronger. It is as if this world was about to birth another, a better one, more just, more democratic, more free, more human… or humana… or humanoa.
That is why today we begin our words with a word from awhile ago already, but one that continues to be necessary, urgent, vital: we have to organize ourselves, prepare ourselves to struggle to change this life, to create another way of living, another way to govern ourselves as peoples. Because if we don’t organize, we will be enslaved.
There is nothing to trust in capitalism. Absolutely nothing. We have lived with this system for hundreds of years, and we have suffered under its four wheels: exploitation, repression, dispossession, and disdain. Now all we have is our trust in each other, in ourselves. And we know how to create a new society, a new system of government, the just and dignified life that we want.
Now no one is safe from the storm of the capitalist hydra that will destroy our lives, not indigenous people, peasant farmers, workers, teachers, housewives, intellectuals, or workers in general, because there are many workers who struggle to survive daily life, some with a boss and others without, but all caught in the clutches of capitalism. In other words, there is no salvation within capitalism.
No one will lead us; we must lead ourselves, thinking together about how we will resolve each situation. Because if we think that there is someone to lead us, well, we have already seen how they lead during the last several hundred years of the capitalist system; it didn’t work for us, the poor, at all. It worked for them, yes, because just sitting there they earned money to live on.
They told everyone “vote for me,” “I will fight for an end to exploitation,” and as soon as they take office where they can earn money without sweat, they automatically forget everything they said and begin to create more exploitation, to sell the little that is left of the riches of our countries. Those sell-outs are useless hypocrites, parasite good-for-nothings.
That is why, compañeros and compañeras, the struggle is not over, we are just barely getting started. We’ve only been at this for 32 years, 22 of which were public. That is why we must better unite ourselves, better organize ourselves in order to construct our boat, our house — that is, our autonomy. That is what is going to save us from the great storm that looms. We must strengthen our different areas of work and our collective tasks.
We have no other possible path but to unite ourselves and organize ourselves to struggle and defend ourselves from the great threat that is the capitalist system. Because the criminal capitalism that threatens all of humanity does not respect anyone; it will sweep aside all of us regardless of race, party, or religion. This has been demonstrated to us over many years of bad government, threats, persecution, incarceration, torture, disappearances, and murder of our peoples of the countryside and the city all over the world.
That is why we say, compañeros, compañeras, children, young people [jóvenes and jovenas]: you new generations are the future of our people, of our struggle and our history. But you must understand that you have a task and an obligation: to follow the example of our first compañeros, of our elders, of our parents and grandparents and all those who began this struggle. They have already laid a path; now it is our job to follow and maintain it. But we can only achieve this by organizing ourselves generation after generation, understanding this task and organizing ourselves to carry it out, and continuing this until we reach the end of our struggle. You as young people are an important part of our communities; that is why you must participate in all levels of work in our organization and in all areas of our autonomy. Let each generation continue to lead us toward our destiny of democracy, freedom, and justice, just as our first compañeros and compañeras are teaching us now.
Compañeros and compañeras, all of you, we are sure that we will one day achieve what we want: everything for everyone, nothing for ourselves — that is, our freedom. Today our struggle is advancing little by little. Our weapons of struggle are our resistance, our rebellion, and our honest word, which no mountain nor border can block. It will reach the ears and hearts of brothers and sisters all over the world. Every day there are more people who understand that the cause of our struggle against the grave situation of injustice we live is the capitalist system in our country and in the world.
We also know that over the course of our struggle there have been and will be threats, repression, persecution, dispossession, contradictions, and mockery from the three levels of bad government. But we should be clear that the bad government hates us because we are on a good path; if it applauds us we have detoured from our struggle.
We must not forget that we are the heirs of more than 500 years of struggle and resistance. The blood of our ancestors runs through our veins, it is they who have passed down to us the example of struggle and rebellion, the role of guardian of our Mother Earth, from whom we were born, from whom we live, and to whom we will return.
Compañeros and compañeras Zapatistas. Compañeros and compañeras, compañeroas of the Sixth: Brothers and sisters: These are our first words for this year that is beginning. More words will come, more thoughts. Little by little we will show you once again our gaze, our collective heart. For now we will finish by telling you that to honor and respect the blood of our fallen compañeros, it is not enough to remember, miss, cry, or pray, rather we must continue the work that they left us, to create in practice the change that we want. That is why, compañeros and compañeras, this important day is the time to reaffirm our commitment to struggle, to going forward at whatever cost and whatever happens, without letting the capitalist system destroy what we have won and the little that we have been able to build with our work and our efforts over more than 22 years: our freedom!
Now is not the time to retreat, to get discouraged or to tire; we must be even firmer in our struggle, to maintain the word and example that our first compañeros left us: to not give in, not sell out, and not give up.
From the mountains of the Mexican Southeast.
For the Indigenous Revolutionary Clandestine Committee — General Command of the Zapatista Army of National Liberation.
Subcomandante Insurgente Moisés
Subcomandante Insurgente Galeano.