AMLO ‘reaches out’ to the Zapatistas

Guess how well that’s  gonna work out…given who AMLO turned out to be. This is longish, but I hope you’ll enjoy reading about actual revolutionary socialists who dared to declare themselves independent of  the official government.   Most have managed to survive, and their example has spurred the formation of other indigenous autonomous zones in Mexico.  They are now under attack by AMLO’s government, and are ready to defend themselves.

‘AMLO reaches out to Zapatistas, but the relationship is not a warm one; They did not support him in his bids for election yet both are on the left of the political spectrum’, Monday, July 8, 2019, mexiconewsdaily.com

President [Andrés Manuel] López Obrador expressed his respect for the Zapatista Army of National Liberation (EZLN) during a visit to Chiapas over the weekend but the possibility of its indigenous Mayan members heeding his call for unity would appear unlikely judging by the two parties’ fractious past.

López Obrador said on Saturday that the government “very much respects the Zapatista movement,” adding that his “fraternal and respectful recommendation is for us not to fight.”

“Enough division already, all of us need to unite,” he said before reciting lyrics from the Chiapas state anthem that call for an end to “hateful vengeance” and for everyone to come together as brothers.

The president yesterday posted a 1994 photo to his social media accounts which shows him posing alongside former EZLN leader Subcomandante Marcos, other members of the rebel army and former presidential hopefuls Cuauhtémoc Cárdenas and Rosario Ibarra de Piedra.

“. . . On that occasion, the issue was to achieve peace. I only remember that a picture is worth a thousand words,” López Obrador wrote above the photo, which was published on his Facebook, Instagram and Twitter accounts.

On January 1, 1994 – the same day that the North American Free Trade Agreement, or NAFTA, took effect – the EZLN launched a military offensive in Chiapas after issuing a declaration stating that the Mexican government was illegitimate.

The rebel force seized several towns in the southern state but the Mexican army retaliated on January 2 and inflicted heavy casualties on the guerrillas, forcing them to retreat.”

[a very dodgy narrative, including the fact that the IDF trained the Mexican army, and they bombed and strafed the Zapatista encampments in which hundreds died; nor did AMLO turn out to be ‘a leftist’, except in the way Obomba is/was.)

“Fast forward a quarter of a century and the EZLN remains opposed to the federal government, most notably speaking out against its plan to build the Maya Train on the Yucatán peninsula.

From the ‘speaking out against’ link above:


AMLO won’t fall for provocations by the Zapatista Army of National Liberation, or EZLN, he told reporters today.

President López Obrador said the Zapatistas have the right to protest and dissent and he was open to dialogue with them.

Yesterday, EZLN chief Subcomandante Moisés confirmed that his organization would oppose projects planned by the new government, including the Maya Train and the National Guard.

We are not going to confront any group. We want peace and reconciliation,” the president told reporters.

“We are open to dialogue and love and peace.”

The president has campaigned on defending the rights of indigenous citizens and his presidency has been welcomed by many, but the Zapatistas remain unconvinced.

“On January 1, army chief Subcomandante Moises said that the EZLN would oppose projects proposed by the López Obrador administration including the ambitious rail project and the National Guard.

“We are going to fight. We are going to confront [them]; we are not going to allow [López Obrador] to come through here with his destructive projects,” he said just before midnight on New Year’s Eve at a ceremony marking the 25th anniversary of the 1994 uprising.”  (the rest, again, is here)

As for the Zapatista’s opposition to ‘the National Guard’, wsws.org had it this way back n the day; after a lengthy explanation of the abysmal failure of Mexico’s war on drug trafficking, including 200,000 dead and more than 35,000 disappeared since 2006:

‘Mexico’s Lopez Obrador embraces military on eve of presidential inauguration’, Don Knowland, 1 December 2018

“During his campaign, and shortly after his victory in July, López Obrador announced his intention to gradually withdraw the Army from the streets. But the week before last he performed an about-face, proposing an even greater role for the military, through the creation of a National Guard composed of military and naval units, which would subsume the current functions of the federal police.

Far from any return to the barracks, this measure will result in a significant increase in military deployment. By 2021, AMLO said, the National Guard should have between 120,000 and 150,000 troops in action.

López Obrador in effect seeks a military “Special Command” over federal, state and police functions. This apparently would even extend to their role in investigating crimes, which under the current, longstanding, constitutional framework falls under the control of public prosecution ministries. When he ran this conception by the current Secretary of Defense, General Salvador Cienfuegos, the general told him it could not be done because it would violate the Constitution. AMLO responded, “let’s change the Constitution.”

The response of López Obrador and Morena to this ruling was to introduce, the very next day, a congressional proposal to amend 13 articles of the Constitution in order to allow a military body to lead “the prevention of crime and the preservation of public safety.”

Who knows how many more National Guardsmen there are at present after bowing to Trump’s immigration schemes?  His administration has been busting workers’ strikes to beat the band, has created a ‘free trade zone’ of maquiladoras at the border, an austerity budget; so much for AMLO’s Hope and Change.

The following is most of transcript from radiozapatista.org, Jérôme Baschet translator, marked Creative Commons:

‘Zapatistas take on President AMLO at 25th anniversary’, February 26, 2019, roarmag.org, At their annual celebration, the Zapatistas took aim at the Maya Train and tree farm megaprojects that trample the rights of Indigenous people.

“Normally, these yearly celebrations are festive activities marked by speeches and dances commemorating the historic moment the Zapatistas said “Enough!” (¡Ya basta!) to five centuries of colonial rule that left Indigenous communities devastated; to the Partido Revolucionario Institucional’s decades of “perfect dictatorship”; and to the neoliberal policies that brought about the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).


This year, the anniversary was anything but a happy event. Subcomandante Moisés stated it clearly: “Our hour as Zapatista peoples has come, and we see that we are alone. I want to tell you clearly that this is what we see, compañeros and compañeras of the support bases, compañeros and compañeras of the militias: we are alone, just as we were 25 years ago.”

But even more so than the words spoken by the Subcomandante, it was the rare display of military strength by the EZLN, the Zapatista Army of National Liberation that clearly set the tone for this year’s celebration. To the powerful clamor of their canes striking in rhythm with their steps, thousands of EZLN militia marched into the central square of the caracol , they believe resembles a human heart] of The Mother of Caracoles [or ‘snails’, which they reckon are shaped like human hearts]— Sea of Dreams, formerly known as La Realidad.


The roughly 3,000 combatants were drawn from all five of the Zapatista autonomous zones and belonged to the 21st Zapatista Infantry Division, the same unit that first occupied seven municipal centers in Chiapas at the beginning of the insurrection.

The entire event indicated a return to the early days of Zapatismo. Moisés outlined the position of the EZLN in regards to the new Mexican government headed by President A.M. López Obrador (or AMLO, as he is popularly known):

‘That trickster in power now, what is his game? That he pretends to be with the people of Mexico, trying to deceive the Indigenous peoples by kneeling upon the earth to ask permission for his projects. He thinks all the Indigenous peoples are going to believe that charade. Here we say no, to the contrary, we don’t buy it.’

The Zapatistas already explained their view of AMLO’s politics after his election to the presidency in July 2018, but this time the message was addressed directly to the newly inaugurated president who took up his post on December 1, 2018. Contrary to the views of some 30 million voters, the Zapatistas do not view AMLO as a bearer of hope, but rather as a foreman in the great estate of global capitalism.

The challenges ahead

Over their 25 years of struggle, the Zapatistas have shaped and defended a unique experiment in political autonomy: first with the declaration of 30 autonomous municipalities in December 1994 and then with the creation of the five Good Government Councils in August 2003.

The Zapatistas have built their own grassroots democracy and justice, health and education systems. They have revitalized production based on collective ownership of the land and introduced new ways of working communally to strengthen and support their autonomy.


For them, autonomy is an affirmation of their own ways of life, firmly rooted in the local communities and in the rejection of the practice and ideology of capitalism that seeks to destroy them. At the same time, theirs is an experiment in popular self-government outside of the institutions of the Mexican state. And not only have they persisted for a quarter century, they continue to work on their own transformation.

Permission for destruction

In his speech, Subcomandante Moisés excoriated AMLO’s energetic pursuit of mega-projects in the name of progress, employment and the fight against poverty. AMLO relies on a long-established rhetoric cataloguing and condemning all those who oppose such projects as retrograde conservatives and enemies of collective welfare, if not simply anachronistic primitivists.

But, for Indigenous peoples, these mega-projects mean above all the dispossession of their territories and the accelerated destruction of their ways of life. As Subcomandante Moisés sums it up: “Now we are seeing that they are coming for us, the Native people.”

The mega-projects include the expansion of a wind turbine farm in the Isthmus of Tehuantepec; the creation of a special economic zone; and a Panama Canal-sized corridor of multi-modal inter-oceanic communication — an old project that various neoliberal governments never managed to realize.

Another plan, one that has been fueling suspicions of conflict of interest, concerns the planting of timber-yielding and fruit trees on one million hectares of land in the southeastern states of the county. The controversy here is that Alfonso Romo, a big player in Mexican agro-business and AMLO’s chief of staff, is also the owner of Agromod, the biggest papaya producer in the world. The company is growing crops on hundreds of acres of land on the Chiapas coast and in Yucatán, and if selected by the president to provide the millions of seedlings required for the tree-planting project, this would raise major concerns regarding a potential conflict of interests.

AMLO’s style of announcing the railway project was itself an unacceptable provocation of the Zapatistas. On December 16, 2018, AMLO visited Palenque to officially start the construction of the railway where he took part in a pseudo-ritual of honoring Mother Earth. Subcomandante Moisés explained that in pretending to take up Indigenous customs and ways — asking permission of Mother Earth to act — he was asking for permission to destroy the Indigenous peoples. “Some of our brothers and sisters of the Indigenous peoples have been fooled,” said Moisés. “We don’t buy it. Mother Earth doesn’t speak, but if she did, she’d say clearly, “No! Go fuck yourself.

The parody of the Mayan ritual was a “mockery” and a “humiliation.” AMLO bypassed the people of the region to address Mother Earth for permission for a project that invokes the name of their ancestors.

It must be remembered that free, prior, and informed consent is required when the states that have signed the International Labor Organization Convention 169 (C169) and the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples plan to develop or access resources on Indigenous land. Mexico is a signatory to both documents. But AMLO leans on his interpretation of the authority of Mother Earth to destroy her and to authorize his violations of international agreements.

AMLO is not a climate denier, but in regards to his indifference towards global warning and lack of interest in ecological issues he is not very different from US President Trump, with whom in fact, he has very cordial relations. It was announced that the Mayan Train would rely on a large Central American workforce and create other investments in the southern part of the country. This means that the mega-projects of the current government clearly function to contain the flow of migrants to the US. In a way, Trump is right to insist that Mexicans will end up paying for the wall, especially since most of the funds the US have promised to contribute to regional development projects are in fact private-sector loans that will have to be paid back.

“We are alone”

Faced with the creeping, brutal threat of the capitalist Hydra disguised as progress, the Zapatistas firmly and thoroughly expressed their position: “We are not going to give up.”

“No matter how small the provocation, we will defend ourselves,” Zapatistas say. “We will not allow this project of destruction to pass through our territory.”

The warning could not be more clear. In this context, the thousands of soldiers who marched into town during the recent celebration, along with the many thousands more who remained invisible, were all ready to give their life in defense of the territory and the autonomy the Zapatistas have built for themselves.

However, this message should not be interpreted as a return to armed struggle, but rather as a reminder that the EZLN is ready to defend their land and their struggle if necessary. Everything they have accomplished so far, explained Moisés, has been the fruit of their effort. “We are going to continue building and we will win.”

But throughout his speech, Subcomandante Moisés repeated, “We are alone.” For many people, this felt like a punch in the stomach. Did this mean that the EZLN’s 25-year efforts of working with the National Indigenous Congress, the Indigenous Government Council, the Sixth (la Sexta), national and international network of struggles, were all in vain? Was this a reference to an inability to overcome inertia and divisions among national and international networks of rebellions and resistances?

Not quite; these statements indicate a strategic decision vis-à-vis the new Mexican government. In all likelihood, it also represents a key moment in the trajectory of the Zapatista movement. It could be that Subcomandante Moisés was referring to the majority of Mexican voters who did not pay attention to the Zapatistas’ warnings [to not vote for him, or abstain from voting altogether].  But most importantly, his reference to the Zapatistas being “alone” was a reflection of that moment, 25 years ago, when they “alone went and woke up the people of Mexico and the world.”

That is to say, just like the decision to rise up in 1994 was wholly taken by the EZLN, now again, the decision to prepare for a confrontation with the federal government is the EZLN’s alone.

Challenging the new man in power

It is likely that the lessons of the so-called progressive governments of Latin America over the last 15 years, especially in Brazil, Argentina, Bolivia and Ecuador, also carry some weight. On the one hand, there has been a weakening of social movements, especially of Indigenous movements, through co-optation, loss of autonomy, division and self-censorship. On the other hand, there is an unprecedented advance of the market through mega-projects, extractivism, GMO agribusiness, land grabbing and the destruction of ways of life sorely shaped by social relations warped by capitalists.

In short, “progressivism” has been, at least temporarily, one of the most efficient political tools making the capitalist hydra stronger and feeding its insatiable appetite. Instead of waiting for policies of the same kind to produce their deadly effects little by little, the Zapatistas preferred to take the lead.

Therefore, they challenge the new man in power, forcing him to choose between two of his solemn commitments: one, to carry out the announced major projects, and two, to never repress the Mexican people. They also oblige everyone, especially those in social movements and Indigenous struggles, to choose a side.

Above all, they are preparing to defend what they have been building for a quarter of a century: an experience of rebel autonomy with a scope and radicalism that have few equivalents in the world.”


More on the Mayan train project:

‘Mayan Train Project To Displace 250 Communities in Mexico’, July 8, 2019, telesur via intercontinentalcry.org

“The National Fund for Tourism Promotion (Fonatur) of Mexico said Thursday that it plans to “reorganize” 250 communities for the “Mayan Train” project.

Fonatur plans to build homes, shops, linear parks, wildlife bridges and even modify roads adjacent to each terminal which will relocate the communities staying around the planned route of the train.

In a 28-paged document, the organization explained that one of the first terminals will be Palenque, Chiapas which will then work as the prototype for other terminals.

The Maya Train is a large-scale infrastructure project proposed by Mexican President Manuel Andres Lopez Obrador to connect the whole Yucatan Peninsula for tourism, transportation and economic purposes.

“Whatever the critics of Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador government say, the project of the Maya Train will become a reality, there is the necessary financial support and the project will be carried out according to plan,” said Rogelio Jimenez Pons, general director of the Fonatur.

The project plan released Monday shows that they are commercializing the rebel areas. The station will be located at the center surrounded by commercial pavilions and front, a central square that will be a few meters from the municipal palace.

The calculation is that each area would house 50,000 people, who will have the capacity to receive up to three million tourists a year.

The Confederation of the Mexican Republic (COPARMEX) said that “specialists warn that the Maya Train project could cause severe social and environmental damage.”

Ya think?

A brief  history of the Zapatistas:  ‘The Revolutionary Autonomous Zapatista Movement in Chiapas: a Primer’; February 28, 2018, Café version, C99% version

……………………………………………………………………………………………………..

As far as the mega-increase of the National Guard (they call ‘narco-militias’), if you look at the Zapatista/EZLN website, you’ll see any number of communications in various languages.  The most recent, July 12 reads in part:

CALL BY THE CNI-CIG AND THE EZLN TO JOIN THE CAMPAIGN FOR LIFE, PEACE, AND JUSTICE IN THE MOUNTAIN REGION OF GUERRERO

The peoples, communities, nations, collectives, neighborhoods, and originary tribes that make up the National Indigenous Congress and the Indigenous Governing Council, as well as the Zapatista Army for National Liberation call for actions to dismantle the ongoing war by the powerful against the life of humanity and the entire planet. More specifically, we call for actions that will dismantle the structure and paramilitary siege that maintains the ongoing violence against our peoples who, with dignity, have decided to confront and end that structure.

For this reason and:

  1. Considering that the capitalist narco-paramilitary war that is conducted with the complicity of the bad government and criminal gangs against the peoples and communities that belong to the National Indigenous Congress is expanding throughout much of the country, and that today, through terror, these actors threaten to exterminate the life and peace that we defend so that they can complete their violent neoliberal projects.
  2. Considering that the impunity continues for the cowardly assassination of our brother Samir Flores Soberanes from the Nahua indigenous community of Amilcingo, Moreles, and that the intentions of the big moneyed interests to complete the criminal thermoelectric project in Huexca, Morelos remain unchanged.
  3. Considering that the Emiliano Zapata Indigenous and Popular Council (CIPOG-EZ), who are members of the CNI-CIG, have made a call to break the narco-paramilitary siege that criminal organizations have imposed on the lower mountainous region of Guerrero.
  4. Considering that the permanent aggression against our compañeros is creating a humanitarian crisis, it has made the introduction of food and medicine to the region difficult, it has made it near impossible for people to work their land due to the fear that they will face assassination in their fields, and it has made it so that these communities cannot open their schools for fear of a possible attack on our children.

Others speak of assassinations and other forms of anti-life violence, as in this from June 5 (in part):

‘Neoliberal capitalism is marking its steps with the blood of our peoples as war is intensified against us wherever we refuse to cede our land, our culture, our peace and our collective organization, and because we refuse to give up our resistance or resign ourselves to dying off.

We denounce the cowardly attack on May 31 against the indigenous Nahua community of Zacualpan, which is part of the CNI, in the municipality of Comala, Colima, where narco-paramilitaries fired high-caliber weapons at a group of young people, killing one and critically injuring three more.

We condemn the aggression and destruction carried out in the early morning hours of May 31 against the Rebollero and Río Minas communities, part of the Binizza community of San Pablo Cuatro Venados in the municipality of Zachila, Oaxaca. There, a group armed with high-caliber weapons and heavy equipment came in firing on the community, destroying dozens of homes and forcing the population, including children, to flee. In all, 24 homes were demolished in the attack and the communities’ corn and other food supplies set on fire, including seeds saved for planting. The group also burned the families’ personal items such as clothing and shoes and stole their livestock, power generators, and water pumps.’

(cross-posted from Café Babylon)

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Alligator Ed's picture

Your essay is an ambitious incursion into the wilds of Mexican politics, which rightly deserve more scrutiny. There are so many topics covered here as to make a coherent comment about the entire essay impossible.

Here is my bit. The neoliberal destruction of indigenous populations is presented by you as a first step to civili way--a way which you personally did not postulate but one, nevertheless, could arise from the scenarios of internal population suppression. AMLO did the right thing in my view about limiting trans-travel through Mexico to the Gold Arches of Amerika. This by no means implies support for any of the indigenous crushing machinations to which you refer.

As an overview, your essay is wonderful. It can serve as a basis upon which to discuss knowledgeably about Mexican policies. Whether good or ill, over-inclusiveness may confuse issues by allowing either conflation with other co-existant issues or over-emphasis of other, relatively minor issues. But, as a place to start, your essay is valuable.

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wendy davis's picture

@Alligator Ed

it worthy as an overview of mexican policies, amigo, although as to that i cannot say. i have no idea what you mean by this, even if that's down to me:

'Whether good or ill, over-inclusiveness may confuse issues by allowing either conflation with other co-existant issues or over-emphasis of other, relatively minor issues. But, as a place to start, your essay is valuable.

yes, you've made yourself clear on this before:

AMLO did the right thing in my view about limiting trans-travel through Mexico to the Gold Arches of Amerika.

but at what cost to the working people and ordinary citizens as the zapatizas note. cheap labor on the the mayan pipleline? AMLO's 'Marshall plan or trump's? strike busting in the increasing numbers of maquiadoras in matamoros?

the mexican indigenous were first colonized (as understand it) by the first emperor of meexico austrian Maximillian I. in amerika, the first colonizers of the pre-colombian indigenous were colombian, and on from there, quakers, dutch, i forget who all.

but what reparations do the indigenous of the amerikas ask for: to not be murdered. those from central amerika? to seek haven from what miseries the US has subjected them to, so yeah, i reckon this abysmal nation, author/s of the most violence on the planet, by either war, overthrows of elected governments, or 'anti'-drug trafficking militias...well, we owe them sanctuary, at the very least.

taking amerikan jobs? oy. and veh. no, they have always done the shit labor that USians are too good for, like picking up the food on the ground...that we so cavalierly consume without thought. and of course, they pay taxes, even if they're too afraid of a Migre to join unions.

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Alligator Ed's picture

@wendy davis except about limiting trans-national emigration. As I said, not what you just declared, was very limited. Fine, insert all the appropriate grievances people have against our Uncle Slam you wish--but I said nothing about those points. Nor does this comment mean I disagree with many of your points.

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wendy davis's picture

@Alligator Ed

i'm just horror struck at these new attacks on the zapatistas and other indigenous in the area. as evidence: look at the incoherent rubbish nonsense i'd typed about the european colonizers of this stolen land.

and it looks as though things have gone from bad under peña nieto to worse under lopez obrador, the great Hope and Change 'leftist'. doesn't he look like a benevolent grandfather? looking at the intercontinental cry page was a jolt, as well, seeing even their partial compilation of the mass destruction of indigenous lands and forests, most notably in brazil.

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I have been largely ignorant about what’s going on in Mexico, in particular with regards to Obrador. This article has been hugely informative. Now if I can only absorb it all and make good use of it.

Too bad we don’t have a large group of Zapatistas here in the U.S. But I suspect that if there was such, they would have already been executed.

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wendy davis's picture

@tle

sure do vary, and as i'd noted earlier even telesur english had been been blowin' smoke up his skirts since he was elected. i was a bit chagrined to note that intercontinental cry had 'borrowed' those extra bits from telesur on 'more on the Mayan train project'.

but as i see it, he promised the world as he'd campaigned, then reversed course and delivered nothing except neoliberal austerity, strike breaking, and an 'increased free enterprise zone along the border. another con man obomba, iow.

thanks so much for reading and commenting; pleased to meet you, tle. ; )

on edit: i should have agreed that were there such as the zaptistas, would have have been executed...unless they'd had the support of The Ordinary People, as the zapatistas had since their having headed for the jungle as an inspiration...to the world. this blowhole nation wasn't even able to handle the Occupy movement for long, then: 'shut em down en masse'.

now? will they have support fighting for theirs and others' lives, or "be alone"?

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@tle After all, I can't think of anything I would like better to do than to arm myself to defend my territory right now.

Right now, I'm just drinking my coffee, listening to Christian music (apologies all), getting my C99 fix, and convincing myself to get my but in action to do yard work.

But you're right; I so wish there was an armed group right in my neighborhood so I could go fire off a few rounds at some enemies and hide from incoming fire. Living the dream....

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dfarrah

wendy davis's picture

@dfarrah

even though this was directed to @tle. first, my understanding was that he/she'd wished there were radical socialists who also care about the health of the planet, and had not indicated arming him/herself.

this may not what you'd meant, but what you'd said:

I can't think of anything I would like better to do than to arm myself to defend my territory right now.

But you're right; I so wish there was an armed group right in my neighborhood so I could go fire off a few rounds at some enemies and hide from incoming fire. Living the dream....

first, the zapatistas are a collective of caracoles, none own anything personally, including territory except the collective, and second, they will/would only shoot in defense of themselves and what they've built independently of the capitalist hydra. they do sell their own products, even online, to pay for what they need for building schools, clinics, agriculture, and what have you.

now as far as the two communiqués i'd added below the fold (dotted line), i have no idea if there'd been any armed response to that hell unleashed in the several CGI areas (not that i understand the acronym's actual meaning) by the narco-militias.

but third: in my opinion, you need a different dream, amigo.

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Deja's picture

@wendy davis
All I could think of was a Dixie Chicks song but got the title wrong and found something better because of it. Listening to Christian music and fantasizing about armed combat with enemies. I'll stick to podcasts, lol.

Praise the Lord and Pass the Ammunition (and we'll all stay free).

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wendy davis's picture

@Deja

thank you.

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@wendy davis to me:

"The roughly 3,000 combatants were drawn from all five of the Zapatista autonomous zones and belonged to the 21st Zapatista Infantry Division, the same unit that first occupied seven municipal centers in Chiapas at the beginning of the insurrection."

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dfarrah

wendy davis's picture

@dfarrah

you might do yourself a favor and read one of the links i'd put up at the bottom of the thread above the fold: 'The Revolutionary Autonomous Zapatista Movement in Chiapas: a Primer’ and quit being such a no-nothing fuquewit.

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@wendy davis you're asking too much amiga.....

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Only a fool lets someone else tell him who his enemy is. Assata Shakur

wendy davis's picture

@lizzyh7

yeah, it was a Big Ask, and i doubt he'd taken me up on it in any event, especially mixed in with his Big Dream to arm himself to defend...his property? bang, bang, he shot them down...and loved doing it.

sorry to have been so rude to him, but he finally got my goat, lizzyh7.

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wendy davis's picture

and i'll add this as tonight's lullaby: "Himno Zapatista" - Anthem of the Zapatistas

may they win their long struggle! 'Basta!

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Maybe Medellin?
I stepped outside my very nice hotel, sat in the smoking area, beer in hand, chatted up a man from Norway, and a young brother/sister couple from Mexico. The Norwegian was married to a Colombian nurse. They were visiting her family.
The brother/sister were using Columbia as their meeting place. She lived in Europe, he lived in Brazil.
The brother was gay.
We discussed the anti-gay sentiment in Brazil, and then AMLO.
The sister said AMLO was a disaster and her family had pulled out all their money from Mexican banks. For the good of Mexicans? And they were leaving the country. Until the right kind of President was elected.
All their families' peers had done the same thing.
AMLO takes a major hit from both sides.
AMLO just might be a Mexican Obama.

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wendy davis's picture

@on the cusp

on the mexican banking system, nor any changes under AMLO. but i do remember he'd campaigned on rooting out corruption, then even reneged on that in actual deed, according to wsws authors. but he is exceedingly bidness-friendly, and his austerity package was admired profusely by the financial class's newspapers as being: 'repsponsible', and immediately the peso's value increased by 7% or something. and he threw a few crumbs to the aged and poor, as well.

i do wish i/we knew where to find mexican alternative news sites so we might keep abreast of what occurs in the future to the rebel areas. telesur? iffy. the enlacezapatista site is simply too hard to dig into for me. bless roar magazine for the transcript; Roar isn't revolutionary whatever they claim to be, imo.

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@on the cusp (the family leaving Mexico)

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dfarrah

@dfarrah The way the young woman discussed it was that the people in her class did not want to live in or support a country that wanted to provide social services to the poor.
I just listened politely, didn't tell her she was a well-developed piece of shit to be so young.
She clearly indicated it was a broad movement, not just her family.

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Big Al's picture

"Above all, they are preparing to defend what they have been building for a quarter of a century: an experience of rebel autonomy with a scope and radicalism that have few equivalents in the world.”

Certainly already beats the hell out of the US of A.

The quote about progressivism is also an interesting observation and goes along with AMLO, Tsipras, Macron, Obama and a long line of warnings about progressive political leaders.

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thanatokephaloides's picture

@Big Al

The quote about progressivism is also an interesting observation and goes along with AMLO, Tsipras, Macron, Obama and a long line of warnings about progressive political leaders.

If AMLO, Tsipras, Macron or Obama are progressives, I'm the fucking Pope! And not the Discordian flavor, either! Biggrin

Of course, when I use the term "progressive", what I'm talking about far more resembles the Zapatistas than any of those bastards. But perhaps I'm linguistically biased! Smile

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"US govt/military = bad. Russian govt/military = bad. Any politician wanting power = bad. Anyone wielding power = bad." --Shahryar

"All power corrupts absolutely!" -- thanatokephaloides

@thanatokephaloides I’m ready to drop the term entirely. The meaning has become so disjointed as to become a convenient mask for neoliberals.

I’m a socialist and a Gaia-ist. A progressive? Beats me.

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wendy davis's picture

@thanatokephaloides

lost the election, and it's a small wonder he did. he'd privatized the commons about as far as he could, and sucked up to amerika by opening greek ports, as well.

now what i'd call the zapatistas actually are radical revolutionary grassroots socialists, but that reminds me of a thought i often have here at c99%: if obomba hadn't radicalized a person politically, who could?

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wendy davis's picture

@Big Al

precisely because it was so emblematic of the almost self-satire of the early july Socialism 2019 conference i'd written up, massively underwritten by all foundations, compromised NGOs, and other democrat gatekeepers who exist to make sure no actual grassroots socialism can even be imagined in amerika. amy goodman, naomi klein, 'radical feminist' imani perry (?) and the teen vogue editor will do just fine as a cleaner, better alternative, no? ay.yi.yi. hint to the conference: you can't buy socialism!

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@Big Al go live in those territories held by the Zs?

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dfarrah

Big Al's picture

@dfarrah (Edit - meant as reply above) be the go to label for democrats considering who claims it, and they were hailed by progressives as the next new best thing only to turn out different, a never ending game. Just look at the stupid shit happening in the democratic party now. It shows the progressive movement is a dead end to the oligarchy.
Seems to me the zapatista's would be a little offended with the label considering they're radicals. I don't think they're interested in reform as much as changing the whole game, radical solutions as opposed to the continuing chains offered by the rich.

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Zs yet? Militarily I mean, like other countries. Do you know how they are getting their military equipment, like the gun in the picture?

I wouldn't think that the Zs would have the manufacturing capacity, based on how you described them.

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dfarrah

wendy davis's picture

@dfarrah

and don't manufacture guns. but what an odd Q, methinks. guns in mexico should be relatively easy to acquire, and i can't imagine other nations are arming them in solidarity.

as far as 'going to live in chiapas' with the zapatistas, 'want' and 'allowed' are likely two entirely different animals. guests are allowed and often encouraged for certain festivals, etc., of course, but to live there, i'd think, one would need to be of some sort of indigenous heritage, although i really have no actual evidence to back that up.

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@wendy davis I was just curious as to how they got armed.

I think your diary is very interesting and informative.

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dfarrah

Deja's picture

@dfarrah
They did it this way once, reported in 2012. Who knows what it's called now. We supply them in Central America too, but I don't know what ridiculous name is given to those operations. Won't know until something is leaked, or some "good guy" dies, and it all blows up.

A federal operation dubbed Fast and Furious allowed weapons from the U.S. to pass into the hands of suspected gun smugglers so the arms could be traced to the higher echelons of Mexican drug cartels. The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, which ran the operation, has lost track of hundreds of firearms, many of which have been linked to crimes, including the fatal shooting of Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry in December 2010.

https://www.latimes.com/nation/atf-fast-furious-sg-storygallery.html

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@Deja fast and furious.

Since everyone seems to arm everyone, I was just curious about the Z's supply lines.

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dfarrah

Cassiodorus's picture

has really yet to begin. One organizational model is the Zapatistas, who subordinate political positions to the popular will through the juntas de buen gobierno, the other the Mexican client state, which operates through a concept of grandeur (politicians, legislation etc.) now dependent upon the power of global capital. This is so simply because global capital is itself the culmination of the statist organizational model, whether this model be Mexican, US-ian, the Spanish Kingdom of 1492, or otherwise. (To be sure, capital had to be invented afterward -- yet nonetheless capital was a refinement upon conquest and empire from the moment of its invention.) Even the Soviets were reeled in through a regime of development borrowed from the American owning class, specifically Armand Hammer, and adopted by that prominent slaughterer of communists, Joseph Stalin.

In this battle of organizational models, capital must lose because the capitalists, as Jason Moore points out, view the world as a repository of "cheap nature," "nature" (a category which, despite its use in polite bourgeois environmentalist circles, includes most of the human race) which is to be gotten cheaply or which is merely to be cheapened so as to fortify the camaraderie of the super-rich and their client political classes. This is so because cheap nature is unsustainable and will die, leaving even the capitalists themselves with nothing to eat.

With the defeat and death of capital and its cheap-natural construct, however, there is no guarantee that the Zapatistas or any other such revolt of "nature" will win. Indeed the capitalist terror at the thought of an empowered working class may be the initiative the capitalist state uses to prepare the terrifying dystopia to come. Thus my argument of utopia against dystopia, of the revival of utopian dreams as against the wasteland being prepared for us.

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"The future is inside us/ It's not somewhere else." -- Radiohead

wendy davis's picture

@Cassiodorus

heft, but jason moore's treatises notwithstanding:

With the defeat and death of capital and its cheap-natural construct, however, there is no guarantee that the Zapatistas or any other such revolt of "nature" will win. Indeed the capitalist terror at the thought of an empowered working class may be the initiative the capitalist state uses to prepare the terrifying dystopia to come. Thus my argument of utopia against dystopia, of the revival of utopian dreams as against the wasteland being prepared for us.

that paragraph is a bit confusing and makes me wonder if 'commidifying human capital' or commodifying 'nature' is implied; both, i reckon.

but when you'd hit me with this earlier:

Thus my argument of utopia against dystopia, of the revival of utopian dreams as against the wasteland being prepared for us.

we were speaking of the ocasio/markey deal, and i'd said reality and mitigation rather than gifts to capital worked far better for me. i also remember you'd never even noticed i'd forgotten to provide the link to whitney webb's critique, nor namomi wolf's apparently similar critique. but maybe i'm misreading you? and yes, i reckon the sixth extinction is baked in already. here's hopin' homo sapiens are the next to go.

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Cassiodorus's picture

@wendy davis Why continue? Why even fucking bother?

That intellectual enough for you?

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"The future is inside us/ It's not somewhere else." -- Radiohead

wendy davis's picture

@Cassiodorus

which i appreciate. but it's not what i'd said: given that i believe the sixth extinction is baked in, "i hope humans are the first to go". as in: human caused, and most especially because humans permitted it, including the largest carbon producer on the planet to run wild.

i further don't believe new capitalist bidnesses that have sprung alive should profit by way of their estimated trillions of dollars' expensive wild 'technical fixes'. the only hope i see is that visitors from another world come and help us out. me, i'd spend the bucks on mitigation in amerika, given how much carbon is being burned globally.

the emergency was at least 30 years ago.

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Cassiodorus's picture

@wendy davis -- 251 or 252 million years ago -- didn't kill everything off. Sure, it took ten million years for everything to come back. But the Big Dieoff was much more thorough than the Sixth Extinction was, or will be. It may kill off most of us, but it won't kill off all of us. Per Jason Moore, capitalism will not continue until the last tree is cut. Once it collapses, the primary impediment to survival will go away.

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"The future is inside us/ It's not somewhere else." -- Radiohead

wendy davis's picture

@Cassiodorus

as that theory in blue hyperlink makes no sense to me. 'capitalism won't continue until...'?

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wendy davis's picture

@Cassiodorus

that the battle has already begun, and the zapatistas aren't working class per se: they work how, when, and at what as they see fit, and protect the earth around them, not because of 'climate change', but as the way so many indigenous in the global south long have done.

you seem to see this battle intellectually; i see it far more emotionally and existentially. this is not utopia to them, it's simply an extension of the reason they walked out of the jungle 25 years ago on the day that NAFTA took effect.

but yes, if one day AMLO decrees that 25,000 national guard/narco militias and bombers come for them, they will in all likelihood be eradicated. they're already doing fly-overs according to the communiqués. and yet they say they must defend themselves and the world they've created outside the capitalisit hydra; as in: they have no choice.

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Cassiodorus's picture

@wendy davis And why personalize this? AMLO probably won't wipe out the Zapatistas for the reason the other creeps in power in Mexico haven't done it -- they are all stand-ins for global capital, and neither the Zapatistas nor their marginal chunk of jungle are really cheap enough as nature to really matter. And it's not like wiping out people in your own country is a great tactic for winning elections, especially given the present-day demographic of AMLO voters (i.e. folks in southern Mexico).

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"The future is inside us/ It's not somewhere else." -- Radiohead

wendy davis's picture

@Cassiodorus

per se, as i'd noted and reasoned, and i'll add that they're not wage slaves. personalize? well, maybe that... on edit: i've been rooting for them, learning from them, since they'd walked out of the jungle 25 years ago on the day that NAFTA took effect.

but in the early days many of the mexican citizens supported them and their autonomy, but now with the massive plans afoot in the yucatan, who can say how it will play out?

the zapatistas certainly believe that the great progressive amlo (much like obama) will smile, offer his respect of them, try to get away with it, and just may. we'll just have to agree that we disagree on these issues, i guess.

thanks for all your input, though, cass.

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Solidarity forever

wendy davis's picture

@Akze

please?

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wendy davis's picture

mr. wd and i have a date to watch 'masterpiece theater' on pbs. this is for the zapatistas:
karine polwart's hymn to the Occupy movement. 'the wee wren, king of birds'.

g' night, all.

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