A new Zapatista caracol was inaugurated in Tila, Chiapas
In August, the Zapatista National Liberation Army (Ejército Zapatista de Liberación Nacional, EZLN) announced that it created seven new Caracols or Zapatista Centers of Autonomous Resistance and Rebellion (Crarez) –the majority will be the seat of Good Government Boards (Juntas de Buen Gobierno, JBGs or Juntas)–, in addition to the five that already exist and have existed for 15 years, and four new Zapatista Rebel Autonomous Municipios (Marez) in Chiapas. In total, it will have 43 bodies of self-government, without any relationship to las official government bodies.
“Now we broke through the fence,” it said in a communiqué signed by Subcomandante Moisés, and added: “What is being announced and is now public was a long process of reflection and search. Thousands of Zapatista community assemblies in the mountains of the Mexican southeast thought and looked for paths, ways and times.
“Challenging the contempt of the powerful, who dismisses us as ignorant and foolish, we use intelligence, knowledge and imagination” and “after years of silent work, despite the fence, despite the campaigns of lies, despite the defamations, despite the military patrols, despite the National Guard, despite the counterinsurgency campaigns disguised as social programs, despite the oblivion and contempt, we have grown and we have become Stronger.”
He insisted that: “the government fence was left behind, it wasn’t useful and will never be useful. We follow paths and routes that don’t exist on maps or satellites, and that are only found in the thought of our oldest ones.”
He explained that the new Caracols will have their headquarters in the official municipios (municipalities) of Ocosingo, Amatenango del Valle, Tila and San Cristóbal de Las Casas.
“We understand, thus, not only that fences and walls just serve for death, but also that the government’s buying and selling of consciences is increasingly more useless. They no longer deceive, no longer convince, now they rust, now they break, now they fail.” He added.
“So we came out” and “the Big Boss was left behind, thinking that his fence, kept us fenced. From afar we saw the backs of the National Guards, soldiers, police, projects, aid and lies. We went and we returned, we entered and came out. Ten, a hundred, a thousand times we did it and the Big Boss watched without looking at us, confident in the fear that his fear was instilling,” he assured.
“Although slowly, as it should be according to their name, the five original Caracols (Oventic, La Realidad, La Garrucha, Roberto Barrios and Morelia) reproduced themselves after 15 years of political and organizational work, and the autonomous municipios and their Juntas also had to breed offspring and watch them grow. Now there will be 12 Caracols with their Juntas de Buen Gobierno.”
He expressed that: “this exponential growth, which now permits us to once again come out of the fence, is fundamentally due to the “political organizing work and the example of the women, men, children and elderly Zapatista support bases,” especially of the women, and the “governmental policy destructive of community and nature, particularly that of the current self-named Fourth Transformation government.”
He said that: “the traditionally partisan communities have been hurt by the contempt, the racism and the voracity of the current government, and have been going to open or hidden rebellion. He who thought that with his counterinsurgency policy of charity he would divide Zapatismo and buy the loyalty of the non-Zapatistas, thereby encouraging confrontation and discouragement, gave the missing arguments to convince those brothers and sisters that land and nature must be defended.”
The insurgents named their campaign “Samir Flores lives,” in memory of the Náhuatl opponent of the construction of the Huexca Thermo-electric plant, executed last February 20. “In just a few months ago –Subcomandante Moisés pointed out– a dozen compañeros of the National Indigenous Congress-Indigenous Government Council (Congreso Nacional Indígena-Concejo Indígena de Gobierno, CNI-CIG), all social strugglers, were murdered, among them, a brother very respected by the Zapatista peoples: Samir Flores Soberanes.”
He affirmed that: “the arrival of a new government didn’t fool us. We know that the Big Boss has no other country than money, and it rules in the world and in the majority of the fincas that they call ‘countries.’
We also know, he said, “that rebellion is prohibited, as dignity and rage are prohibited. But all over the world, in its most forgotten and despised corners, there are human beings that resist being devoured by the machine and don’t surrender, don’t sell out and don’t give up. They have many colors, many are their flags, many languages that they wear, and their resistance and their rebellion are gigantic.”
The Zapatistas summoned the CNI-CIG to “meet with us and know the work to which we are committed.” They propose holding: “what could be called the Forum in defense of territory and Mother Earth, in October 2019. At the same time they announce: “bilateral meetings with groups, collectives and organizations that are working in their geographies.” And, they invite scientists and artists to festivals, gatherings (encuentros), seedbeds, fiestas and exchanges.
They emphasized: “We knew and we know that our freedom will only be our very own work, the work of the original peoples.”