More Than 40,000 Zapatistas Mobilize in Chiapas
Above is a photo of the very brief message delivered to the media from the Zapatistas. It reads: “Did you hear? The sound of your world crumbling and ours re-emerging… ” (obviously addressed to the new PRI government) Article from La Jornada is below.
More than 40,000 Zapatistas Mobilize in 5 Chiapas Municipalities
** In silence, they occupy the central plazas of Ocosingo, San Cristóbal de Las Casas, Palenque, Altamirano and Las Margaritas
** Later they disappear in an orderly way
[The indigenous wear a number according to the Zapatista zone to which they belong. Photo: Victor Camacho]
[Under the rain, thousands of indigenous marched through San Cristóbal de Las Casas, Palenque, Las Margaritas, Ocosingo and Altamirano Photo: Víctor Camacho]
By: Hermann Bellinghausen, Envoy
Ocosingo, Chiapas, December 21, 2012
More than 40, 000 Zapatista support bases filed silently this morning in five Chiapas cities, which results in the most numerous mobilization of said organization since the Zapatista National Liberation Army’s (EZLN) armed uprising on January 1, 1994.
Coming from the five Zapatista Caracoles in the Lacandón Jungle, Los Altos and the Northern Zone, the Maya peoples in rebellion (Tzeltales, Tzotziles, Choles, Tojolabales and Mames) and Zoques of Chiapas occupied the central plazas of Ocosingo, San Cristóbal de Las Casas, Palenque, Altamirano and Las Margaritas; in each case, in complete silence.
At 6:30 in the morning, about 6, 000 indigenous Zapatistas, the majority young, concentrated near the University of the Jungle, near the Toniná archaeological site. From there they marched to the central park of Ocosingo, where they stayed for a space of three hours in front of city hall, which the EZLN’s insurgents and milicianos took over with arms 19 years ago upon declaring war on the Mexican government.
On this occasion the action was civilian and peaceful, and the only ones that spoke were the raised left fists of all the Zapatistas, who filed in order onto a platform that they installed for that purpose. Toward 10:30 AM, the last of the demonstrators abandoned the plaza, on their way back to the Jungle.
In the same fashion, at the other plazas mentioned the Zapatistas placed platforms that all mobilization participants mounted with raised fist, in a parade of impressive brevity.
Some 20, 000 Zapatista men and women paraded in San Cristóbal de Las Casas. According to reports, at least 7, 000 indigenous congregated in Las Margaritas, and 8, 000 in Palenque. The number in Altamirano is not known. According to the testimony of a transport worker (driver) from the zone of Ocosingo, double the number of indigenous that arrived in the municipal headquarters of Ocosingo could have left from the Caracol of La Garrucha, but there were not enough vehicles, therefore only 6, 000 people were transported.
[The presence of youths and women was especially emphasized. Photo: Víctor Camacho]
Intermittently, throughout recent weeks, the Enlace Zapatista electronic portal has been announcing “the word” of the EZLN’s Indigenous Revolutionary Clandestine Committee-General Command (Comité Clandestino Revolucionario Indígena, Comandancia General del EZLN), as well as of the Sixth Commission and International Sixth Commission. It is foreseen that these communications could be announced soon, but that has still not occurred.
On the date on which many unwary in the world believed that the world would end, according to the opportunist interpretation of the “prophesies” (in reality, mathematical calculations) of the ancient Mayas, the EZLN’s support base communities, belonging to the contemporary Maya peoples, which in their languages are named “true men,” with face covered carried out a powerful demonstration of power and discipline, perfectly formed under a persistent rain (unusual in this time of the year) that accompanied the mobilizations in the different localities all morning long.
Able to “appear” quickly, the indigenous rebels “disappeared” as neatly and silently as they had arrived in the early morning in this city that, two decades after the EZLN’s traumatic irruption here on New Years 1994, received them with bewilderment and curiosity, without any expression of rejection. Under the arches of city hall, which suspended its activities today, dozens of Ocosingoans congregated to photograph with cell phones and cameras the spectacular concentration of covered faces that filled the park like in a game of Tetris, advancing among the gardening with an order that seemed choreographed, to go up to the platform installed rapidly since early on, raising their fist and saying, silently, here we are; one more time.
Originally Published in Spanish by La Jornada
English Translation: Chiapas Support Committee
Saturday, December 22, 2012