Sunday, April 29, 2012

"The Zapatista Army" by Delfino Vazquez

At a time when the Zapatistas are being harassed militarily, it is desirable to consider a historical account of what has been their organization.

The native peoples of Mexico resisted the war of extermination waged by the Spanish invaders who imposed their rule, their culture, religion, and stripped the native peoples of their land. Again and again the Indian rebellions were crushed and their complaints were ignored. However, in forests, mountains ,and deserts, they survive, preserve their culture, and continue to resist.

After 300 years of Spanish domination, a war of independence, and Juarez reform: The Revolution of 1910 changed the situation. However, the native peoples’ rights were not recognized in the Constitution, nor in 1824, nor in 1857, or 1917.

The indigenous peoples’ worldview, their relationship with the land and nature, their forms of community, collectively, their direct democracy and autonomy, have allowed them to hold out for more than 5 centuries.

In the 1980s, survivors of a politico military insurrectionary approach merged with agrarian fighters and the indigenous movement in the forest, giving birth on November 17, 1983 to the Zapatista Army of National Liberation.

The EZLN is not born as a "guerrilla" army, but as a people's army, closely linked to indigenous communities to defend them against the white guards of the farmers and the police-military aggression. Their government, the CCRI-CG, is composed of political leaders who truly represent the people they serve.

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