Amid a growing threat of paramilitary violence in Mexico’s conflicted southern state of Chiapas, Subcomandante Marcos, leader of the Zapatista National Liberation Army (EZLN), reappeared in the highland city of San Cristobal de Las Casas to announce the resumption of his nationwide civil political initiative known as the “Other Campaign.” The new phase is to begin March 24 in San Cristobal, where a series of meetings will be held with a Zapatista delegation and national and international supporters. In a document presented to the press, Marcos said the delegation will be “made up of seven female commanders, seven male commanders and a subcomandante,” a reference to himself. (El Universal, March 24)
The EZLN issued the following communiqué on the announcement through their website March 22 (links added):
EZLN to Initiates the Second Stage of its Direct Participation in the Other Campaign in Mexico
The Delegation will be Formed by Seven Comandantas, Seven Comandantes and a
Communiqué of the Indigenous Revolutionary Clandestine Committee—General Command
Zapatista Army of National Liberation
The EZLN, by means of their Sixth Commission, announces to the compañeras and compañeros adherents to the Sixth Declaration and the Other Campaign, to the Zezta International and to the people of Mexico and the world the following:
First: Due to the new offensive against the Zapatista communities carried out by paramilitaries affiliated with the PRI and PRD and supported by the state [Democratic Revolution Party] and federal [National Action Party] governments, the Zapatista leadership has had to make some adjustments that will allow continued protection of our communities and at the same time fulfilling their commitments with the Other Campaign.
We will resist the attacks of the paramilitaries in an organized and civil form. With the mobilization of our communities and calling on the solidarity support of the honest people of Mexico and the entire world, we will continue to link our Zapatista struggle for indigenous rights and culture with other Indian peoples of Mexico and the American continent, and with the struggles maintained by organizations, groups, collectives, families and individuals of the Other Campaign in our country.
Second: Furthermore, over the next few days, the Sixth Commission of the EZLN will initiate the second stage of its direct participation in the Other Campaign in Mexico with a delegation consisting of seven comandantas, seven commandantes and one subcomandante.
For their participation in this second stage the Sixth Commission of the EZLN has established a sort of territorial distribution in zones and regions. The different delegations of the Sixth Commission will spread out throughout the entire country, during this year of 2007, to work jointly with the organizations, groups, collectives, families and individuals adhering to the Sixth Declaration.
Third: Simultaneously, in addition to their territorial distribution, the Sixth Commission will have a special delegation that will participate directly in the works undertaken by the compa~eros and compañeras of the National Indigenous Congress with the Indian peoples of Mexico.
A delegation from the Sixth Commission will also be present in the international encampment “The Indigenous Peoples in Defense of Life, Culture and Nature: Below and to the Left,” in the territory of the indigenous Cucupa people in the community of El Mayor in Baja California, Mexico, in the months of April and May of this year.
Fourth: This second stage will begin on March 25, 2007 and will start off with the concentration of the delegates in the city of San Cristo’bal de Las Casas, Chiapas. There, together with NGO’s adherent to the Otra in Chiapas, an international solidarity campaign with the Zapatista indigenous communities and in defense of indigenous autonomy will be announced.
Afterwards they will set off to install the delegations of the Sixth Commission to the National Indigenous Congress and the Northern Zone of Mexico. These delegations will be working with the compañeros and compañeras of the Otra in the states of that part of our country until the beginning of June 2007. In the second half of the year, the delegations in the center and southern zones of Mexico will be installed.
Fifth: A delegation of the Sixth Commission will also participate in the mobilizations marking the first anniversary of the repression against the noble people of Atenco, the Popular Front in Defense of the Land (FPDT) and the Other Campaign, demanding the freedom of our compañeros and compañeras prisoners in the prisons of Texcoco, Santiaguito and La Palma, which will take place in several places of the other national and international geography, on May 3, 4 and 5, 2007.
Sixth: In spite of the attacks, silences and contempt, the EZLN will carry on with the Sixth Declaration of the Selva Lacandona, and, in doing so, demand:
FREEDOM AND JUSTICE FOR ATENCO!
FREEDOM AND JUSTICE FOR OAXACA!
From the mountains of the Mexican Southeast.
For the Indigenous Revolutionary Clandestine Committee—General Command of
the Zapatista Army of National Liberation
Sixth Commission of the EZLN
Subcomandante Insurgente Marcos
Mexico, March 2007
Sources archived at Chiapas95.
See our last posts on Mexico and the Zapatista struggle.