Zapatistas launch symbolic ‘invasion’ of Spain

Squadron 421

Seven indigenous Maya members of Mexico’s Zapatista movement set sail May 3 from Isla Mujeres, off the coast of the Yucatán Peninsula, on a trans-Atlantic voyage meant to symbolically reverse the Spanish conquest of Mexico 500 years ago. Sailing in a 120-year-old fishing boat, La Montaña, the delegation hopes to reach Madrid by Aug. 13, anniversary of the 1521 fall of Tenochtitlán, Mexico’s ancient capital, to the conquistador Hernan CortĂ©s. The delegation intends to land at Vigo, on Spain’s northern coast, and then continue to Madrid, beginning a tour of some 20 European countries.

Dubbed Squadron 421, the delegation consists of seven Zapatista adherents—four women, two men and one nonbinary person—and a crew of five international volunteers, from Germany and Colombia.

A press release signed by the Zapatistas’ Subcommander Galeano called the undertaking a “Journey for Life” that would fulfill a Mayan prophecy in which Ixchel, goddess of love and fertility, said: “From the east came death and slavery. Tomorrow, may life and freedom sail to the east in the word of my blood and bones, my children.” (Pie Página, Mexico, Al DĂ­a, Philadelphia, AP via Border Report)

Photo: Daliri Oropeza/Pie Página