WORDS OF COMANDANTE TACHO, IN THE NAME OF THE COMITÉ CLANDESTINO REVOLUCIONARIO INDÍGENA-COMANDANCIA GENERAL DEL EZLN, IN THE INAUGURATION OF THE FIRST EXCHANGE OF INDIGENOUS PEOPLES OF MEXICO WITH THE ZAPATISTA PEOPLES.
AUGUST 3RD, 2014
COMPAÑERAS AND COMPAÑEROS OF THE INDIGENOUS NATIONAL CONGRESS:
COMPAÑEROS AND COMPAÑERAS FROM THE NATIVE PEOPLES WHO ARE VISITING US:
We greet you hoping that all arrived with good to these Zapatista lands.
In this long voyage that you have made from far-away lands, to find us here in this other corner of these Zapatista rebel lands of the Mexican southeast.
Compañeras and compañeros:
Welcome compañeras and compañeros of the native peoples, guardians of Mother Earth.
Welcome peoples, nations, and tribes.
sisters and brothers.
WELCOME NATIVE PEOPLES!
Welcome all the support base representatives from the Zapatista peoples.
Welcome compañeros subcomandantes insurgentes.
Subcomandante insurgente Moisés.
Subcomandante insurgente Galeano.
From the General Command of the Zapatista Army of National Liberation.
We hope that all arrived well to be able to carry out this first ever-important exchange between the National Indigenous Congress and the Zapatista peoples.
Exchange which is named after compañero “David Ruiz García”.
We also send our most sincere greetings to all our compañer@s insurgentes and insurgentas.
To the compañeras and compañeros, elderly, youth, and children, support bases of the Zapatista Army of National Liberation.
As also to all the compañeros and compañeras of the Mexican Forces of Militias in all the EZLN.
To the members of the MAREZ (Zapatista Autonomous Rebel Municipalities) and to all the compañer@s who make up all the Juntas de Buen Gobierno.
Compañeros and compañeras of the National Indigenous Congress.
We come to share our sufferings and pains which this Neoliberal system has done to us.
But not only.
Also it is certain that we come to share the valuable knowledge, experiences of struggle, of organization, trials and challenges.
In the face of the Neoliberal capitalist invaders who have caused us so much harm.
These invaders are not full, it was not enough for them with the thievery and sacking that the conquistadors did in 1492.
Those conquistadors encountered resistance from the peoples, tribes, native nations of these lands, of this country which is Mexico.
They murdered those who opposed being submitted under the power of the Spanish monarchy.
Those wicked executioner invaders stained their hands with indigenous blood, stole the riches that our oldest grandparents cared for.
But they not only pursued the Indian peoples of Mexico and all of Latin America with the purpose of making the existence of the native peoples disappear and banishing their existence.
They did not achieve that, the proof is that here we are present.
Like so the communication of our ancestors’ peoples was lost, the peoples’ relationship was lost.
But the knowledge and the intelligence of our oldest grandparents, were hidden from the Spanish invasion.
Like so they made the native peoples exist again.
We grew under the oblivion of the powerful, and the 500 years passed in this way in all corners of our Mexican homeland.
We the native peoples were ignored, cheated, forgotten, exploited, for more than 500 years enslaved in the dominion.
And now again there is the invention of the neoliberal powers, it is the machinery of destruction for our people’s disappearance.
They have made it larger and more modern harbored with laws and evil rulers to invade us once again.
With its new plan of plunder, plundering us in our mother earth, with the machinery of money’s power and sacking all the riches which mother earth has, which has had them stored there for millions of years.
With this machinery come the death and destruction of our peoples and of our mother earth.
And when we say these two words so well-known by our peoples, these words of death and destruction, we carry our heart and our look toward the PALESTINIAN people. Because we hear and read that they say that the “Gaza conflict,” as if it were two equal forces which are confronting each other, as if upon saying “conflict” the death and destruction were hidden and like so death no longer killed and destruction no longer destroyed.
But as the indigenous persons that we are we know well that what is happening is not a “conflict,” but that it is A MASSACRE, that what exists is the government of Israel making a war of extermination against the PALESTINIAN people. The rest are words which wish to hide reality.
But we also know, as the indigenous people that we are, that the PALESTINIAN people will resist and will rise up anew and will again go along and will know then that, although far away on maps, the Zapatista peoples embrace them today as we did before, as we always will do, in other words we embrace them with our collective heart.
And here on our map, this war machinery of money’s power, is brainless, it is without memory, wicked persons, they are wild animals, against our indigenous peoples of Mexico.
Destruction, the death of our entire people, of tribes and nations, does not matter to them.
We the native peoples of Mexico are unprotected by laws and evil governments.
The hope that exists is us.
No one is going to come to save us, no one, absolutely no one is going to struggle for us.
Neither political parties, nor politicians, nor laws, nor anything is there for us.
Compañeras and compañeros. The political parties, laws, and evil governments have already demonstrated it clearly.
They are no longer going to be able to continue cheating, well they already demonstrated it in these 83 years. They all are at the service of the transnational capitalists.
That is why we have to struggle together to defend ourselves and defend our mother earth.
The earth which saw us be born, which gives us life, and finally we rest in it eternally.
That is why we are all the colors which we are, all the languages which our hearts speak, that is why we are peoples, we are tribes, we are nation. We are the guardians of these lands, of this country Mexico, of this continent, and of the world.
So compañeras and compañeros today will be our walk’s beginning and the search for how we must do our defense communally, there is no more time.
With knowledge and intelligence we’ll work in these days.
As today we are inaugurating this our encounter for exchange in the name of compañero David Ruiz García, may his heart continue walking in our step, being 10 hours and 21 minutes, on August 3rd, 2014.
In the name of the Comité Clandestino Revolucionario Indígena-Comandancia General del Ejército Zapatista de Liberación Nacional…
I formally declare this first Exchange inaugurated.
May all be welcomed.
Welcome the word of those who resist and struggle. Welcome the ear which listens, and the compañero heart.
From Zapatista Reality.
Mexico, August 2014. In the 20th year of the beginning of the war against oblivion.
Note on the photos:
Careful: Regarding the photos’ credit, if they come out bad or are blurry and, in general, no good, put that they are from CNN, EFE, AFP, Reuters, AP, or Notimex, or one of those agencies which misinform about the crime underway against the Palestinian People. If they do look good, or so-so, and, in general, are good for something other than stealing bytes on your pages, then put “Photos courtesy of the EZLN’s mass media collective “The Third Compas” which, as its name indicates, are not media nor free, nor autonomous, nor alternative, and are instead whatever they are called, but are compas. It allows for the reproduction, circulation, and consumption, provided that they are not with esoteric ends nor anything with many Xs. Permission of the JBG pending.”
Translated from Spanish by Henry Gales.