On December 27th, the Second International Encounter of Women who Struggle was convened by the Zapatista Army of National Liberation (EZLN) and took place in Morelia from December 27th to 29th. It was inaugurated by Commander Amada, who indicated in her speech that “we have done everything possible to make you happy and safe. It seems easy to say, but we know very well that there are very few places in the world where we can be happy and safe (…) all, regardless of the calendar we have or the geography in which we live, we are in the same situation: the struggle for our rights as women we are. For example, our right to life. And this is where we are sad because, more than a year after the first meeting, we cannot give good accounts. Around the world they continue to kill women, they continue to disappear, they continue to rape them, they continue to despise them. In this year the number of violated, disappeared and murdered has not stopped. What we know is that it has increased.”
In total, women from 49 countries were present, men were not allowed during the three days of the meeting. As of December 26th, 3,259 women and 95 boys and girls had been registered, but many participants also arrived without prior registration. The program proposed a different approach for each day: “Today is a single reporting table and here the microphone will be open. Here we will be able to pass and take the floor and take out our anger, our courage from everything we do (…). And then, tomorrow we have to share the ideas, work and experiences that you bring to find ways to end this nightmare of pain and death. And on the last day of this meeting we will dedicate it to culture, art and celebration. So one day we shout our pains and courage. Another day we share ideas and experiences. And on the third day we shout for joy and strength. Because we are women who suffer. But we are also women who think and organize themselves.” Apart from the official activities, there were several spontaneous discussions and workshops facilitated by women participants who arrived with knowledge or a special interest that they wanted to share with the other women.
Regarding the results and proposals of the meeting, during the closing, Commander Yesica Commander summarized what was agreed upon “1. That we all make and know the proposals as it comes in our thinking on the issue of violence against women. That is, proposals for how to stop this serious problem that we have as women that we are (…) 2. That if any woman in any part of the world, of any age, of any color asks you for help because she is attacked with violence, we respond to her called and let’s look for ways to support it, protect it and defend it. (…) 3. That all the groups and organizations of women who fight that want to coordinate for joint actions exchange with each other ways of communicating with each other, either by telephone or internet or whatever.”
Both the inauguration and the closure were accompanied by the Zapatista women parts of the armed branch of the EZLN in the form of a military exercise.
In the end, the event ended with a final proposal by the Zapatistas: “We propose that each day [on March 8, 2020] each organization or group do what they think is best. And we each carry the color or signal that identifies us, according to the thought and mode of each one. But we all wear black in pain and sorrow for all missing and murdered women around the world. So that we tell you, in all languages, in all geographies and with all calendars: That they are not alone. That we need them. That we miss them. We do not forget them. That we need them. Because we are women who fight. And we don’t sell ourselves, we don’t surrender and we don’t give up.”
For more information in Spanish:
PALABRAS DE LAS MUJERES ZAPATISTAS EN LA INAUGURACIÓN DEL SEGUNDO ENCUENTRO INTERNACIONAL DE MUJERES QUE LUCHAN (Enlace Zapatista el 27 de diciembre de 2019)
PALABRAS DE LAS MUJERES ZAPATISTAS EN LA CLAUSURA DEL SEGUNDO ENCUENTRO INTERNACIONAL DE MUJERES QUE LUCHAN (Enlace Zapatista el 31 de diciembre de 2019)
For more information from SIPAZ:
Chiapas: EZLN lleva a cabo el 26 aniversario de su levantamiento (3 de enero de 2020)
Chiapas/Nacional: se lleva a cabo 4ª Asamblea del CNI-CIG en San Cristóbal de Las Casas 21 de diciembre de 2019.
Chiapas: EZLN – Una Ballena en las montañas del sureste mexicano: Segundo Festival de Ciné zapatista 18 de diciembre de 2019.
Chiapas: EZLN convoca al Segundo Encuentro Internacional de Mujeres que Luchan (20 de septiembre de 2019)