Chiapas: New Campaign Forward for the Liberty of Alberto Patishtán

March 26, 2013

Conferencia de prensa 20 de marzo de 2013 @ SIPAZ

On 20 March, a press conference at the Fray Bartolome de Las Casas Center for Human Rights (CDHFBC) announced the launch of a new campaign in favor of Alberto Patishtán Gómez, called Campaign Forward for the Liberty of Alberto Patishtán, which will consist of a mass-sending of letters to the president of the Council on Federal Judiciary, Juan Meza Silva, as well as the First Collegiate Tribunal, toward the end of promoting the review of the case of professor Patishtán, as has been announced by his legal counsel, Leonel Rivero Rodríguez, from Strategic Defense for Human Rights A.C.  Within this context, there will also be had different mobilizations in embassies and consulates as well as days of fasting by members of the Voz del Amate and those in solidarity with the Voz del Amate, noted Patishtan himself from prison no. 5 in San Cristóbal de Las Casas.  The proposal is to have the Collegiate Tribunal resolve the case “using consciousness.”

During the press-conference were also heard the voices of representatives of the El Bosque community and relatives of Alberto, who have not given up their struggle for his release over the course of the nearly 13 years that he has been imprisoned, in addition to members of Collective Ik’, those accompanying political prisoners and prisoners of conscience, who stressed that “the call for his release has been made by the very governor [of Chiapas] Manuel Velasco Coello, the bishop of San Cristobal Felipe Arizmendi, and the EZLN by means of Subcomandante Marcos, in addition to the entire social movement in the El Bosque municipality.”  They added that never before had there been such a diverse range of personalities uniting against injustice.

The mobilizations will last until 19 April, which is Patishtán Gómez’s birthday.  During a telephone call, Alberto noted that “Despite this new wave of injustice, I will never rest as regards justice and liberty.”  In his call he included collectives, churches, students, workers, communities, and also demanded the release of his comrades in solidarity with the Voz del Amate.

There exists the possibility that his case be resolved in justice, in the estimation of his lawyer.  “The case should go to the First Collegiate Tribunal [in Tuxtla Gutierrez] and this will determine whether we have reason on our side.  That which passed as evidence 10 years ago, when he was sentenced, now no longer can be considered so to be since 2009, for the process was reviewed, with that evidence found to be illegal.”

For more information (in Spanish):

Conferencia de prensa 20 de marzo (Blog Alberto Patishtán, 20 de marzo de 2013)

Lanzan campaña por la libertad de Alberto Patishtán (Aristegui Noticias, 20 de marzo de 2013)

Por la Libertad de Alberto Patishtán acciones mundiales (Chiapas Denuncia Pública, 21 de marzo de 2013)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: “Justice is its opposite,” declares Alberto Patishtán (20 March 2013)

México/Chiapas: SCJN rejects review of case of Alberto Patishtán(20 March 2013)

Mexico/Chiapas: Alberto Patishtán should be immediately released, notes Olga Sánchez Cordero (5 March 2013)

Mexico/Chiapas: The SCJN admits the Patishtán case (12 October 2012)


Chiapas: release of new communique by the EZLN hours before the arrival of Enrique Peña Nieto to lands under its influence

January 22, 2013

Marcha silenciosa de los zapatistas, 21 de diciembre de 2012, San Cristóbal de Las Casas (@SIPAZ)

Silent march by the Zapatistas, 21 December 2012, San Cristóbal de Las Casas (@SIPAZ)

On 20 January, there was published the first part of a new message signed by Subcomandante Marcos entitled “Them and Us: The (lack of) Reason among those from Above.”  The communique is written as a parody, from the perspective of those who speak “from above.”  It asserts among other things that “We are those who command.  We are the most powerful, although we be few in number.  It does not matter to us what you do-think-hear-or say, just as long as you are deaf, mute, and stationary.  We can impose a government onto somewhat intelligent people (although these are difficult to find in the political class), but we select one who cannot even pretend to know what is going on.  Why?  Because we can […].  We can use the police and the military apparatus to persecute and incarcerate various criminals, but these criminals are a vital part of our operations.  In exchange we can choose to persecute you, beat you, arrest you, torture you, imprison you, and kill you.”

The powerful are said to affirm that “what truly is a danger, a veritable chaos, is when whoever makes herself into a collective, ground, band, race, or organization, and then come to learn how to say ‘yes’ and ‘no,’ and that these come to agreement among themselves.  Because this ‘no’ has to do with those like us who command.  And this ‘yes’…  Well, this is a calamity; imagine that each person construct her own destiny, deciding what she will be and do.  This would be like claiming that we are superfluous–that we are the ones who are left over, the ones who are not necessary, the ones who should be incarcerated, the ones who should disappear.”

It should be mentioned that the communique was released a few hours before the arrival of President Enrique Peña Nieto to Chiapas to present the National Crusade against Hunger in the Las Margaritas municipality.  This crusade has as its budget close to 4 billion pesos, and it seeks to be deployed in some 400 municipalities with the highest indexes of social marginalization.  Notably, Las Margaritas is one of the poorest municipalities in the country; it is considered to be a Zapatista bastion, being one of the cities that were taken peacefully by the EZLN on 21 December 2012.

For more information (in Spanish):

Comunicado Completo (Subcomandante Marcos, 20 de enero de 2013)

Emite ‘Marcos’ nuevo comunicado del EZLN (La Jornada, 20 de enero de 2013)

‘Marcos’ emite nuevo comunicado, a sólo horas de la visita de EPN (Aristegui Noticias, 21 de enero de 2013)

El subcomandante Marcos escribe “Ellos y nosotros… Las (sin) razones de arriba” (Proceso, 21 de enero de 2013)

Inicia Peña Nieto cruzada en contra del hambre en bastión zapatista (La Jornada, 21 de enero de 2013)

Arranca Peña mañana su programa antipobreza en territorio zapatista (Proceso, 20 de enero de 2013)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: Postscripts from Subcomandante Marcos to his “illustrated letter” (15 January 2013)

“Illustrated letter from the Subcomandante to his critics,” 8 January 2013 (15 January 2013)

Chiapas: a communique and two letters from the EZLN (8 January 2013)

Chiapas: a communique and two letters from the EZLN

January 8, 2013

Movilización zapatista, San Cristóbal de Las Casas, 21 de diciembre de 201 (@SIPAZ)

On 30 December 2012, shortly before the 19th anniversary of its 1994 insurrection, the Zapatista Army of National Liberation (EZLN) released a communique and two letters, one of them directed “to whom it may concern above” and another to Luis H. Alvárez (PAN), former coordinator for the Peace Dialogue in Chiapas and former official in the Department for the Development of Indigenous People.

In these new documents, the EZLN strongly criticizes the different political parties, the federal government (both the former one and the new one, with its president and new cabinet officials), the state and municipal governments, saying that they had all failed in their attempt to resolve indigenous problems.The communique also announces a new series of actions on its part: “IN THE NEXT FEW DAYS THE EZLN, BY MEANS OF ITS SIXTH AND INTERNATIONAL COMMISSIONS, WILL MAKE KNOWN A SERIES OF INITIATIVES, PEACEFUL AND CIVIL, TO CONTINUE COLLABORATING WITH OTHER INDIGENOUS PEOPLES IN MEXICO AND THROUGHOUT THE CONTINENT AND ALL THOSE IN MEXICO AND THROUGHOUT THE WORLD WHO RESIST AND STRUGGLE FROM BELOW AND TO THE LEFT.”

For more information (in Spanish):

EL EZLN ANUNCIA SUS PASOS SIGUIENTES. Comunicado del 30 de diciembre del 2012

Carta dirigida “A quién corresponda allá arriba” “No los conocemos” (29 de diciembre de 2012)

Carta a Luis Héctor Álvarez Álvarez (30 de diciembre de 2012)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

National: Reactions by state and federal governments to the Zapatista mobilization of 21 December (27 Decemer 2012)

Chiapas: Tens of thousands of Zapatistas mobilize themselves in 5 cities in Chiapas (27 December 2012)

Mexico: “A death… A life.” Fourth letter from Subcomandante Marcos to Don Luis Villoro in the Exchange on Ethics and Politics

December 13, 2011


On 7 December was published the fourth letter from Subcomandante Marcos to the philosopher Don Luis Villoro in their exchange on ethics and politics, entitled “A death… A life,” in which he principally deals with the question of power and the coming presidential elections in the country (2012).

He questions President Felipe Calderón and the presidential candidates, noting that he “find[s] nothing significant in that Enrique Peña Nieto has talked as though he were a bad B actor, like those that come out in the telenovelas, say some things, and nothing is made good.  His designation as candidate should be yet another demonstration of the decomposition of the Institutional Revolutionary, and the dispute to see who can manage it to death (an image that is not for the PRI rhetorical).”

Referring to Andrés Manuel López Obrador without naming him directly, Marcos qualifies him as “one of the three who must fight amongst each other for the throne of Mexico.”  He adds that “it is precisely he who does not succeed in being mature and recognizing his errors and faults.  It is he who leads a group that is avid for power and full of intolerance, one that seeks and will seek the responsibility for its errors and schizophrenia in others.  Using discourse more apt for Gaby Vargas and Cuauhtémoc Sánchez than Alfonso Reyes, he now makes clear love-ambitions… for the right.”  He also asks the following question: “Is it that those who criticized Javier Sicilia for his affective gestures for the political class now criticize the ‘Loving Republic’?   When, in Mexico has there been a positive result after the left shifts to the right?  When has being servile to the powerful served an end other than entertainment?”  It should be remembered that on 26 November, López Obrador called on Marcos not to delegitimize his candidacy and encourage abstentionism among his followers.

In the missive, the Subcomandante also refers to the writer Tomás Segovia and Commander Moisés, leader of the EZLN, both of whom have recently died.  He notes: “In this lines that I now send to you, Don Luis, live the dead who are alive.”

For more information (in Spanish):

– SCI Marcos. UNA MUERTE… O UNA VIDA (Carta cuarta a Don Luis Villoro en el intercambio sobre Ética y Política) (Enlace zapatista, 7 December)

– Funda AMLO sus ambiciones en su amor… a la derecha: subcomandante Marcos (Proceso, 7 December)

– Marcos: Mentir en grande y hacerlo impunemente, eso es el Poder(La Jornada, 8 December 2011)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Mexico: Letter by Sicilia in response to Subcomandante Marcos (8 September 2011)

Chiapas: Communiqué by the EZLN: For reflective criticism, individuals and collectives (15 April 2011)

Mexico: National march “We are fed up” (14 April 2011)

Mexico: Letter by Sicilia in response to Subcomandante Marcos

September 8, 2011

Javier Sicilia @

In response to references made in the third letter between Luis Villoro and Subcomandante Marcos “in the exchange on Ethics and Politics,” the poet Javier Sicilia declared to the insurgent Subcomandante that “peace, beloved Subcomandante, is, as Gandhi said, ‘the way,’ a path it is only made with everyone.  You, for 17 years, with civil society at your side, have shown us not only to visibilize and dignify the negated and humiliated past of our indigenous tradition, but also when, beginning from the listening and dialogue, you opened the debate of what, amidst the crisis of institutions, could be a new hope for reconstruction of the nation: autonomies.”

The missive is principally one of gratitude for the affirmations made by Marcos regarding the Movement for Peace with Justice and Dignity led by Sicilia.  “…this is a new mobilization that, in its project of constituting itself as an organized movement, goes constructing its own path, with successes and failures.  Like all new things, we believe it merits respect.  They can say with reason that the forms and methods can be questioned, but not the causes.”  The Subcomandante speaks in the second person plural as spokesperson of the EZLN regarding the visibilization of the victims carried out by the Movement:  “We thought that it was possible to build a movement to arrest this absurd war.  It does not seem that this is so (at least not yet).  But what can be appreciated is that the victims have been made tangible.  They have been taken out of statistics and the mythical ‘triumphs’ of the government of Felipe Calderón Hinojosa, out of blame and forgetting.  Thanks to this mobilization, the victims begin to have name and histroy.  And the hoax of the ‘struggle against organized crime’ falls to pieces.”

Marcos’ words also have a critical tone regarding the dialogue between the Movement and the government: “Surely we still do not understand why so much energy and effort is dedicated to discussion with a political class that for much time now has lost all will to govern and that is nothing more than a gang of criminals.  Perhaps they will go on discovering it themselves.  We do not judge and do not condemn or absolve.  We attempt to understand the path and the wishes that animate.”

Sicilia closes his letter of thanks making reference to the next Caravan to the South: “We will see each other in the south, my dear Subcomandante.  While we arrive with the slowness of walking and pain, we send to you and the comrades a big kiss, a kiss with which our heart does not cease to embrace us.”

For more information (in Spanish):

Carta de Javier Sicilia al Subcomandante Marcos, CENCOS, 29 August 2011

SCI Marcos. TAL VEZ… (Carta Tercera a Don Luis Villoro en el intercambio sobre Ética y Política), Enlace Zapatista, 25 August 2011

Sicilia a Marcos: Dialogar y besar, formas de hacer paz ante la violencia, CNN México, 29 August 2011

Sicilia responde a críticas de subcomandante Marcos, El Universal, 29 August 2011

Brinda Subcomandante Marcos total respaldo al movimiento de Sicilia,, 25 August 2011

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: Las Abejas of Acteal welcome Javier Sicilia’s Pact for Peace (1 July 2011)

Mexico: The Citizens’ Pact is signed in Juarez (21 June 2011)

Mexico: Beginning of the caravan for peace from Cuernavaca to Ciudad Juárez (9 June 2011)

Mexico: Marches for Peace and Justice with Dignity (12 May 2011)

Chiapas: Communiqué by the EZLN: For reflective criticism, individuals and collectives (15 April 2011)

Mexico: National march “We are fed up” (14 April 2011)

Chiapas: Letter from Subcomandante Marcos to the Citizens Movement for Justice 5 June

June 9, 2011

On 6 June was published the following letter from Subcomandante Marcos to the Citizens Movement for Justice 5 June:

For more information (in Spanish):

Sub Marcos envía carta de admiración y respeto a Caravana por la Paz, La Jornada, 6 June 2011

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Mexico: Marches for Peace and Justice with Dignity (12 May 2011)

Chiapas: Communiqué by the EZLN: For reflective criticism, individuals and collectives (15 April 2011)

Mexico: National march “We are fed up” (14 April 2011)

Chiapas: Communiqué by the EZLN: For reflective criticism, individuals and collectives

April 15, 2011


On 12 April was released the second part of a correspondence between Subcomandante Marcos and philosopher Luis Villoro.  In this latest part, Marcos reflects critically on the violence lived in the country, beginning by recognizing the poet Javier Sicilia and the struggle he is engaged in since the killing of his son Juan Francisco: “the pain and rage of Javier Sicilia (physically far away but close in ideals for some time) make echoes that reverberate in our mountains.  It is to be hoped that his legendary tenacity, as now called for by our word and actions, succeeds in bringing together the rages and pains that are being multiplied in Mexican lands.”

Beyond the reflection on the national context, Marcos also criticizes the state government of Juan José Sabines Guerrero, which “persecutes and represses those who do not conform to the false chorus that lauds his lies-made-government, which persecutes human-rights defenders in the Coast and the Highlands of Chiapas and the indigenous of San Sebastián Bachajón who refuse to prostitute their lands and encourages the actions of paramilitary groups against Zapatista indigenous communities.”

In the postscript Marcos writes on the death of Felipe Toussaint, coordinator of the Commission to Support Communal Unity and Reconciliation (CORECO): “once again death has arrived with its unforeseen pass to a comrade.  Felipe Toussaint Loera, a Christian who believes in the necessity of terrestrial justice….  I remember him in one of the preparatory meetings of the Other Campaign in 2005, when he attempted to inscribe his individual history in the history of a collective that is reborn once and again.  We salute his life, because in it, to the questions ‘where to?’ ‘with whom?’ and ‘against what?’ Felipe responded: ‘below, with the indigenous who struggle against the system that exploits them, loots them, represses them, and disregards them.”

For more information (in Spanish):

DE LA REFLEXIÓN CRÍTICA, INDIVIDU@S Y COLECTIV@S. (Carta Segunda a Luis Villoro en el Intercambio Epistolar sobre Ética y Política), Enlace Zapatista, 11 April 2011

Reconoce ‘subcomandante Marcos’ lucha de Sicilia, La Jornada, 12 April 2011

Comunicado completo: SOBRE LAS GUERRAS. Fragmento de la carta primera del SCI Marcos a Don Luis Villoro, inicio del intercambio epistolar sobre Ética y Política. Enero-Febrero de 2011

EZLN: la guerra de Calderón dejará miles de muertos y jugosas ganancias económicas (La Jornada, 15 February 2011)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Mexico: National march “We are fed up” (14 April 2011)

Chiapas: new communiqué by the EZLN “On the wars” (20 February 2011)

Chiapas: The EZLN laments the death of Don Samuel (31 January 2011)