On January 1 2006, twelve years after the Zapatista uprising in Chiapas (Mexico), a delegation of the EZLN departed from the Garrucha Caracol to San Cristobal de las Casas [Report and Pics]. This marked the first step in the new Zapatista political initiative known as The Other Campaign (or 'La Otra') - a proposal that aims to forge an anti-capitalist alliance "form below and to the left" in Mexico and beyond. The Other Campaign, timed to coincide with this year's Mexican presidential race, will take the delegation of the EZLN - which includes Subcomandante Marcos (or SubDelegate Zero as he is known in relation to this campaign) - throughout Mexico's 32 states, "so to meet, talk and decide together how fo build another way of doing politics. A programme of struggle that will construct democracy from below, with all these national and international organizations that resist neoliberalism and fight for humanity."
Words: To the Alternative Media | To the National & Int’l Press | SubDelegado Zero on security issues | EZLN denounces harassment and threats | On the Intercontinental proposed in the Sixth Declaration | Revista Rebeldia (Sp)
Translations of EZLN's communiques 1 | 2.
'The Other Campaign' starts in San Cristobal de las Casas
True to the habitual Zapatista methodology of putting their word into practice, the Other Campaign is an embodiment of the aims and discourse of the "Sixth Declaration of the Lacandon Jungle" (or 'La Sexta') that the Zapatistas made public in three parts at the end of 2005 [Communiques 1 | 2 | 3]
This Declaration was the result of a long period of re-organization and internal debate within the EZLN. Amongst other issues, the Zapatistas re-evaluated the state of their autonomy throughout the Zapatista communities, specially since the opening up in 2003 of the 'Caracoles' and the 'Councils of Good Government' (Las Juntas de Buen Gobierno) They also addressed issues about sustainability, isolation and political aspirations beyond their strongholds in Chiapas. This internal debate concluded with a three week long period of consultations with the Zapatista support bases of Chiapas, during which, the EZLN declared a Red Alert throughout the Zapatista autonomous areas [1 | 2].
With these new proposals, the Zapatistas not only show, once again, their intelligent use of strategy, but also their capacity to re-construct themselves, by formulating important changes at the centre of the EZLN's struggle. The proposals mark an extension of the focus of the political subject, from the indigenous communities to a much wider spectrum of anti-capitalist movements, organizations and individuals in Mexico and beyond. It also reclaims the paradigm of 'the left' as the legitimate home for the resistance against neo-liberalism. A non-electoral left, nonetheless, that defends its autonomy from political parties, and that operates outside the parliamentarian institutions [Marcos: Zapatistas Will Not Attend Evo Morales' Inauguration in Bolivia].
At the same time, the EZLN's six months journey throughout Mexico also indicates the opening up of their immediate geographical context, by sending a delegation to physically connect with the other experiences against neoliberalism that occur all over Mexico, Latin America and globally. It is for this reason that the Zapatistas have already called for another 'Intercontinental Encuentro against Neo-Liberalism and for Humanity', to take place in the second half of 2006 in the time and place agreed by all those participating in the consultation. For this, a blog of the process with discussion forums has been set up "so that the conception, organization and holding of the Intercontinental Encuentro proposed in the Sexta, can be produced with the real participation of supporters throughout the world, and not as a unilateral decision by the EZLN".
Other recent Zapatista news:
- Legendary Comandanta Ramona Dies
- Comandanta Ramona of the EZLN dies
- Sub Marcos’ Words announcing the death of Comandanta Ramona
- Subdelegado Zero's trip resumes
- Announcement of the dissolution of the FZLN