THE E.Z.L.N. by the W.S.M. and the Zapatista “Declaration of War”
THE E.Z.L.N. by the W.S.M. and the Zapatista “Declaration of War” , From Red and Black Revolution and the E.Z.L.N. General Command
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The EZLN is based amongst the indigenous people who live in and around the jungle of Lacandona, east of the high plains of Chiapas. Chiapas is an atrociously poor area. 41% of the population have no running water. 34.9% are without electricity. 63% of the people live in accommodation of only one room. 19% of the labour force has no possible income and 67% of the labour force live on or below the minimum wage – in Mexico you can take this as being very little.
In another statement issued to national newspapers the EZLN asked “Why is everyone so quiet? Is this the ‘democracy’ you wanted? Complicity with lies? “Going on to say “How much blood must be spilt before they (PRI) understand that we want respect not charity ? “
To understand what being a Zapatista means one has to go back to the origins of todays EZLN. In 1983 twelve young people entered Chiapas to organise the oppressed population. A vital lesson taught to these young people was that of democratic organisation. Sub Commandante Marcos revealed “The Zapatista army was not born democratic, it was born as a political military organisation. But as it grew the organisational methods of the communities began to permeate and dominate our movement, to the degree that the leadership of the EZLN has become democratic in the indigenous manner.
We, the men and women, full and free, are conscious that the war that we have declared is our last resort, but also a just one. The dictators have been waging an undeclared genocidal war against our people for many years. Therefore we ask for your participation, your decision to support this plan that struggles for work, land, housing, food, health care, education, independence, freedom, democracy, justice and peace. We declare that we will not stop fighting until the basic demands of our people have been met by forming a government of our country that is free and democratic.
What has happened in Chiapas is encouraging and needs to be supported. The revolutionaries of the EZLN, however, have not stumbled onto something new. The basic principle of participatory democracy is one of the foundation stones of anarchism.