user preferences

History of a Zapatista village - Marcos

category north america / mexico | indigenous struggles | news report author Thursday August 25, 2005 20:00author by Marcos (trans irlandesa) - EZLN Report this post to the editors

How Campo Grande became Dolores Hidalgo

This place where we are was a finca by the name of Campo Grande. The history of this place forms a quick summation of the history of the Chiapas indigenous. And, in some parts, of all the indigenous of the Mexican southeast, not just of the zapatistas.

History of a Zapatista Village


I'm going to tell you a story. Some parts of it were related to me by zapatista compañeros and compañeras, and others I saw and lived. If there are any inaccuracies, let us leave their clarification to the historians. With their demonstrable facts, their legends, their inaccuracies and their empty spaces, this is part of our struggle, the history of the EZLN.

This place where we are was a finca by the name of Campo Grande. The history of this place forms a quick summation of the history of the Chiapas indigenous. And, in some parts, of all the indigenous of the Mexican southeast, not just of the zapatistas.

Campo Grande lived up to its name: more than a thousand hectares of good and level land, with abundant water, roads specially made for taking out cattle and precious woods, landing strips so the owners wouldn't get dusty or muddy traveling by way of the dirt roads and so they could come in their light aircraft. Thousands of indigenous whom they could exploit, despise, rape, deceive, jail, murder. That is how the PRI agrarian reform, the institutionalized revolution, was realized in Chiapas: the good and level land for the finqueros; rocky ground and hills for the indigenous.

The owner of Campo Grande was Segundo Ballinas, known among the residents as an assassin, rapist and exploiter of indigenous, primarily of women, boys and girls. Later, the finca was divided up: one part was called Primor, and its owner was Javier Castellanos, one of the founders of the Owners Union of the Segundo Valle of Ocosingo, one of those associations the finqueros used to disguise their white guards. Another part was called Tijuana, and its owner was a Colonel in the Mexican Army, Gustavo Castellanos, who kept the people subjugated with his personal guard. And another part was the property of José Luis Solórzano, a member of the PRI and their candidate for different offices, known in the region for his unfulfilled promises, his brazen lies and his arrogant and contemptuous treatment of the indigenous. And so, the Powers in Chiapas in short: finqueros, army and PRI-Government. For this evil trinity, Chiapas could be a pasture for cattle; a hacienda for exercising droit de seigneur, even with girls; a firing range against human targets and one of the laboratories for the PRI's most modern "democracy": here it wasn't necessary to know the candidates, not even their names or their proposals, or for knowing the election date, or what the options were, or any identification. Hell, it wasn't even necessary to go to the polls.

During each election, in the municipal seat of Ocosingo, in the offices of the owners and ranchers associations, the job of stuffing ballot boxes was paid for with a sandwich and a drink. That "democracy" had its excesses, of course: in one election prior to 1994, the PRI got more than 100% of the vote. Maybe there were too many sandwiches and drinks.

During one August like this one when we are welcoming you here, but in the year 1982, the finqueros and their white guards violently evicted the residents of the Nueva Estrella village. They fired upon, beat up and took various male indigenous prisoners. Some were murdered. They separated the women and forced them to watch their houses being burned. They took everything away from them. After some time, they returned. When someone asked them why they returned in spite of everything they had done to them, they responded with this gesture (Marcos opened a hand with his fingers upwards, making it understood "por huevos").

In 1994, on the first of January, thousands of indigenous from this Tzeltal region, along with thousands more from the Tojolabal, Chol and Tzotzil regions, after more than ten years of preparation, covered their faces, changed their names, and collectively called the "Zapatista Army of National Liberation," rose up in arms. The finqueros fled, their white guards did the same, and they abandoned their weapons with which they had supported their domination. The zapatistas recovered the lands. Note: they did not "take" them, but they "recovered" them. This is what the compañeros and compañeras call this act of justice that had to wait dozens of years to be carried out. These lands which had belonged to the indigenous and which were usurped, are now indigenous once again. They have, therefore, been recovered. The lands were divided up. Hundreds of indigenous families, who had previously been crowded together in a space of 2 hectares, founded - along with other indigenous sans tierra from other villages in the region - this zapatista village which is welcoming us today. This village is now inhabited by, among others, those people who were attacked by the finqueros in 1982.

This zapatista village is called Dolores Hidalgo, and, as the founders, veterans of the 1994 uprising, tell me, the meaning of "Dolores" is the sorrow that we have from more than 500 years of resistance, and the name "Hidalgo" is for Don Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla, who fought for independence.

Note that they said "500 years of resistance" and not "500 years of domination." That is, despite the domination, they have never stopped resisting it. And when we talk about domination, when we recount our history, we are also talking about resistance. And now we are not talking about our history as the EZLN, but about our common history, the one we share with you, with your social organizations and your movements. Our common history, that one which, when they say "I rule and dominate," we and you say "I resist and I rebel."

But the zapatistas who founded Dolores Hidalgo are not referring just to the resistance. They are also naming its sorrow. The sorrow of the length of the path, the sorrow of exhaustion, the sorrow of those who betrayed along the way, the sorrow of defeats, the sorrow of errors, and, above all, the sorrow of continuing to move forward in spite of the sorrows.

You will tell us of your history as organizations and as movements, of your sorrows and your resistance and rebellion. We shall surely recognize ourselves in more than one of the stories. Many others will seem foreign to us. But in all of it we shall be learning from you. And we will tell you what we have told others: that we want to continue to learn. We shall learn with you, and with many others like you, to think well, to speak well and to feel well when we say "compañero, compañera."

Welcome compañeros, welcome compañeras.

Thank you very much.

Subcomandante Insurgente Marcos


From the opening remarks to the third preparation meeting for the Other Campaign, held in Dolores Hidalgo, Chiapas on August 20, 2005.

Originally published in Spanish by the EZLN

Translated by irlandesa

This page can be viewed in
English Italiano Deutsch

Front page

Statement on the Schmidt Case and Proposed Commission of Inquiry

Aodhan Ó Ríordáin: Playing The Big Man in America

Nós anarquistas saudamos o 8 de março: dia internacional de luta e resistência das mulheres!

Özgürlüğümüz Mücadelemizdedir

IWD 2017: Celebrating a new revolution

Solidarité avec Théo et toutes les victimes des violences policières ! Non à la loi « Sécurité Publique » !

Solidaridad y Defensa de las Comunidades Frente al Avance del Paramilitarismo en el Cauca

A Conservative Threat Offers New Opportunities for Working Class Feminism

De las colectivizaciones al 15M: 80 años de lucha por la autogestión en España

False hope, broken promises: Obama’s belligerent legacy

Primer encuentro feminista Solidaridad – Federación Comunista Libertaria

Devrimci Anarşist Tutsak Umut Fırat Süvarioğulları Açlık Grevinin 39 Gününde

The Fall of Aleppo

Italia - Ricostruire opposizione sociale organizzata dal basso. Costruire un progetto collettivo per l’alternativa libertaria.

Recordando a César Roa, luchador de la caña

Prison Sentence to Managing Editor of Anarchist Meydan Newspaper in Turkey

Liberación de la Uma Kiwe, autonomía y territorio: una mirada libertaria para la comprensión de la lucha nasa

Misunderstanding syndicalism

American Anarchist and Wobbly killed by Turkey while fighting ISIS in Rojava

Devlet Tecavüzdür

Attaque fasciste sur la Croix Rousse et contre la librairie libertaire la Plume Noire

Red November, Black November – An Anarchist Response to the Election

Resistance at Standing Rock

1986-2016: 30° anniversario di Alternativa Libertaria/fdca

North America / Mexico | Indigenous struggles | News Report | en

Wed 29 Mar, 11:21

browse text browse image

crsjpcpguerrero.jpg imagevideoIndigenous Armed Group Created in the Mountains of Guerrero 08:31 Fri 16 Dec by Ruptura Colectiva 3 comments

They send a message to the world: “With autonomy we fight for life and territory”

textThe Dream of San Juan Copala 02:39 Fri 07 May by Claudio Albertani 0 comments

On April 29, 2010, a caravan of militants, journalists and international observers was attacked in the Mexican state of Oaxaca.
Two people were killed in the attack. Claudio Albertani puts this incident into context and provides a history of conflict in the
region.

textReport back on Peru Solidarity Action 10:12 Thu 09 Jul by s. nappalos 0 comments

Miami Autonomy and Solidarity took part in a solidarity action with the struggles of Amazonian peoples in Peru.

textTel Aviv: Demo today at Mexican embassy 23:00 Mon 30 Oct by Ilan S. 0 comments

And we had our vigil in front of the building the Mexican embassy is located. We were about 20 people - one from the general radical left and 19 of the subscribers of the Anarchists Against the Wall list (mostly anarchists).

textA US anarchist reports from the struggles in Mexico 15:27 Tue 04 Jul by Joaquin Cienfuegos 3 comments

The following is a correspondence from Joaquin Cienfuegos, traveling throughout Mexico reporting on the struggles on the streets, the anarchist movement, the Other Campaign, the Zapatista’s, and the over all radical climate that is building.

textCall for CIPO-RFM Tour - West Coast and South West 16:13 Fri 17 Mar by Joaquin Cienfuegos 0 comments

Proposed speaking tour for the Popular Indigenous Council of Oaxaca – Ricardo Flores Magón in the South West and West Coast united states. The CIPO-RFM is an autonomous organization of indigenous and non-indigenous people who ally themselves with the struggle for indigenous rights and social justice all over the world.

textWords of the EZLN from the Indigenous organizations and Indian peoples meeting in Chiapas 20:29 Thu 18 Aug by EZLN (trans irlandesa) 1 comments

On Saturday, August 13 in the Community of Javier Hernández, Mexico the Second Preparation Meeting for the Other Campaign took place. This one was for Indigenous organizations and Indian peoples Here are the Zapatista speeches and communiques for this meeting and details of the preparation for the next meeting. Marcos's introductions includes some details of the background to the occupation of the lands the host community is based on.

textStop the Repression Against the CIPO-RFM! 18:58 Fri 01 Jul by ? 0 comments

Only a few months after the appointment of the new government of Ulises Ruiz Ortiz in the south western state of Oaxaca, there has been deterioration in the social and political situation and in particular regarding the political rights of Indigenous peoples. One of the Indigenous organizations suffering the most repression in all of Mexico and particularly in Oaxaca is the Popular Indigenous Council of Oaxaca- Ricardo Flores Magón (CIPO-RFM)

imageResidential School Apology Aug 20 by Rev 0 comments

Residential schools, as part of the colonial project, were made to create a disciplined working class out of Indigenous peoples. They were made to impose capitalism and cultural ideas that supported the project of the Capitalists. This article furthers the discussion of how the genocide and colonization of North America was part of the overall oppression and exploitation of the contemporary working class. This article is an anarchist response to the apologies of Settler governments in |Canada and Australia.

textBroken Barricades: The Oaxaca Rebellion in Victory, Defeat, and Beyond (2) Mar 30 by Collective Reinventions 3 comments

It is written after the apogee of the Oaxaca rebellion, but with the certainty that this movement is not over, that in one form or another the struggle that began in 2006 will continue. Our analysis is presented in the hope that will shed some light on Oaxaca before the uprising is mythologized (by anti-authoritarians); distorted (by all the Leninist vanguards who, in their arrogance, are eager to impart their stern “lessons” to the “masses” in Oaxaca); or simply fades away, far from the glare of the proverbial media spotlight.

textBroken Barricades: The Oaxaca Rebellion in Victory, Defeat, and Beyond (1) Mar 30 by Collective Reinventions 0 comments

It is written after the apogee of the Oaxaca rebellion, but with the certainty that this movement is not over, that in one form or another the struggle that began in 2006 will continue. Our analysis is presented in the hope that will shed some light on Oaxaca before the uprising is mythologized (by anti-authoritarians); distorted (by all the Leninist vanguards who, in their arrogance, are eager to impart their stern “lessons” to the “masses” in Oaxaca); or simply fades away, far from the glare of the proverbial media spotlight.

textAn Anarchist Study of the Iroquois Jan 07 by Stephen Arthur 4 comments

The traditional society of the Rotinonshón:ni (Iroquois), "The People of the Longhouse," was a densely settled, matrilineal, communal, and extensively horticultural society. The Rotinonshón:ni formed a confederacy of five nations. Generations before historical contact with Europeans, these nations united through the Kaianere'kó:wa into the same polity and ended blood feuding without economic exploitation, stratification, or the formation of a centralized state.

imageFirst Nations in Canada - When Property Does Not Apply Dec 17 by Andrew Fleming 0 comments

Normally the settlement of claims to property are something the court system takes very seriously. The very foundation of capitalism after all is that some person can claim ownership of a piece of land, and through that ownership charge others rent to use it explains Andrew Fleming. [ Nederlands ]

more >>

imageThe Oakland Palestine Solidarity Mural Aug 07 0 comments

Presented by Art Forces, the Estria Foundation and NorCal Friends of Sabeel, the Oakland Palestine Solidarity Mural is a monumental work of public art located in Uptown Oakland on 26th Street between Telegraph and Broadway. The mural pays homage to the history of Bay Area public art and expresses solidarity with Palestinians as bombs continue to fall on Gaza.

textThe Community of Santa María Ostula Struggles against Violent Repression Jun 27 Commission for the Defence of Community Property of the Indigenous Community of Santa María Ostula 0 comments

The costs of war on Ostula: 16 community members dead or disappeared in the past six months, dozens of widows, orphans and families displaced, and the indefinite suspension of school.

imageRaise your voices against repressions by the state of Chiapas, Mexico May 06 0 comments

8 other campaign activists have been unjustly and illegally imprisoned, tortured, badly treated, stigmatized by the media, and are now awaiting possible incarceration for false accusations.

textZapotec Indigenous People in Mexico Demand Transparency from U.S. Scholar Jan 29 WSA (personal capacity) 1 comments

By Saulo Araujo
January 22nd, 2009

The Union of Organizations of the Sierra Juarez of Oaxaca (UNOSJO) - a longtime partner of Grassroots International based in Mexico - denounced a recently conducted study in the Zapotec region by U.S. geography scholar Peter Herlihy. Prof. Herlihy failed to mention that he received funding from the Foreign Military Studies Office of the U.S. Armed Forces. The failure to obtain full, free and prior informed consent is a violation of the rights of indigenous communities as codified in the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples adopted by the United Nations in 2007. In addition, UNOSJO fears that this in-depth geographical mapping of indigenous communities may be used in some harmful manner by the military.

textBuild It From Below: Anarchist People Of Color Regional Gatherings Aug 05 Anarchist People Of Color 0 comments

For APOC to grow and thrive as a viable force for folks of color in the so-called United States, more base-building needs to take place. More input from people across the country is needed to shape what APOC movement will look like, and what it will achieve in the coming years.

more >>
© 2005-2017 Anarkismo.net. Unless otherwise stated by the author, all content is free for non-commercial reuse, reprint, and rebroadcast, on the net and elsewhere. Opinions are those of the contributors and are not necessarily endorsed by Anarkismo.net. [ Disclaimer | Privacy ]