Oaxaca, Mexico (TFC) – The Zapatistas have sided with the teachers who are engaged in a massive and sometimes violent dispute with the Mexican government. The group released a statement, reprinted in full below. The Zapatistas are a militant group best known for their fight in Chiapas, Mexico. It is unclear if the Zapatistas plan on engaging in any militant actions on behalf of the community.
Joint Communique from the National Indigenous Congress and the EZLN on the cowardly police attack against the National Coordinating Committee of Education Workers and the indigenous community of Nochixtlán, Oaxaca.
June 20, 2016
To the People of Mexico:
To the peoples of the World:
Faced with the cowardly repressive attack suffered by the teachers and the community in Nochixtlán, Oaxaca—in which the Mexican state reminds us that this is a war on all—the peoples, nations, and tribes who make up the National Indigenous Congress and the Zapatista Army for National Liberation say to the dignified teachers that they are not alone, that we know that reason and truth are on their side, that the collective dignity from which they speak their resistance is unbreakable, and that this the principal weapon of those of us below.
We condemn the escalation of repression with which the neoliberal capitalist reform, supposedly about “education,” is being imposed across the entire country and principally in the states of Oaxaca, Chiapas, Guerrero, and Michoacán. With threats, persecutions, beatings, unjust imprisonments and now murders they try to break the dignity of the teachers in rebellion.
We call on our peoples and on civil society in general to be with the teachers who resist at all times, to recognize ourselves in them. The violence used to dispossess them of their basic work benefits with the goal of privatizing education is a reflection of the violence with which the originary peoples and rural and urban peoples are dispossessed.
Those who delight in power decided that education, health, indigenous and campesino territories, and even peace and security are a commodity for whoever can pay for them, that rights are not rights but rather products and services to be snatched away, and they dispossess, destroy, and negotiate according to what big capital dictates. And they intend to impose this aberration through bloody means, murdering and disappearing our compañer@s, sending our spokespeople to high security prisons, making shameless torture into government marketing, and with the help of the paid press, criminalizing the bravest part of Mexican society, that is, those who struggle, who do not give in, who do not sell out, and who do not give up.
We demand a halt to the repression against the teachers in struggle and the immediate and unconditional liberation of ALL political prisoners.
We invite all of the peoples of the countryside and cities to be attentive and in solidarity with the teachers’ struggle, to organize autonomously in order to remain informed and alert in the face of the storm that is upon all of us, knowing that a storm, in addition to its turmoil and chaos, also makes the ground fertile where a new world is always born.
From the mountains, countryside, valleys, canyons, and barrios of the originary peoples, nations, and tribes of Mexico.
Never Again a Mexico Without Us!
National Indigenous Congress
Zapatista Army for National Liberation
Mexico, June 20, 2016
CLICK HERE for a documentary about the Zapatistas available on Sleeper Cells.