Reading a Video
Part Seven: Seven Days in Zapatista Territory
Monday: In the Morelia Caracol
We met with the campamentistas F and W, who were here in the Caracol IV; they said they had learned many things during the days they were here, and they are going to go and struggle in the countries they're from, Italy and Spain; they are carrying the flower of the word of the collective.
Thirteen teachers, colleagues from different municipalities, met here in Caracol IV, where they were practicing teaching the consonants: L - CH - B - K - N - R - W - X - Y. These were the letters that were studied for the purpose of introducing natural and artificial objects, words and statements in order to identify the syllables of each letter. They planned the next meeting, which will be on the 20th and 21st in the Miguel Hidalgo municipality.
Three compañeros went as a committee to the Che Guevara municipality to investigate problems which had occurred in the municipality over the planting of the drug marijuana, to see if it were possible that it had happened in the location of the incidents in place "X". Two compañeros were detained for that provocation in the Che Guevara municipal jail in order to pay for their mistakes. The camerapersons, compañeros, filmed what had taken place; they will deliver the video to the junta. The authorities of that municipality have taken responsibility for issuing an act for the detainee's appearance, and they are sending a copy to the Good Government Junta. The detainees are responsible for the junta committee's expenses in the amount of six hundred pesos.
We met with Señor I, from the country of Algeria, who came to prepare a meal of Couscous, accompanied by a delegation from the solidarity committee in France.
TUESDAY: In the Roberto Barrios Caracol
We met with sister N, of Switzerland, from an organization Z, and she delivered a donation of 57,790 pesos for the communities in need in the Northern region, which is 6229 pesos for the 10 municipalities. If it doesn't add up, it's because we added in what a brother from DF had given, and then it comes out right.
Meeting of the committee for dealing with the logo for the car which was called Maiz resistente, in Chol, P'atal ba ixim and in Tzeltal, Tulan ixim. The assistants from Semilla del Sol delivered two dictionaries, two globes and a world on a stand.
We met with the brothers from Japan from the zapatista solidarity organization which wants to work on murals. A letter was written for the organization in Holland concerning the project for nine pharmacies, three health houses, training and an ambulance.
WEDNESDAY: In La Garrucha Caracol
The compañero Benito, of "X" village in the Francisco Gómez municipality, presented himself. The Issue: a problem concerning wood with ARIC-Official. Because of this problem with wood, the women had fought in the Church, a man from ARIC hit a zapatista woman; also a base compañero had a confrontation with one Artemio from ARIC-Official. During this fight, a "prijista" woman took her clothes off in front of everyone to see if anyone would rape her. This did not lead to any greater problems, and the compa Benito did not expect that his leader would turn up at the date of the last session.
Señor B and Señor A presented themselves. The Issue: to report about the detained taxi. The coordinator of Ocosingo regional transportation said that the taxi could now be removed from the impoundment yard, but they would have to sign a paper saying they wouldn't use the taxi for work. The JBG sent another official letter to the coordinator and to the state government delegate to release the taxi immediately, because if they didn't respect honorable work, then the people were going to become criminals or engage in politics, or the poor people would get together and rise up in arms like the zapatistas on the first day of January of 94 and then they would respect their work as taxi drivers.
Persons from the PRD organization in Ocosingo presented themselves at the JBG in order to report a theft of nine horses, four saddles and a chain saw. The JBG forwarded the investigation to the Francisco Gómez Rebel Zapatista Autonomous Municipality, and when they found those who had been robbed, they called on the owners to give them their animals and their things. They did not accept the money that they offered for their things, and they told those who had stolen not to do so again, because they could go to jail.
Señora Tránsita presented herself to the JBG; the issue was a land problem with the support bases from a barrio in Ocosingo, concerning an area of 8 by 15 hectares in recovered land. The JBG asked her for her papers for the land, and she responded that she did not have any documentation of her ownership. The JBG investigated, and it turned out that the land had been sold by someone who was not the owner either, and because of that the compas and the rest of the barrio destroyed the house, and she submitted four complaints to the Ministry, three for the support bases and the barrio delegate, who is not a compa. After various negotiations, the JBG proposed that the land and the materials be returned if the four complaints were withdrawn. Her things have already been returned, and she has not withdrawn one of the demands, the one against the delegate who is not a compa, because he has been going around saying bad things about her. The JBG insisted that the agreed accord be carried out, regardless of what the delegate said or didn't say. Compliance with the accord is still pending.
The authorities of organization X presented themselves, in order to resolve the problem of a rape and a confrontation which occurred over a land problem, and they were given three proposals which they, as authorities, signed in agreement: 1. Regarding the problem of the rape, the official authorities will take charge, 2. That the displaced return to their places of origin, and 3. That all the problems be resolved in a peaceful arrangement.
Out of 21 cases, 16 have been resolved, four are pending and one was not resolved.
THURSDAY: In Oventic Caracol
Ofelia arrived with the doctor seeking permission to demonstrate some stoves that don't use up firewood, and we granted her permission.
Some people came from Rebeldía magazine, and then from the FZLN, to deliver money from the campaign that is called "20 and 10, the fire of the word," and which is for the Good Government Juntas, and it was sent to the EZLN to be divided up equally for each Junta. The Youth of Alternative Resistance from DF also arrived for the same thing.
We met with people from Enlace concerning the block making project in Polhó.
The San Andres Sakamchen autonomía asked to borrow ten thousand pesos to fix the municipal office's vehicles.
Those who are helping meet the needs of the displaced of Zinacantán, from CIEPAC, from DESMI, from Germany, from Granada, from Doctors of the World, from Civil Community Assistance, from football players from the team called Milan International, from the United States, and from individuals, for a total of 616,302.26 pesos.
FRIDAY: In the Caracol of La Realidad
A lady from Ciudad de Carmen, Campeche, came to us in order to present a problem she has with a gentleman from the city of Comitán. He promised her that he would negotiate a mortgage line of credit for her, and, as a guarantee for the agreement, she should send the documentation concerning her house to the bank. It turned out that the funds were not delivered, and afterwards she demanded the documentation back from the bank. They did not return it, because the funds had indeed gone to the agent, but nothing to her. The JBG advised her that it would be better if she went to a human rights defenders organization, because the matter involved a violation of her rights. They recommended Frayba to her. At this time, we do not know if she went there or not.
The persons in solidarity who built the turbine in La Realidad came to see how it was functioning, and they returned to talk with the JBG.
Persons in solidarity came from Australia, asking to learn about autonomy and what govern obeying was. We explained to them in detail, they seemed to be quite amazed, and they said they would take the message and spread it in their country. They also came from Argentina, France, Canada and Poland to hear about the autonomía.
The ones from the Basque country came in order to see about the projects they are helping with. They left satisfied, because they saw that the agreement is being carried out.
Students from UNAM, the UPN and Poli came in order to talk and so that we could explain to them what govern obeying is and about the autonomía.
SATURDAY: In a Zapatista Village
I arrived with Rolando in order to say hello to Doña Julia. I went into the house-sitting room-dining room-kitchen-bedroom. She gave me coffee, guineo. She talked to me. About her children, about her grandchildren, about her great grandchildren, about when she came across the soldiers and "I looked them straight in the eye just like this (and she arched her white eyebrows) and I told them: 'Go ahead, take out your pistol and shoot me, go ahead', but they didn't take out their pistol, and if they had I wouldn't be telling you this." She continued talking, about when her son slipped away to take tostadas to the insurgents in the mountain, when the peoples joined together, when war was voted for, when everyone went to the city to fight, when the resistance came in, when the autonomías were made, when the caracoles were made. I was about to take out my pipe and tobacco and, suddenly, she stopped and asked me: "Did you come to talk to the Sup?" I turned around to look at Rolando who was scratching his mustache to hide his laughter. I left my pipe and tobacco in the bag. "Yes," I told her. "Ah, when you see him tell him hello for me and give him my blessing , the condemned one will know where he is because he hasn't come for days", she said, and she gave me some tamales "for the Sup". We said goodbye. Once we were in the pasture, I said to Rolando: "If you laugh, you're never going to come here again." "Of course we're all going to die", he said, laughing and going on ahead. Once he was a prudent distance away, he yelled at me: "Remember to say hello to the Sup". In the Comandancia hut now, I look at myself in the little mirror and I say and I say to myself: "We're not the same any more as the ones we were then", and I sigh...what else can I do?
SUNDAY: Someplace in the Mountains of the Mexican Southeast
Dawn. I ran into Moy, who can't sleep either. The troops went to have a rest some time ago. Only the shadow of the guard on duty can be made out. Moy and I talk about the dead, our dead. I tell him that all of them were better than I am. That now Eleazar has left us, that it looked as if Eleazar was going to be saved and suddenly died suddenly. Because here death never comes slowly, it just appears, with a bang, and you're just left, not seeing their steps and thinking that it would have been better if another had been taken and not him, the dead one. Eleazar was better than me, and Pedro, and Hugo, and Fredy, and Alvaro and all the names I keep to myself because why bequeath deaths? Eleazar, who still wanted to stand at attention and salute militarily while in bed, and who asked for music in the morning. Moy tells me my face is wet. He makes a gesture to get the drops off me, and I say: "It's the rain." Moy lights a cigarette, I light my pipe. Above, a sky, saddened from so many stars, isn't weeping, just looking in the dark mirror of the moon.
Certificate of Authenticity
The above having been said, seen and heard in its entirety, not in full use of my mental faculties and more or less in use of my physical ones, I certify that what has been set out in this "very otherly" video, and what I have related about the zapatista peoples, is true, verifiable and, in a given case, reprehensible. That the only thing that can be blamed on fantasy or the imagination is that which refers to the existence of the one who is writing this, since it is well known that we ghosts are nothing other than idem until, as I don't know who said, we die to live. I bear witness.
Video projected to the entire galaxy from the southeastern Mexican state of Chiapas, in the fourth year of the twenty-first century, 20 years from the birth and 10 from the beginning, when August is languishing and hope hurts the country which embraces us (because it's Bush who's hurting the world in general).
Note: This video has no copyright, and it may be totally or partially reproduced wherever you wish, as often as you wish and with whomever you wish. Now, if you're paying attention and working consistently, then they could put you in jail, but the distributor of the video, which is, as I said, the Zapatista System of Intergalactic Television, no longer bears any liability.
Vale. Salud and what's missing is missing...when you need it.
From the mountains of the Mexican Southeast.
Subcomandante Insurgente Marcos
Mexico, August of 2004. 20 and 10.
Originally published in Spanish by the EZLN
Translated by irlandesa