The Subcomandante Galeano, the most well-known spokesperson of the Zapatista National Liberation Army (EZLN), said that the Capitalist Hydra won't allow any left-wing reformist governments in Latin America, and warned about the next possible electoral fraud in Mexico and the rise of the right in the region.
Speaking at the cycle of conferences titled “Looks, Listens, Words, Thinking Forbidden?” Galeano said in his firm, slow voice that the Zapatistas didn't want “neither reform nor revolution, but survival, resistance and rebellion,” because “capitalism is going for everything and won't allow any Lulas, nor Dilmas, Kirchners or Correas, nor Evos nor Lopez Obradors, nor whatever name is offering to take a breath.”
Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador (AMLO) is the candidate for the left-right wing coalition “Together We'll Make History,” and is currently the favorite by a wide margin. The last poll published by the daily Reforma gave AMLO 48 percent of the vote intention, while the right-wing Ricardo Anaya is far behind with 26 percent.
Other polls don't give such a generous margin, but most are certain that at this point, after three presidential campaigns and a general disdain for the traditional mainstream parties, AMLO is unbeatable.
But Galeano disagrees. As right-wing governments in Latin America are on the rise and the most progressive ones are under heavy international pressure or have been victims of coups, the EZLN famous spokesperson thinks Mexicans won't have it that easy.
“The institutional left is certain that Donald Trump, president of the United States, Brazil's Michel Temer and Argentina's Mauricio Macri will be followed by a Lopez Obrador south of Rio Grande. They're taking it for granted, even though Lopez Obrador is very moderate, promises everything and now is in a fight with [Carlos] Slim because of the airport...” said Galeano.
In order to achieve such a wide advantage, AMLO had to please both the general public and the economic elite of the country, promising investors that their money will be safe.
However, Lopez Obrador also promised to halt the construction of the controversial New International Airport of Mexico City (NAICM), which he claims is an unnecessary investment, to expand another already existing airport and save the country some money. This has earned him criticism from the right-wing sectors, including his former ally Carlos Slim, the richest (known) person in Mexico.
He also said that if any candidate offers to take a breath from capitalism and asks for support, the ruling class “won't allow it. And one thing is preparing for taking that breath and other preparing for a bloody, sadist, fierce persecution out of any logic we've ever seen.”
“We say that now that the hydra is running crazy, it is going for everything and everyone. Those are the reflections, what I understand out of all this, because that is what our friends, brothers and sisters from the networks are facing, and they say 'well, if they're offering us a breath we should take it,' but others say no, that we need to go all-in. And what we say is that taking that breath won't be possible,” said Galeano.
At the first day of the cycle of conferences, the EZLN spokesperson had previously warned that the institutional left in Mexico “is so drunk celebrating a victory that it still doesn't have in hand, that it doesn't realize where the fraud is coming from and doesn't have a plan B.”
“It's an historical event, the male command of the EZLN is leaving the board of the #SeedbedLooksListensWords 2018 to female interzone coordinators and commanders from the 5 Caracols, in which Marichuy, spokeswoman of the CIG, is taking part.”
The cycle of conferences is being held at the Integral Education Indigenous Center (Cideci)-Earth University, located at San Cristobal de las Casas in the southern Mexican state of Chiapas. Cideci is usually the scene of the Zapatista-organized conferences and congresses, to which they invite intellectuals, social organizations, scientists and activists to speak. This time, the public has also been encouraged to participate, as Galeano, who acts as the moderator, invites them to come to the front and take the microphone.
Galeano also said the EZLN has never boycotted the elections, but instead consistently invites the people to organize in their struggle against capitalism.
“We only called once to an electoral vote... during the Other Campaign (2006) in Guanajuato against the National Action Party (PAN, right-wing) to demand the liberation of some friends that were in jail, and they were freed, but we have never called to abstain from voting. First, because we can't do that ourselves, because we're forced to abstain, because we don't even have the choice to vote or not, and why would we tell someone to vote or not? We have to say 'you need to organize'.”
Maria de Jesus Patricio Martinez, the Indigenous Government Council (CIG) spokeswoman backed by the EZLN who was barred from running in the elections, is also present at the event. “Mexico has been kidnapped by a few. We have a lot to do together, this doesn't end just because we didn't get the signatures,” Patricio Martinez said.
Marichuy, the Indigenous Government Council's Nahuatl spokeswoman, and the Wixarika counselor Patricio visit the Totonaca community of Huehuetla, in Puebla, Mexico. 17/11/2017. Photo | Raul Fernando
Patricio Martinez, also known as Marichuy, managed to get 281, 955 signatures in her support, relying on volunteers to get them, out of which more than 90 percent were validated by the electoral authorities as legitimate. However, she didn't get the almost 900,000 signatures needed to become an official independent presidential candidate. Other independent candidates, with far greater resources, managed to reach the goal and will be in the ballots, even though the electoral authorities declared most of their signatures fake.
“We need to come back and get involved in the bottom-up organization, with our own ways, manners and times, but we can't just remain seated thinking that we didn't make it... there's a lot to do for Mexico,” Marichuy said.
Along with delegates of the CIG, Marichuy traveled all across Mexico visiting communities in resistance, listening to their problems and their experience in their struggles.
“We listened and saw that the pains in Mexico are all alike among each other, and they're similar because there's a destruction strategy, of sacking, of control,” said Marichuy.