The history of the EZLN Road built between rights and wrongs

The road traveled by the Zapatista Army of National Liberation (EZLN or EZ) has been marked by great successes, but also by important unreasonable. 

The moments in which the EZ has acted have been bright in the memory of women and men who have accompanied. However, the errors should be reminded not to be repeated. The discussion about the mistakes, the successes and the act of the revolutionary organizations that are claimed, is what makes them strong and democratic, and the desire to build tools with these features, is that we raised this discussion. 

Subcomandante Marcos today to recognize mistakes and correct the course, appeals to those who ignored years ago. 

The Sixth Declaration and the Other Campaign, is a great opportunity to amend faults, but to take this step is necessary to analyze the circumstances and decisions that led the EZLN to become virtually isolated after being forcibly awakened the country from a long slumber . 

First event: the uprising 

Who does not remember that glorious morning of the first of January 1994, when Mexico was awakened with the news that the indigenous people of Chiapas had been raised against the bad government. 

From that day, the commander of the EZLN rose to public life, carrying the voice of the bottom of the front pages around the world. 

The First Declaration of the Lacandon Jungle, a document which gave out their demands and control plan was to explode a so-called revolution against the dictator, in a nutshell, unknown to the then president Carlos Salinas de Gortari and called to fight against the Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and in defense of Article 27 of the Constitution on the ground. 

The uprising has generated great sympathy in the population. Were weeks in which workers, peasants and students passionately debated over the course of the country and joined the declaration of war EZ. 

It was an opportunity for the leadership of the EZLN called to create a front of all labor organizations, popular, peasant, indigenous and student to organize the fight against the government. The germ was there, in all corners of the country began to settle committees to support the insurgents, the organization of the people is brewing, and then came the call of the EZLN to attend the jungle. 

Second act: the National Democratic Convention (CND) 

The EZLN launched a call for the NDA to attend … it just finally took the name of democracy. 

This was the great opportunity of the Zapatista leadership to change the direction of the country, to appeal to the working class to promote a movement that could well have led to a revolution, the great change that the country and working people need. But the decision was another. 

The NDA was a reunion for the pre bourgeois candidate Cuauhtémoc Cárdenas. The EZ gave the command and organization of the NDA to the PRD, the discussions generated in the working groups were intense, as there were areas that were opposed to the line of the PRD, which claimed that the ruling NDA vote in elections by Cardenas. At the final meeting in the forest could have been a revolutionary seed, became a media spectacle. 

PRD leaders, through the National Organizing Committee, appealed to defamation and authoritarianism to expel and isolate those voices that opposed its policies (especially POS), and finally, the resolutions of the NDA was reduced to a called to fight … but the polls, that is, to respect the methods of the PRI dictatorship (it goes without saying that the elections until then were merely a pantomime committed to maintaining the illusion that the dictatorship did not exist) . 

At that time, the Zapatista leadership forgot the first uprising against the PRD claims, and dismissed the importance of uniting the workers and peasants, and deciding to trust the path marked by the PRD, a bourgeois party that tried to gain positions of power, but without disrupting the existing system. 

Thinking that the PRD could be an ally in achieving justice for the indigenous people rose up was the worst mistake of the Zapatista leadership, the failure to definitively opted for the class struggle, led to the cascade of events that came in later years . 

By abandoning the spirit of the First Declaration, the Zapatistas have committed three serious mistakes that were expressed at different times with different faces: 

1. Reliance on a bourgeois direction. 

To say that we have with the terminology used in this issue of this magazine, took the direction of the EZLN, following the insurrection of January 1, 1994, a strategy typical of the Stalinist tradition menchevique and is, its policy was popular front or is that privileged alliance with the bourgeoisie, instead of the proposed alliance with the proletariat. The EZ dismissed the working class and sought for the alleged good bourgeois, progressives, nationalists and democrats. Found in the PRD and Cardenas and was subject to them for years. 
In the NDA, the absence of workers and unions was remarkable six thousand delegates, representing about 350 workers from about 57 unions and labor flows across the country. The Zapatistas and the PRD leadership never worried about ensuring the participation of this sector, but focused their energies on what the year would be his main force, the intelligentsia and petty bourgeoisie. Since then, the term civil society, began to ring in the mouth of the followers of Marcos, forgetting that there are social classes, while seeking to annul through language. Mark said: There are groups of power, more nationalistic, they are invited to the Convention, which has no class character. At this point, since employers can match up illiterate indigenous or certain sectors of the church (Process, 1-08-94) 

The Third Declaration of the Lacandon Jungle calls for the workers, peasants, students and civil society to continue fighting against the government, and while this appeal was correct, he lost all validity in asking that the sectors of the working class is subordinate to the ¿moral authority? and head of Cardenas, who was anointed as the leader of a “National Liberation Movement” (which the engineer was never willing to acaudillar). 

Following the electoral defeat of Cuauhtémoc, in August 1994, Mark continued making the second son of Lazarus and said in a statement entitled The long journey from pain to hope wrote: “the course of the civil and peaceful transition to democracy, freedom and justice was, until August 1994, Cárdenas a safe driver, honest and consistent. ” 

The gap between the EZLN and the major labor struggles of those years, it became clear in the silence around the Zapatista struggle SUTAUR 100. The march of the first mass May 1995 (perhaps the largest in history), the EZ did not submit a salute to the working class. This silence marked the distance that kept the workers until 2005. 

2. Not having raised the power struggle of the workers and peasants in reliance upon the parties of the bourgeoisie and its methods 

In the beginning, the EZ speak of overthrowing the dictator, and fairly progressive in 94 years, but calling the other powers of the Union to take power after the fall of Salinas, he never raised the formation of a government workers, peasants and Indians. Within months of the uprising Marcos stated that: The comrades have been clear that the EZ is not seeking the power Why do we want a political party if we do not want power? We want to live in peace, democracy, freedom and justice. 

Regarding political parties, saying: That’s why we say we are not against the PRI, PAN, PRD, PPS, PARM, or anyone. Either they win, we respect, but to our conception of democracy, which is winning is because you offered something and it has to adhere to (Yo, Mark, 1994, pp. 99-101). That statement makes sense, by relying on the direction of the Aztec sun and call to vote for Cardenas, automatically you have to rely on the methods of the bourgeoisie, and it is hoped these methods, whichever wins the election will be a legitimate governor … and of course, no one returned to talk of overthrowing anyone. 

Under the illusion of bourgeois democracy, the EZ hoped that after the overthrow of the PRI at the polls in 2000, the conflict would find a solution. And this is how you prepare to make a caravan route to the City. In this context, Marcos declared La Jornada (30/02/01): we are closer than ever to achieve peace in Chiapas … society found July 2 in the form of an act … the electoral process is a form of do something (…) I believe that we will succeed in the talks with the government, the war will end and we can continue with our lives … “Five years later, reality has proven otherwise. 

3. Circumscribe the demands of their struggle to the indigenous issue, abandoning goals such as combating land and by TLC 

The root cause of the uprising was the indigenous struggle for land seized, was the fight against large estates that had taken what belongs to the Indian peoples. Were ten cases of concern to all poor and destitute in the country, not only to the Indians. It was also won the “national liberation” of Mexico, praying the same initials as the EZLN. 

The promise of returning the land to the peasants was changed to a requirement of legislation that would guarantee autonomy to indigenous peoples and communities. The EZLN gave in this core, reaching the San Andres Accords, and finally to the very limited COCOPA Act. 

The EZLN acted properly by requiring the government to sit down and negotiate, especially when it strengthened by the support of national and international movements. However, at key points in yield, fell an important stretch of the road win. 

Sadly, the negotiations with the government gave a pitiful result: Cocopa law consists of constitutional amendments do not guarantee land to farmers, focusing on a relative autonomy for communities and does not provide any financial commitment by government to ensure a minimum Impetus for the poorest in the country, Indian people. Anyway, do not get resources and land, but the government promised to respect the indigenous culture … may soon die of hunger. 

The FTA is not mentioned again after the first statement. In the course took the insurgency, the specification of the Zapatistas became increasingly limiting to be reduced to local and indigenous issues. If the EZ had wanted to fight against the ominous treaty, would have needed to link groups of workers in the three countries involved, ie, should have embraced the proletarian internationalism. 

But Mark thought otherwise and stated in 1994: We believe that the U.S. government as the people of the United States must be clear that our movement there is nothing that affects their interests (…) the people and the U.S. government will to realize that we have nothing against them … (Yo, Mark, pp. 106) 

Third act: that is to be written after the Sixth and the Other Campaign … 

By pointing out mistakes, we do not want chest beating by the Zapatista leadership, we are not interested in the visceral debate. Take stock of the ups and downs all these years of struggle, as noted at the outset of these paragraphs is a must for those who intend to exercise in the continuing fight for a fairer world. 
The successes of the EZLN is not to say that the memory of that first morning of the year 1994 has been etched in the minds of millions of workers and marginalized and hearts of those who believe that a socialist world is possible.

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