Subcomandante Marcos

From Infogalactic: the planetary knowledge core
Jump to: navigation, search
Subcomandante Marcos
Subcomandante Marcos, smoking a pipe atop a horse in Chiapas, Mexico in 1996.
Other names Subcomandante Insurgente Galeano, Delegado Cero (Delegate Zero)

Subcomandante Marcos or Subcomandante Insurgente Marcos, was the nom de guerre used by the main ideologist and spokesman of the Zapatista Army of National Liberation (EZLN), a Mexican rebel movement fighting for the rights of the indigenous peoples of Mexico. Subcomandante Marcos, the character, the constructed persona, the hologram, the "colorful ruse," was created by the Clandestine Revolutionary Indigenous Committee of the Zapatistas, because "[the outsiders] can only see those who are as small as they are. Let’s make someone as small as they are, so that they can see him and through him, they can see us." Determined by the Zapatistas to have become a distraction, the figure announced it to be destroyed in late May 2014.[1] Resurrecting the name of a fallen Zapatista education promoter named José Luis Solís López, or Compañero Galeano, who was killed in a paramilitary attack against La Realidad, a Zapatista village, also in May 2014, Subcomandante Marcos is now known as Subcomandante Insurgente Galeano.[2][3] Twenty years prior, on January 1, 1994, when the U.S.–Mexico–Canada free trade agreement became effective, then Subcommander Marcos led an army of Mayan farmers into eastern Chiapas state, to protest what he saw as the Mexican federal government's mistreatment of the nation's indigenous peoples.[4] Marcos is also a writer, a political poet, and an anti-capitalist who advocates the amendment of the Political Constitution of Mexico to formally and specifically recognize the political and the human rights of Mexico's indigenous peoples.[5]

Journalists have described Marcos as both a post-modern and new Che Guevara.[5][6] In his military capacity as a Subcommander of the Zapatista Army, his nom de guerre Marcos is that of a friend killed at a military road-block checkpoint.[7] In his political capacity, he is known as Delegado Cero (Delegate Zero) for his participation in the affairs of La otra campaña (The Other Campaign), concerning the communitary autonomy and the socio-political rights of los indios de México (the indigenous peoples of Mexico).

On May 25, 2014 at 02:08 he published a letter where he announced his last public appearance. He mentioned that the Subcomandante Marcos personality has been a "hologram" and the EZLN does not need his image anymore. The letter is signed by Subcomandante Insurgente Galeano who died a few days earlier in an ambush. It is said that Galeano mentioned that he would have returned in collective form.[8]


As a young man, Marcos was politically radicalized by the Tlatelolco massacre (2 October 1968) of students and civilians by the Mexican federal government[citation needed]; consequently, he became a militant in the Maoist National Liberation Forces. In 1983, he went to the mountains of Chiapas to convince the poor, indigenous Maya population to organize and launch a proletarian revolution against the Mexican bourgeoisie and the federal government.[9] After hearing his proposition, the Chiapanecs "just stared at him", and replied that they were not urban workers, that, from their perspective, the land was not property, but the heart of the communities.[9] In the documentary A Place Called Chiapas (1998), about his early days there, Subcommander Marcos said:

There are several rumors that Marcos left Mexico in the mid 1980s to Nicaragua to serve with the Sandinistas under the nom de guerre El Mejicano, and after leaving Nicaragua in the late 1980s to return to Mexico, helped form the EZLN with support from the Sandinistas and the Salvadoran leftist guerrilla group FMLN[10][11][12] This story, however, contradicts the view that the first Zapatista organizers were in the jungle by 1983.

Marcos learned the culture of the Maya civilization. After the intramural politics of the FLN, the outlook of the indigenous peasants of Chiapas, and the failure of the initial Chiapas uprising, he modified the social revolution to the actual social, political, and economic conditions of Chiapas and the people; the adaptation parallels the approach proposed by Antonio Gramsci, whose political theories are popular among Mexican intellectuals. A Place Called Chiapas presents some of the powerful political rhetoric of the Zapatistas. Subcommander Marcos addressed the camera only with his eyes and his tobacco pipe, and said, "It is our day, the day of the dead", whereby he revealed that the Zapatistas believe that he is a dead man, as are the other Zapatistas.

Subcomandante Marcos’s Identity

Subcomandante Marcos (center, wearing brown cap) in Chiapas

The Mexican government alleges Marcos to be 'Rafael Sebastián Guillén Vicente', born June 19, 1957 in Tampico, Tamaulipas to Spanish immigrants. Guillén attended high school at Instituto Cultural Tampico, a Jesuit school in Tampico, which was, presumably, where he became acquainted with Liberation Theology.[13][14] Max Appedole a high school colleague, played a major roll with the Mexican government to avoid a Military solution to the 1995 Zapatista Crisis. By demonstrating that contrary to the accusations announced by President Ernesto Zedillo, »[15] Rafael Guillén, was no terrorist. Max Appedole recognized his literary style in all Marcos manifestos that where published in the media, linked them to their literary tournaments organized by the Jesuits in which they competed in Mexico. Confirming that he had no doubt that Marcos was his friend Rafael Guillén, a pacifist. »[16] »[17] »[18] »[19] Guillén later moved to Mexico City and graduated from the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM) majoring in Philosophy. There he became immersed in the school's heavy Marxist rhetoric of 1970s and 1980s and won an award for the best dissertation (drawing on the then recent work of Althusser and Foucault) of his class. He began working as a professor at the Autonomous Metropolitan University (UAM) while finishing his dissertation at UNAM, but after a couple of years left. It is thought that it was at UAM where Rafael got in touch with the Forces of National Liberation, the mother organization of what would later become the EZLN. Rafael Guillén's brother, Hector Guillén, has said that the last school Rafael Guillén attended was Paris-Sorbonne University in Paris, where he earned a master's degree in philosophy. However, records of Rafael Guillén's alleged stay in Paris are nowhere to be seen.

Guillén's family, while deeply involved in Tamaulipas politics, are apparently unaware of what happened to him and refuse to say if they think Marcos and Guillén are the same person. Guillén's sister Mercedes del Carmen Guillén Vicente is the Attorney General of the State of Tamaulipas, and a very influential member of the Institutional Revolutionary Party which governed Mexico for more than 70 years. During the Great March to Mexico City in 2001, Marcos visited the UNAM and during a speech said that he had at least been there before.[20][21][22]

In an interview with García Márquez and Roberto Pombo, Marcos spoke of his upbringing: "It was middle class. My father, the head of the family, taught in a rural school in the time of Cárdenas when, as he used to say, teachers had their ears cut off for being communists. My mother also taught in a school in the countryside, then moved and entered the middle class: it was a family without financial difficulties." His parents fostered a love for language and reading: "In our family, words had a very special value. Our way of approaching the world was through language. We learnt to read, not so much in school, as in the columns of newspapers. Early on, my mother and father gave us books that disclosed other things. One way or another, we became conscious of language—not as a way of communicating, but of constructing something. As if it were a pleasure more than a duty." When asked how old he was, Marcos replied: "I'm 518" and laughed.[23]

The last public act before being Subcomandante Marcos

History revealed that Rafael Guillén, who later would become known as the Subcomandante Marcos, of the Zapatista Army of National Liberation last public act to be not only fortunate, well justified, but maybe strategic. It was the meeting with Max Appedole, an old friend and classmate. As it happens when the young people complete their high school studies, each takes his own way. Max Appedole took his and spent several years until it occupied the Presidency of the Mexican Federation of Aquaculture. It was then when Rafael Guillén, invited his old friend to give a conference in a Congress at the Universidad Autónoma Metropolitana, where he was a professor at the School of Sciences and Arts for the design. He accepted go only if Rafael Guillén, undertook to accompany him during his visit to the University. By the time the Congress happened, Rafael Guillén, plans had speed up, his trip to Nicaragua advanced so he had already renounced his position at the Universidad Autónoma Metropolitana. Even so, to meet with his friend Max Appedole and comply with what they had agreed, Rafael Guillén, attended the Congress at the UAM. That was the last public act of who would later become the Subcomandante Marcos. Until recently only very few people knew about this. »[24]

The World First Postmodern Revolution

The Mexican Indian communities claims for centuries, historically unattended by the a distant Government, their claims had reach a critical point in which they decided they needed to let their voice be heard to find their place in Mexico, so the answers and solutions can be found or die trying.

Under the command of Marcos the Zapatista Army of National Liberation launched a social movement that give hope and vision to other Native American and native people on earth under a similar historical situation. Organizing a social phenomena, now widely recognized as the World First Postmodern Revolution. »[25] »[26]

The Military Site

Once Subcomandante Marcos was identified as Rafael Sebastián Guillén Vicente, on 9 February 1995, in an counterproductive, turn of events, President Ernesto Zedillo took a series of decisions that completely broke with the strategy, the action plan previously defined and the agreements he authorized his Secretary of Interior Lic Esteban Moctezuma to compromise with Marcos just 3 days before in Guadalupe Tepeyac. To the opposite extreme to send the Mexican army to capture or annihilate Marcos. This without consulting his Secretary of Interior; without even knowing exactly who Marcos was; with the PGR single presumption that Marcos was a dangerous guerrilla, President Ernesto Zedillo decided to launch a military offence to capture or annihilate Marcos and the Zapatistas. »[27] Arrest warrants where made against Marcos, »[28] Javier Elorriaga Berdegue, Silvia Fernández Hernández, Jorge Santiago, Fernando Yanez, German Vicente, Jorge Santiago and other Zapatistas. At the Lacandon Jungle, the Zapatista Army of National Liberation was under the Mexican Army military siege. The PGR was after them. Javier Elorriaga got captured on February 9, 1995, in a military garrison at Gabina Velázquez in Las Margaritas town and later taken to the Cerro Hueco prison in Tuxtla Gutiérrez Chiapas. »[29] On February 11, 1995 the PGR informed they made an operative in the State of Mexico, where they capture 14 persons presumed to be involved with the Zapatistas of which 8 all ready being turned to the Judicial Authorities and sized an important arsenal. »[30] The PGR repressive acts got to the extreme of pressuring the San Cristóbal de Las Casas, Chiapas Catholic Bishop, Samuel Ruiz García of arresting him for aiding to conceal the Zapatistas guerrilla activity. Even though this activity was public years before the uprising in Proceso among Mexico most important magazines and it was the Mexican Government who was for years trying to disguise it. »[31] »[32] »[33] And with no consideration to the political consequences of hurting with no legal reason, the recently restored and all ready seriously damaged, Mexico Vatican diplomatic relations »[34] because of the May 24, 1993 political assassination of a Prince of the Catholic Church, the Guadalajara, Mexico Cardinal Juan Jesús Posadas Ocampo that precisely that Agency the PGR has left it unsolved.

Marcos resolve was put to the test, in his camp in the Lacandon Jungle when the Zapatistas were under the Mexican Army military siege. Marcos response was immediate, sending Esteban Moctezuma the following message: "See you in hell". Conflicting signals got strengthened in favor of a fast military solution. The facts seemed to confirm Manuel Camacho Solis June 16, 1994 accusations that the reason for his resignation as the Chiapas Peace Commissioner, was due to sabotage done by the presidential candidate Ernesto Zedillo.

Under the big political pressure of a highly radicalized situation Mexico Secretary of the Interior Lic. Esteban Moctezuma believed a peaceful solution was possible, he champion to reach a peacefully negotiated solution to the 1995 Zapatista Crisis betting it all on a creative strategy to reestablish the Mexican Government Zapatista Army of National Liberation dialog to search for peace by demonstrating Marcos natural peace vocation and the terrible consequences of a military solution. Making a strong position against the February 9 actions against Peace, Secretary of the Interior Esteban Moctezuma defender of a political solution, to the 1995 Zapatista Crisis submit his resignation to the President Ernesto Zedillo which he does not accept it and asks the Secretary of the Interior Esteban Moctezuma to try the unprobable task of restoring the Conditions for dialog to reach a negotiation. For these foregoing reasons the Mexican army, ease actions, giving an opportunity that Marcos capitalized to escape the military site em placed in the Lacandon Jungle. Faced with this situation, Max Appedole, Rafael Guillén, childhood friend and colleague, at the Jesuits College Instituto Cultural Tampico asked for help from Edén Pastora the legendary Nicaraguan "Commander Zero" to prepare a report for under-Secretary of the Interior Luis Maldonado; the Secretary of the Interior Esteban Moctezuma and the President Ernesto Zedillo about Marcos natural pacifist vocation and the terrible consequences of a tragic outcome. »[35] The document concluded that the marginalized groups and the radical left that exist in México, have been vented with the Zapatistas movement, while Marcos maintains an open negotiating track. Eliminate Marcos and his social containment work will not only would cease, but will give opportunity to the radical groups to take control of the movement. They will response to violence with violence. They would begin the terrorist bombings, kidnappings and belligerent activities. The country would be in a very dangerous spiral, which could lead to very serious situations because not only there is discomfort in Chiapas, but in many places in Mexico. »[36]

Presidential Decree for the Dialog, the Reconciliation, and a peace with dignity in Chiapas Law

On March 10, 1995 President Ernesto Zedillo and Secretary of the Interior Esteban Moctezuma sign the Presidential Decree for the Dialog, the Reconciliation and a peace with dignity in Chiapas Law. It was discussed and approved by the Mexican Congress. »[37]

Restoration of the peace talks

It was the night of April 3, 1995 precisely at 8:55 pm when the first meeting between representatives of the Zapatista Army of National Liberation which had declared war on the Mexican State the first minute of 1994, and the representatives of the government of President Ernesto Zedillo. His Secretary of Interior, Lic. Esteban Moctezuma, had sent a high rank officer, who delivered a letter to representatives of the Zapatista Army of National Liberation, who did not lose radio communication, with Marcos. The letter expressed the Secretary of Interior commitment with a political path to resolve the conflict. The messenger was Luis Maldonado Mexico under Secretary of Interior. »[38] This was how the April 3, 1995 in Prado Pacayal, Chiapas a place located in the Lacandon Jungle near Ocosingo, the secret negotiations prior to restart the dialog between the Zapatista Army of National Liberation and the Mexican government were initiated, this happened with Cuauhtémoc Cárdenas Batel as witness of honor for the negotiations between Marcos and Luis Maldonado, Mexico under Secretary of the Interior on behalf of Lic Esteban Moctezuma Mexico Secretary of the Interior. These negotiations took place with the purpose of establishing parameters and base for the peace dialog between the parties. After several days of unfruitful negotiations, without reaching any specific agreements, it was very early in the morning nonstop in to the next day., in a strategically calculated move, as a conclusion Luis Maldonado proposed a definitive suspension of hostilities and measures of distention always proportionally higher to the Mexican government to the Zapatista Army of National Liberation On his way out, Luis Maldonado said:

“If you do not accept this, it will be regretted not having made the installation of the formal dialog in the time established by the Peace Talks Law”.

Marcos took this as a direct threat, so he did no longer reply.

The Subcomandante Marcos gave a message to the Witness of Honor Cuauhtémoc Cárdenas Batel: "You have been witness to the fact that we have not threatened or assaulted these people, they have been respected in their person, property, their liberty and life. You have witnessed that the Zapatista Army of National Liberation has a word and has honor; you have also been witness to our willingness to engage in dialog. Thank you for taking the trouble to come all the way down here and have contributed with your effort to a peaceful settlement of the conflict, we hope that you will continue contributing in this effort to avoid war and you and your family, continue accepting to be witnesses of honor in this dialog and negotiation process." Finally, he asked the witness of honor to accompany Secretary Moctezuma negotiator Luis Maldonado in his way out, all the way to Ocosingo, to verify they are leaving well and unharmed. (The April 7, 1995 meeting ended at 4:00 a.m.). »[39]


Without much hope of dialog, it was already in hostile conditions as the Secretary of Interior negotiator Luis Maldonado began his return to Mexico City. When passing by the Ejido San Miguel a patrol of the Zapatista Army of National Liberation beckons them to stop, surprised without even knowing what was happening, he was handed a radio, by means of which Mexico under-Secretary of Interior Luis Maldonado achieved with the Subcomandante Marcos the re-initiation of the Dialog with all the necessary agreements in accordance with the Law to start the formal Peace Talks dialog between the Zapatista Army of National Liberation and the Mexican government. The charismatic leader of the Zapatistas the Marcos led the Zapatistas movement to leave arms a side and start the dialog for a peace agreement. »[40] »[41]


By April 9, 1995, the Bases for the Dialog Protocol and the harmony, peace with justice and dignity agreement Negotiation between the Mexican Government and the Zapatistas got signed. On April 17, 1995 the Mexican Government appoints Marco Antonio Bernal as Peace Commissioner in Chiapas. »[42] the Mexican Government and the Zapatistas Peace Talks started in San Andrés Larráinzar on April 22, 1995. The Zapatistas rejected the Mexican Government proposal. Peace Talks Dialog re initiated on Jun 7, 1995 they agree with Alianza Cívica Nacional y the Convención Nacional Democrática to organize a national Consultation for Peace and Democracy. The Bases for the Dialog Protocol was re negotiated, in La Realidad Chiapas. October 12, 1995 Peace Talks Dialog is resumed in San Andres Larráinzar, Chiapas. »[43]

The other Agenda

The rocky road to Peace between the Mexican Government and the Zapatistas were due mostly to the initiatives promoted by the PGR. On October 23, 1995, with the purpose to derail the Peace Talks Dialog, the PGR arrested and send Fernando Yañez Muñoz to prison. Once again, not only the Peace Talks got seriously disturbed this actions violated the governing peace talks Law which granted guarantee of free passage to all of the Zapatistas during the negotiations and suspends all the arrest warrants against any of them. On 26 October 1995, the Zapatista National Liberation Army denied any association with Fernando Yañez Muñoz; Announces a Red Alert. Marcos returns to the mountains. On 26 October 1995, the PGR drops all charges against the alleged Comandante German. The COCOPA agreed with the determination. The next day on 27 October 1995 Fernando Yañez Muñoz was freed from the Reclusorio Preventivo Oriente. »[44]

"I was arrested for political reasons and I guess I am set free for political reasons, my arrest was with the objective purpose of sabotaging the peace talks "

Yanez said to the press. »[45] The next day on 29 October 1995. The Zapatistas lifts the Red Alert and the negotiations where re installed.

Secret meetings

Steps Toward Peace

In contrast with many other talks, with a broad media exposure, strong security measures and great ceremony. Secretary of the Interior Esteban Moctezuma, went for the secret talks, alone, without any security measures, without the reflectors glitter, which could disrupt the talks, so he went to find a solution in the Lacandon Jungle to meet with Marcos. Important agreements were reached between the two, they called them: Steps Toward Peace. They demonstrated their sense of will, affinities and confidence where dispensed with a mutual respect and a significant track of understanding got established. When the 1995 Zapatista Crisis started, it paved the way for what then where call

Secret Negotiations.

To which under-Secretary of Interior Luis Maldonado attended to find a solution, alone, without any security measures, or media coverage, he went to the Lacandon Jungle to negotiate with Marcos and that he did, Luis Maldonado restored the conditions for the Peace Talks. These simple acts of courage, determination and confidence, were later matched by Marcos probing to be useful to help keep the faith in the works for a peace solution, through negotiation, champion by Esteban Moctezuma, from the Mexican Secretary of Interior during the series of clashes promoted by the PGR to derail peace.

The San Andrés Agreements

On 16 February 1996, the Zapatista Army of National Liberation and Mexican government, signed the Agreements of San Andrés. With the Terms of Peace and the Constitutional change that guarantees the rights to the Indigenous peoples of Mexico. Approved by the Commission on Concordance and Pacification COCOPA, a bicameral Legislative Commission formed on March 1995 by the Chamber of Deputies and the Senate, integrated by Deputies and Senators, of all the political Parties in Mexico to assist in the peace dialog process in the context of the 1995 Zapatista Crisis.

With delegates from 42 countries. On 27 July 1996, the EZLN organized the First Intercontinental Gathering for Humanity and against neoliberal practice.

Executive Decision

Time showed that the fight against a military solution to the conflict and the strategy to achieve a peaceful solution to the 1995 Zapatista Crisis was legal, politically and honorably correct, saving many lives in México. After a rocky start because of conflicting intelligence that caused the 1995 Zapatista Crisis President Ernesto Zedillo was heading to a Military solution, and when the intelligence issue was cleared, confirming that Subcomandante Marcos was no terrorist but a pacifist by nature, as well as all the other conclusions that Secretary of Interior Esteban Moctezuma also gave to the President Ernesto Zedillo with the purpose of trying to avoid a bloodbath of the Mexican indigenous people, as well to prevent other also terrible repercussions of an immoral and unnecessary tragic outcome.

President Ernesto Zedillo to avoid innocent blood shedding, change course of action doing the opposite of his February 9, 1995 television appearance. For that Zedillo endured heavy political criticism at the time, he demonstrate humility of a Man of State, President Ernesto Zedillo did not accept Secretary of Interior Esteban Moctezuma resignation and ask him to restore Dialog conditions to achieve a peaceful solution to the 1995 Zapatista Crisis. On March 10, 1995 President Ernesto Zedillo and Secretary of Interior Esteban Moctezuma sign the Presidential Decree for the Dialog, the Reconciliation and a peace with dignity in Chiapas Law. the governing Law that warrant to have only one agenda in all of President Zedillo Administration, as well the Ejército Zapatista de Liberación Nacional to achieve an honorable Peace and it is now a universal reference and example of respect to people honor and dignity.

Release of the prisoners

On appeal, the Court dismisses the previous condemnatory Sentence for the alleged Zapatistas Javier Elorriaga Berdegué and Sebastian Etzin Gomez given on May 2, 1996 for the crime of terrorism, with 13 and 6 years of imprisonment respectively and they were released on June 6, 1996. »[46] The EZLN suspends their troops Alert Status.

Political and philosophical writings

Flag of the EZLN

Marcos has written more than 200 essays and stories and has published 21 books documenting his political and philosophical views. The essays and stories are recycled in the books. Marcos tends to prefer indirect expression, and his writings are often fables, although some are more earthy and direct. In a January 2003 letter to Euskadi Ta Askatasuna (the Basque ETA), titled I shit on all the revolutionary vanguards of this planet, Marcos says "We teach [children of the EZLN] that there are as many words as colors and that there are so many thoughts because within them is the world where words are born...And we teach them to speak with the truth, that is to say, to speak with their hearts."[47]

La Historia de los Colores (The Story of Colors) is a story written for children and is one of Marcos' most-read books. Based on a Mayan creation myth, it teaches tolerance and respect for diversity.[48] The book's English translation was to be published with support from the U.S. National Endowment for the Arts, but in 1999 the grant was abruptly canceled after questions from a reporter to the Endowment's chairman William J. Ivey.[49][50] The Lannan Foundation stepped in with support after the NEA withdrew.[51]

Marcos' political philosophy is often characterized as Marxist and his populist writing, which concentrates on unjust treatment of people by both business and the State, underlines some of the commonalities the Zapatista ideology shares with Libertarian Socialism or Anarchism. In a well-known 1992 essay, Marcos begins each of his five "chapters" in a characteristic style of complaint:[52]

"This chapter tells how the supreme government was affected by the poverty of the Indigenous peoples of Chiapas and endowed the area with hotels, prisons, barracks, and a military airport. It also tells how the beast feeds on the blood of the people, as well as other miserable and unfortunate happenings...A handful of businesses, one of which is the Mexican State, takes all the wealth out of Chiapas and in exchange leave behind their mortal and pestilent mark."

"This chapter tells the story of the Governor, an apprentice to the viceroy, and his heroic fight against the progressive clergy and his adventures with the feudal cattle, coffee and business lords."

"This chapter tells how the viceroy had a brilliant idea and put this idea into practice. It also tells how the Empire decreed the death of socialism, and then put itself to the task of carrying out this decree to the great joy of the powerful, the distress of the weak and the indifference of the majority."

"This chapter tells how dignity and defiance joined hands in the Southeast, and how Jacinto Pérez's ghost run through the Chiapas highlands. It also tells of a patience that has run out and of other happenings which have been ignored but have major consequences."

"This chapter tells how the dignity of the Indigenous people tried to make itself heard, but its voice only lasted a little while. It also tells how voices that spoke before are speaking again today and that the Indians are walking forward once again but this time with firm footsteps."

The elliptical, ironic and romantic style of Marcos' writings may be a way of keeping a distance from the painful circumstances that he reports and protests. In any event, his literary output has a purpose, as stated in a 2002 book title, Our Word is Our Weapon, a compilation of his articles, poems, speeches, and letters.[53][54] In 2005 he wrote the novel The Uncomfortable Dead with crime writer Paco Ignacio Taibo II.

The Fourth World War

Subcomandante Marcos has also written an essay in which he claims that the neoliberalism and globalization constitute the "Fourth World War."[55] He termed the Cold War the "Third World War."[55] In this piece, Marcos compares and contrasts the Third World War (the Cold War) with the Fourth World War, which he says is the new type of war that we find ourselves in now: "If the Third World War saw the confrontation of capitalism and socialism on various terrains and with varying degrees of intensity, the fourth will be played out between large financial centers, on a global scale, and at a tremendous and constant intensity."[55] He goes on to claim that economic globalization has created devastation through financial policies:[55]

"Toward the end of the Cold War, capitalism created a military horror: the neutron bomb, a weapon that destroys life while leaving buildings intact. During the Fourth World War, however, a new wonder has been discovered: the financial bomb. Unlike those dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, this new bomb not only destroys the polis (here, the nation), imposing death, terror, and misery on those who live there, but also transforms its target into just another piece in the puzzle of economic globalization."

Marcos explains the effect of the financial bombs as, "destroying the material bases of their [nation-state's] sovereignty and, in producing their qualitative depopulation, excluding all those deemed unsuitable to the new economy (for example, indigenous peoples)." [55] Marcos also believes that neoliberalism and globalization result in a loss of unique culture for societies as a result of the homogenizing effect of neoliberal globalization:[55]

"All cultures forged by nations—the noble indigenous past of America, the brilliant civilization of Europe, the wise history of Asian nations, and the ancestral wealth of Africa and Oceania—are corroded by the American way of life. In this way, neoliberalism imposes the destruction of nations and groups of nations in order to reconstruct them according to a single model. This is a planetary war, of the worst and cruelest kind, waged against humanity."

It is in this context which Subcomandante Marcos believes that the EZLN and other indigenous movements across the world are fighting back. He sees the EZLN as one of many "pockets of resistance."[55]

"It is not only in the mountains of southeastern Mexico that neoliberalism is being resisted. In other regions of Mexico, in Latin America, in the United States and in Canada, in the Europe of the Maastricht Treaty, in Africa, in Asia, and in Oceania, pockets of resistance are multiplying. Each has its own history, its specificities, its similarities, its demands, its struggles, its successes. If humanity wants to survive and improve, its only hope resides in these pockets made up of the excluded, the left-for-dead, the 'disposable.'"

Marcos view's on other Latin American leaders, particularly ones on the left, are complex. He has expressed deep admiration for former Cuban president Fidel Castro and Argentine revolutionary Che Guevara, and given his approval to Bolivian president Evo Morales but has expressed mixed feelings for Hugo Chavez of Venezuela, whom he views as too militant but still responsible for vast revolutionary changes in Venezuela. On the other hand, he's labeled Brazil's former president Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva and Nicaragua's current president Daniel Ortega, whom he once served under while a member of the Sandinistas, as traitors who have betrayed their original ideals.[56][57]


"Subcomandante Marcos, a principal member of the Zapatistas in the Chiapas region in Mexico, eludes easy definition, has slipped in and out of media attention, but struggles on in his own small, bloodless, but eloquent ways. He's issued essays, stories, books, and most recently more demands for indigenous rights as part of the 'Other Campaign' decrying Mexico's election-system, a campaign he conducted on a motorbike in honor of (Che) Guevara's travels. Marcos is a post-modern rebel, a local, non-violent guerrilla who's still found many ways, often through technology instead of guns, to short-circuit the dominant network of power."

— Brian Gibson, Vue Weekly [58]

However, most would agree that Marcos is the man responsible for putting the impoverished state of Mexico's indigenous population in the spotlight, both locally and internationally.[5]

On his 3,000 kilometer trek to the capital during the Other Campaign in 2006, Marcos was welcomed by "huge adoring crowds, chanting and whistling."[5] There were "Marcos handcrafted dolls, and his ski mask-clad face adorns T-shirts, posters and badges."[5]

Asked if it was a burden to be Marcos, he responded: "Yes, it's a great burden because the idea is still prevalent that the EZLN's mistakes are Marcos's, and the good ideas come from the communities. Although we've often been lightning rods, among the compañeros this division of labor makes people worry, because they say: 'In any case, if there's an attack, it'll be on you.'" Asked if this threat made him feel vulnerable: "Yes. Mostly when I go out on the Other Campaign. I feel ill at ease because it's not my territory, there's no media, no compañeros, resources.'" Despite the uneasy feeling of being a potential target, Marcos said, "if I had to do it all over again, I wouldn't change a thing [...] if I did think about changing something, it would be this: I wouldn't have taken such a prominent role in the media."[59]

Subcomandante Marcos knows of the possibility of being assassinated but stands committed to the cause: "We don't fear to die struggling. The good word has already been planted in fertile soil. This fertile soil is in the heart of all of you, and it is there that Zapatista dignity flourishes.'"[6]

Relationship with Inter Milan

Apart from cheering for local Liga MX side Chiapas F.C., which recently relocated to Querétaro, Subcomandante Marcos and the EZLN also support the Italian Serie A club Inter Milan.[60] The contact between EZLN and Inter – one of Italy's biggest and most famous clubs – began in 2004 when an EZLN commander contacted a delegate from Inter Campus, the club's charity organization which has funded sports, water, and health projects in Chiapas.

In 2005, Inter's president Massimo Moratti received an invitation from Subcomandante Marcos to have Inter play a football game against a team of Zapatistas with Diego Maradona as referee. Subcomandante Marcos asked Inter to bring the match ball because the Zapatistas' ones were punctured.[61] Although the proposed spectacle never came to fruition, there has been continuing contact between Inter and the Zapatistas. Former captain Javier Zanetti has expressed sympathy for the Zapatista cause.[62]

See also

Notes and references

  1. Gahman, Levi - Death of a Zapatista
  2. Between Light and Shadow: Marcos’ last words by ROAR Collective, ROAR Magazine, May 28, 2014
  3. Zapatista News Summary for May 2014 by Chiapas Support Committee, June 2, 2014
  4. A Masked Marxist on the Stump by James McKinley, The New York Times, January 6, 2006
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 5.4 BBC Profile: The Zapatistas' mysterious leader by Nathalie Malinarich, 11 March 2001
  6. 6.0 6.1 Zapatistas Launch ‘Other’ Campaign by Ramor Ryan, The Independent, 12 January 2006 issue
  7. quoted in "First World, Ha! Ha! Ha! The Zapatista Challenge" Interview: Subcomandante Marcos, by Medea Benjamin. City Lights Books, San Francisco 1994. p. 70.
  9. 9.0 9.1 Farewell to the End of History: Organization and Vision in Anti-Corporate Movements by Naomi Klein, The Socialist Register, 2002, London: Merlin Press, 1-14
  13. Gabriel García Márquez y Roberto Pombo (25 March 2001). "Habla Marcos". Cambio (Ciudad de México).<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles> A discussion of Marcos's background and views. Marcos says his parents were both schoolteachers and mentions early influences of Cervantes and García Lorca.
  14. Gabriel García Márquez and Subcomandante Marcos (July 2, 2001). "A Zapatista Reading List". The Nation.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles> An abbreviated version of the Cambio article, in English.
  15. [1]
  16. «Marcos en la mira de Zedillo»
  17. Sí es Sebastián Guillén»
  18. Otra Campana Pintada de Azul»
  19. Maestros y condiscípulos de Tampico recuerdan a Rafael Guillén»
  20. Alex Khasnabish (2003). "Subcomandante Insurgente Marcos". MCRI Globalization and Autonomy.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  21. Hector Carreon (Mar 8, 2001). "Aztlan Joins Zapatistas on March into Tenochtitlan". La Voz de Aztlan.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  22. El EZLN (2001). "La Revolución Chiapanequa". Zapata-Chiapas.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  23. The Punch Card and the Hourglass by García Márquez and Roberto Pombo, New Left Review, May – June 2001, Issue 9
  24. «Tampico la conexion zapatista»
  25. «The world first postmodern revolution»
  26. «The Zapatista rebellion as postmodern revolution»
  27. «pretende negociar la paz y lanza ofensiva militar»
  28. [2]
  29. «La Jornada: mayo 4 de 1996»
  30. «U.S. military aids Mexico's attacks on Zapatistas»
  31. «Sedena sabía de la guerrilla chiapaneca desde 1985»
  32. «Ganaderos e indígenas hablan de grupos guerrilleros»
  33. «Salinas recibió informes sobre Chiapas, desde julio del 93»
  34. «Relaciones entre México y el Vaticano»
  35. «Tampico la conexion zapatista»
  36. «Marcos en la mira de Zedillo»
  37. «Peace Talks Presidential Decree»
  38. «El Tandem Poblano»
  39. «Sobre mis pasos de Cuauhtémoc Cárdenas Solórzano»
  40. «Renuncia en Gobernación»
  41. «Diputados Convergencia»
  42. «Los caminos de Chiapas»
  43. «Chronology»
  44. «alzamiento y lucha Zapatista Pag. 7»
  45. «Liberado supuesto líder guerrillero en México»
  46. «La Jornada: 16 meses despues»
  47. Zapatista National Liberation Army (Jan 9, 2003). "To Euskadi Ta Askatasuna". Flag.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  48. Patrick Markee (May 16, 1999). "Hue and Cry". New York Times.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  49. Bobby Byrd (2003). "The Story Behind The Story of Colors". Cinco Puntos Press.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  50. Julia Preston (Mar 10, 1999). "U.S. Cancels Grant for Children's Book Written by Mexican Guerrilla". New York Times.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles> This article was retitled "N.E.A. Couldn't Tell a Mexican Rebel's Book by Its Cover" in late editions.
  51. Irvin Molotsky (Mar 11, 1999). "Foundation Will Bankroll Rebel Chief's Book N.E.A. Dropped". New York Times.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  52. Subcomandante Marcos (1992). "Chiapas: The Southeast in Two Winds". Ejército Zapatista de Liberación Nacional.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  53. Alma Guillermoprieto (March 2, 1995). "The Shadow War". New York Review of Books.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles> This book review recounts problems faced by residents of Chiapas.
  54. Paul Berman (October 18, 2001). "Landscape Architect". New York Review of Books.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  55. 55.0 55.1 55.2 55.3 55.4 55.5 55.6 The Fourth World War Has Begun by Subcomandante Marcos, trans. Nathalie de Broglio, Neplantla: Views from South, Duke University Press: 2001, Vol. 2 Issue 3: 559-572
  57. Tuckman, Jo (May 12, 2007). "Man in the mask returns to change world with new coalition and his own sexy novel". The Guardian. London.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  58. SideVue: Che What? by Brian Gibson, Vue Weekly, April 9, 2009, Issue #703
  59. "Learning, Surviving: Marcos After the Rupture" by Laura Castellanos, NACLA Report on the Americas, May – June 2008, Vol. 41 Issue 3: 34-39
  62. "Zapatista rebels woo Inter Milan". BBC News. May 11, 2005.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>

Further reading

  • Anurudda Pradeep (අනුරුද්ධ ප්‍රදීප්) (2006). සැපටිස්ටා : Zapatista.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  • Nick Henck (2007). Subcommander Marcos: the man and the mask. Durham, NC: Duke University Press.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  • Mihalis Mentinis (2006). ZAPATISTAS: The Chiapas Revolt and What It Means for Radical Politics. London: Pluto Press.
  • John Ross (1995). Rebellion from the Roots: Indian Uprising in Chiapas. Monroe, ME: Common Courage Press.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  • George Allen Collier and Elizabeth Lowery Quaratiello (1995). Basta! Land and the Zapatista Rebellion in Chiapas. Oakland, CA: Food First Books.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  • Bertrand de la Grange and Maité Rico (1997). Marcos: La Genial Impostura. Madrid: Alfaguara, Santillana Ediciones Generales.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  • Yvon Le Bot (1997). Le Rêve Zapatiste. Paris, Éditions du Seuil.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  • Maria del Carmen Legorreta Díaz (1998). Religión, Política y Guerrilla en Las Cañadas de la Selva Lacandona. Mexico City: Editorial Cal y Arena.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  • John Womack, Jr. (1999). Rebellion in Chiapas: An Historical Reader. New York: The New Press.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  • Manuel Vázquez Montalbán (1999). Marcos: el Señor de los Espejos. Madrid: Aguilar.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  • Ignacio Ramonet (2001). Marcos. La dignité rebelle. Paris: Galilée.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles> Subtitled Conversations avec le Sous-commandant Marcos.
  • Manuel Vázquez Montalbán (2001). Marcos Herr der Spiegel. Berlin: Verlag Klaus Wagenbach.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles> German translation of Marcos: el Señor de los Espejos.
  • Alma Guillermoprieto (2001). Looking for History: Dispatches from Latin America. New York: Knopf Publishing Group.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  • Manuel Vázquez Montalbán (2003). Marcos, le Maître des Miroirs. Montréal: Éditions Mille et Une Nuits.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles> French translation of Marcos: el Señor de los Espejos.
  • Gloria Muñoz Ramírez (2008). The Fire and the Word: A History of the Zapatista Movement. City Lights Publishers.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles> ISBN 978-0-87286-488-7.

External links