Originally published in Spanish by the EZLN
Translated by Irlandesa
CHIAPAS: The Thirteenth Stele
Part Four: A Plan
The Zapatista indigenous communities have been committed for several years now to a process of building autonomy. For us, autonomy is not fragmentation of the country or separatism, but the exercise of the right to govern and govern ourselves, as established in Article 39 of the political Constitution of the United Mexican States.
From the beginning of our uprising, and even long before, we Zapatista indigenous have insisted that we are Mexicans…but we are also indigenous. This means that we demand a place in the Mexican nation, but without ceasing to be what we are.
The purported Zapatista project for a “Mayan Nation” exists solely in the papers of some of the stupidest military persons in the Mexican Federal Army who, knowing that the war they are waging against us is illegitimate, are using this poor argument in order to convince their troops that, by attacking us, they are defending Mexico. The high military command and their intelligence services know, however, that the aim of the EZLN is not to separate itself from Mexico, but, as its initials say, for “national liberation.”
The separatist project for the Mexican Southeast does indeed exist, on the other hand, in the implementation of the neoliberal doctrine in our lands, and it is being directed by the federal government. The now ill-fated “Plan Puebla Panama” was nothing more than a plan for fragmenting the country, assigning the Mexican southeast the function of “reserve” for world capital.
In the fragmentation project which is being operated by the government (this is the real agenda of the political parties and the three branches of the government, not the one which appears in the press), Mexico will be divided in 3: The north, with its states incorporated into the economic and commercial framework of the American Union; the center, as provider of consumers with middle and high level purchasing power; and the South-Southeast, as a territory to be conquered for the appropriation of natural resources which, in the globalized destruction, are increasingly more important: water, air and land (wood, oil, uranium…and people).
Being simple and laconic, we would hold that the plan is to make the north into a great maquila, the center into a gigantic mall and the south-southeast into a large finca.
But plans on paper are one thing, and reality is another. Big capital’s voracity, the corruption of the political class, the inefficiency of public administration and the increasing resistance of groups, collectives and communities, have all prevented the plan from being fully implemented. And, where it is able to be established, it demonstrates the solidity of a shaky cardboard stage set.
Since “suicides” seem to be fashionable for Power of late, we might say that there is no better concept for defining the plan that politicians and businesspersons have for our country: it’s a suicide.
The globalization of Capital needs the destruction of the Nation State. For some time the Nation State has been (among other things) the trench where local capital has taken refuge in order to survive and grow. But there is only a bit of rubble left of the trench.
In the countryside, small and mid-size producers have been succumbing in the face of large agro-industry. They will soon be followed by the large national producers. In the cities, the “malls,” the commercial centers, are not only destroying small and mid-size businesses, they are also “swallowing up” the large national companies. Not even to mention national industry, which is already in its last death throes.
In response to this, the strategy of national capital has been naive, if not stupid. It has been distributing coins on one side and the other of the spectrum of the political parties, thus ensuring (or at least believing) that it does not matter what color [party] is governing, because it will always be at the service of the color of money. And so big Mexican businessmen finance the PRI, the PAN and the PRD equally, as well as any political party which might have a chance in the governmental and parliamentary rackets.
During their meetings (like in the times of the mafia in North America, weddings are generally a pretext for the great gentlemen to sign agreements and settle conflicts), the Mexican gentlemen of money congratulate each other. They have the entire national political class on the payroll.
But I regret to have to give them some bad news: as the now silenced scandal of the “Friends of Fox” demonstrated, the heavy duty money comes from the other side. If the one who pays, governs, the one who pays more governs more. And so those politicians will promote laws commensurate with the checks they receive. Sooner or later, big foreign capital will be appropriating everything, starting by bankrupting and absorbing those who have the most. And all of this with the protection of “ad hoc” laws. Politicians are now, and have been for some time, docile employees…of whomever pays more. National businessmen are quite wrong if they think that foreign capital will be satisfied with the electricity industry and oil. The new power in the world wants everything. And so there will be nothing left of national capital but nostalgia and, if they’re lucky, some minor positions on the boards of directors.
Dying national capital, in its historical blindness, looks at any form of social organization with terror. The houses of rich Mexicans are protected with complicated security systems. They fear that the hand which is going to snatch what they have away from them is going to come from below. By exercising their right to schizophrenia, rich Mexicans are revealing not only the real source of their prosperity, but also their shortsightedness. They will be dispossessed, yes, but not by improbable popular rage, rather by an avarice that is even larger than theirs: those who are indeed rich where the wealth is. Misfortune will not enter by assaulting the great mansions at dawn, but through the front door and during office hours. The thief will not have the physique of the destitute, but of the prosperous banker.
The one who will be stripping everything from Slim, the Zambranos, Los Romo, the Salinas Pliegos, the Azc·rragas, the Salinas de Gortaris, and the other surnames from the limited universe of wealthy Mexicans, do not speak Tzeltal, Tzotzil, Chol or Tojolabal, nor do they have dark skin. They speak English, their skin is the green of the color of money, they studied in foreign universities, and they are thieves with cultivated manners.
That is why armies and police forces will be of no use to them. They are preparing and entrenching themselves in order to fight against rebel forces, but their greatest enemy, the one which will annihilate them completely, practices the same ideology: savage capitalism.
The traditional political class, for its part, has already begun to be displaced. If the State is viewed as a business, it is better if managers, not politicians, run it. And in the “nation-state.com” neo-business, the art of politics is of no use.
The politicians of yesteryear have now realized that, and they are positioning themselves for ambush in their respective regional or local trenches. But the neoliberal hurricane will also go there to seek them out.
Meanwhile, national capital will continue with their sumptuous feasts. And they might never realize that one of their guests will be their gravedigger.
That is why those who are longing for the defense of the Nation State to come from national businessmen, from politicians or from “the institutions of the Republic,” are waiting in vain. The one, the other and the other have all been intoxicated by the hologram of national power, and they do not realize that they will soon be thrown out of the mansion they now have.
We, the Zapatistas, have referred on some occasions to the so-called “Plan Puebla Panama” as something already extinct. This has been for various reasons:
One is that the plan has already been undermined, and even the attempt at its implementation will do nothing but worsen social uprisings.
Another is that the plan expects us to accept that things have already been decided in the north and center of the country and that no one is opposed. This is false. The routes of resistance and rebellion cross the entire national territory, and they are also surfacing there, where modernity seems to have completely triumphed.
Another reason is that, at least in the mountains of the Mexican southeast, its implementation will not, for any reason, be permitted.
We have no problem if Derbez and Taylor continue conning businessmen with the Plan, or if some officials earn a salary for working on a corpse. We have done our duty by letting them know, and everyone can believe whatever they wish.
The government’s main plan is not the “Plan Puebla Panama.” That is only useful for entertaining a part of the state bureaucracy and so that national businessmen will fall for the idea that now the government will, yes, be doing something to improve the economy.
The main plan of the presidential couple, on the other hand, involves something completely separate from the “PPP”: dismantling all of the already weak defenses of the national economy, handing it over completely to globalized disorder and lessening, just a bit, with sermons and handouts, the brutal impact of a world war which has already devastated several nations.
If Carlos Salinas de Gortari’s post-administration plan was “Pronasol” (remember that the “solidarity party” was even beginning to be formed), for Fox it is the “Let’s Go Mexico Foundation” which Martha SahagTn de Fox directs. “Pronasol” was nothing but institutionalized handouts. “Let’s Go Mexico” has, in addition, a strong odor of rancid gossip.
Government plans are generally complicated and grandiose, but the only thing which is concealed by so many words are the high salaries of its officials. These plans serve only to have offices, release press communiquès and give the impression that something is being done for the people.
Those who govern governing have forgotten that the virtue of a good plan is that it should be simple.
And so, in response to the “Plan Puebla Panama” in particular, and against all global plans for the fragmentation of the Mexican Nation in general, the Zapatista Army of National Liberation is now launching the…”Plan La Realidad-Tijuana” (or “RealiTi”).
The Plan involves linking all the resistances in our country and, along with them, rebuilding the Mexican nation from below. There are men, women, children and old ones in all the states of the federation who do not surrender and who, even though they go unnamed, are fighting for democracy, liberty and justice. Our plan involves speaking with them and listening to them.
The “La Realidad-Tijuana” plan has no budget whatsoever, nor officials, nor offices. It has only those people who, in their place, in their time and in their way, are resisting dispossession, and who remember that the patria is not a business with branch offices, but a common history. And history is not something which is just the past. It is also, and above all, the future.
Like the Corrido of the White Horse, but in Shadow-Light and departing one Sunday from La Realidad (and not from Guadalajara), the Zapatista word and ear will cross the entire national territory, from Cancun and Tapachula, to Matamoros and La Paz, it will arrive in Tijuana at the light of day, it will pass through Rosarito, and it will not back off until it sees Ensenada.
And not just that. Given that our modest aim is to contribute in some way to the building of a world where many worlds fit, we also have a plan for the five continents.
For the north of the American continent, we have th e “Morelia-North Pole Plan,” which includes the American Union and Canada.
For Central America, the Caribbean and South America, we have the “La Garrucha-Tierra del Fuego Plan.”
For Europe and Africa, we have the “Oventik-Moscow Plan” (traveling to the east and passing through Cancun this September).
For Asia and Oceania, we have the “Roberto Barrios-New Delhi Plan” (traveling to the west).
The plan is the same for the five continents: fighting against neoliberalism and for humanity.
And we also have a plan for the galaxies, but we still don’t know what name to give it (the “Earth-Alpha Centauri Plan”?). Our intergalactic plan is as simple as the previous ones, and it involves, in broad strokes, in it not being shameful to call oneself a “human being.”
It is obvious that our plans have several advantages: they are not onerous, they do not have any directors and they can be carried out without ribbon cuttings, without boring ceremonies, without statues and without the music group having to repress its desire to play – now to the rhythm of the cumbia and while the respectable kick up their heels – the one that goes “the horizon can now be seen…”
From the mountains of the Mexican Southeast.
Subcomandante Insurgente Marcos
July of 2003.
Chiapas, Mexico, American Continent, Planet Earth, Solar System, Galaxy… Galaxy… What is our galaxy called?
P.S. Speaking of evil plans, this July 25, it will be 9 years since the attack on the procession of the then candidate for Governor of Chiapas, Amado AvendaÒo Figueroa, in which social activists AgustÌn Rubio, Ernesto Fonseca and Rigoberto Mauricio, lost their lives. Justice is still pending. I don’t know about you, but we have not forgotten.