Red Alert

This communique from the Zapatistas took me by surprise…

Originally published in Spanish by the CCRI-CG of the EZLN


This communique from the Zapatistas took me by surprise…

Originally published in Spanish by the CCRI-CG of the EZLN

Translated by irlandesa

Communiqué from the Clandestine Revolutionary Indigenous Committee – General Command of the Zapatista Army of National Liberation.


June 19, 2005

To the People of Mexico: To the Peoples of the World:

Brothers and Sisters:

As of today, the Zapatista Army of National Liberation has declared, throughout all rebel territory, a


Based on this, we are informing you:

First – That at this time the closure is being carried out of the Caracoles and the Good Government Offices which are located in the zapatista communities of Oventik, La Realidad, Morelia and Roberto Barrios, as well as all the headquarters of the authorities of the different Rebel Zapatista Autonomous Municipalities.

Second – That also being carried out is the evacuation of the members of the different Good Government Juntas and the autonomous authorities, in order to place them in shelter. Now, and for an indefinite time period, they will be carrying out their work in a clandestine and nomadic manner. Both the projects as well as the autonomous government will continue functioning, although under different circumstances than they have been up until now.

Third – That basic community health services will continue functioning in the different Caracoles. Civilians will be in charge of these services, and the CCRI-CG of the EZLN is distancing them from any of our future actions, and we are demanding that they be treated as civilians and with respect for their life, liberty and goods by government forces.

Fourth – That there has been a call-up of all members of our EZLN who have been engaged in social work in the zapatista communities and those of our regular troops who have been in their barracks. In a similar fashion, all broadcasts by Radio Insurgente, “The Voice of Those Without Voice”, in FM and in short wave, have been suspended for an indefinite period of time.

Fifth – That, simultaneous with the publication of this communiqué, national and international civil societies who are working in peace camps and in community projects are being urged to leave rebel territory. Or, if they decide freely of their own volition, they remain on their own and at their own risk, gathered in the caracoles. In the case of minors, their departure is obligatory.

Sixth – That the EZLN announces the closing of the Zapatista Information Centre (CIZ), not without first thanking the civil societies who have participated in it, from the time of its creation until today. The CCRI-CG of the EZLN formally releases these persons from any responsibility for the future actions of the EZLN.

Seventh – That the EZLN releases from responsibility for any of our future actions all persons and civil, political, cultural, citizens and non-governmental organizations, solidarity committees and support groups who have been close to us since 1994. We thank all of those who have, sincerely and honestly, throughout these almost 12 years, supported the civil and peaceful struggle of the zapatista indigenous for the constitutional recognition of indigenous rights and culture.

Democracy! Liberty! Justice!

>From the Mountains of the Mexican Southeast. By the Clandestine Revolutionary Indigenous Committee – General Command of the Zapatista Army of National Liberation.

Subcomandante Insurgente Marcos

Mexico, in the sixth month of the year 2005.

Justin Podur

Author: Justin Podur

Author of Siegebreakers. Ecology. Environmental Science. Political Science. Anti-imperialism. Political fiction. Teach at York U's FES. Author. Writer at ZNet, TeleSUR, AlterNet, Ricochet, and the Independent Media Institute.

4 thoughts on “Red Alert”

  1. hey bro..
    thanks for

    hey bro..
    thanks for sending me that email re. Marcos..
    can you shed a little light on what its all about?..
    it certainly sounds ominous…

  2. You’ve seen
    You’ve seen this?

    Montemayor: There Is an Imminent Risk of Violence

    * The planting of drugs (marijuana), counterinsurgency strategy

    BY: Blanche Petrich

    The writer Carlos Montemayor said that the EZLN’s “red alert” is a
    warning about the “imminent explosion of violence” in a zone of Chiapas
    in the five years of the Fox government tensions have accumulated and the
    structures of paramilitary groups remain intact. They (the
    paramilitary groups) continue under the protection of the state and
    federal governments and the Mexican Army.
    In an interview with La Jornada he emphasized that this alert, only
    the third which it has put out in eleven (11) years, “denudes of ski
    masks the concealed policy of aggression of the paramilitaries in
    Chiapas, behind which the state and federal governments and the Army are
    hidden. It is an important political message, not only military or
    In no way, he points out, can the intention of a unilateral aggression
    by the EZLN be read into this text. “To the contrary, he adds, what are
    announced are previous plans which they will be deploying as defensive
    actions before the degree of violence that institutional forces may
    eventually deploy.”
    The author of important novels about insurgency in Mexico (War in
    Paradise, Weapons of Dawn, Secret Reports), Montemayor warned, at the
    same time, about the “evident artificiality” of the bulletin from the
    National Defense Ministry, which yesterday reported about the finding of
    marijuana plants in zones under Zapatista control in Los Altos of Chiapas
    (the Highlands). “The sewing of plants in territories which it plans to
    attack,” he pointed out,” he pointed out, has been part of the
    counterinsurgency manuals of the armed forces for a long time.
    He defined the Zapatista comunicado as a “multiple political message,”
    which begins with the “15 minutes” that the candidate Vicente Fox
    destined to the solution of the conflict in Chiapas and which “were
    converted into five years of construction of a wave of dangerous
    Warning about the danger of a violent explosion soon, latent since
    years ago because of the presence of paramilitaries “encouraged, armed,
    trained and protected by the federal armed forces,” does not equal an
    announcement of unilateral warlike actions by the EZLN, he insisted. He
    recognized that in that text they announce “future actions” by this force
    of which they remove of responsibility all civilian
    collaborators, but, he analyzes, “it is a defensive strategy regarding
    offensive strategies that they must resist.”
    He considered that the central part of the “red alert” is in the
    warning that the structures of the Caracoles and the Good Government
    Juntas will not be dismantled, rather that they are going to work in a
    clandestine and hidden manner. “In other words: they will become
    politically stronger, they will become better established, they will be
    in the medium term more indestructible.” He added that by marking that
    course for the project which he classified as the “political and
    judicial heart of the proposals of Zapatismo,” the EZLN conferred on its
    document “a highest political value.”
    Before the danger of a new stage of instability in Chiapas, Montemayor
    proposed that “the social reaction which requires a warning like that
    ought to be not only of absolute opposition to the military and
    paramilitary violence, but a reevaluation of the pacifist, judicial and
    social essence of the Juntas.”
    Q: The comandancia of the EZLN foresees governmental actions and asks
    for respect for civilians who remain at the front of their communities.
    Are there indications of attacks by the government?
    Ans: There are too many tensions in the zone: displacements, water
    conflicts, conflicts over land, kidnappings, which are leaving a wake of
    growing tension. The lack of information makes us believe that there is
    stability. The red alert is looking at the facts which we have refused to
    see, to follow, to track and to attend to.
    “It is not possible to believe that the paramilitaries have continued
    amassing weapons and training for nothing. It is part of a strategy in
    movement. The apparent abandonment of military camps leaves a territory
    without obstacles, ‘free’ for paramilitary action. This already
    happened: Acteal.”
    Q: The Zapatista Army’s declaration coincides with a bulletin from
    Defense which denounces the existence of marijuana plants in Zapatista
    Is it accidental or the construction of an argument of narco-guerrilla
    which could justify an armed offensive?
    Ans: In documents discussed within the Army’s breast between October
    and December of 1994, which are presented in the final part of my novel,
    Secret Reports, these types of actions are proposed as
    counterinsurgency strategies.
    A fistful of coke and marijuana can not only be planted in the streets or
    in a residence. It can also be planted in a territory that it wants to
    Translation by: Chiapas Support Committee

  3. Thanks for that, Troy. I
    Thanks for that, Troy. I just saw some other analysis on the ALAI list. I figured it had to do with paramilitary problems, and that the EZLN didn’t want to bring heat down on their civilian supporters while dealing with them. Turns out the writing was on the wall for those who were watching closely – I just wasn’t one of them. I am checking with some other translators to see whether it is worth translating the recent ALAI piece I have… if someone else is already doing it, I won’t… at any rate, you’ll see it soon.

  4. Thanks for keeping us up to
    Thanks for keeping us up to speed on this Justin. The Zapatistas are in my mind as an example of a people attempting to self-determine. Neo-liberal rhetoric about economic stability and democracy is more truly embodied in them than any of the nations where the Bretton-Woods institutions attempt to impose policies aimed at protecting international capital. Any attempt to subvert or destroy the Zapatistas exposes the rhetoric for just that – rhetoric.

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