ricardo dominguez on Wed, 30 Jul 1997 16:06:10 +0200 (MET DST)

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<nettime> Zapatistas, part 33


The Second Intercontinental Encounter for Humanity and Against 
Neoliberalism was inaugurated in the outskirts of Madrid on July 26th, 
with the participation of nearly 4,000 delegates from 50 countries, 
including two indigenous representatives of the Zapatista Army of 
National Liberation.

The Second Encounter--based on the obvious precedent of the First 
Intercontinental Encounter for Humanity and Against Neoliberalism, 
convoked by the EZLN and carried out in Zapatista communities in Chiapas 
exactly one year ago--will be divided into a number of major thematic 
working groups (and more than 50 sub-groups) in five different regions
the Spanish Republic for the next seven days, and will conclude with a 
full plenary session on August 3rd.

Countries with representatives present on the first day of the Second 
Encounter included Italy, Spain (Cataluna, Islas Canarias, Pais Vasco, 
Galicia, Andalucia, Aragon), Mexico, Switzerland, France, Germany, 
Denmark, Canada, the United States, Finland, Ireland, Great Britain, 
Belgium, Sweden, the Czech Republic, Greece, Austria, Portugal, South 
Africa, Chad, Cameroon, Rwanda, Senegal, Togo, Morocco, Turkey, Israel, 
India, Bangladesh, Australia, and Indonesia, as well as nearly every 
country from South America.

As part of the official inauguration ceremony on the evening of July 
26th, the two Zapatista representatives--Dalia and Felipe, both 
Tojolabales from the exiled community of Guadalupe Tepeyac--addressed
thousands of delegates with a message from the indigenous Zapatista 
communities of Chiapas:

"It has been very important for us to know that all these people exist", 
said Felipe, in reference to the participants of the Encuentro.  "We 
thought we were alone, and that we were the only ones being screwed 
over.  But now, you help us, and we help you.  We came to discuss a plan 
of struggle.  We want everyone to have the same as everyone else--not 
that everyone lives the same, but that we all struggle together to 
respect the cultures and the customs of both the countryside and the 
cities.  We fight against neoliberalism, because we see the situation in 
the world: the rich are richer, the poor are poorer.  More death, more 
oppression.  We want everything to be done better", he said.

"We did not come here", continued Dalia, "to fight among ourselves, to 
see whose word is best, or to find out who has the truth or who is the 
strongest.  Freedom is not achieved by defeating one's brother.  We can 
only become better with others, and not on top of others."

Subcomandante Insurgente Marcos had previously announced the imminent 
presence of an EZLN delegation in Spain in a communique published on

"For the first time, a delegation made up of members of the EZLN will 
attend an international event outside of the Mexican borders", said 
Marcos.  "Thus, the EZLN has decided to break the local, regional,
and national sieges in order to carry the voice of the Zapatistas on 
Zapatista lips.

"While the Mexican government hides its hands stained with indigenous 
blood in order to achieve a commerce agreement from the European Union 
which does not entail profound changes in the system, the indigenous 
communities in Mexico continue to suffer a persecution and harassment 
only comparable to that carried out centuries ago, and the Mexican 
population continues suffering from an economic model that only 
democratizes poverty and concentrates the riches in the hands of a

"Our delegates are bases of support of the EZLN, indigenous people who 
represent the rebellion and resistance of the peoples who rose up in
more than three and a half years ago against the oblivion and death to 
which they had been condemned....The EZLN does not send "personalities" 
as delegates, but rather a representation of its true leaders, the 
indigenous-zapatista peoples.

"The world is not made up of leaders or caudillos,  but rather of bases 
of support.  We are all bases of support for the great struggle for 
humanity and against neoliberalism."

Major working groups into which the delegates at the Encuentro will be 
divided include: "The Neoliberal economy against Humanity: our lives 
beyond the economy"; "Work and the means of production: creating the 
conditions for a worthwhile life"; "North-South and East-West
"People and identities: old and new problems"; "Human mobility and
forced destinies"; "Struggles for culture, education and information";
"Women and their struggles: the struggle against patriarchy"; "Struggles
for land and the earth: Ecology"; and "Against all forms of

Zapatismo News Updates

Visit the TMC Encuentro page for photos from Spain -

Zapatista Web Foro Encounter 2

for more information:

ricardo dominguez
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