Thousands of Mexican indigenous and hooded men who are members of the Zapatista Army of National Liberation (EZLN) marched this Sunday against “all capitalist wars” in Chiapas, in the Mexican southeast, where they expressed solidarity with Ukraine.
The Zapatistas marched in the emblematic cities that the guerrillas took in 1994: San Cristóbal de las Casas, Palenque, Margaritas and Ocosingo, where they demanded an end to the armed conflict in Ukraine but also in Palestine, Kurdistan, Syria and the Mapuche people of Chile.
“Out with the Russian army from Ukraine that disintegrates families,” was one of the slogans of the contingent, which was estimated at about 5,000 people.
The hooded men also chanted slogans such as “yes to life”, “no more persecution for those who fight for life”, “let the capitalist system die”, “stop the war”, “no more prisoners” and “life and Peace in the world”.
Start of a global campaign
Although they did not want to give official statements to the press, the Zapatistas indicated that with these mobilizations they start “a world campaign against the wars of capital, whatever its geography.”
For this reason they invited to carry out “concerts, meetings, festivals and meetings, to join the arts against wars”.
For more than two hours, the Zapatistas walked around the Plaza de la Paz, while visitors watched the peaceful march and applauded.
Some businessmen closed some businesses for fear of vandalism, but the demonstration took place without incident.
Zapatistas against the Russian invasion
The indigenous Mexicans called for this massive mobilization after the Russian invasion of Ukraine that began on February 24.
According to Kiev, the Russian invasion has left more than 2,000 civilians dead and 1,300 soldiers, while the UN recognizes the death of almost civilians and more than 1,000 wounded.
Prior to the protest, Subcomandante Moisés, spokesman for the EZLN, circulated a manifesto in which he denounced that “there is an aggressor force, the Russian army. There are interests of big capital at stake”.
The indigenista movement, a benchmark of the left at the international level, asked to condemn the armed aggressions regardless of “the side”.
“When the multinational invasion of Iraq (almost 19 years ago), led by the US Army, there were mobilizations all over the world against that war. No one in their right mind thought that opposing the invasion was siding with Saddam Hussein,” the statement said.
The EZLN indicated that “those who win in this war are the large arms consortiums and the large capitals that see the opportunity to conquer, destroy and rebuild territories.”
He also criticized the inability of Europe, the United States and other powers to stop the war.
“The big capitals and their ‘western’ governments sat down to contemplate –and even encourage- how the situation was deteriorating. Then, once the invasion had already begun, they waited to see if the Ukraine would resist, and making accounts of what could be obtained from one result or another,” said Moisés.
The Zapatista demonstration comes as Mexico’s government, which sits on the UN Security Council, faces pressure to take a stronger stance against Russia.
President Andrés Manuel López Obrador, who has condemned the Russian invasion, has refused to apply economic sanctions against Moscow, as Ukraine’s ambassador to Mexico, Oksana Dramarétska, requested on Thursday.
While in the United States, Democratic senators have accused the Mexican government of “siding with Putin” for not joining the sanctions.
“Enough of the indifference and hesitation of the Government of Mexico, the defense of peace and security has to be frontal, energetic and responsible,” Alejandro Moreno, leader of the opposition Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI), said on Sunday.
With information from EFE