Words of the EZLN’s Valentina in Palenque: to Migrants

Words of Valentina in the name of the CCRI-CG of the EZLN, Caracol V “The one that speaks for all,” Northern Zone, at the political-cultural act held in Palenque, Chiapas. October 18, 2017.

Sisters and brothers of Mexico and the world:

Compañero and compañera bases of support of the Zapatista Army for National Liberation:

Compañeros and compañeras of the National and International Sixth:

Compañeros and compañeras of the National Indigenous Congress:

Compañera spokeswoman María de Jesús Patricio Martínez:

Indigenous Governing Council:

Compañero and compañera council members from the different states of the Republic:

To the free, alternative, autonomous, or whatever they’re called media:

To the national and international press:

To the different sectors of Mexico and the world:

To the people of Palenque and the public who are listening to me:

With these words we speak to the hundreds of thousands and millions of honest women and men workers of the whole world who migrate in search of work to seek the dream of a better life.

But on this Planet Earth, capitalism turns everything into a commodity: women are used as objects to display products for the market in order to obtain greater profits. They are forced to prostitute themselves, filming and photographing their nude and seminude bodies, as decided on by the boss, capitalism.

We ask: is it dignified employment when capitalism prostitutes us to obtain greater profits? Some migrant women are victims of drug trafficking and human trafficking, sold from one country to another.

The suffering of migrants is taking place all over the world: women, men, adolescents and children are discriminated against, raped, deported, kidnapped, incarcerated, disappeared; one example is what Trump is doing in the United States, because no laws exist to defend migrants. Migrants go to other cities and other countries with the dream of having a better life; they migrate because of lack of jobs, lack of medical services, and badly paid work that isn’t sufficient to cover necessities. They are forced to sell the little bit of land they have, leaving them no other choice but to migrate.

For women who migrate, it is not easy to achieve their dreams. On the way out of their community they are raped by the coyotes [traffickers] who guide them; their suffering increases as they risk their lives day by day. Some who arrive to their destination are exploited by their bosses because they are migrants.

Some decide to study to achieve their dreams. They graduate thinking they will be professionals, but in the end there are no jobs. Their sacrifice does not achieve their objective because the bad system controls the institutions, production, and commerce. The few jobs that exist come with strict evaluations, and if you don’t meet the requirements you are fired from your job. That, too, forces migration; even those who pass the evaluations are left working on a temporary contract basis.

The three levels of government, of what pretends to be government, are mere errand boys for capitalism: Enrique Peña Nieto is the overseer, the governors are managers, and the municipal presidents are foremen. They are parasites that bleed dry the strength of our peoples, who eat without working and earn large salaries and profits off the backs of our peoples. We ask: does anyone know how much Peña Nieto earns? Do you know how much the congresspersons and senators earn? Do you know how much the ex-presidents or their widows earn? Do you know when the Mexican people were consulted about how many pesos they should earn? These senators earn thousands and thousands of pesos, because they decide how much they earn during their term and after their term.

The congresspersons and senators pass “reform” laws behind the back of the people, and yet they claim to be representatives of the Mexican people. When were the Mexican people consulted about the structural reforms that were passed? Sisters and brothers, all those “reforms” are done behind the people’s back. This is a tactic they use in all countries around the world to turn the entire world into a capitalist plantation, because their objective is to loot and dispossess its riches and exterminate humanity. Migrants and non-migrant sisters and brothers: we need to unite and organize, women and men, from wherever we are, without any distinction of language, creed, race, or political affiliation to destroy this bad system. Let’s join our forces below to disappear the rotten capitalist beast whose putrefaction is destroying humanity.

For this reason, compañera spokeswoman María de Jesús, the Mexican people trust that you will do the work of serving, organizing, and denouncing the blows and abuses that our peoples suffer. Don’t pay any attention to the evil capitalists who say that because you are indigenous or because you do not have a degree you cannot govern—that’s a lie, those cowards who govern today say they have degrees and they’ve used their studies to fuck over and rob our country. So be brave and know that you can do it; you’re not alone, we are with you. Trust in the people, we are the majority and we will win. The destiny of our country is with you and the originary peoples, with all sectors and the Mexican population as a whole. It is time for women to make this country tremble towards a new horizon. Let us struggle without rest. Don’t sell out, don’t give up, don’t give in. The people have put their hope in you, and we are tired of this damned system. You are our voice, the voice of the students and others in struggle who have been disappeared, the voice of the originary peoples and various sectors of this country.

Indigenous Revolutionary Clandestine Committee

Valentina, teacher for the zone’s escuelita

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