Marcos Announces New Identity as Subcomandante Insurgente Galeano

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Tuxtla Gutiérrez, Chiapas - This morning at a press conference Subcomandante Marcos announced that as of today he no longer exists as such among the ranks of the Zapatista Army of National Liberation (EZLN), in order to make way for his new character and identity, Insurgent Subcomandante Galeano. Earlier, he had jokingly remarked: “[Subcomandante Marcos] was a motley disguise.”

Subcomandante Marcos told the alternative free press gathered at his press conference: “We think it necessary that one of us die so Galeano might live. In order that this impertinence called death might be satisfied, in Galeano’s place we put another name so Galeano might live and death take not a life, but only a name, some letters emptied of all meaning, without its own history, without life. So we have decided that as of today Marcos no longer exists.”

For a moment [the reporters] seemed confused. But then the EZLN’s spokesperson and military political leader began to speak, saying, “these will be my last words in public before ceasing to exist.” Then once again they understood the metaphorical nature of his comments.

With a black patch and picture of a pirate skull covering his right eye, the hitherto Subcomandante Marcos acknowledged that his previous character went from being a spokesperson to being a “distraction” for the EZLN. Marcos added: “If they allow me to define his character, then Marcos would say without hesitation that it was a motley. In constructing and maintaining Marcos’ character, we made some mistakes. As the blacksmith said, ‘the horseshoe is made by humans’.”

The statement that he read this Sunday morning is titled “Between Light and Shadow.” In it, Marcos said that across these twenty years of struggle, “… a complex ploy of distraction began, a trick of terrible and wonderful magic, a malicious dirty trick of the indigenous heart that we are. Indigenous wisdom defied modernity in one of its strongholds: the communications media.”

He explained that in these twenty years he began constructing the personage called “Marcos,” but that “the entire [modern neoliberal] system, but especially its communications media, toy with building reputations in order to destroy them if they do not yield to its designs.”

In the case of Subcomandante Marcos, “he went from being a spokesperson to being a distraction.”

He pointed out that “one day Marcos had blue eyes, another day he had green eyes, or brown, or honey, or black, everything depending on who did the interview and who took the photo. So he was on the bench of professional soccer teams, employed in department stores, a chauffeur, philosopher, filmmaker, and the etceteras found in the commercial media with their programmes and from various places.”

Ironically, he added: “There was a Marcos for every occasion, i.e., for each interview. It wasn’t easy, believe me, there was no Wikipedia then and if they came from Spain he had to investigate whether the English style of dress, for example, was from England or came from a grocery store or a department store.”

He said that during 1994, the first year, he exhausted, as it were, the repertoire of possible “Marcos.” In early 1995, the process of the peoples [Zapatista movement] was in its infancy, and he was in a predicament. When they didn’t know what to do with Marcos, it was Ernesto Zedillo who in February 1995, with the PAN in hand, “discovered” Marcos with the same scientific method that finds bones, i.e., by esoteric denunciation. Subcomandante, now Galeano, said: “The story of the tampiqueño [in his campaign, Zedillo asserted that Marcos was Rafael Sebastián Guillén from Tampico, Tamaulipas] gave us breathing space, although the later fraud of Paca de Lozano made ​​us fear that the ‘paid press’ would also question the “unmasking” of Marcos and discover that it was another fraud. Fortunately, the press did not. Like that, the communications continued churning out other similar ‘made up stories’.”

He “revealed” that after Zedillo’s alleged discovery on February 9, 1995, a tampiqueño, without mentioning Rafael Sebastián Guillén’s name, arrived in the Lacandón Jungle seeking refuge. Although he didn’t want to face the media, anyone who wanted to see him could look at photographs taken at the funeral of his parents, who followed both the communications media and the intelligence services closely.

“Ah, he doesn’t want you to know just where he lives. We will not say anything more about him. If one day he wants to, he can tell the story of what he experienced starting February 9, 1995.

“For our part, we can only thank you for passing data to us that every so often we used to feed the ‘certainty’ that Subcomandante Marcos is not who he really is, i.e., a motley or a hologram, but a university professor, originally from the now troubled [state of] Tamaulipas.”

He said that after several initiatives and false starts during these twenty years, the Zapatista Escuelita appeared with its course titled “Freedom According l@s Zapatistas,” which came about when they realized that there was now a generation able to look them straight on, who could listen and speak to them, “without waiting either for guidance or leadership, or pretending deference or simply following.”

He declared: “Marcos, the personage, was no longer necessary.”

10406480_797734596906312_2038182134867707121_nHe explained that what they want now, and what they’re struggling for, does not end in finding Galeano’s murderers and seeing that they receive their punishment. At the press conference, he added: “We ask ourselves not what we do with his death, but what we must do with his life. Excuse me if I go into the marshy ground of the commonplace, but this compañero did not deserve to die, not like that. All his efforts, his exceptional daily sacrifices, which were invisible to those who are not among us, they were all for life.”

In his last statement as Subcomandante Marcos, he explained: “Our compañero and chief spokesman for the EZLN, Subcomandante Insurgente Moisés, told us that by assassinating Galeano, or any of the Zapatistas, those from above [los de arriba] wanted to assassinate the EZLN. Not as an army, but as stubborn rebels who build and raise life where they, those from above, want the wasteland of the mining, oil and tourist industries, the death of the earth and those who live and work on it.”

The tribute last night was not to bury Galeano, but that the General Command of the Zapatista Army of National Liberation came to dig him up. Subcomandante Marcos repeats: “We think it necessary that one of us die so Galeano might live. In order that this impertinence called death might be satisfied, in Galeano’s place we put another name so Galeano might live and death take not a life, but only a name, some letters emptied of all meaning, without its own history, without life. So we have decided that as of today Marcos no longer exists.”

Hence, at 2:08 AM on May 25, 2014, at the EZLN Southeast Combat Front, he declared that the well-known Subcomandante Marcos, the self-styled “subcomandante of stainless steel”, ceased to exist: “My name is Galeano, Insurgent Subcomandante Galeano. Is anyone else called Galeano?”

Dorset Chiapas Solidarity

Translated by Jane Brundage

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