” Long live Subcomandante Galeano! “


It all began on May 2, 2014. Members of the paramilitary organization CIOAC-Histórica, funded and organized by the regional and national government, planned and executed a coward attack on the Zapatista autonomous community of La Realidad. Fifteen Zapatistas were injured, and one of them, Jose Luis Solis Lopez, a teacher at the Escuelita Zapatista of August 2013 and December/January 2014, was brutally murdered. He had selected for himself the nickname “Galeano”, like the author of The Open Veins of Latin America.

At 2:08 am on May 25, 2014, the day after an international campaign  had been organized in solidarity with the Zapatista communities that were attacked, Subcomandante Insurgente Marcos read a communiqué through Radio Zapatista. “We think that one of us must die so that Galeano can live, so death does not take a life but a name. I declare that the one known as Subcomandante Insurgente Marcos no longer exists,” he said in an enigmatic — as usual — communiqué in his first public appearance since 2009.

Adopting the nom de guerre of a fallen comrade is nothing new in Mexico’s revolutionary history, nor in the history of the EZLN itself. The nom de guerre “Marcos” is just such a case. Mario Marcos was a member of the FLN, the mother-organization of the EZLN, who also happened to be a beloved friend of the Subcomandante, and according to the Sup’s own testimony, the man who used to teach him Mexican history on their long clandestine journeys. Marcos was killed in 1983 in Puebla, and his friend and comrade — who until then was called “Zacarias” — adopted his name as nom de guerre and became the one who until May 25, 2014 we used to know as Subcomandante Insurgente Marcos. And who from now on will be known as Subcomandante Insurgente Galeano.

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