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Palabra del Ejército Zapatista de Liberación Nacional


PS´s to The Sixth that, as its name indicates, was the fifth part of “Them and Us.”

PS´s to The Sixth that, as its name indicates,

was the fifth part of “Them and Us.”

 January 2013.


1.- If any person…

has all, some, or one of the following profiles, for example: being a woman, being a man, being a child, being a young person, being a student, being an employee, being rebellious, being a lesbian, being gay, being indigenous, being a worker, being a neighborhood resident, being a campesino, being unemployed, being a believer, being a sexworker [trabajadoroa implies male, female, or transsexual[i], being an artist, being a domestic but not domesticated worker, then beware, they may be part of the Sixth.

is different, and not only is not ashamed of it and doesn’t try to hide it, but on the contrary, is out there challenging those “fine upstanding folks,” then beware, they might be part of the Sixth.

is an organization, or free/ libertarian collective or group, then beware, they may be part of the Sixth.

is someone who doesn’t fit on any list but that of “expendable,” then beware, they may be part of the Sixth.

is someone who doesn’t take orders other than from their own conscience, then beware, they may be part of the Sixth.

is someone who does not wait for, nor sigh over, supreme saviors, then beware, they may be part of the Sixth.

is someone who sows seeds knowing they themselves won’t see the fruit, then beware, they may be part of the Sixth.

is someone who, when you explain patiently and properly (that is, on the edge of hysteria) that the machine is all-powerful and invincible, smiles—not as if they understood, but as if they didn’t care, then beware, they may be part of the Sixth.



Imagine you are talking to your compa, about whatever, in any case it’s between the two of you. Just at the moment when you are saying to your compa: “alright then, be seeing you,” some guy with the expression “I’m-very-respectable-and-very-knowledgeable” unfurls before you a whole array of revolutionary credentials demonstrating his role as revolutionary analyst of every past revolution and those to come, and begins to explain, in strident tone, that you must obey him and do what he advises/counsels/orders. And when you are about to say to your compa, “what’s up with this fool?” the man raises the tone of his voice and covers his ears, showing his advanced intellectual development, “I can’t hear you! I can’t hear you! Soy de palo y tengo orejas de pescado[ii] and leaves irate. So then you:

a) run after him begging him not to abandon you to the darkness of your ignorance and to please continue enlightening you with his brilliance.

b) say, sobbing, “it’s true, I’ve been crazy and ungrateful, I won’t make any more mischief.”

c) finish the sentence “what’s up with this fool?” that you had started.

d) say to your compaman, I thought for a moment the tira were going to appear, that is, the other tira.[iii]

e) say to yourself “son of a…, this city has gone to shit.”

f) pay no any attention, and with your eyes still fixed on that wall that is so naked, so solitary, so unstained, you think about how to come up with the dough to get a hold of a few cans, because, you think, you can’t deny a wall like that at least a tag or some graffiti, it’s just a matter of getting with your “crew” and agreeing on a time and a place, or, as someone often says, a calendar and a geography. Plus, you already have an idea of what you’re going to write, for example, that Mario Benedetti quote that says, “The new man must watch out for two dangers: the right when it is skilled, the left when it is sinister.”

g) return to your house, crib, shack, home, or however you call it, and say to your partner: “I don’t think I’ll ever eat those sketchy sandwiches/ tacos/ garnachas[iv] again. Today I hallucinated that, right in the street, I was on Laura Bozzo’s show[v] and when I heard “bring up the poor wretch” they pushed me forward saying, “go already, it’s your turn.”

h) you think, “man, so it’s true after all that drugs and alcohol affect the brain.”

i) you ask yourself “who could he be talking about?”

If you marked a) and/or b), then you have a future, but you’re missing the details. For example, you should have offered to carry his books for him. If you do so out of nastiness and not servility, then add Pascal Quignard’s “Butes” or Boutés” to the pile of books (as I see that French is in fashion), from Sextopiso[vi] press (I like the name). And maybe he reads it and learns to use the allegory of the sirens with more creativity. Ah, but in any case he’s going to tell you to keep rowing so that you can get the hero home.

If you marked c), d), e), f), g), or h), then there’s no hope for you, compa, and you won’t of course have a VIP spot in the unavoidable-world-revolution-that-will-bring-dawn-to-the-helpless-masses-guided-by-the wise-analysts’-profound-and-concrete-analysis-of-reality. Oh well, that’s what you get for going around with those ideas about rebellion, liberty, and autonomy.

If you marked i), don’t worry, it’s not even worth asking.

You are wasting your time if…

1. You are arguing with someone about whether when Sheldon Cooper[vii] said, “Fear of heights is illogical. Fear of falling, on the other hand, is prudent and evolutionary,” he was giving his version of “below” and arguing for the value of remaining there. Your interlocutor, after mentally reviewing the names of all of the classic revolutionary authors and the names of all of the secretary generals of all parties, asks, “who the hell is Sheldon Cooper, another lumpen of the Sixth?”

2. You are repeating out loud: “There is always a possibility. Everything is about the small possibilities. We have a long hard journey in front of us, perhaps harder than we can imagine. But it can’t be harder than our journey up to now. There are only a few of us left. That’s why we have to remain united, to fight for everyone else, to be ready to give our lives for everyone else if necessary.”

And someone interrupts you, saying:

Oh stop already quoting that stuff from that argyle-sock-head-stamen-condom[viii] writes. I’m fed up with that naïve bunch. And that explanation about the next stage of the Sixth is nothing but cheap literature by subcomedian marcos. Don’t you realize that he only uses the indigenous to get money so he can go to Europe and hang out with Cassez?[ix] Everybody knows that el copetes[x] negotiated the liberation of the Frenchwoman with that clown marcos, and that in return the PRI would be exonerated for the electoral fraud.”

The person who makes that comment then leaves, satisfied they have enlightened you, and leaving you without a chance to clarify that those were the lines of the character Rick Grimes (played by Andrew Lincoln) in the first episode of the second season of the television series “The Walking Dead,” produced by Frank Darabont and based on the comic by the same name created by Robert Kirkman and Tony Moore, produced by AMC.

Note from Marquitos Spoil: Yes I also think that Daryl Dixon (played by Norman Reedus) shouldn’t die, nor Michone (played by Danai Gurira), but maybe the screenwriters fear that both of them will become adherents of the Sixth, it suits their characters.



You can recover some of your lost time if, after the two episodes mentioned above and after thinking about it a little, you ask yourself, “What the hell is the Sixth?

So you put into your preferred search engine: “The Sixth” and… every possible WARNING past and yet to come appears on your screen, from “caution, this page can seriously affect your mental health,” “malicious url” (ah, great involuntary homage from the antivirus program, thank you), to the classic “libertarian virus detected, will not affect hardware but will create chaos in the software of your thought”; followed by the options: “eliminate virus immediately,” “quarantine virus in ‘things to avoid,’” “move virus to section of lost causes,” “archive virus in section of naïveté’s,” etc.

You clearly are, as they say, contrarian[xi] (if you weren’t, would you still be reading?) and pissed (censorship bleep) bothered by anyone telling you what you can or should do, so you click on the link and almost immediately regret it, as, to put it in non-cybernetic terms, the screen is total chaos, with so many colors, beyond the imagination of even the most psychedelic screen protector, later music (though without bothering readers) of all kinds. You, of course, are asking yourself what the hell the programmer is on, and, now that we’re on the subject, don’t be a downer, pass that stuff around, but at that moment, ta-da! The words, many words, finally settle down so that you can make out:

“The Sixth.” Name with which the Zapatistas of the EZLN and/or adherents of the Sixth refer to the Sixth Declaration of the Lacandón Jungle. Name with which a small, very small, tiny, miniscule group of men, women, children, old people, and Others self-identify, they who resist and struggle against capitalism and propose a better world, not a perfect one, but better. Name used to refer to dirty, ugly, bad, rude, and rebellious people who intend to construct another way of doing politics (that is, they’re pissing against the wind because there’s no budget for this, no paid positions, no social prestige). Name by which an undetermined but negligible number of people self-identify, they who feel convoked by but not subordinated to the Zapatistas, who maintain their autonomy, their calendar, and their geography (the majority are not eligible for credit, and for that reason are totally expendable.) Did I already say that they’re dirty, ugly, bad, and rude? Ah, it’s that they really are. For “Zapatistas,” also see: “zapatos” [shoes], “zapatillas”[comfortable shoes for home use or slippers], “zapateros”[shoemakers], “rebellious”, “annoying nuisances,” “useless irreverent people, “those without electoral credentials,” “non-existent,” “rude, above all, rude“, “and yes, also, dirty, ugly, and bad.”



Compas of the Sixth and not of the Sixth:  I have received an imprecise number (which is more elegant than saying “a shitload”) of not-so-nice complaints[xii] about the password. Bring it down a notch and let me explain:

As you have seen, our webpage crashes on the seventh click you give it. I could join in the conspiracy theories and justify this, alleging a cybernetic attack by whatever villain is in fashion, the supreme government, the pentagon, the M16, the DGSE, the CIA, or the KGB (the KGB doesn’t exist anymore? There you have the proof that we are prehistoric, but the truth is that we have a server that, on the alternative tip, operates on pozol [a drink made of ground corn and water],[xiii] and when we tell the compas in charge to “give the server some juice,” they serve themselves all the pozol, and there’s nothing left for the server.

So we have seen that there are compas who know this and who have their independent media, blogs, webpages, and all that. They’re the ones that take our writings and sometimes also videos and put them up. The videos are very important parts of the texts, so much so that we spend as much or more time on them as we do on the texts. That’s why we send them out on the webpage “Enlace Zapatista,” because with just words, well, it’s better if there’s music or a video that, as some say, completes the word, sort of like a postmodern postscript, very much our style here. Anyway, I was telling you that the compas from the independent and libertarian media, as well as groups, collectives, and individuals, take what we say and launch it further and wider.

So we’re doing what they call tests. We know that for these compas there is no password that can stop them, and that even if they don’t know exactly what the password is they click here and there and boom! They’re in. So we thought, what happens if the bad governments block our word and the commercial media punish us with the whip of their disdain and then nothing can get out? They’ve already done this before, that’s why there are still people going on and on with that nonsense about why we’ve been so quiet and why only now blah blah blah. So we were thinking that if they block us, will these compas with good intentions take our word and kick it out to others? Because we are interested in having those who inform themselves via the media of those compas as interlocutors also. So we thought, we’re going to do a test and see if those compas out there, especially those that don’t know yet that they are our compas (we don’t know it either, but that’s not the point) hit a wall when they try to find out about us, what do they do? Do they look elsewhere for news from us? Or what? So that’s what we did. And this is what we saw: the password didn’t keep those cybernetic compas out for a second, that is, as some say, they didn’t give a shit, and rapidly they got onto the page with hidden text and rapidly they put the whole text up on their media sites, and the majority of them included everything, even the videos. So we saw that in addition to the fact that the webpage goes down all the time and the not-very-nice complaints come down upon us, our words appeared in those media and blogs with a note saying, “here’s the complete text,” along with the middle finger. You catch my drift? Okay, okay, okay, no more jokes. So we thought, “if they insult one of us they insult all of us.” Okay, okay, not really, but now you know compas, that if you can’t get onto our page then look on the pages of other compas. And for those free and/or libertarian compas with their media, blogs, webpages, or whatever you call them, for real, from our heart: thank you. And believe me when I say that (after all we’ve been through), it’s not easy for us as zapatistas to say those words. Because we give a lot of value to words, so much so that we went to war for them.

In any case, every now and then there are going to be texts with a password, but it will be for very concrete things, in order not to bore the audience with issues that maybe aren’t of interest to anybody, well maybe to those of the Sixth, but not to everybody, only to a very few.

For example: if we say that we are making an invitation for August of this year, 2013, on the 10th birthday of the Good Government Councils, who will have achieved 10 years of emancipatory autonomy; and that there will be a small party in the Zapatista communities; and that around those dates it rains a lot, and that other than dignity the only thing that is abundant here is mud, then when you come, bring what is necessary so that you don’t become the color of the earth.

So, compas, for things like that we’re going to use a password, because the majority of people are not going to be interested in that information, only those of the Sixth and a few more who will also be invited. So that’s how we’ll leave it. I hope your complaints now won’t be so harsh.[xiv]

Vale. Cheers, and for real, they we get everything that you write, positive or negative, from wherever you are, and we read it. Because we know that the world is very big, that it contains many words, and that unanimity only exists in the heads of the fascists across the political spectrum that try to impose their homogeneity.

From whatever corner of whatever world.


January 2013.


Watch and listen to the videos that accompany this text.

Black,” with Kari Kimmel. Soundtrack to the trailer for the third season of “The Walking Dead.” Video edited and subtitled by MultiMarisa1.



Rap Zapatista Hope.”  Curva Sud Tunisi. Tunis, Tunisia, Mediterranean Africa.



Being Different”, with the superhero Calcetín [sock] with Rombos Man [Rhombus Man] in the starring role.  Clip from chapter 1 of the spring season of the series “31 Minutes.” “31 Minutes” is a kid’s program produced APLAPLAC (created by Álvaro Díaz and Pedro Peirano), created in 2003 and transmitted by Chilean National Television.  




[i] For the gendered nouns in Spanish, the EZLN often uses the masculine, feminine, and then a combination of the two—“trabajador, trabajadora, trabajadoroa”—to include transsexual identities.

[ii] Literally, “I’m made of wood I have the ears of a fish,” a rhyme children use when they cover their ears and pretend not to hear what they don’t want to hear.

[iii] Translator’s note: Subcomandante Insurgente Marcos seems to be playing with the double meaning of «La Tira.» In parts of Latin America, «la tira» refers to the police and military, and it is also the name of a comedy show consisting of spontaneous dialogues which appeared on the Spanish television station «La Sexta

[iv] Garnachas are a kind of tortilla with a meat filling.

[v] Laura Bozzo is a Peruvian talk show host. Her talk show “Laura in América” aired on Telemundo in the United States. She has had shows on various Mexican TV networks, and is known for her sensationalist Jerry-Springer style setups. “Que pasa el desgraciado” (bring the wretch on stage) is not an uncommon way of introducing guests.

[vi] Literally “Sixth Floor Press.”

[vii] A character on the TV show The Big Bang Theory, on the US network CBS. Cooper is a theoretical physicist played by Jim Parsons.

[viii] All of these are pejorative terms by which critics refer to Subcomandante Marcos and the Zapatistas and their use of ski-masks.

[ix] Refers to Florence Cassez, French citizen accused of participating in a gang-related kidnapping in Mexico in a highly controversial case. She was incarcerated 7 years of a 60-year sentence, before her case was thrown out for breaches of legal procedure. She was released on January 23, 2013 and returned to Paris.

[x] Literally “the pompadour,” refers to Enrique Peña Nieto and hairstyle he sports.

[xi] The original is “contreras,” playing with the word “contrario.” meaning “contrarian,” but using the last name of Elias Contreras, the main character of “The Uncomfortable Dead,” a crime fiction novel co-written by Subcomandante Insurgente Marcos and a collective pseudonym given to those assigned intelligence detail for the EZLN.

[xii] The original is “mentadas que no son de menta.” Mentada” is like a telling-off or insult. Menta is mint. Literally this would be unminty insults.

[xiii] Pozol is a highly nutritious drink made of the dough from ground corn mixed with water. It is commonly consumed in the Mexican countryside as a midday meal.

[xiv] Literally, I hope your complaints will now be “minty.”

Translation by «El Kilombo Intergaláctico»


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