August 2020

Indigenous Peoples and Human Rights

Tuesday, June 22, 2021

Zapatistas arrive in Vigo, Spain, disembark ship to celebration


Photo: Vanessa García Blanca


Zapatistas disembark in Vigo and rename Europe Tierra Insumisa, Unsubmissive Land



Editorial Desk of Desinformémonos
Photo: Vanessa García Blanca
June 23, 2021


In a historic event, the delegation of seven Zapatistas disembarked today in Europe, after sailing for 50 days. Squadron 421, made up of Marijose, Lupita, Carolina, Ximena, Yuli, Bernal, and Darío, was received amidst a festive atmosphere in Playa de Carril, in Vigo, Galicia by dozens of activists.


On behalf of the women, children, men, elders and other Zapatistas, I declare that the name of this land, which they now call Europe, will henceforth be called: SLUMIL K’AJXEMK’OP, which means “Insubmissive Land”.  And this is how it will be known by locals and strangers alike as long as there is someone here who will not give up, who will not sell out and who will not give in.

Marijose, a 39-year-old Tojolabal trans woman, who was the first Zapatista to disembark.

Among different cultural expressions such as traditional Galician music and dance; while the Zapatista flag waved on the beach of Vigo, the delegation arrived amidst applause and slogans. With colorful messages on banners that read: “With open hearts and arms and raised fists we welcome you, long live the EZLN!”, and “Europe awaken from your dream”, and between shouts of “Zapata lives, the struggle continues!,” they embraced the arrival of the Zapatistas.


Activists from various countries, who fight for the defense of territory and against the oppression of peoples, for food sovereignty and in defense of their traditions, saluted Squadron 421 on the beach of Carril. “Welcome to awaken us to an equitable, solidary and dignified society, for a world without borders,” they exclaimed.

The Zapatistas gave a message during the welcoming ceremony that took place in a park next to the beach. Yuli, a Tojolabal woman member of the Squadron, said she was very happy that her people nominated her to go on the trip, “many more are coming and many more will come,” she shared. Carolina gave a message in Tsotsil; Bernal, in Tojolabal; Felipe in Tseltal, and they greeted the activists. Marijose thanked the Zapatista peoples for sending them to do this work, and thanked them for “receiving them to share our rage, our pain, our ways, our geographies, our forms of struggle and also to share ways of resistance and rebellion. We are here to show the capitalist system that another world is possible. Never again a world without us, without us, without us, without us.”

Dozens of activists from Germany, France, Sweden, Italy, Portugal, Portugal, Greece, Morocco, Brazil, Sweden, Colombia, Czech Republic, Iran, Catalonia, Basque Country, Switzerland and different cities in Spain, mobilized to receive the Zapatistas on the Galician coast. Organized in committees for health, communication, security, legal support, among others, they coordinated the arrival and celebrated the arrival with excitement.

The Galician Assembly Xira Por La Vida thanked the Zapatista peoples for the initiative and effort to organize this inter-oceanic meeting between those who resist in defense of life, the earth and humanity. They also recognized the generosity of the crew of La Montaña. “We are happy to share with you our realities, our pains, our hopes. We would like to learn by walking, strengthen bridges and weave dreams in this unsubmissive land,” said members of the assembly.

“Once again the Zapatistas show us that to defeat the capitalist system we have to dream big, like dreaming of a mountain crossing the sea. Recognizing our differences and also the struggles that unite us. In this journey for life, they invite us to create bonds of rebellious solidarity, we will make them grow, they said.

The Zapatista caravan will travel through more than 30 countries where it will meet with social movements that fight for the defense of their territory, that organize against dispossession and violence, that defend the right to health, housing, education, among others. The boat “La Montaña” set sail on May 2 from Isla Mujeres, Quintana Roo, and made a reverse journey to the one made by the colonizers more than 500 years ago.

Hundreds of collectives joined this Journey for Life after the EZLN published in October 2020 its intention to travel the five continents, starting in Europe. They hope to receive the Zapatistas in their geographies, from Vigo and Lisbon to St. Petersburg and Athens, to share daily life, dreams and affection, to learn about their struggles and to ask one another how they live in their communities, and also to reciprocate the hospitality and care that the Zapatistas have given them in their visits to Chiapas.

“We are united by the fact that we make the pains of the Earth our own: violence against women; persecution and contempt for those who are different in their affective, emotional, sexual identity; the annihilation of children; the genocide against the native peoples; racism; militarism; exploitation; dispossession; the destruction of nature, the understanding that it is a system that is responsible for these pains. The executioner is an exploitative, patriarchal, pyramidal, racist, thieving and criminal system: capitalism,” shared the EZLN in the Declaration for Life, published on January 1, 2021 and signed by hundreds of collectives and people from different countries around the world.

Watch the transmission of the disembarkation here.

With information from the communication commission of the Tour for Life and Vigo’s free media.

This was published on June 22nd, 2021 by Desinformémonos.

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