Breviary Of Indigenous Revolt And Resistance In Chiapas

Published

Article published in The Funambulist 15 (January-February 2018) Clothing Politics #2. Click here to access the rest of the issue.

A few years ago, when your heart was still beating next to my heart beat, I sent you my obituary. But some of your daughters, trained to lie and cheat, assaulted the words and messages of this essay. And you didn’t receive that letter I wrote you.

Now I am here writing you the Breviary of Revolt and Resistance as a symbol of the voice kept in the silence of the night. Because from the night they rose, from the night they/we emerged, from the night they/we were born. You were born to open the eyes of the forgotten Mexico. To remember and never forget our history, suppressed for 525 years. Sacred guardian of time, mother of protection, counselor of the wise, sower of peace and harmony. For the imposed testimony not to fracture our seeded hope, our furrowed path, and not to slim our extended memory in your heart. Today, the ink of my writing revolves around the struggle, our struggle and our resistance coagulated in the traces of the years by the oppression, marginalization, poverty, oblivion, and exclusion for over 525 years. Our struggles and resistances are written in the book of time. I briefly present some fragments of the constant battles that aboriginal peoples of these territories have fought since the year the impostors, the falsifiers of history, and the powerful arrived. I sketch some periods of uprisings, revolts, and struggles of the aboriginal peoples of Chiapas that are stored in the memory and seeds of words sown in the signs of the land through the years. Uprisings and struggles sheltered with the hope seeded in the path of Native people until the political compass of a system of oppression turns its course towards the respect and dignity of our people.

In the memory of time, back in 1668, in the town of T’ulum (now named Tuxtla Gutiérrez), the Zoque people rose up against the authority and administrator of the Spanish Crown for the inhumane treatment of native peoples. The years continued their course, and in 1712 from the heart of K’ank’uk’ (sacred yellow quetzal bird), Tseltal peoples along with the Tsotsil and Ch’ol rose up against the exorbitant taxes raised by the ecclesial leaders of the Spanish Crown, directed especially against the Native peoples. In addition, the church increased the recollection of the sacraments in the indigenous populations. K’ank’uk’, the yellow quetzal, extended its flight and called other towns: Chenalhó, Teultepec, Tenejapa, Oxchuc, Chalchihuitán, Guaquitepec, Tenango, Ocosingo, Chilón, Bachajón, Yajalón, Petalcingo, and Tumbalá (among others). A year later K’ank’uk’ was shot down by the Spanish militia, who reunited in the states of Chiapas, Guatemala, and Tabasco attacking from different flanks. Time continued walking, and in 1869 the Tsotsil people of Chamula revolted against the power and religious supremacy that the mestizos of San Cristóbal wielded against the original peoples. Tsajaljemel, the place where the organization of the rebellious Tsotsiles was centered, constituted a sovereign space of religion and also a site of Mayan commercial exchange, based on their forms of community redistribution. The Guides of this attempt of freedom were shot dead in the main square of San Cristóbal de Las Casas. The usurpation, the robbery, the oppression of the Spaniards since their arrival in these lands continued cruelly punishing the Native peoples.