Professionals of Hope, The Selected Writings of Subcomandante Marcos
Afterword by Gabriela Jauregui
Professionals of Hope: The Selected Writings of Subcomandante Marcos is an anthology by the prolific and brilliant former spokesperson and strategist for the Zapatistas, who opposed the Mexican government’s bloody attacks on indigenous people by staging an uprising in the name of “democracy, justice, and liberty” for all. And by “all,” Marcos really means everyone, including identities that resist ready-made categories. These poetic letters, speeches, and folktales seek to counter oppression by challenging governments that plunder their own people, and declare the basic desire to bestow dignity upon the indigenous people of Chiapas through grass-roots revolution. By no means exhaustive, this book is meant to introduce readers to a sliver of Marcos’s output and provide context for a struggle that still exists in Mexico, and whose existence is mirrored wherever tyranny flourishes.
“Yes, Marcos is gay. Marcos is gay in San Francisco, black in South Africa, an Asian in Europe, a Chicano in San Ysidro, an anarchist in Spain, a Palestinian in Israel, a Mayan Indian in the streets of San Cristobal, a Jew in Germany, a Gypsy in Poland, a Mohawk in Quebec, a pacifist in Bosnia, a single woman on the subway at 10pm, a peasant without land, a gang member in the slums, an unemployed worker, an unhappy student and, of course, a Zapatista in the mountains.
Marcos is all the exploited, marginalized, oppressed minorities resisting and saying 'Enough.' He is every minority who is now beginning to speak, and every majority that must shut up and listen. He is every untolerated group searching for a way to speak. Everything that makes power and the good consciences of those in power uncomfortable -- this is Marcos.”
-Subcomandante Marcos, from Social Justice E-Zine #27
Subcomandante Marcos was the nom de guerre of the leader and primary spokesman of the Zapatista Army of National Liberation (EZLN).
Known for his trademark ski mask and pipe, and for his charismatic personality, Marcos led the EZLN during the 1994 revolt and the subsequent peace negotiations, during a counter-offensive by the Mexican Army in 1995, and throughout the decades that followed. In 2001, he led a group of Zapatista leaders into Mexico City to meet with President Vicente Fox, attracting widespread public and media attention. In 2006, Marcos made another public tour of Mexico, which was known as "The Other Campaign." In May 2014, Marcos announced that the persona of Subcomandante Marcos had been "a hologram," and ceased to exist.
Proceeds from the sale of this book will go directly to the following organizations:
MALDEF (Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund) is the nation’s leading Latino legal civil rights organization. Often described as the “law firm of the Latino community,” MALDEF promotes social change through advocacy, communications, community education, and litigation in the areas of education, employment, immigrant rights, and political access. www.maldef.org
The Young Center for Immigrant Children's Rights promotes the best interests of unaccompanied immigrant children with due regard to the child’s expressed wishes, according to the Convention on the Rights of the Child and state and federal law.
The Young Center is a champion for the best interests of children who arrive in the United States on their own, from all corners of the world. They serve as trusted allies for these children by accompanying them through court proceedings, advocating for their best interests, and standing for the creation of a dedicated juvenile immigrant justice system that ensures the safety and well-being of every child.
Every young immigrant deserves to be safe. Young children who flee violence, abuse and poverty need an advocate, not an adversary. The Young Center is their champion in an immigration system that is not designed to treat children as children. We help assure that their needs are put foremost and their best interests take priority. www.theyoungcenter.org
Border Angels is a volunteer-run, non-profit organization that advocates for human rights, humane immigration reform, and social justice with a special focus on issues related to the US-Mexican border. Border Angels engages in community education and awareness programs that include guided trips to the desert to place water along migrant crossing routes. www.borderangels.org
Schools for Chiapas builds autonomous schools in Chiapas' Zapatista communities. The organization also invests in a Zapatista health care system as well as organic agriculture in Chiapas, which is threatened by GMO contamination. www.schoolsforchiapas.org