Small band of mariners embark upon peaceful ‘invasion’ of Europe 500 years after the conquistadores
Five hundred years after Hernán Cortés and his men conquered Mexico, a small boatload of indigenous Zapatistas are making the return journey across the Atlantic to “invade” Spain, rail against capitalist oppression, and perhaps throw the odd cumbia party.
The two men and five women set out on Sunday evening from Isla Mujeres, Mexico’s most eastern point. Although Subcomandante Galeano – the pipe-smoking former Zapatista spokesman once known as Subcomandante Marcos – said they were travelling with the message that “the invasion has started”, their mission is one of solidarity and rebellion rather than belated conquest.
“We’re following the route that they came from 500 years ago,” Subcomandante Moisés, another Zapatista leader, told Mexican media at the departure ceremony. “In this case, we’re following the route to sow life, not like 500 years ago. It’s completely the opposite.”