EZLN note

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Posted by rdom on February 06, 1998 at 11:58:17:

In Reply to: Mexico rebel supporters hack government home page posted by rdom on February 05, 1998 at 15:30:28:

JANUARY 29, 1998
We had thought it would be enough to issue a communique where we could
respond to what is being said and done by the Mexican government in Chiapas.
We had thought it would be sufficient to write something which reflected our
discontent about the government's persistence in using double language,
something which once again will disrobe the inconsistencies between their
discourse of "peace" and the
harassment and military advancement again the communities and mountains of
the Mexican Southeast.

That is what we had thought, but then we saw the military airplane and the
war tanks rambling ostentatiously and arrogantly through our villages, as
though to say "this is the answer to your demands, look at me, hear me, you
are trapped, surrender." We saw the airplane and the tanks and we understood
that that is what they want. They want us to speak only to them, that we
forget you, that we get
into their game of "give and take". They want only bitter answers to their
mockery, answers which allow them to say: "you see, the EZLN does not want
dialogue, it is using the conflict to its advantage, they are intransigent,
do not believe them when they say they struggle for democracy, liberty and
justice, all they want is Power and to continue to provoke instability."

So the airplane and the tanks made us understand that they wanted us to
strip our word of value and quality, that we exchange epithets, that we tire
you with our accusations and repeated warnings that the government is
deceiving you. They do not want us to explain ourselves nor to make
ourselves heard.

That is why we decided to let you know our thinking and our position through
this letter.

As you can see, this letter is not only for civil society, now it also
includes political society. We know that there are many political
organizations in Mexico and in the world, some of which are now governments,
which have an honest approach, respectful and accountable to the
significance of the Zapatista demands. So we salute all those who try to
give politics the renovation which it needs.

At any rate now that it is clear why we address you, we give you our word.

The strategy of the government attempts to make public opinion transpose the
illegitimacy and lack of credibility of the government to everyone else.
The actual strategy seeks the skepticism of all the actors and positions,
neutralizes intellectuals and artists, independent politicians, social
organizations, organized civil society, and the "ordinary" citizen.

The speech of Mister Ernesto Zedillo in Yucatan for example was, above all
the point of departure of a new flood of declarations and ultimatums. There
are three basic spokes of this government line.

1. The re-negotiation of the San Andres Agreements - The government
position towards the San Andres Agreements is very clear: they will not
fulfill them. The discussion about whether the first or the second Cocopa
initiative will be the "basis of negotiation" (Didn't the Cocopa swear and
declare that it would not negotiate the agreements because it was not
appropriate to their coadjutant role?),
is only a government sophistry.

To carry out what has been signed and acknowledge the indigenous right
to be different, are some of the things to which "the federal government
does not agree" and which, of course, do not even appear in the Yucatan
speech, nor in the paid full-page ads.

Behind the strategy in which Labastida wants to enmesh the Cocopa and the
Conai, is the attempt to delay a solution to the conflict. It pretends for
example, that the Cocopa serve as a messenger for communication with the
EZLN through the Conai. Isn't it excessive to pretend that a legislative
commission from the Mexican Congress (which represents 5 national political
parties) serve only as a mes
senger between the government and the Conai? Is that the role of the
coadjutant now?

Our position in terms of the Agreements is the same. We do not want
"everything", all we want is that the government fulfill what it has signed
and is public knowledge. All we want is for the Cocopa to keep its word and
defend its initiative. All we want is that indigenous rights become law and

Thousands of voices in Mexico and the world have supported, throughout an
entire year, the legal initiative of the Cocopa. This proposal no longer
just belongs to the legislators. Today there are thousands who are willing
to defend it.

2. The use of force to resolve the conflict - Zedillo says that the
government has not used nor will it use force to attempt to resolve the
conflict in Chiapas. What about the treachery of February 9th of 1995?
Wasn't it the use of force which broke the dialogue it sustained with us ?
(through then-Justice Minister Esteban Moctezuma Barragan). Weren't there
thousands of soldiers who attacked i
ndigenous communities in their attempt to capture the leadership of the
EZLN? Is it not true, that even today the indigenous of Guadalupe Tepeyac
live in exile because their village is a mix of barracks, whorehouse and bar
for federal troops? Was it not the use of force that took dozens of citizens
prisoners because their crime was that they were Zapatistas?

The government "has not used nor will it use force" to resolve the conflict
in Chiapas? What is all the preparation, training and activation of
paramilitary squads for then? (At least 12 says the PGR). Wasn't the
massacre of Acteal a demonstration of the will for dialogue and negotiation
of the Mexican government?

And what about the persecution of Zapatistas since January 1 of 1998
sustained by the federal army which "carries out orders of the commander in
chief" (Zedillo)? Is this another act of military distension?

When all is done, the history of the regime of Zedillo is the history of the
word which was not kept. Those military planes which conduct "diving"
maneuvers over indigenous communities in the jungle,
what is their word?

Without any legitimacy, the government has at its side only the power of
force. On our side is history, reason and truth. The demands of the
Indian peoples are supported by these three forces, only the law is missing
to do justice to them, but it is clear that force will do all that is
possible to scam away the cover of law to rights demanded by history, based
in reason and animated by truth.

The law, if not accompanied by history, if not constructed by reason and
fortified by the truth, finally provokes that which it seeks to avoid:
violent rebellion.

3. The attack against different national and international actors who seek
a peaceful solution with justice and dignity.- Using the conflict in Chiapas
for his political whims, Zedillo attempts to renew his dispute with the PRD,
with national and international NGO's, and with all those who no longer
believe nor support (in other words, the immense majority of Mexicans).
With words and applause b
ought beforehand, the government tries to hide, once again, its
responsibility in the massacre of Acteal. There will be an attempt to bury
the blood of 45 indigenous under the "re-negotiation" of the Cocopa
initiative. Meanwhile, on the ground of Acteal, 45 crosses warn that
today's amnesia will renew itself in worse sorrow tomorrow. "In order to
cover a scandalous crime, another scandal must b
e perpetrated" is the fascist slogan which is now religious creed in the
Mexican federal cabinet.

Zedillo also takes advantage of Yucatan to spew a nationalism which, sounds
false and hollow, especially on him and whoever accompanies him. He who
dedicates himself to squandering in the exterior the rich lands of the
Mexican southeast, he who continues with an authentic campaign of
extermination of indigenous people because they "have no place in modern
globalization" and will "end up disappear
ing anyway": he who has not stopped attacking entities of mediation and
intercession , and who complains about foreign intervention and whomever
tries international mediation in the conflict.

Zedillo should abandon his paternalistic and authoritarian tone and
recognize, and accept, that the immense majority of Mexicans still want the
San Andres agreements to be fulfilled (without any scam) and do not agree
that force be used to resolve the conflict.

The government discourse has perhaps managed to confuse some. But, for how
long? This new lie which they pile up in the national consciousness, how
long will it last? What other crime or tragedy will bring it down again?

The most serious problem is not Chiapas, or San Andres, or Acteal, or the
fall of oil prices, or the devaluation, or the financial crisis in Asia.
The fundamental problem is a government without legitimacy, without credibility.

It would be unjust to say that Chiapas alone has contributed to the
government's discredit. It is enough to review, with a minimum of
independence and critical spirit, the three years of Zedillo's
administration in order to conclude that the regime has not only provoked
and revived political, economic and social crises even religious ones, but
it also lies so repeatedly it borders on stupidity. A
nd he who lies and lies again, can only expect to lose credibility.

We, the Zapatistas, do not believe the government when it speaks of peace.
We know that millions of human beings, in Mexico and in the world, do not
believe it either. It has earned its discredit, and obviously it can only
change this with acts of peace and not with useless and senseless words
which fill columns and screens on the media, but continue to leave the
hearts and mind of Mexicans em
pty. It doesn't matter whether these Mexicans matter to this government. In
any case, it is they who matter to us and we count every man and every woman.

Our acts are of peace and a disposition to a political solution. We continue
to wait for real demonstrations of political will, but we continue to see
the inclination to ignore what has been signed, and we continue to suffer
assassinations, persecution and jail.

We are not asking for anything the government has not signed. The San
Andres Agreements are only a part of what justly belongs to the Indian
peoples of this country called Mexico, which has a history of a struggle
with dignity, and because of such, will conquer its democracy, its liberty
and its independence which appear easy, but which, reality has shown, are
quite costly.

It doesn't matter the cost will be paid with punctuality.

Vale. Health and do not allow cynicism to make you a prisoner, after that
will come, inevitably, a faltering.

From the still-besieged mountains of the Mexican southeast.
By the Indigenous Revolutionary Clandestine Committee
General Command
Zapatista Army of National Liberation
Subcomandante Insurgente Marcos
Mexico, January of 1998.

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