of the EZLN
March 11, 2001.
In the Zocalo of Mexico City.
We have arrived.
We are here.
We are the National Indigenous Congress and Zapatistas who are, together,
If the grandstand where we are is where it is, it is not by accident.
It is because, from the very beginning, the government has been at our
Sometimes with artillery helicopters, sometimes with paramilitaries,
sometimes with bomber planes, sometimes with war tanks, sometimes with
soldiers, sometimes with the police, sometimes with offers for the buying
and selling of consciences, sometimes with offers for surrender, sometimes
with lies, sometimes with strident statements, sometimes with forgetting,
sometimes with expectant silences. Sometimes, like today, with impotent
That is why the government never sees us, that is why it does not listen
If they quickened their pace a bit, they might catch up with us. They
could see us then, and listen to us.
They could understand the long and firm perspective of the one who is
persecuted and who, nonetheless, is not worried, because he knows that
it is the steps that follow which require attention and determination.
Indigenous, worker, campesino, teacher, student, neighbor, housewife,
driver, fisherman, taxi driver, stevedore, office worker, street vendor,
brother, unemployed, media worker, professional worker, religious person,
homosexual, lesbian, transsexual, artist, intellectual, militant, activist,
sailor, soldier, sportsman, legislator, bureaucrat, man, woman, child,
young person, old one.
Brother, sister of the National Indigenous Congress, now rainbow of
the best of the Indian peoples of Mexico:
We should not have been here.
(After hearing this, I'm sure that the one at my back is applauding
like crazy for the first time. So I'm going to repeat it.)
We should not have been here.
The ones who should have been here are the zapatista indigenous communities,
their 7 years of struggle and resistance, their ear and their looking.
The Zapatista people. The men, children, women and old ones, support
bases of the Zapatista Army of National Liberation, who are the feet
that walk us, the voice that speaks us, the looking which makes us visible,
the ear which makes us heard.
The ones who should have been here are the insurgent women and men,
their persistent shadow, their silent strength, their memory risen.
The insurgent women and men. The women and men who make up the regular
troops of the EZLN and who are guardian and heart of our peoples.
It is they who deserve to see you and to listen to you and to speak
We should not have been here.
And, nonetheless, we are.
And we are next to them, the men and women who people the Indian peoples
of all Mexico.
The Indian peoples, our most first, the very first inhabitants, the
first talkers, the first listeners.
Those who, being first, are the last to appear and to perish...
Indigenous brother, sister.
We come from very far away.
We walk time.
We walk the land.
We are the bow and the arrow.
We are the blood and the heart.
The guerrero and the guardian.
The embrace of the compa~ero.
They assume us to be defeated.
We have much time in our hands.
We came here to give ourselves name.
We came here to say "we are."
We came here to be gazed upon.
Here to see ourselves being looked upon.
Our name is spoken here for our journey.
This is what we are:
The one who flourishes amidst hills.
The one who sings.
The one who guards and nurtures the ancient word.
The one who speaks.
The one who is of maize.
The one who resides in the mountain.
The one who walks the land.
The one who shares the idea.
The true we.
The true man.
The Senor of the net.
The one who respects history.
The one who is people of humble custom.
The one who speaks flowers.
The one who is rain.
The one who has knowledge to govern.
The hunter of arrows.
The one who is sand.
The one who is river.
The one who is desert.
The one who is the sea.
The different one.
The one who is person.
The swift walker.
The one who is good.
The one who is mountain.
The one who is painted in color.
The one who speaks right word.
The one who has three hearts.
The one who is father and older brother.
The one who walks the night.
The one who works.
The man who is man.
The one who walks from the clouds.
The one who has word.
The one who shares the blood and the idea.
The son of the sun.
The one who goes from one side to the other.
The one who walks the fog.
The one who is mysterious.
The one who works the word.
The one who governs in the mountain.
The one who is brother, sister.
Our name says all of this.
And it says more.
But it is hardly heard.
Another name covers our name.
We came here to be ourselves with those we are.
We are the mirror for seeing ourselves and for being ourselves.
We, those who are the color of the earth.
Here, no longer shame for the color of our skin.
Here, no longer embarrassment.
Here the pride of our being the color we are of the color of the earth.
Here the dignity which is seeing ourselves being seen being the color
of the earth which we are.
Here the voice which births us and inspires us.
Here, the silence no longer.
Here the shout.
Here, the place that was concealed.
Here the dark light, the time and the feeling.
Indigenous and Non-indigenous Brother, Sister:
We are mirror.
We are here in order to see each other and to show each other, so you
may look upon us, so you may look at yourself, so that the other looks
in our looking.
We are here and we are a mirror.
Not reality, but merely its reflection.
Not light, but merely a glimmer.
Not path, but merely a few steps.
Not guide, but merely one of the many routes which lead to tomorrow.
Brother, Sister Mexico City:
When we say "we are," we are also saying "we are not" and "we shall
That is why it is good for those who, up above, are money and the ones
who peddle it, to take note of the word, to listen to it carefully,
and to look with care at what they do not want to see.
We are not those who aspire to make themselves power and then impose
the way and the word. We will not be.
We are not those who put a price on their own, or another's, dignity,
and convert the struggle into a market, where politics is the business
of sellers who are fighting, not about programs, but for clients. We
will not be.
We are not those who are expecting pardon and handouts from the one
who feigns to help, when he is, in reality, buying, and who does not
pardon, but humiliates the one who, by merely existing, is a defiance
and challenge and claim and demand. We will not be.
We are not those who wait, naively, for justice to come from above,
when it only comes from below. The liberty which can only be achieved
with everyone. The democracy which is all the floors and is fought for
all the time. We will not be.
We are not the passing fashion which, made ballad, is filed in the calendar
of defeats which this country flaunts with such nostalgia. We will not
We are not the cunning calculation which falsifies the word and conceals
a new fakery within it. We are not the simulated peace longing for eternal
war. We are not those who say "three," and then "two" or "four" or "all"
or "nothing." We will not be.
We are, and we shall be, one more in the March.
Of Indigenous Dignity.
Of the Color of the Earth.
That which unveils and reveals the many Mexicos which are hidden and
suffer under Mexico.
We are not their spokesperson.
We are one voice among all those voices.
An echo which dignity repeats among all the voices.
We join with them, we are made multiple with them.
We will continue to be echo. We are, and we shall be, voice.
We are reflection and shout.
We shall always be.
We can be with or without face, armed with fire or without, but we are
zapatistas, we are and we shall always be.
Ninety years ago the powerful asked those from below which Zapata was
whose permission, Senores?"
And those from below responded, and we respond:
And with our permission, for exactly 90 years, we have been shouting,
and they call us "rebels."
And today we are repeating: we are rebels.
Rebels we shall be.
But we want to be so with everyone we are.
Without war as house and path.
Because so speaks the color of the earth: The struggle has many paths,
and it has but one destiny: to be color with all the colors which clothe
Up there they say that this is the end of a tremor. That everything
will pass except their being above us.
Up there they say that you are here to watch in morbid fascination,
to hear, without listening to anything. They say we are few, that we
are weak. That we are nothing more than a photograph, an anecdote, a
spectacle, a perishable product whose expiration date is close at hand.
Up there they say that you will leave us alone. That we shall return
alone and empty to the land in which we are.
Up there they say that forgetting is defeat, and they want to wait for
you to forget and to fail and to be defeated.
They know up there, but they do not want to say it: there will be no
more forgetting, and defeat shall not be the crown for the color of
But they do not want to say so, because saying it is recognizing it,
recognizing it is seeing that everything has changed, and nothing will
change now without everyone changed, changing.
This movement, the one of the color of the earth, is yours, and because
it is yours, it is ours.
Now, and it is what they fear, there is no longer the "you" and the
"we," because now we are all the color we are of the earth.
It is the hour for the fox and the one he serves to listen and to listen
It is the hour for the fox and the one who commands him to see us.
Our word speaks one single thing.
Our looking looks at one single thing.
The constitutional recognition of indigenous rights and culture.
A dignified place for the color of the earth.
It is the hour in which this country ceases to be a disgrace, clothed
only in the color of money.
It is the hour of the Indian peoples, of the color of the earth, of
all the colors which we are below, and which colors we are in spite
of the color of money.
We are rebels because the land is rebel if someone is selling and buying
it, as if the land did not exist, as if the color we are of the earth
did not exist.
We are here. We are here as rebellious color of the earth which shouts:
We did not come to tell you what to do, or to guide you along any path.
We came in order to humbly, respectfully, ask you to help us. For you
to not allow another day to dawn without this flag having an honorable
place for us who are the color of the earth.
From the Zocalo in Mexico City.
Clandestine Revolutionary Indigenous Committee -
General Command of the Zapatista Army of National Liberation.