Zapatista plea for recognition of Indian rights, Jan. 1999
1999 CHIAPAS

Pages: 2000, 1998, Chiapas Media Project



Tense Holidays for Indians, Surrounded by Troops

MEXICO CITY, (Dec. 23) IPS - Thousands of indigenous people in Mexico will have a tense holiday season surrounded by soldiers, whose stepped-up presence is due -- according to contradictory official versions -- to "normal" procedures, threats of renewed guerrilla action, or exercises typical of this time of the year.

Rural areas of the southern states of Chiapas, Guerrero and Oaxaca, the poorest parts of the country, where a number of insurgent groups have appeared on the scene in recent years, are "under siege" by military and police forces, the local human rights group Miguel Agustn Pro protested Thursday.

In Chiapas, where the Zapatista National Liberation Army (EZLN) took up arms on Jan. 1, 1994, the military set up new checkposts a week ago, and increased the frequency of air and land patrols.

Virtually everyone who moves about these days in the rural parts of the state are forced to identify themselves at one of the multiple checkpoints.

"The government says that in Chiapas there is no war, but for months, and even more so today, no one moves around freely. There are armed soldiers on every road," said Pablo Santiago, a local peasant farmer.

The government has provided no figures on how many soldiers have been sent to Chiapas. But opposition politicians speak of 70,000 to 80,000 troops, most of whom are equipped with sophisticated weaponry and vehicles.

And in Guerrero and Oaxaca, where the People's Revolutionary Army (EPR) and the Revolutionary Army of the Insurgent People (ERPI) have staged sporadic actions, the number of soldiers is said to be in the hundreds.

Local newspapers published an internal Defence Ministry communique on Nov 29, putting troops on the alert and ordering that security be stepped up in certain parts of the country, while warning that 16 rebel groups might stage violent actions.

The following day, the government said no troops had been put on alert, and issued a denial of the communique. In addition, it stated that the only groups operating in Mexico were the EZLN, with which peace talks have been suspended since 1996, and the EPR and ERPI, which it described as common criminal gangs.

In the past six years, more than 20 supposed guerrilla groups have released communiques setting forth demands and issuing warnings. But only the EZLN, EPR and ERPI have staged armed actions.

Asked about the recent mobilizations of troops, Secretary of Defence Enrique Cervantes said the movements were simply "normal" end-of-year exercises.

But Chiapas state Attorney-General Eduardo Montoya said the police and military were on alert there due to reports that a "radical wing" of the EZLN was preparing attacks.

For whatever reason, thousands of Mexican soldiers will spend the holidays in close surveillance over areas populated by indigenous people -- who account for 10 million of Mexico's total population of 98 million -- said the Jesuit-affiliated Agustn Pro group.

"The national security cabinet is prepared for any eventuality of the end of the year," Secretary of the Government (Interior) Didoro Carrasco said last week, denying that there were signs that the Zapatistas were preparing any kind of action.

It took the army two days to respond when the EZLN occupied rural areas of Chiapas, engaged in armed clashes with the police and military, and declared war on the government on Jan. 1, 1994. Twelve days of fighting ensued, after which the two sides agreed to an armed truce.

At that time, analysts and politicians of all stripes agreed that the government and army had been caught off guard.

Six years later, the armed forces boast shiny modern arms and new counterinsurgency strategies, and are engaged in social work, disarmament campaigns and crime enforcement in many areas populated mainly by indigenous groups.

Over the past six years, troops have also been accused of a number of violations of the human rights of members of indigenous communities, and many analysts and politicians have called for the demilitarization of Chiapas and other states, in order to facilitate the peace process.

According to the London-based International Institute for Strategic Studies, Mexico's army is the second largest in Latin America, while the country ranks third in the region in defence spending, after Brazil and Argentina.



===========================


From: "Mexico Solidarity Network"
msn@mexicosolidarity.org


September 1999

Request for Urgent Action on Chiapas


To: US Civil Society
From: Mexico Solidarity Network
Re: Request for urgent action regarding recent events in Chiapas

Two weeks ago the Mexico Solidarity Network issued a call for emergency action around unfolding events in Chiapas. Since then, the situation has deteriorated significantly. Yesterday AP reported one person killed and 21 injured, many severely, by police in Palenque. The community of Amador Hernandez remains a virtual military encampment, encircled with barbed wire. Ejido Morelia, one of the principal centers of indigenous resistance, reported PRI-inspired attacks on international human rights observers.

These events demand our immediate attention. The Mexico Solidarity Network calls for:

- Demonstrations at Mexican consulates or other appropriate targets. Demand an end to the militarization of Chiapas, respect for human rights and immediate implementation of the San Andres Accords.

- Call your Representative and encourage her/him to contact the State Department with a request that the State Department issue a statement calling on the Mexican government to end the militarization of Chiapas, respect human rights and implement the San Andres Accords. Request that your Representative sponsor a "Dear Colleague" letter (sample below) that will inform other members of Congress about the current crisis. Request that your Representative or an aid accompany the Mexico Solidarity Network�s emergency delegation to Chiapas, September 16-21.

- Join the emergency delegation to Chiapas, September 16-21, or send a member of your committee.

For more information, please contact the Mexico Solidarity Network at 773-583-7728 or Global Exchange at 415-255-7296 ext. 236 or 239

Below is a:
- report by Mexpaz describing the rapidly deteriorating situation
- a request for action from the international community sent by NGO�s in Mexico
- a sample "Dear Colleague" letter

MEXPAZ REPORT: Chiapas - Alarming Tension

War seems to be close again in Chiapas. Because of the construction of a road through the community of Amador Herna'ndez (municipality of Ocosingo), soldiers and indians confronted for several days until, finally, the government decided to suspend the construction and promised to study alternatives for its route, although it did not retire the army. These days were of extreme tension. Military mobilization -by land and by air- was intensified, there were confrontations, injured, demonstrations against the road construction and militarization. Emilio Rabasa, the government's "coordinator for dialogue and negotiation", who has coordinated neither dialogue nor negotiation since he occupies the post, declared he could not understand that the indians refused the progress this road would bring them, and that the army did not provoke tension in Chiapas but rather protected communities that had asked for help against zapatist menaces. The government's bad faith is evident in these words, and even though the suspension of this road construction -one of many that have been built in Chiapas in the last years to facilitate army movements and besiege the zapatists- momentarily relieved the tension, there is no sign at all for even the beginning of a solution to the conflict.

Even though this was the severest center of violence, it wasn't the only one during the past month. Aggressions were denounced in Montes Azules (an area very close to Amador Herna'ndez; the pretext for the presence of no less than 6 000 soldiers was reforestation), in Nuevo Mamo'n and Zaragoza, in Aguascalientes, San Jose' la Nueva Esperanza, Las Margaritas, La Realidad, etc.

The state governor, Albores Guille'n, took special care to aggravate the tense climate of these days. His accusations against students "manipulating indians" (they had participated in a meeting to discuss the defense of Mexican historical patrimony and from there were called to assist to Amador Herna'ndez as observers), inviting them to leave the state because they do not "belong" to Chiapas, plus censorship of radio stations, the prohibition for certain numbers of the national newspaper La Jornada to be sold in the state, etc., are dictatorial attitudes that even in Chiapas, in the last years, had not taken place so blatantly.

Feeling strong because of the governor's attitude, the mayor of San Cristo'bal de las Casas overbid him, declaring Ofelia Medina (a well-known actress who has spoken up for the indigenous peoples ever since the zapatista upraise) "persona non grata" and, last but not least, "declaring war" on foreigners for manipulating indians.

The harassment of pro-zapatist communities and the militarization that is growing with no end are constant elements ever since the conflict started in 1994. However, during the last year and in the context of municipal boundary redefinitions (a project started by the state government to divide municipalities in the zapatist area), the aggressions against the zapatist "autonomous municipalities" (which are in fact almost nonexistent now) and any community that is supposed to be pro-zapatist has come once and again to the point of making war imminent.

The persistence and aggravation of the "desplazados" (people who have fled their communities for fear of their lives) must also be mentioned. The report "Displaced population in Chiapas", by sociologists One'cimo Hidalgoand Gustavo Castro, speaks of 21 159 persons (4 063 families). The studymentions four stages of indigenous displacement since 1994. It describes the families' situation as worse than that of Guatemalan refugees, their despair and in some case their return home without any guarantee for their security. The report also details the economic consequences (particularly in agriculture), the origin, political tendency and religious affiliation of the displaced as well as the link of this problem with the remunicipalization project. The report, described in the weekly Proceso (n� 1189, 15.8.99), is essential in the present situation: while the government constantly declares everything is fine and the army has all the excuses on its side, the displaced are silent witnesses of indigenous suffering in Chiapas, the insupportable tension brought about by the army, the fear people live in.

Unfortunately, in the context of the presidential elections (which will take place next summer), no solution is visible for the displaced nor for the Chiapas situation in general. The federal government sometimes gives the impression of wanting to "gain time" in order to hand over power without having "dirtied its hands". The renewed military action in Amador Herna'ndez, however, makes us fear that on the contrary, the government might want to "solve" the Chiapas problem, be it violently, before its term is over. As to the local government, which constantly aggravates the existing tension, one interpretation could be that its actions coincide with federal government policy. Another is that it fears the government's party (PRI) will lose the presidential elections and thus the local government will no longer receive the tacit support it now has, thus feeling that it's time is running out and wanting to "solve" the problem by itself before the elections. Whatever the case may be, the danger of war in Chiapas is closer than ever.



LETTER FROM MEXICAN NGO�s:

To national and international civil society
To national and international human rights organizations

Since August 14, the Mexican army has sent 10,000 soldiers into new camps in the Lacandon Jungle. For the first time since 1994, the army has penetrated the Montes Azules biosphere where the general command of the EZLN is presumed to live. Approximately thirty communities in the region are in a virtual state of siege. Army troops attacked the inhabitants of Amador Hernandez in the municipality of Ocosingo with US-made tear gas, wounding several indigenous men and women. Access to the community has been obstructed, even for the people who live there. The army has taken possession of lands near the community and has surrounded them with barbed wire. The community is being terrorized by constant airplane and helicopter flights over the area and by the presence of Public Security forces.

On Thursday August 19, PRI supporters from Taniperlas detained three members of the Fray Bartolom� Human Rights Center, who were on their way to investigate the arbitrary detention of three people from the community Viejo Velasco. One of the community members, Pedro G�mez Aguilar, has been missing since July 23. The PRI supporters detained the human rights workers for two hours, threatening them and repeating xenophobic rhetoric such as "you are foreigners and are coming to impede the progress of this area," even though the detainees were all Mexican. The PRI members also told the human rights workers that only the Ocosingo municipal authorities could give permission to travel through that area, and if they tried to enter again without authorization they would have to pay the consequences. Finally, the PRI supporters gave them half an hour to leave, threatening that if they did not, members of the community would burn their vehicle.

On August 21, a Mexican doctor and two foreign human rights observers were brutally beaten by a group of PRI supporters who were blocking the road immediately after a military checkpoint in the community of Vicente Guerrero, municipality of Las Margaritas. The PRI supporters sexually assaulted the female doctor. So far, no authority has responded to the formal complaints filed.

The substitute governor of Chiapas, Roberto Albores Guillen, has mounted xenophobic campaign. In an unprecedented act, the xenophobia has even been directed at Mexican citizens, as in the aforementioned cases. Officials have also threatened to expel from Chiapas Mexican actress Ofelia Medina, who is known for her strong work around human rights abuses. The National Institute of Immigration has increased its presence at checkpoints on the roads to indigenous communities and is expelling many foreigners using the so-called "definitive departure order." It is also worrisome that this week Immigration agents have been visiting hotels in San Cristobal, searching for names and room numbers of tourists in order to give them citations.

Army troops have, on many occasions, violated the Mexican Constitution. Examples include violations of the right to free transit, free expression and article 129, which states: "In peace-time, no military authority can carry out functions other than those that have a direct connection to military discipline. There will only be permanent and fixed military commanders in the bases, forts, and military warehouses that are directly dependent on the federal government or in the camps, barracks, and deposits that are established, outside of population centers, to station troops." The army is also violating its own Military Justice Code. No sanctions have been applied by Executive, Legislative or Judicial authorities and no one has been prosecuted for these violations. In fact, these government officials have been co-participants in the unconstitutional operations, maintaining a climate of terror in indigenous communities. At the same time, the state government is agitating PRI militants from indigenous communities to block roads and prevent national and international observation in areas where the most grave injustices have occurred, so no witnesses can attest to these human rights violations.

We respectfully and urgently call for visitors, observers or accompaniers for the above-mentioned indigenous communities, in order to restrain the repressive actions orchestrated by the federal government and carried out by the state government and members of the Mexican National Army.

Experience and history confirm that the presence of observers, both national and international, help to prevent massacres and repression. Moreover, individuals have the right to carry out human rights observation under the UN Convention on Human Rights, which has been signed by Mexico.

Sincerely,
CIEPAC, A.C; Centro de Derechos Humanos Fray Bartolome de las Casas; SOS Chiapas; Red de Derechos Humanos Todos los Derechos para Todos; Comisi�n Mexicana para la Defensa y Promoci�n de Derechos Humanos; Centro de Derechos Humanos Miguel Agust�n Pro Ju�rez; Enlance Civil; Kinal Antzetik; Boletin Resistencia; Junax; Formacion y Capacitacion, A.C.; Coordinadores Regionales de los Altos, Costa y Soconusco; Centro; Frontera Sur y Norte por la Consulta en Chiapas.



SAMPLE DEAR COLLEAGUE LETTER

Dear Colleague,

I write to inform you of a rapidly deteriorating situation in Chiapas, Mexico, that could result in renewed fighting between Zapatista rebels, and the Mexican military and well-armed paramilitary groups supported by the government. On August 12, paratroopers invaded a small Indian village, Amador Hernandez, located on the edge of the protected Lacandon biosphere. When villagers peacefully protested this armed occupation, they were attacked with tear gas. Eight civilians were seriously injured. The army then constructed a barbed wire fence around the community.

On August 21, paramilitary groups affiliated with the ruling PRI party blockaded the only functioning road into this area of the Lacandon jungle. PRI supporters armed with machetes kidnapped and severely beat a doctor and two international human rights observers who were trying to reach Amador Hernandez.

On August 31, in the Ocosingo area, officials from the Attorney General�s office detained and threatened two accredited journalists, confiscating the press credentials of one. On September 7, police killed one person and injured 21, many severely, in the tourist center of Palenque.

These are but a few examples of the daily escalation of tensions in Chiapas. Supporters of the PRI throughout the state appear to be out of control. The governor threatened to arrest university students from Mexico City who were trying to visit Amador Hernandez to show their support for the indigenous people in that community. The mayor of San Cristobal de las Casas, one of the principle cities in Chiapas, gave internationally known actress Ofelia Medina 72 hours to "get out of town" because of her support for the indigenous communities. Immigration authorities have been searching tourist hotels searching for foreigners who might act as the eyes and ears of the world.

The ruling PRI party appears to be condoning a situation in which Indians are persecuted, and peaceful supporters are kidnapped, beaten or arrested. Rather than promoting respect for the law, local and state PRI authorities are encouraging a vigilante mentality that threatens to spiral out of control and destabilize the entire state. Rather than supporting the peace process, as exemplified by the San Andres accords, the PRI appears to be opting for a military solution in Chiapas. The results could be devastating, for hundreds of thousands of Indians who openly align themselves with the Zapatistas, for Mexican citizens throughout the country who support the rule of law, for international investors who count on stability to protect their investments, and for the US which will experience a dramatic increase in undocumented immigration if events spiral out of control in Chiapas.

Sincerely,



===========================


August 1999

Re: Request for urgent action regarding recent events in Chiapas


From: Mexico Solidarity Network


Over the past two weeks there has been an alarming increase in militarization and a near state of siege in indigenous communities in Chiapas, Mexico. The following letter, signed by thirteen non-governmental organizations in Chiapas, requests our urgent assistance. The situation is critical and appears to be deteriorating. Following the letter is a set of recommended actions. Please act today.

To national and international civil society
To national and international human rights organizations

Since August 14, the Mexican army has sent 10,000 soldiers into new camps in the Lacandon Jungle. For the first time since 1994, the army has penetrated the Montes Azules biosphere where the general command of the EZLN is presumed to live. Approximately thirty communities in the region are in a virtual state of siege. Army troops attacked the inhabitants of Amador Hernandez in the municipality of Ocosingo with US-made tear gas, wounding several indigenous men and women. Access to the community has been obstructed, even for the people who live there. The army has taken possession of lands near the community and has surrounded them with barbed wire. The community is being terrorized by constant airplane and helicopter flights over the area and by the presence of Public Security forces.

On Thursday August 19, PRI supporters from Taniperlas detained three members of the Fray Bartolom� Human Rights Center, who were on their way to investigate the arbitrary detention of three people from the community Viejo Velasco. One of the community members, Pedro G�mez Aguilar, has been missing since July 23. The PRI supporters detained the human rights workers for two hours, threatening them and repeating xenophobic rhetoric such as "you are foreigners and are coming to impede the progress of this area," even though the detainees were all Mexican. The PRI members also told the human rights workers that only the Ocosingo municipal authorities could give permission to travel through that area, and if they tried to enter again without authorization they would have to pay the consequences. Finally, the PRI supporters gave them half an hour to leave, threatening that if they did not, members of the community would burn their vehicle.

On August 21, a Mexican doctor and two foreign human rights observers were brutally beaten by a group of PRI supporters who were blocking the road immediately after a military checkpoint in the community of Vicente Guerrero, municipality of Las Margaritas. The PRI supporters sexually assaulted the female doctor. So far, no authority has responded to the formal complaints filed.

The substitute governor of Chiapas, Roberto Albores Guillen, has mounted xenophobic campaign. In an unprecedented act, the xenophobia has even been directed at Mexican citizens, as in the aforementioned cases. Officials have also threatened to expel from Chiapas Mexican actress Ofelia Medina, who is known for her strong work around human rights abuses. The National Institute of Immigration has increased its presence at checkpoints on the roads to indigenous communities and is expelling many foreigners using the so-called "definitive departure order." It is also worrisome that this week Immigration agents have been visiting hotels in San Cristobal, searching for names and room numbers of tourists in order to give them citations.

Army troops have, on many occasions, violated the Mexican Constitution. Examples include violations of the right to free transit, free expression and article 129, which states: "In peace-time, no military authority can carry out functions other than those that have a direct connection to military discipline. There will only be permanent and fixed military commanders in the bases, forts, and military warehouses that are directly dependent on the federal government or in the camps, barracks, and deposits that are established, outside of population centers, to station troops." The army is also violating its own Military Justice Code. No sanctions have been applied by Executive, Legislative or Judicial authorities and no one has been prosecuted for these violations. In fact, these government officials have been co-participants in the unconstitutional operations, maintaining a climate of terror in indigenous communities. At the same time, the state government is agitating PRI militants from indigenous communities to block roads and prevent national and international observation in areas where the most grave injustices have occurred, so no witnesses can attest to these human rights violations.

We respectfully and urgently call for visitors, observers or accompaniers for the above-mentioned indigenous communities, in order to restrain the repressive actions orchestrated by the federal government and carried out by the state government and members of the Mexican National Army.

Experience and history confirm that the presence of observers, both national and international, help to prevent massacres and repression. Moreover, individuals have the right to carry out human rights observation under the UN Convention on Human Rights, which has been signed by Mexico.

Sincerely, CIEPAC, A.C; Centro de Derechos Humanos Fray Bartolome de las Casas; SOS Chiapas; Red de Derechos Humanos Todos los Derechos para Todos; Comisi�n Mexicana para la Defensa y Promoci�n de Derechos Humanos; Centro de Derechos Humanos Miguel Agust�n Pro Ju�rez; Enlance Civil; Kinal Antzetik; Boletin Resistencia; Junax; Formacion y Capacitacion, A.C.; Coordinadores Regionales de los Altos, Costa y Soconusco; Centro; Frontera Sur y Norte por la Consulta en Chiapas;

Demands:

    1) Respect the demands of the indigenous communities by demilitarizing the state of Chiapas.
    2) Implement the San Andres peace accords.
Actions suggested by the Mexico Solidarity Network
    1) Call your Representatives. Inform them of the current crisis in Chiapas and the possibility of open warfare.
      a) Ask them to call the Mexican Embassy in Washington, DC, (Tel: 202-728-0694) and the State Department (202-647-8113) to register their concerns.
      b) Ask them to travel to Chiapas (or send an aide) with an emergency Congressional delegation that is being organized by the Mexico Solidarity Network (Tel: 773-583-7728 or 415-255-7296).
      c) Ask them to sponsor a "Dear Colleague" letter to inform other members of Congress about the situation. (A sample "Dear Colleague" letter is available from the Mexico Solidarity Network, msn@mexicosolidarity.org.)
    2) Call the Mexican Embassy in Washington, DC, the Mexican Consulate nearest you and the State Department with the demands listed above.
    3) Organize an educational/fundraising event in your community to inform your community about current events in Chiapas and to raise funds for the indigenous communities that are struggling against dramatically increased government repression. (Contact the Mexico Solidarity Network for materials.)
For more information, please contact the Mexico Solidarity Network at 773-583-7728 or Global Exchange at 415-255-7296 ext. 236 or 239

===========================


From: "Mexico Solidarity Network" msn@mexicosolidarity.org
Subject: Marcos: Communiqu'e to the UN Human Rights Relator
Fri, 23 Jul 1999
Originally published in Spanish by the EZLN
Translated by irlandesa

Communique from the EZLN to Asma Jahangir,
For Maurice Najman, who continues feigning death.

July 19, 1999
To: Asma Jahangir, UN Special Relator for Extrajudicial, Summary And Arbitrary Executions
From: Subcomandante insurgente Marcos.CCRI-CG of the EZLN


Madame Asma Jahangir:

    I am writing to you in the name of the women, men, children and old ones of the Zapatista Army of National Liberation.

    We know that we will be receiving not a few criticisms for what I am going to say, and for having wasted a good opportunity to reveal the Mexican government in their genocidal policy against the Indian peoples. But, for us, "political opportunity" has little bearing in the face of political ethics. And it would not be ethical, given our confrontation with the Mexican government, for us to turn to an international body that has lost all credibility and legitimacy, and whose death certificate was signed with the NATO bombings in Kosovo.

    With their war in the Balkans, the North American government - disguised as NATO, and with the regimes of England, Italy and France as grotesque pawns - managed to destroy their primary objective: the United Nations (UN). The "intelligent" mega-police actions of the global gendarme, the US, made a fool of the once highest international forum. Violating the precepts that gave rise to the UN, NATO carried out a war of cynical aggression, attacked civilians indiscriminately and tried to delegate intellectual authority to the satellites, who, more than ever, demonstrated that they are useless to those who already have the visions and who have made the decisions. NATO's bellicose cynicism was superceded only by the "brilliant" statements of their chiefs and spokespersons. The "humanitarian war," "the error in good faith" and the "collateral damage" were not the only pearls of war they were selling (because they were already counting on passing the bill) in Kosovar lands. "A NATO military person with a good number of stars on his chest made two statements in Brussels on Tuesday that caused chills: Out of a total of 35,000 air operations, more than 10,000 were directed at concrete targets. And the other 25,000? Could they have been carried out in error? If concrete targets exist, do non-concrete ones exist? What kind of target is a person? The second statement raised as many questions as the previous: NATO's objective was never to completely destroy the Yugoslav army, nor was it to reduce the country to ashes. Thank goodness, although one cannot help but think that, before ashes come embers, and before those, bits, and before those, pieces: to what size of material had they been thinking of reducing the country and its army? The postwar banquet is served, the news sent by Roger Waters' satellite fills the media all day long. When more is being said, that which cannot be said can be concealed all the better." (Jordi Soler, in La Jornada, June 19, 1999).

    The UN's complicity in the war in Europe was obvious, and, given our position regarding this war, the minimum of consistency leads us to distance ourselves from an organization that for years, it is true, did indeed carry out a dignified and independent role in the international arena. It is not so today. On one side and the other of the planet, the UN has turned into a predictable legal support for the wars of aggression that the great power of money repeats, without becoming glutted of blood or of destruction.

    But, if the UN's silence was the accomplice of crime and destruction in Kosovo, in Mexico it has taken a more active role in the war the Mexican government is carrying out against the indigenous: in May 1998, at the request of the UNHCR [United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees], the government attacked the community of Amparo Aguatinta, beat up children, imprisoned men and women and militarily occupied the seat, then, of the Tierra y Libertad Autonomous Municipality. The results of the UN's "humanitarian work" in Chiapas are in the Cerro Hueco Jail in Tuxtla Gutierrez. More recently, today, July 19, 1999, Kofi Annan, the Secretary General of the UN, is delivering the United Nations Vienna Civil Society Prize to the self-styled Aztec Foundation. The Foundation, under the auspices of the native Milosevich, Ricardo Salinas Pliego, spends its time carrying out campaigns against drugs using cocaine addicts, promoting coup attempts and destroying indigenous schools with helicopters. For that: for its ties with drug trafficking and for its calls for coups, the Aztec Foundation will receive a medal and a certificate for 25,000 dollars from Mr. Annan.

    And so we cannot have any confidence at all in the UN. And it is not out of chauvinism or in rejection of all things foreign. There have been here, risking their lives, liberty, belongings and prestige - men and women from the five continents, as international observers (we shall leave the term "foreigners" for those, like Zedillo and the members of his cabinet, who have no patria other than money). To go no further back, the International Civil Commission for Human Rights Observation (CCIODH) was here in February 1998. Not only are their initials larger than the UN's, so is their moral authority, their honesty, their commitment to the truth and the authenticity of their struggle for a peace with justice and dignity. Men and women from Germany, Argentina, Canada, Denmark, France, Greece, Italy, Nicaragua, Switzerland, Andalucia, Aragon, Cantabria, Catalunya, the Basque Country, Galicia, Madrid, Murcia and Alicante: all defied the Mexican government's most ferocious xenophobic campaign so far this century. They documented everything in a report (that they dedicated to the indigenous Jose Tila Lopez Garcia, assassinated after having presented his community's denunciations to the CCIODH). Consult this report, it is inspired not only by the desire for a dignified peace, but also by veracity and honesty. After the CCIODH, another group of Italian observers came, also in 1998. Things were worse for them than for the CCIODH, because they were summarily expelled by the current aspirant for the Mexican presidency, Francisco Labastida, and by the person who is now in charge of international public relations for his campaign team, and who was responsible at that time for hundreds of illegal expulsions, Fernando Solis Camara.

    Thousands of men and women from all over the world have come here, all honorable and of good will, the majority of them young persons of the kind called "earringed," and who so bother the institutionalized left all over the world. They came here, and they saw what the government denies, a genocidal war. They left, many of them expelled, and they related, and they are relating, what they saw: an unequal war between those who have all the military power (the government), and those who only have reason, history, truth and tomorrow on their side (us). It is obvious who is going to win: we are.

    And, not just alone, international organizations as well, such as Amnesty International, Americas Watch, Global Exchange, Mexico Solidarity Network, the National Comission for Democracy in Mexico-USA, Pastors for Peace, Humanitarian Law Project, Doctors of the World, Bread for the World, Doctors without Borders, and many others whose names escape me now, but not their histories or their commitment to peace.

    For us, any of them, individuals or groups, have more moral authority and more international legitimacy then the United Nations, converted today into a cocktail party for the end-of-century neoliberal wars.

    With good reason the government representatives (the pathetic Ms. Green, the similar Rabasa, El Croquetas Albores, etcetera) say they have nothing to fear from your visit. They do not fear it because they know the UN has been an accomplice to, and, in the case of the Tierra y Libertad Autonomous Municipality, part of, the war of extermination against the Indian peoples of Mexico.

    According to what we have read and heard, you are an honest person. You probably entered the service of the UN during the time when that organization was preventing wars, supporting different groups who were victims of government injustices and promoting the development of the most needy. But now the UN promotes and supports wars, and it helps and awards those who are killing and humiliating the excluded of the world. It has not escaped our attention that various international powers are nurturing the idea of using for their own benefit the rich oil and uranium deposits that exist under zapatista soil. Those, up above, are making complicated accounts and calculations and entertaining the hope that the zapatistas will make separatist proposals. It would be easier and cheaper to negotiate the purchase of the subsoil with the Banana Republic (Mayan Nation, they call it). After all, it is well known that the indigenous are satisfied with little mirrors and glass beads. Because of that, they are not giving up on their intent to involve themselves in the conflict and to manipulate it according to their interests. They have certainly not been able to, not on our side. Because it happens that the zapatistas take "National Liberation," the names of the EZLN, very much to heart and sword. And, anachronistic as we are, we still believe in "outmoded" concepts, such as "national sovereignty" and "national independence." We have not accepted, nor will we accept, any foreign interference in our movement. We have not accepted, nor will we accept, any international force being a part of the conflict, we will fight it with the same or more decisiveness that we have fought against those who decreed death through forgetting for 10 million Mexican indigenous. Those with moral authority and legitimacy will be welcomed, those who are not appendages of armed forces (such as NATO), or who have military forces at their service (such as the unhappily celebrated Blue Helmets of the UN), those who want to be part of the PEACEFUL solution of the conflict.

    We do not need any help to make war, we can manage on our own. For the peace, we do, many are needed, but honest, and there are not many of those. Do not be very unhappy, the UN is not the only official international body that collaborates with the Mexican government's counterinsurgency campaign. There you have the International Committee of the Red Cross, whose delegation in San Cristobal bordered on the sublime when speaking of servility and stupidity. At a meeting with displaced from Polh�, the CICR delegates stated, without even blushing, that the displaced are not in their homes because they are lazy and because they want to be supported by the Red Cross. To those imbeciles, who wander around under the CICR's purported flags of neutrality and humanitarian aid, the paramilitaries are an invention, the product of the collective hysteria of more than 7000 displaced indigenous; the 45 executed at Acteal in reality died of infections, and peace and tranquility reign in Los Altos of Chiapas. One can assume that Albores has already congratulated them (and has offered them some of his bones, because he is not very sharing we are told), and they are continuing to go about in their modern vehicles, fattening the curriculum vitae of that "distinguished" institution. Que tal? The CICR will surely be the next to receive an award from the UN in their "civil society" competitions.

    This dawn in which I am writing these lines, the moon is a scythe of cold light. It is the hour of the dead, of our dead. And you should know that the zapatista dead are very restless and talkative. They still speak, despite the fact that they are dead, and they are shouting history. They are shouting it so it does not sleep, so that memory does not die, so that our dead will live shouting...

    Ocosingo, the 3rd and 4th of January, 1994. Federal Army troops take the municipal seat of Ocosingo - in zapatista hands since the dawn of January 1 - by assault. Following orders from the then Brigadier General Luis Humberto Portillo Leal - who had been chief of the 30th Military Zone - Infantry major Adalberto Perez Nava executed 5 members of the EZLN. General Portillo Leal had ordered the execution of the zapatistas, whether or not they were armed. The instructions were to take no prisoners, all of them should be dead (they should only avoid doing so if the press were present, because that would damage the Army's image). The Second Infantry Captain, Lodegario Salvador Estrada, executed other zapatista indigenous. Days later, in the offices of the Department of National Defense, an Infantry Second Lieutenant, Jimenez Morales, was executed by military personnel in order to have him take the blame for the assassination of 8 indigenous in the IMSS hospital in Ocosingo.

    We did not invent any of this information, you can corroborate it in the act by the Department of Justice of the United States, Executive Office for Immigration Review, Immigration Court of El Paso, Texas, signed by Bertha A. Zuniga, Immigration Judge of the United States, dated March 19, 1999. Case Jesus Valles Bahena, A76-804-703. In this file, the officer Jesus Valles Bahena narrates why he had to desert from the Army, after having been threatened with death by Colonel Bocarundo Benavidez for his refusal to carry out orders for summary executions. Along with Valles, other officers refused to carry out instructions for assassination. Their fate is unknown.

    These, Madame Jahangir, are the names, civilian and fighting, of those executed in Ocosingo, Chiapas on January 3 and 4 of 1994:

      Comandante Hugo or Senor Ik�, Francisco Gomez Hernandez.
      Second Lieutenant Insurgente for War Materiel Alvaro, Silverio Gomez Alvarez.
      Insurgente for War Materiel Fredy, Bartolo Perez Cortes.
      Infantry Insurgente Calixto, (his civilian name cannot be revealed).
      Infantry Insurgente Miguel, Arturo Aguilar Jimenez.
      Miliciano Salvador, Eusebio Jimenez Gonzalez.
      Miliciano Ernesto, Santiago Perez Montes.
      Miliciano Venancio, Marcos Perez Cordoba.
      Miliciano Amador, Antonio Guzman Gonzalez.
      Miliciano Agenor, Fernando Ruiz Guzman.
      Miliciano Fidelino, Marcos Guzman Perez.
      Miliciano Adan, Doroteo Ruiz Hernandez.
      Miliciano Arnulfo, Diego Aguilar Hernandez.
      Miliciano Samuel, Eliseo Hernandez Cruz.
      Miliciano Horacio, Juan Mendoza Lorenzo.
      Miliciano Jeremias, Eliseo Sanchez Hernandez.
      Miliciano Linares, Leonardo Mendez Sanchez.
      Miliciano Dionisio, Carmelo Mendez Mendez.
      Miliciano Bonifacio, Javier Hernandez Lopez.
      Miliciano Heriberto, Filiberto Lopez Perez.
      Miliciano Jeremias, Pedro Lopez Garcia.
      Miliciano German, Alfredo Sanchez Perez.
      Miliciano Feliciano, Enrique Gonzalez Garcia.
      Miliciano Horacio, Manuel Sanchez Gonzalez.
      Miliciano Cayetano, Marcelo Perez Jimenez.
      Miliciano Cristobal, Nicolas Cortes Hernandez.
      Miliciano Chuchin, Vicente Lopez Hernandez.
      Miliciano Adan, Javier Lopez Hernandez.
      Miliciano Anastacio, Alejandro Santis Lopez.

    During those days, there were more who died, but they fell in combat, and were not executed.

    Where, in addition to execution, there was brazen torture, it was in Morelia, then the municipality of Altamirano. On January 7, 1994, the Army entered the community and kidnapped Severiano Santiz Gomez (60 years old), Hermelindo Santiz Gomez (65 years old) and Sebastian Lopez Santiz (45 years old). A little later, their remains - with signs of fractures and with clear evidence of having been executed - were found. The analyses of the remains was carried out by specialists from the Physicians for Human Rights NGO.

    Torture and execution were the methods also used by the "glorious" federal Army in the municipal seat of Las Margaritas, Chiapas. There, during the first days of combat, Major Teran (who had been previously tied to drug trafficking in the region) kidnapped, tortured and executed Eduardo Gomez Hernandez and Jorge Mariano Solis Lopez in the neighborhood of Plan de Agua Prieta. Those executed had their ears and tongues cut off.

    These deaths, our deaths, do not find rest. The butchers of Ocosingo and the assassins and torturers of Morelia and Las Margaritas continue to be free and to enjoy health and prosperity. Thousands of shadows are pursuing them now, and they are competing for the honor of seeing justice done. Last year, contrary to what their propaganda for international consumption says, the government renewed its armed clashes with zapatista forces. On June 10, 1998, a military column, heavy with infantry, tanks, planes and helicopters, attacked the community of Chavajeval, in the municipality of San Juan de la Libertad (to the zapatistas) or El Bosque (to the government). The zapatista troops repelled the attack, and a heavy exchange of fire began, that was broadcast by a national television channel. Our troops brought down a helicopter, and, frustrated and angry, the soldiers repeated themselves, but they attacked the community of Union Progreso that same day of June 10, 1998. There they took 7 zapatista militia prisoners and summarily executed them. These are their names:

      Miliciano Enrique, Adolfo Gomez Diaz.
      Miliciano Jeremias, Bartolo Lopez Mendez.
      Miliciano Jorge, Lorenzo Lopez Mendez.
      Miliciano Marcelino, Andres Gomez Gomez.
      Miliciano Gilberto, Antonio Gomez Gomez.
      Miliciano Alfredo, Sebastian Gomez Gomez.
      Miliciano Pedro, Mario Sanchez Ruiz.

    (The television reporter who covered the military attack on Chavajeval received the national journalism prize. Over indigenous and rebel blood, his employers rewarded him, sending him to cover the campaign of one of the two intellectual assassins of Union Progreso - the other is Zedillo - the then Secretary of Government and now presidential aspirant, Francisco Labastida Ochoa).

    This is the Mexican federal Army, the one that now wants to present an innocent image, announcing the dispatch of almost 7000 more troops to the Selva Lacandona, with the story that they are going to plant little trees. Everyone is silent. The military chief says that the 7000 are going unarmed, and the 7000 arrive armed. Everyone is silent.

    This is the "new" government strategy that has been promised you by the pathetic character named Rabasa Gamboa (who is paid, and paid well, for coordinating emptiness). And since we are on this subject, a new bray by Rabasa clarifies that Acteal was not an execution.

    This time he is right: Acteal, and all the policies followed by his boss Ernesto Zedillo, is GENOCIDE.

    This is the history. With Ernesto Zedillo's gaining of power - through assassination - the federal Army gained cover and money in order to bring up their longing for blood and death.

    Seeking to improve the Army's depleted public image, paramilitary squadrons were activated, organized by active duty soldiers, trained by soldiers, equipped by soldiers, protected by soldiers, directed by soldiers, and, in not a few cases, created by soldiers, as well as by Institutional Revolutionary Party members. The objective was, and is, clear, it was, and is, about turning the conflict around and presenting it to the international public (the national public does not even minimally matter to them) as an inter-ethnic war, or, as the corrupt PGR tries to present it, as an inter-family war. The names chosen by the soldiers to baptize their new paramilitary units reflect their great imagination: Red Mask (their greatest "military" success: the Acteal massacre). Peace and Justice (responsible for the assassinations of dozens of indigenous in the north of the state). Chinchulines (they act in the North and in the Selva).

    Anti-Zapatista Indigenous Revolutionary Movement (they have training camps in military barracks in the Canadas, and are financed by the state PRI delegation). Los Punales (they are active in Comitan and Las Margaritas). Albores of Chiapas (they are directly dependent on El Croquetas Albores Guillen, they wear green caps and their war cry is "Albores carries through!").

    The "new" government strategy for Chiapas is in plain view: in the ejido of El Portal, in Frontera Comalapa, a group of zapatista families demand that water service be restored, which was taken away from them by PRI soldiers in complicity with the municipal president there. Zapatista indigenous demanding anything is something the government cannot tolerate, given that, for them, the only thing the zapatistas should be receiving is blows and bullets. In response to the zapatista civil demonstration, the government mobilized the police. The PRI's, emboldened by the presence of the police, charged the zapatistas with sticks and shots, two zapatistas are seriously wounded. The police act rapidly and detain the zapatistas! accusing them of criminal association for having been found with ski-masks. With the alacrity afforded by the "State of Law" in Chiapas, a state government helicopter transfers the prisoners, in order to be tried "for breaching the peace" (because, in Chiapas, demanding potable water is an attack against the peace). The two wounded are fighting for their lives in the hospital, those who fired are free and healthy, and, in Government Palace, the new "victory" is being celebrated in the war against the EZLN. You will see none of this in the written or electronic press, too concerned with giving the front pages or the news headlines to Albores' barking dogs or to the PRI aspirants' fair of hypocrisy and fallacies. Zapatista indigenous imprisoned, beaten, wounded or assassinated are no longer news in Mexico. They are part of daily life.

    This is the "new" federal government strategy for Chiapas, of Zedillo's government. There is nothing new about it, nor is it a strategy, it is the same stupid pounding that assumes that those who have known how to resist for 500 years, will not be able to do so for a year and a half.

    Concerning Ernesto Zedillo Ponce de Leon, one must say now what everyone will be saying tomorrow: he is a man of no word, a liar and an assassin. This is what we are saying today. When he leaves Los Pinos, everyone (even those who are treating him with respect today) will be repeating it, and all his corruption and crimes will come to public light. Persecution, exile, jail: these are the probable stations for his future. It does not make us unhappy, our dead do not make us unhappy.

    I read in the press that you have had meetings with some non-governmental organizations in Mexico City, and you will have others during your visit to Chiapas, these days. I congratulate you, may you have the good fortune and the honor to personally know men and women who - without official and/or institutional paraphernalia - have confronted every kind of threats and persecutions for their work in defense of human rights in Mexico. I will not put any names here, because, in Mexico, and especially in Chiapas, the NGO's that are fighting for human rights are military objectives for the federal Army. But any of these NGO's, whether the smallest or the most newly created, have more moral authority in the Mexico of below than the UN does. Regardless, perhaps you are not to blame, and it is only the great leaders of the UN who have accepted, without even protesting, the sporadic role of spokespersons for NATO, and being accomplices in the Mexican government's war of extermination against the Indian peoples.

    Nonetheless, we are not pessimists regarding the future of the international community. The UN's failure is not humanity's failure. A new international order is possible, a better one, more just, more human. In it, there will have to be a dominant place for all those international and national NGO's (who, unlike the UN, do not have at their service - or are at the service - of military forces), and for all those men, women, children and old ones who understand that the future of the world is being debated between the exclusionary difference (the war in Kosovo) and the world where many worlds fit (of which, zapatismo in Chiapas is, almost, a suggestion).

    With them, and especially for them, the world will some day be a place where war will be a disgrace and peace a reality, and the relators for the various human rights violations, specimens whose only arena of action will be researching the pre-history of humanity.

    Excuse the tone, Madame Asma Jahangir, it is not that this is a personal matter against you, it is just that the organization you represent no longer represents anything. That, and also that we do not forget Kosovo, nor Amparo Aguatinta, nor Ocosingo, nor Morelia, nor Las Margaritas, nor Union Progress, nor anything. Whatever, that is what is happening, that we do not forget. We do not forget.

    Vale. Salud and may dignity never forget memory, if it were to lose it, it would die.

    From the mountains of the Mexican southeast.
    Subcomandante insurgente Marcos.
    Mexico.





    March 1, 1999

    CALL TO ACTION!
    ATTENTION ALL BRIGADES
    &
    SUPPORTERS OF THE ZAPATISTAS

    PETITION IN SUPPORT THE ZAPATISTAS AND UPCOMING CONSULTA

    Enclosed below is a sample petition that can be incorporated into Brigades' current organizing and activities around the Consulta. In particular, it is one important activity that Zapatista supporters can organize around in order to mobilize support in non-Mexicano communities who are not able to actually vote in the Consulta. With the sample petition, organizations, groups and individuals can outreach to all sectors and ask them to sign on as a means of demonstrating their support for the Zapatistas, the Consulta and the important issues it raises on both sides of the border. Outreach and the gathering of signatures should begin immediately and continue until March 21st. Please send copies of the results the NCDM (contact information is at the end of the petition), local, national and international media, President Clinton, President Zedillo, your local Congress people, all the Mexican Consulates and Embassies, etc. The results of the petition will be announced along with the final Consulta tally after March 21st. Please feel free to make changes to this petition-this is merely a sample that can used.

    Thank you for your continued support-Your actions DO MAKE A DIFFERENCE!

    La Lucha Sigue,
    NCDM
    5902 Monterey Rd #194
    Los Angeles, CA 90042
    Tel: (323) 261-9574
    fax: (323) 261-9674
    Email: moonlight@igc.org



    PETITION IN SUPPORT OF THE ZAPATISTAS AND NATIONAL AND INTERNATIONAL CONSULTATION

    To Local, National and International Press
    To President Clinton
    To President Zedillo
    To Members of Congress
    To All Mexican Consulates and Embassies

    Ladies and Gentlemen,

    WE THE PEOPLE OF THE UNITED STATES, as people of all nationalities, social, religious and political backgrounds, genders, ages and sexual orientations.

    In signing this petition , as women, men, youth, elderly, housewives, students, professionals, unemployed, gays and lesbians, taxpayers, retired persons, peoples of color, immigrants, workers and Indigenous peoples,

    WE WANT OUR VOICES TO BE HEARD.

    In signing this petition, we want to express our humanitarian concerns and political will that knows no borders.

    In signing this petition we would like to express the following:

      WE THE PEOPLE OF THE UNITED STATES ARE AGAINST:
    • Any Efforts By The Mexican Government, Army Or Associated Groups To Disrupt Or Use Violence Against the 5,000 Zapatista Delegates and Participants In The Upcoming National Consultation On Peace And Indigenous Rights In Mexico
    • Low-Intensity War In Chiapas That Is Being Waged Against The Indigenous Peoples Who Struggle For A Life Of Dignity.
    • Continued Militarization Of Chiapas By The Mexican Army Through Direct And Indirect Support Of Pro-Government Paramilitary Groups
    • Continued U.S. Military Aid To Mexico
    • The Denial Of Indigenous Rights In Mexico
    • Ongoing Marginalization And Impoverishment Of All Mexican Peoples As A Result Of Destructive Neoliberal Policies In Mexico That Are Implemented By The Mexican Government, In Accordance With The Will Of The U.S. Government, Wall Street, Transnational Corporations And International Financial Interests.
    • The Denial Of Basic Human And Civil Rights Of Documented And Undocumented Mexican Immigrants In The United States.

    WE THE PEOPLE OF THE UNITED STATES, IN VOICING OUR OPPOSITION TO DEATH, POVERTY AND OPPRESSION THAT IS CARRIED OUT BY THE MEXICAN GOVERNMENT, AND DIRECTLY AND DIRECTLY SUPPORTED BY THE UNITED STATES GOVERNMENT, VOICE OUR ADAMANT SUPPORT FOR THE FOLLOWING:

    • The Zapatistas' Efforts Towards Peace and Democratic Change Through The National And International Consultation On Peace And Indigenous Rights In Mexico
    • Immediate Demilitarization Of The Indigenous Communities In Chiapas And Other Parts Of Mexico
    • The Immediate End To All U.S. Military Assistance To Mexico
    • An End To The Low-Intensity War, And The Renewal Of A Meaningful And Constructive Dialogue For Peace In Chiapas
    • Full Implementation Of The San Andres Agreements On Indigenous Rights
    • An End To Destructive Neoliberal Political, Social And Economic Policies In Mexico And The United States
    • Respect For The Human And Civil Rights Of Documented And Undocumented Mexican Immigrants In The United States

    Ladies and Gentlemen,

    WE THE PEOPLE OF THE UNITED STATES, in signing this petition demand that our voices be heard. We will no longer tolerate a war against Indigenous peoples and those who struggle for democracy, social justice, peace, and a political space where EVERYONE may have a voice, and the ability to actively participate in the decisions that directly affect their communities, families, livelihoods and environment. We support the Zapatistas' peaceful efforts to end the war in Chiapas, to gain legal recognition for Indigenous rights, to support democracy in Mexico, and the political, civil and human rights of all Mexicans on both sides of the border.

    WE THE PEOPLE NOW, AND WILL CONTINUE TO, STAND IN SOLIDARITY AND RESISTANCE WITH OUR MEXICAN BROTHERS AND SISTERS.

    Signed:
    Name
    City, State




    Originally published in Spanish by the EZLN. Translated by irlandesa



    TO MEXICAN MEN AND WOMEN WHO LIVE ABROAD:
    TO SOLIDARITY COMMITTEES WITH THE ZAPATISTA STRUGGLE:
    TO THE MEN AND WOMEN OF THE FIVE CONTINENTS:

    BROTHERS AND SISTERS:

    For this year of 1999, the Zapatista Army of National Liberation has launched a new initiative of dialogue and peace, calling for a mobilization, in Mexico and in the world, for the recognition of the rights of the Indian peoples and for an end to the war of extermination. One of the most important elements of this mobilization is the holding of a consultation with all Mexican men and women, wherever they might be, on the indigenous law drawn up by the Commission of Concordance and Peace. This consultation will be held on Sunday, March 21, 1999.

    The Mexican government stubbornly continues to refuse to carry out the accords which they signed in recognition of indigenous rights, and it has openly opted for the path of violence in order to resolve the conflict, as demonstrated by the massacres at Acteal and El Bosque, perpetrated in the last months.

    In order to cover up their war of extermination, Ernesto Zedillo's government has mounted a propaganda campaign abroad, in order to improve its international image and to deceive the peoples, governments and organizations which defend human rights, making them believe that there is no war in the Mexican southeast, that the govenrment is willing to dialogue, and that it is the EZLN who refuses to peacefully resolve the conflict.

    In the last few days, Zedillo personally instructed the entire diplomatic corps of the Mexican government, charging them with carrying out this publicity campaign in the United States and Canada, in the European countries, in Asia, Africa and Oceana.

    Millions of dollars and the entire Mexican Foreign Service will be used for this.

    Vast material and human resources with one sole objective: lying.

    The Mexican government forgets that international civil society is well-informed on what is really happening in the Mexican southeast.

    It forgets that men, women, children and old ones from all over the world already know the truth concerning the war in Chiapas, and that is why they mobilize and demand its end.

    It forgets that it is known on the five continents that the Mexican government does not want to carry out the San Andres Accords, and that is why they demand their fulfillment.

    We do not have either money or career diplomats to counteract the government campaign. We do not need them. The truth is there, and everyone sees it and hears it.

    Because of that, because we know that this publicity campaign to spread lies will fail, today we call for the...

    INTERNATIONAL CONSULTATION FOR THE RECOGNITION OF THE RIGHTS OF THE INDIAN PEOPLES AND FOR AN END TO THE WAR OF EXTERMINATION

    We call on all Mexican men and women, over the age of twelve, who live abroad, to organize themselves and to participate in the Consultation for the Recognition of the Rights of the Indian Peoples and for an End to the War of Extermination, ON SUNDAY, MARCH 21, 1999.

    We call on the political and social organizations, that are fighting for the right to vote abroad, to support and promote the consultation in all the countries where they have organizational work.

    We call on men and women of all nationalities, and on Mexican men and women who live in the countries of Latin America, in Europe, in Asia, in Africa and in Oceana, to come to agreement on the organization and carrying out of the consultation. To, together, in each nation, organize the publicity, the installation of polling booths and the counting of the opinions.

    We make a special call to the Mexican community living in the United States of America to participate in the Consultation for the Recognition of the Rights of the Indian Peoples and for an End to the War of Extermination, promoting and publicizing the consultation, installing voting booths and giving their opinions on Sunday, March 21, 1999.

    The Mexican brothers and sisters who are living and working in the American Union, many of whom are indigenous like us, did not abandon their lands, their history, their families, their country, for pleasure. They did so because of the lack of democracy, liberty and justice in Mexico, because they felt obliged to seek other lands where they could obtain what was necessary in order to live with dignity.

    For this, we call on the entire raza, on the chicanos, on the Mexican-Americans, on the bloods, on the batos, on the groups, to organize themselves for the consultation and to register at the NATIONAL COMMISSION FOR DEMOCRACY IN MEXICO-USA (whose offices are in the American Union) or at the CONTACT OFFICE FOR THE CONSULTATION (Office in Mexico. Telephone and Fax: (967) 8-10-13 and (967) 8-21-59. E-Mail: contacto@laneta.apc.org). All Mexican men and women who want to participate in any country in the world can register at this office in Mexico.

    For this we call on all the men, women, children and old ones on the entire planet to form their promotion and publicity brigades for the consultation and to register them at the Contact Office for the Consultation.

    BROTHERS AND SISTERS OF THE FIVE CONTINENTS:

    The international community has been sensitive to the just demands of the Indian peoples of Mexico, it has seen with horror the war which the Mexican government is making against the first inhabitants these lands, it has mobilized in order to demonstrate its repudiation of the killings, in order to demand respect for human rights, and to demand a just and dignified peace for Mexico.

    In response to these mobilizations, the EZLN remains determined to seek a peaceful solution to the armed conflict which exists in Mexico and to continue with its peace initiatives.

    But not just in Mexico, the excluded are suffering persecution, imprisonment and death on all the five continents. The power of money has decreed that the abandoned ones of forever disturb them, and that they should be eliminated. They are trying to push millions of human beings aside and to exclude them from all wellbeing, from the future.

    For that...
    In order to stop the war of extermination.
    In order to achieve the recognition of Indigenous Rights of Mexico.
    In order to stop the persecution which the excluded have been subjected to.
    In order to demand respect for differences.
    In order to demand a world where all worlds fit.
    We call for an...

    INTERNATIONAL DEMONSTRATION FOR THE EXCLUDED OF THE WORLD.

    In North, Central and South America, in Europe, in Asia, in Africa, in Oceana, the excluded have their own names and histories, their struggles, their desires.

    On the five continents, resistance is the arm of defense which the excluded raise in order not to disappear. Their struggle, ours, is for humanity.

    We call on EVERYONE TO ORGANIZE IN THEIR RESPECTIVE COUNTRIES, PROVINCES, CITIES AND VILLAGES, MOBILIZATIONS FOR THE RECOGNITION OF THE EXCLUDED, AND TO CARRY OUT PIVOTAL ACTS ON MARCH 21, 1999.


    DEMOCRACY! LIBERTY! JUSTICE!



    From the mountains of the Mexican Southeast
    Subcomandante Insurgente Marcos
    Clandestine Revolutionary Indigenous Committee -
    General Command of the Zapatista Army of National Liberation.
    Mexico, January of 1999

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