EZLN Communique To The EPR

Robert (101607.2566@CompuServe.COM)
13 Sep 96 08:26:41 EDT

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From: Arm The Spirit, INTERNET:ats@locust.cic.net
To: Multiple recipients of list, INTERNET:ATS-L@BURN.UCSD.EDU
Date: 13.09.1996 07:36

Subject:EZLN Communique To The EPR

Communique From Zapatista Army Of National Liberation

Mexico - August 29, 1996

To: the soldiers and commanders of the Popular Revolutionary Army
From: Subcomandante Insurgente Marcos, General Command of the

I write to you on behalf of the men, women, children and
elderly of the support bases of the EZLN, of the men and women
soldiers, regular and irregular of the EZLN. We have become
familiar with your recent interviews and statements from your
leaders through the national media. We are aware of the
respectful tone you use to refer to us. We respect those who
respect us. That is why we do not respect the government, because
it does not respect us.
But today I write to you in reference to an issue which you
point out in your declarations. Concretely I refer to your
declaration that "if a wrong should arise which would make the
EZLN abandon its dialogue, they would have our modest support, as
they now have our respect" (La Jornada, August 27, 1996). As you
have learned by now through the press, our communities have
decided to suspend their participation in the dialogue which is,
once again, in crisis. The reasons for this decision are
delineated in a respective communique and I will not repeat them.
I only want to say that we do not want your support. We do not
need it, we do not seek it, we do not want it. We have our
resources, modest, true, but they are ours. Until now we are
happy not to owe any political organization, national or
international, anything. the support which we seek and need, is
that of national and international civil society, their peaceful
and civic mobilizations is what we await. Of the first, weapons
and soldiers, we have enough. Of the second, military actions, we
have the capacity we have and this is enough! What we seek, what
we need and want is that all those people without a party and
organization make agreements about what they want and do not want
and become organized in order to achieve it (preferably through
civil and peaceful means), not to take power, but to exercise it.
I know you will say this is utopian and unorthodox, but this is
the way of the Zapatistas. Too bad.
Go on with your path and let us follow ours. Do not save or
rescue us. No matter our fate, we want it to be ours. Do not
worry about us. We will not attack you. We have not fallen into
the game of the dominant power which promotes the confrontation
between the "good" and the "bad" guerrilla. You are not our enemy
nor will we be yours. We also do not view us as "rivals in the
direction of the struggle in Mexico," among other things because
we do not aspire to conduct any other struggle which is not that
one for our dignity. We do not agree with any of the pejorative
labels which they have given you (and which yesterday they gave
to us).
To make those labels useless and inapplicable, cost us a
great deal. Besides death, it cost us a great deal of work and
political patience. We did not win our legitimacy with our
weapons; we won it with long years of political labor with those
who are now our leaders: the indigenous communities, and with the
dialogue (which we have sought even at the risk of our own
security, autonomy and independence) with national and
international civil society. This is what I meant when I said
that the EPR had to win its legitimacy in the eyes of the people
of Mexico. I did not say this to deny it to you, but to point out
that it is not the political leaders (even when they are
guerrillas) which give legitimacy to a movement, nor the
declarations of bureaucrats (and it is laughable that yesterday
they ran over each other to call us "terrorists" without a social
base and product of a "foreign" implantation of elements of
radical university groups with a 70's ideology. Now these same
people run over themselves to say that you are the "terrorists"
and the EZLN has an "authentic social base").
However, it is useful to point out and repeat, that we are
different. And the difference is not what you and others have
insisted upon, that you do not dialogue with the government, that
you do struggle for power and that you have not declared war,
while we do dialogue (attention; we do this not only with the
government but in a much larger sense with national and
international civic society); we do not struggle for power and we
did declare war on the Federal Army (a challenge they will never
forgive us). The difference is that our political proposals are
diametrically different a and this is evident in the discourse
and the practice of the two organizations. Thanks to your
appearance, now many people can understand that what makes us
different from existing political organizations are not the
weapons and the ski-masks, but the political proposals. We have
carved out a new and radical path. It is so new and radical that
all the political currents have criticized us and look at us with
boredom, including yourselves. We are uncomfortable. Too bad,
this is the way of the Zapatistas.
In the moments in which I write this letter, I hear the news
about your military actions and propaganda actions in Guerrero,
Oaxaca and the state of Mexico. All I can say of them is that
they appear to unite the element of surprise and sensation, and
they have demonstrated once again, that this government
constructs virtual realities around the declarations of its
bureaucrats and not their actions. Nevertheless, the propaganda
action in Chiapas appears useless and foolish to me in the best
of circumstances, and provocative in the worst sense. This
actions occurs during the end of our consultation and jeopardized
the lives and liberty of the indigenous leaders who, in these
days, were gathering the opinions of the communities. Did you not
know we were in the midst of this process? Why carry out a
propaganda action in Chiapas if you had already demonstrated your
capacity to move in other parts of Mexico? Was this to prove that
you also have sympathizers in the zones where the EZLN is found?
Have you fallen into the trap of the "rivalries" promoted by the
government? Meanwhile, the cost of that action will not be paid
by your, but by the Zapatista indigenous communities (who, I will
remind you, have undergone almost a thousand days resisting with
their armed rebellion... and their poetry).
The federal army has increased its military pressure on the
Zapatista communities and is installing itself now in garrisons
in the northern part of the state. The government "argues" that
it is not violating the spirit of the law for the dialogue, but
that its military operations are "targeted for the EPR". Too bad,
that's the way it is, we will not be dramatic. You have declared
that you do not wish to "interfere" in the dialogue of the EZLN.
You have already done so and you knew it. Why do you lie saying
you will not "interfere in the dialogue"? We do not deny you your
actions, we only ask that you be accountable and not lie.
Finally, the remaining consequences of your operations
remain to be seen. It is to be expected that they will launch a
strong campaign accusing you of "terrorism", "delinquency" and
the other etceteras which, I have heard, already fill the mouths
of bureaucrats and corporate leaders, that the government will
follow its line of "good guerrilla versus bad guerrilla" and that
you will be compared to us ( a comparison which will be used to
favor us and harm you). But, does anyone remember the pathetic
image of Mister Zedillo on February 9th of 1995 when, with the
same arguments with which he launches the offensive against you,
he launched the failed military offensive which sought to
assassinate us? Perhaps the bureaucrats and the media forgets
that, until recently they also demanded our annihilation, and now
they point out our "social base" and the "legitimacy" of our
demands. We do not forget. It is to be expected as well, that the
government will harden even more its position against us and will
decide upon the military solution. The scenario in public opinion
is almost ready and we have no illusions about the will to
negotiate. In the end, it's too bad.
You struggle for power. We struggle for democracy, liberty
and justice. This is not the same thing. Though you may be
successful and conquer power, we will continue struggling for
democracy, liberty and justice. It does not matter who is in
power, the Zapatistas are and have always struggle for democracy,
liberty and justice.
This is all for now. We repeat our request that you not
carry out any military action in support of our cause or the
situation in which we find ourselves. We are sure you will know
how to understand the respect and distance we ask of you.
Vale. Health and a good barricade for what awaits you.

>From the mountains of the Mexican Southeast

Subcomandante Insurgente Marcos
Mexico, August of 1996.

P.S. In one of your first appearances in the press, some of your
leaders declared, that the EZLN never acknowledged the actions of
your paracentral front in January of 1994. We beg you to ask us
about the history of the EZLN instead of the reports of
deserters, the CISEN or any other "intelligence" organism. You
can see how they say many things about you and we have never
attempted to construct the "history" of the EPR. Thank you.

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