(en) Zapatistas march on Mexico City

Mark Connolly (mark_c@geocities.com)
Mon, 08 Sep 1997 20:00:32 +0000

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1,111 Zapatistas are now marching on Mexico City to take part in the founding conference of the FZLN. Three communiques from the EZLN are below.


Date: Fri, 5 Sep 1997 17:22:13 -0700 (PDT) From: Joshua Paulson <joshua@peak.org> To:Amanecer Press <amanecer@aa.net> Subject: Letter from Marcos, September 3rd

Zapatista Army of National Liberation

To the National and International Press:

3 September 1997.

Ladies and Gentlemen:

Attached is a communique explaining what we are going to do in Mexico City. Over here, we are continuing the preparations. We will go even though, after the State of the Nation address, it is quite clear to us where the indigenous problem fits into the government's agenda. Is there anyone truly listening up there?

Vale. Health, and may the homeland now be ours as well.

From the mountains of the Mexican Southeast.

The Sup, preparing his little flag.

Mexico, September of 1997.

Section "The Counting Postscript of Stories and of the Dead". (for when the sea awakes).


I. The Tale of the Little Seamstress

"Once upon a time, there was a little seamstress who sewed a lot and sewed very well on his sewing machine. The machines in his neighborhood laughed at him, and shouted "Fairy", "only old women are seamstresses", etcetera. So then the little seamstress sewed the mouths shut of everyone who made fun of him, and now we don't know how the story ended because no one could tell it. The end".


II. The Tale of the Little Newspaper Vendor

"Once upon a time, there was a little newspaper vendor who was very, very poor, and only could sell old newspapers because he didn't have enough money to obtain new ones. The people didn't buy his newspapers, because they were all so old, and the people wanted new newspapers. So the little newspaper vendor didn't sell anything, and every day he accumulated more and more old newspapers. So then what the little newspaper vendor did was put up a paper recycling plant and he became a millionaire, bought out all the newspaper enterprises and the news agencies, prohibited the publication of current news, and thus obliged the people to read only the news of the past. In the papers which went out on sale today, for example, one could read that the Zapatistas were about to arrive in Mexico City and that there they would meet with the Villistas. The date can't quite be made out, but it seems to say either '1914' or '1997'. The End."

P.S.- FOR THE CCN OF THE FAC-MLN. That argument of "we are the organization with the most prisoners, the most dead, and most repression against us" was already thrown in our face by the PRD three years ago. It would be better for you to learn to add and, above all, to subtract. Indigenous Mexico has many schools in which to learn to the deadly mathematics of repression and oblivion. There, they teach that the legitimacy of an organization is not obtained with the number of dead, but with honest and consequent practices, those which allow the dead to live.

While you learn the arithmetic, add into the total that which some of your leaders receive from Ruiz Ferro, the trips to the United States and Europe which, dressed as "Zapatistas", two of the signers (one of whom didn't even put their name correctly) of the letter of "clarification" enjoyed during all this time, and add all of the support which they have spared to the rebel indigenous peoples, with the argument of the "reformism of the FZLN". If after totalling it all up, you still believe that it is not "clear opportunism", then you can use the term "political realism", which, yes, is the same thing, but doesn't sound quite as bad.

Anyway, you are now going to find real Zapatistas even in the soup. Your monopoly on the radical left is over. What's coming is coming, and then what follows will follow. As someone said whose name I can't remember, "let the bases decide".

The little letter of follow-up reinforcement by the Dynamic Duo of Miron and Botey is useless, and we are not losing any sleep over it. We are not worried by their threats, their "annoyance", and their governmental calls to "prudence".

In any case, we are going to Mexico City, now not only without the "support" of the leadership of the FAC-MLN. Now we are going in spite of it and, of course, in spite of the government. The end.

The Sup reading, in the late-edition newspapers, the letter that Villa writes to Zapata on January 8th, 1916.

[Translated by Joshua Paulson]

------- Forwarded Message Follows ------- Date: Fri, 5 Sep 1997 15:17:46 -0700 (PDT) From: Joshua Paulson <joshua@peak.org> Subject: EZLN Communique, 2 September

Communique of the Clandestine Indigenous Revolutionary Committee- General Command of the Zapatista Army of National Liberation. Mexico.

2 September 1997.

To the people of Mexico:

The Zapatista Army of National Liberation, against the militarization of the indigenous regions and in demand of the fulfillment of the San Andres Accords, will march to Mexico City.

This great Zapatista and indigenous march will arrive in the Federal District on September 12th of this year, and will remain in the capital city until the 17th of the same month. The program of activities of the Zapatistas in those days will be the following:

September 12th. Xochimilco and the Zocalo of Mexico City. On the morning of this day, we will hold a political event in Xochimilco. Afterwards, we will leave toward the capital Zocalo. Here, we will carry out a demonstration with speakers from the National Indigenous Congress and the EZLN. In front of the palace of the powerful, we will demand the fulfillment of the word given in San Andres, the demilitarization of the indigenous zones of the country, and a just and dignified place in Mexico for the indigenous peoples.

September 13th. Founding Congress of the FZLN. On this day, we will go to the Salon "Los Angeles" where the opening session of the Founding Congress of the Zapatista Front of National Liberation will be held. After an effort spanning 20 months, which began with the IV Declaration of the Lacandon Jungle in January of 1996, a new type of political organization is being born. Inspired by the Zapatista banners of not struggling for Power, but rather for a new relationship between those who govern and those who are governed, and the idea of "leading by obeying", the FZLN will be accompanied, from its birth, by the Zapatistas of the EZLN.

September 14th. Political Event with the National Indigenous Congress. Together with our sisters and brothers of the CNI, we will lay out the situation of Indigenous Mexico, its demands and its aspirations.

September 15th. Encounter with Civil Society in Cuicuilco. We invite all the unions, students, teachers, campesinos, colonos, indigenous peoples, men and women of faith, housewives, ecologists, NGOs, intellectuals, artists, social movements, gays and lesbians, brothers and sisters of other countries, and all those who wish to speak and listen with us, to an ENCOUNTER in which all of us will be able to speak our word. It will not be an event with a single planned ending, or for a single cause. It will be an encounter for everyone and a space to speak and demand, listen and see, for all who--like us, the Zapatistas--are not in agreement with the way things are, who feel that there is still hope, and who struggle for a better Mexico. For more information regarding this celebration of the word, contact Luis Hernandez Navarro, at 525-25-45.

September 16th. Closing Session of the FZLN Congress. We will be with our sisters and brothers of the FZLN in the closing ceremony of their Congress. We will celebrate Mexican Independence Day with a verbena and a dance in a location which has yet to be confirmed.

September 17th. Political Events with Social and Political Organizations, and Farewell Ceremony for the Zapatistas. In the morning, we will participate in a joint political event together with other social and political organizations. In the afternoon, we will prepare our odds and ends, and then in the evening will be the farewell event of the delegation of 1,111 Zapatistas, who will begin their return to the mountains of the Mexican Southeast at dawn on September 18th.

Brothers and Sisters:

We invite you to accompany us in these activities, and to join with us in our demand of a Mexico for all Mexicans.

Democracy! Liberty! Justice!

From the mountains of the Mexican Southeast.

Clandestine Indigenous Revolutionary Committee-General Command of the Zapatista Army of National Liberation.

Mexico, September 1997.

[Translated by Joshua Paulson]

Date: Mon, 1 Sep 1997 12:39:06 -0700 (PDT) From: Joshua Paulson <joshua@peak.org> Subject: EZLN Communique in response to actions by the FAC-MLN

Communique of the Clandestine Indigenous Revolutionary Committee- General Command of the Zapatista Army of National Liberation. Mexico.

To the People of Mexico:

The CCRI-CG of the EZLN declares the following:

In recent days, and in a newspaper with national circulation, a declaration of the so-called FAC-MLN was made public, suggesting that the Zapatista delegation which will march to Mexico City in the month of September of this year would be housed in a specific place, and that the aforementioned FAC-MLN would meet "with representatives of the FZLN in order to define the mechanisms of work and of their stay" in Mexico City.

With respect to this matter, we say:

First.- We have not had, nor do we have, any relationship with the so-called FAC-MLN. We have not met with them, nor have we made contact with them, nor do we have anything to do with them.

Second.- The CCRI-CG of the EZLN has not decided between the various options presented by political and social organizations regarding the accomodations for its delegation on the march and for the 1,111. At the proper time, and through our own voice, we will make known the activities of our delegation in Mexico City and the location where our compa=F1eros will be staying.

Third.- The declaration of the so-called FAC-MLN is one of clear opportunism and attempts to capitalize, for its own benefit, on the activity of civil society and of the social and political organizations who are collaborating in the organization of the march. We will not go with them, nor will we be with them.

That is all.

Subcomandante Insurgente Marcos

Clandestine Indigenous Revolutionary Committee-General Command of the Zapatista Army of National Liberation

Mexico, August 1997.

Translated by: Joshua Paulson


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