rn> Subcomandante Marcos: Dec.2 Zapatista Communique #4


Richard Moore

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Date:  8 Dec 00 01:29:27 EST
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Subject: Dec.2 Zapatista Communique #4
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Dec.2 Zapatista Communique #4 

Originally published in Spanish by the EZLN 
Translated by irlandesa 
December 2, 2000

Se'nor Vicente Fox. 

Los Pinos, Mexico D.F. 

Se'nor Fox, 

Six years ago we wrote a letter to Ernesto Zedillo Ponce de
Leon, your predecessor. Now that you are the new head of the
federal Executive, it is my duty to inform you that, as of
today, you have inherited a war in the Mexican southeast:
the one in which, on January 1, 1994, the Zapatista Army of
National Liberation declared war against the federal
government in demand of democracy, liberty and justice for
all Mexicans.

Since the beginning of our uprising, we have confronted the
federales in accordance with military honor and the laws of
war. Since then, the Army has attacked us without any
military honor and in violation of international treaties.
More than 70,000 federales (including some 20,000 so-called
"special counterinsurgency troops") have encircled and
pursued the zapatistas for 2525 days (counting today).
During 2000 of those days they have been violating the Law
for Dialogue, Negotiation and a Dignified Peace in Chiapas,
issued by the Congress of the Union on March 10, 1995.

During these almost seven years of war, the zapatistas have
resisted, and we have clashed with two federal Executives
(self-styled "presidents"), two Secretaries of National
Defense, six Secretaries of Government, five commissioners
of "peace," five "governors" of Chiapas and a multitude of
mid-level officials. All of them have already gone. Some of
them are being investigated for their ties to organized
crime, others are in exile or on their way, some others are

During these almost seven years, the zapatistas have
insisted, time and again, on the path of dialogue. We have
done so because we have a commitment with civil society,
which demanded that we silence our weapons and attempt a
peaceful settlement.

Now that you are assuming the head of the federal Executive
Branch, you should know that, in addition to inheriting the
war of the Mexican southeast, you are inheriting the
possibility of choosing how you will have to confront it.

During your campaign, and since July 2, you, Se'nor Fox, have
said time and again that you are going to choose dialogue in
order to confront our demands. Zedillo said the same during
the months which preceded his inauguration, and,
nonetheless, two months later he ordered a large military
offensive against us.

You can understand that distrust in all things having to do
with government, regardless of which political party it
belongs to, has indelibly marked our thoughts and actions.

If we were to add the series of ill-considered
contradictions and frivolities, spewed by you and those
accompanying you, to our understandable mistrust in the face
of the words of power, then it is also my duty to point out
to you that, as far as the zapatistas are concerned (and I
believe not only with the zapatistas), you are starting from
scratch as far as credibility and trust are concerned.

We cannot trust someone who has displayed superficiality and
ignorance by noting that the indigenous demands will be
resolved with "'vocho', TV and little shops."

We cannot believe someone who tries to "ignore" (that is,
"grant amnesty to") the hundreds of crimes committed by
paramilitaries and their bosses by granting them immunity.

We are not inspired to trust someone who, with the
short-sightedness of managerial logic, has a government plan
to turn the indigenous into mini-micro businesspersons or
into employees of this administration's businessperson. At
the end of the day, this plan is nothing other than an
attempt to continue the ethnocide which, under different
methods, neoliberalism in Mexico is carrying forward.

That is why it is good for you to know that none of this
shall prosper in zapatista lands. Your program of
"disappearing an indigenous and creating a businessperson"
will not be allowed on our soil. Here, and under many other
Mexican skies, the indigenous self does not have to do only
with blood and origin, but also with the vision of life,
death, culture, land, history, the future.

Those who have tried to annihilate them with weapons have
failed. Those who try to eliminate them by turning them into
"businesspersons" will fail.

Note that I have said that, as for the zapatistas, you are
starting from scratch as far as credibility and trust are
concerned. This means that you have nothing negative, yet,
to overcome (because it is only fair to point out that you
have not attacked us). You can, then, prove those right who
are counting on your government's repeating the nightmare of
the PRI for all Mexicans, especially for the zapatistas. Or
you can, starting from scratch, begin to build through acts
what every government needs for their work: credibility and
trust. The demilitarization which you have continuously been
announcing (although it varies from "total withdrawal",
""repositioning'" and "reaccomodation", which are not the
same things, something which you, your soldiers, and we
know) is a beginning, not sufficient, but indeed necessary.

Not only in Chiapas, but above all in Chiapas, you can prove
those right who desire your failure, or those who are giving
you the benefit of the doubt, or who are simply placing in
you that which is called "hope."

Se'nor Fox: Unlike your predecessor Zedillo (who came to
power through assassination and with the support of that
corrupt monster which is the State party system), you
reached the federal Executive thanks to the repudiation the
PRI carefully cultivated among the people. You know it well,
Se'nor Fox: you won the election, but you did not defeat the
PRI. It was the citizens. And not just those who voted
against the State party, but also those from previous and
current generations who, one way or another, resisted and
fought the culture of authoritarianism, impunity and crime
built by PRI governments throughout 71 years.

Although there is a radical difference in the way you came
to power, your political, social and economic program is the
same we have been suffering under during the last
administrations. A program for the country which means the
destruction of Mexico as a nation and its transformation
into a department store, something like a mega "little shop"
which sells human beings and natural resources at prices
dictated by the world market. The veiled privatization
projects of the electric industry, the oil and education,
and the IVA which is trying to be imposed on medicines and
food, are just a small part of the great "restructuring"
plan which the neoliberals have for Mexico.

Not only that. With you, we are contemplating the return of
moralina positions, whose hallmarks are intolerance and
authoritarianism. It was not insignificant that, with the
July 2 results, the denominational right unleashed an
offensive of persecution and destruction. This has been
suffered by women (raped or not), young people, artists and
playwrights, homosexuals and lesbians. Along with pensioners
and retired persons, along with the handicapped, along with
the indigenous, and along with the 70 million Mexican poor,
these groups are called "the minorities." In "your" Mexico,
Se'nor Fox, these "minorities" have no place.

We object to this Mexico, and we shall do so in a radical

It may or may not concern you whether a group of Mexicans,
primarily indigenous in addition, are not in agreement with
your mercantile plans and with the belligerence of the
right. But you should not forget that, if the PRI lost
power, it was because the majority of Mexicans rebelled and
managed to throw it out.

That rebellion has not ended.

You and your team, since July 2, have done nothing but
insist that citizens should return to conformity and
immobility. But it will not be like that, your neoliberal
program will confront the resistance of millions.

Some members of your cabinet and those close to it are
saying that the EZLN should understand that the country has
changed, that they (the zapatistas) have no other recourse
than to accept it, surrender, take off their ski-masks and
make a credit application in order to set up a little shop,
buy a TV and make installment payments on a compact car.

They are wrong. We ourselves are fighting for change, but
for us "change" means "democracy, liberty and justice." The
PRI's defeat was a necessary, but not sufficient, condition
for the country to change. Many things are still missing,
you and the little politicians in your cabinet know this.
Many things are missing, and, most importantly, millions of
Mexican men and women now know it.

The indigenous, for example, are missing. Missing is the
recognition of their rights and culture which, believe me,
have nothing to do with offers of business promotion.
Missing is the demilitarization and deparamilitarization of
the indigenous communities. Missing is the release of
prisoners of conscience. Missing are the political
disappeared. Missing is the reconstruction and defense of
national sovereignty. Missing is an economic program which
would satisfy the needs of the most poor. Missing are
citizens being so full-time. Missing are the politicians
being held to account. But peace is also missing.

Se'nor Fox: for more than six years your predecessor,
Zedillo, feigned a willingness to dialogue and made war
against us. He chose confrontation and he lost. Now you have
the opportunity to choose.

If you choose the path of sincere, serious and respectful
dialogue, you will simply be demonstrating your willingness
with actions. Rest assured that you will have a positive
response from the zapatistas. That is how dialogue can be
reinitiated and, soon, the true peace will be begun being

In the public communique which we are attaching, the EZLN
announces the demand for a series of minimal signals by the
federal Executive. If they are made, everything will be
ready to return to dialogue.

What will be at stake is not whether we are opposed to what
you represent and what you mean for our country. There
should be no doubt about this: we are your opponents. What
will be at stake is whether this opposition takes place
through civil and peaceful channels, or if we must continue
raised up in arms and with faces covered until we achieve
what we are seeking, which is nothing other, Se'nor Fox, than
democracy, liberty and justice for all Mexicans.

Vale. Salud, and let us hope that there will be a new dawn
in Mexico and in Chiapas.

From the mountains of the Mexican Southeast. 

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

Subcomandante Insurgente Marcos. 

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Richard K Moore
Wexford, Ireland
Citizens for a Democratic Renaissance 
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