Speech Delivered in San Cristobal by Zapatista Support Bases 8/23/99.
Sisters and Brothers of All the Indigenous Peoples
Honest Sisters and Brothers,
Sisters and Brothers of National
Today, August 23, 1999,thousands of men, women, children and old ones - Zapatista Army of National Liberation support bases from the different municipalities in our State of Chiapas - once again find ourselves forced to mobilize, to come to this city of San Cristobal de Las Casas, in order to protest and to condemn the warlike attitude of the illegitimate governments of Ernesto Zedillo and Albores Guillen, who never weary of attacking our indigenous communities, of provoking division and confrontation, among the peoples. On the contrary, day after day the military harassment grows, as do the threats of war and of death. Day after day, the attacks and persecution against our communities increase. For example, as is happening right now in the Selva Lacandona, and specifically in the Aguascalientes of La Realidad and in Amador Hernandez, where our companeros and companeras are being threatened with death, with destruction, and with being taken to jail. They are surrounded at this moment by thousands of federal soldiers, judicial police and public security police, where they are making life impossible for thousands of children, women, old ones and the ill, because the combat helicopters and war planes are flying above their heads, their communities are surrounded, their roads are cut off and blockaded by hundreds of soldiers and paramilitaries, so that no one can leave or enter the communities.
Ernesto Zedillo and Albores Guillen - with all of their accomplices they call governments and officials - are preparing for war and destruction against our indigenous peoples who are struggling for their rights, for their liberty and for justice.
Zedillo and Albores speak so much of dialogue and peace, but at the same time they are assassinating, attacking indigenous communities, persecuting, torturing and imprisoning many innocent people, and they have a greater war of extermination prepared against the indigenous peoples, who are barely surviving from the poverty that does not even allow them enough to buy a kilo of tortillas. Against the children, who are just dying every day from diarrhea, malnutrition, parasites, etceteras. Against the old ones, who are barely able now to go out to take care of their basic physiological needs, exhausted as they are, from the hard work they have done throughout their lives. It is these people, and these peoples, whom the government considers to be the main enemies of the patria. It is because we are demanding a small piece of the patria that will enable us to live with dignity, as true children of this Mexican country. It is because of this, against these intransigent peoples, as the bad government calls them, that so many thousands of federal soldiers, public security, judicial police, and other repressive groups, have been mobilized, with sophisticated weapons, with war tanks, armored vehicles, combat helicopters and bomber planes, who are harassing and threatening the death and destruction of our peoples.
In order to break the unity and to weaken the organization of the peoples, those bad governments have set about provoking divisions and confrontations among the indigenous communities. In order to buy consciences, those bad governments have been handing out charity and promising economic aid under conditions that take advantage of the hunger, the misery and the ignorance of our indigenous peoples.
In order to carry out their strategy of war, the bad government is using and buying PRIs and some former zapatistas in order to prepare a theater of desertion and surrender, passing them off as zapatistas who are turning themselves in to the bad government, and, then, these misled persons are used to point out the leaders and to betray their brothers of the people.
The alleged development projects for the towns are no more than a war strategy, because they distribute crumbs and promise economic aid in order to buy consciences and to divide the people. They are opening roads in strategic places so that their cars and war tanks can enter easily and rapidly in order to destroy the indigenous communities.
The entire war strategy the Zedillo and Albores governments are using, they call carrying out the San Andres Accords.
The handing out of crumbs and the promises those bad governments make, they call public works or social development.
The intense militarization of our communities, the constant harassment and threats of death and persecution, the incarcerations and assassinations, Albores and Zedillo call social tranquillity or social peace.
The attacks on our communities, the constant harassment, the Assassinations and the massacres of defenseless persons, Albores and Zedillo call "the solution of the conflict through dialogue."
Albores and Zedillo accuse the EZLN of intransigence and irresponsibility, only because we zapatistas do not surrender in the face of the threats of death, nor do we allow ourselves to be deceived by the bad government's lies.
The main and real provocateurs, the intransigent ones, the human Rights violators, are Roberto Albores Guillen and Ernesto Zedillo themselves, and others as well. It is they who, in the name of the law and of democracy, are killing, torturing, persecuting, imprisoning and waging war against our indigenous peoples, against all the workers, against the teachers and students, and against all those who desire a new, just and democratic Mexico.
WE WILL NOT SURRENDER!
Please help us build and create the momentum that will finally bring to a halt the atrocities being committed against indigenous people in Southern Mexico. Talk to your friends and encourage them to help. Everyone can participate to bring about peace with justice in Chiapas by creating "a world in which all worlds fit". It is urgent for you to do the following: