A war against the people is not the peace we seek

To the national and international press To the national and international public opinion:

Brothers and sisters:

Today, this delegation of the Zapatista Army of National Liberation has received various salutes, denouncements and reports from many parts of the country and the state of Chiapas.

We have received salutes and support from our brothers and sisters in various communities, like Masoja Yochija, in the municipality of Tila and from Tacuba Nueva and Tzajala, in the municipality of Chilon, Chiapas. All of our brothers and sisters ask us to continue in this struggle and in this effort to dialogue in order to try to create a just and new country.

But we also want to make you aware that today we were informed that at 4pm today 12 cars of the Army entered the collective farm of Morelia, by means of the road to the Collective farm of Venustiano Carranza, in municipality of Altamirano, without the community knowing what the soldiers planned to do in this village.

We also have become aware of the fact that a "tala" of 12 hectares of woods within the Montes Azules reserve, by a group of "taladores" who appear to have all-terrain vehicles, other vehicles, and permits for entering and conducting business. We know that the Federal Attorney for the Environment is going to place a complaint before the Public Ministry for this "tala" of woods. We want it to be very clear that these actions should not be used as an excuse for the federal army to enter this region which affects residents of various collective farms in Ocosingo (amongst them the collective farms of Jardin, Ocotal and Zapotal).

In the municipality of Tila, the communities of Cerro Misopa, Misopa Chinal and Masoja Shucja sent us complaints regarding attempts by groups of PRI members supported by white guards and state security forces to remove the residents from their community. In all of these communities the residents are suffering threats, attacks, and pressures to force them to abandon their lands and communities. Our brothers and sisters ask us that this situation of constant aggressions end. In the same municipality of Tila, the residents of Tzaquil Curva and Miguel Aleman reported to us that since October 5, 1995, they have been living in other communities since they were forced out by a group of PRI members, supported by paramilitary forces and groups of white guards. These brothers and sisters urge us to enable them to return to their lands and to their communities so that the difficult situation in which they are now living can be resolved.

In addition our brothers and sisters from the community of Tientiul Grande, in the municipality of Salto de Agua, reported to us that a group of PRI members led by Prof. Diego Vazquez Perez, supported by groups of white guards, is trying to divide the communities and disorganize them, holding meetings behind closed doors and preventing the entrance of the authorities of the communities in the region. The community asks that this situation end since it now affects various villages in the municipality of Salto de Agua. All of these reports and complaints makes it very clear to us that the government is willing to continue its war against the people, its low-intensity war, despite its words of dialogue and negotiation. Again the government demonstrates with its actions that its word is false. We want to repeat, so that everyone understands, especially those who are now in power, that the war against the people is not the peace that we are seeking. The peace that we Zapatistas want is the same peace for which our brothers and sisters of the communities and the civil society ask us in their salutes, a just genuine peace with dignity.

San Andres Sacamch'en de los Pobres

March 7, 1996

La Jornada, March 9, 1996

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