Fourth year of war

Mexico, 1997

Message from the Indigenous Revolutionary Clandestine Committee in commemoration of the third anniversary of the rebellion of January 1st 1994

To the insurgent troops;
To the militias;
To the bases of support of the Zapatista Army of National Liberation;
To the people of Mexico;
To the peoples of the world;

Today is the anniversary of the beginning of the war of the Zapatista rebels. It has been 1095 days of war against oblivion. It has now been three years of resistance for the memory we have given ourselves in order to live.

Three years ago the insurgent Zapatistas began a war against oblivion and silence. A war which was and is not for political power but to have respect and to defend the dignity of the men and women who carry in their heart the blood of the first inhabitants of the land, who carry on their lips the truth of the oldest wisemen, who go upon the path of the pace of dignity of all true men and women.

In these three years the Power has not ceased in its persecution of us and it tries to forget us in order to stop us, make us surrender and annihilate us. The Power uses all its Force, many and large are its machines of war which fill our land and our skies, many and large are the deaths with which the Power attacks our lives.

Here we are. We are still here. We have not been silent. We have not surrendered. In order to defeat us, the Power buys words and consciences, the Power asked for peace yet behind its promise came treachery and death.

To our truth the Power puts up the lie against our memory and launches oblivion. We are here. We continue to be here. We have not forgotten. We will not surrender. Our war was and is so that memory recover its place in history. There will not be peach as long as oblivion remains our only future. Our war was and is so that the truth of all who are different may be heard and understood so that all in the world may have a place in the world.

There will not be peace as long as the lie is the only word to be heard, as long as intolerance and cynicism remain the only banner. We the Zapatistas do not speak for ourselves, we bring the word of all our dead who died very silent. We speak for them. In our words the dead speak. All the silent ones of forever will resist until the words of the forgotten are taken into account.

We will struggle until the silences of the silent ones speak. We will die until the dead live. In these three years of war marked today, the anxiety is fulfilled because the Power has no other word but the Lie. Whether four years will be of war or of peace depends on whether the Supreme Power accepts or does not accept history. It depends on whether it recognizes those who are different because the different deserve a place for their word and their step. This fourth year will be like all which have preceded it. We must live for the nation or die for liberty.

From the mountains of the Mexican Southeast

To the Mexico page