One year after San Andres


February 14, 1997

To National and International Civil Society;

"I scatter flowers of war,
|I of the smiling face with which I greet the war.
I am a quetzal bird and
I arrive flying among the difficult steps which come with the war.
I am a precious dappled horse of red collar,
I arrive flying;
I come to be converted into a flower,
I arrive in the bloody rabbit".
NAHUATL POEM

Brothers and sisters;

The month of February 1997 marks a year since the signature of the first agreements between the EZLN and the Supreme Government, and 2 years after the treason by the federal government against the EZLN and the indigenous Zapatista communities. 730 days after the lack of honor and the inability of the government to keep its word, the Power once again applies a military solution. 375 days after the signature, the first agreements of the Dialogue at San Andres go unfulfilled. 12 months after the lie of the Powerful and 24 months after the government betrayal, the EZLN says its word:

Two years ago the federal government through Misters Esteban Moctezuma Barragan set up a murderous ambush against the leadership of the EZLN. Pretending to be interested in the dialogue the bad government deceived the EZLN, and national and international public opinion. While they spoke of a political solution to the conflict, the supreme government first prepared and then executed a treacherous strike intended to behead the indigenous Zapatista rebellion. Thousands of soldiers attacked the indigenous communities then. In this way the government fulfilled its promise to seek via dialogue and negotiation, the resolution for the just war of the Zapatistas.

A year ago, the federal government through Misters Bernal and Del Valle, set a legal trap for the Zapatistas and the indigenous peoples of the nation. Pretending the will to comply with the agreements which were signed at the time, the bad government sought to deceive the EZLN and national and international public opinion, As it signed the first peace agreements the Supreme government first prepared and then executed the non-compliance with the San Andres accords. As the non-compliance fell into place, thousands of soldiers continued to encircle, harass and persecute the indigenous communities. This is how the government kept its word.

Today 730 days after the bold treachery and 365 days after the pretentious lie, Mister Zedillo Ponce De Leon reiterates his deceit and inability to keep his word. In the mouth of he who is said to govern, the Power publicly denies its commitments.

In the hands of Mexican soldiers, and with foreign military aid it seeks once again the death of the leadership of the Zapatista rebellion. By land and air, the federal troops seek to finish the unfinished since February of 1995: assassination.

Today the federal government trips over itself in its zeal to renege on the agreements and deny what it committed to a year ago. Blind, the bad government attacks not just the indigenous rebels, but those who advise the peace, and those who, like the COCOPA and CONAI, mediate and intervene in order to avoid the war. The indigenous legal initiative elaborated by the Commission of Concordance and Pacification, the organism of federal legislative power has been attacked once and again by the federal executive. Now it accuses the federal legislators of being "false redeemers" and the legal initiative of attempting to "fragment the Mexican nation". The Supreme Government wishes to forget that it was its own negotiators, not the legislators of the Cocopa who signed the first agreements about "indigenous rights and culture". There is nothing in those agreements which attempts the "fragmentation of the Mexican nation".

In refusing to comply with what it had already accepted as agreements on indigenous matters, the government refuses to recognize the rights and culture of the original inhabitants of these lands. Shielding itself with useless legal technicalities, the federal government tries to hide what is essential: it is unwilling to fulfill its word, it does not recognize the authentic demands of indigenous Mexicans, it does not want to resolve the Zapatista war through dialogue and negotiation.

Behind the false accusations of the fragmentation of the nation, of purportedly granting special status to the Indians which will marginalize them, are the real reasons why the government will not comply; the agreements will not be fulfilled, they will be used to win time and to attempt once again a military strike against an authentic rebel movement, with national demands and the support of indigenous Mexico.

There is no interest in solving the national indigenous question, there is no disposition to use the dialogue as a tool of government, there is no intention of peace. "Lying in order to gain time for striking" is the strategy of Zedillo's government. Not just to confront the EZLN but Mexican society as well.

It is clear to the EZLN that the federal government wants war as its solution, and that national and international civil society wants peace with justice and dignity as a route and destination.

We Zapatistas are prepared today and as always for the war or for peace.
We will wait here.

>From the mountains of the Mexican Southeast,
By the Indigenous Revolutionary Clandestine Committee
-General Command of the Zapatista Army of National Liberation

Mexico, February of 1997

P.S. Greetings to the mobilization of support in Europe. There Mister Zedillo wants to provoke another uprising like the one provoked by Salinas with the North American Free Trade Agreement, except now through a European version. But it seems like the lack of democracy and the violations to human rights are not attractive merchandise for the Europeans. "The fulfillment of the word. Never again a world without us" is said to be the name of the solidarity campaign in support of some indigenous people who pretend, and thereby dare, to live...


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