Today, on August 8th, 1997, the anniversary of the birth of
General Emiliano Zapata, the National Organizing Commission of the
Zapatista Front of National Liberation
All the honest Mexican men and women, individuals and groups, who
do not belong to political parties or organizations, and who wish to
struggle, by civil and peaceful means, in order to achieve democracy,
liberty, and justice for Mexico, without desiring to take Power, to
form a part, either individually or collectively, of the FZLN and
participate in the
FOUNDING CONGRESS OF THE ZAPATISTA FRONT OF NATIONAL LIBERATION,
Which will decide on the declaration of principles, the program of struggle, the organic structure, and the plan of action of the FZLN.
And which will take place in Mexico City during the 13th, 14th, 15th, and 16th days of September of 1997, with the following agenda:
1. Declaration of Principles of the FZLN.
2. Program of Struggle.
3. Structure and Statutes.
4. Plan of Action.
5. Election, if required, of the heads of the new structure.
The Founding Congress of the FZLN will have the following periods:
a) The Preparation of the Congress--from the publication of this notice until September 9th, 1997. During this time, the base document of discussion for the Founding Congress of the FZLN will be distributed to all the Civil Committees of Dialogue (CCDs) and interested individuals.
This document contains a text which was drafted by the National Organizing Commission, trying to incorporate and amplify the different proposals which, regarding the Declaration of Principles, Symbols, Program of Struggle, and Structure and Statutes, were sent by the CCDs and received before July 30th, 1997. The document also includes all the original proposals received during this period.
This document will be studied and discussed in the CCDs and by interested individuals, in order to have elements for the discussions and decisions which will have to be made during the Congress.
b) The Celebration of the Congress. This period runs from September 13th to September 16th, 1997. During this time, discussions will take place and decisions will be made according to the following
1. The Founding Congress of the FZLN will have two bodies for discussion and a mechanism for decision making. The bodies of discussion are the General Assembly of Participants and the Working Groups. The mechanism for making decisions is that of direct and universal voting of all the participants, in accordance with the Internal Rules of Procedure of the Congress.
2. Those who may attend as participants, with the right to voice and vote, are all the Mexican women and men, whether individuals, part of a CCD, or delegates of a CCD, without concern for age, gender, race, religious beliefs, or sexual orientation, who fulfill the following requirements:
- a) Mexican nationality.
- b) Agreement with the IV Declaration of the Lacandon Jungle.
- c) Do not belong to any political party or organization which struggles to take power.
- d) Are prepared to abide by the resolutions of this Congress.
- e) Receive accreditation from the Organizing Committee of the Congress of the FZLN.
All of the participants, whether they are members of a CCD or not, have the right to freely and directly express their opinions, written or by way of a delegate, in accordance with the Internal Rules of Procedure of the Congress.
3. Those who may attend as observers, with voice but without vote, are all those individuals and representatives of social, political, non-governmental, or cultural organizations, who are invited to participate as such by the National Organizing Commission, and who are accredited by the Organizing Committee of the Congress.
One of the activities of the Zapatistas in Mexico City will be to attend the FZLN Congress with 1,111 observers, who represent the rebel indigenous peoples, the bases of support of the EZLN.
For the Zapatistas, the birth of the FZLN represents the hope of a better tomorrow, and we want to be together with our brothers and sisters from the Front in taking this step.
4. Those who may attend as guests, with neither voice nor vote, are all those individuals and representatives of social, political, non-governmental, or cultural organizations, whether national or international, who are invited to participate as such by the National Organizing Commission, and who are accredited by the Organizing Committee of the Congress.
5. All the members of the Civil Committees of Dialogue (CCDs) can attend the Founding Congress either as individuals, or through the delegation of their representation to one or more representatives of their Civil Committee. During the discussions and the voting, the representatives will give the points of view of the members of their CCD, and will cast their own vote as well as the votes of each member they are representing, respecting any and all differences of opinion and decision.
The individuals and members of the CCDs who cannot attend the Congress, nor delegate their representation to another person, can participate in writing--with both their opinions regarding the points of discussion, and with their vote in the taking of decisions. For this to take place, the affected people should send their letters, in the case of individuals, or their certificates of agreement, in the case of collectives, to Javier Elorriaga Berdegue, of the Organizing Committee of the Congress, fulfilling the following requirements:
-Expressed disposition to form part of the FZLN.
-Explicit commitment to be subject to the agreements of the majority, and to abide by the resolutions of the Founding Congress of the FZLN.
6. During the Congress, all the topics, with the exception of the election of the heads of the new structure, will be discussed equally in working groups. The discussions in the working groups will not seek to arrive at agreements, but rather to give the necessary elements to the participants so that they may make free and conscious decisions at the appropriate time.
The discussion regarding the heads of the new structure, meanwhile, will take place in the General Assembly of Participants, with the objective of giving elements to the participants so that they may make free and conscious decisions at the appropriate time.
7. The final decisions and the election of the heads of the new structure will be determined by direct and universal vote of the pariticpants and by those who have delegated their attendance to one or more representatives.
8. The Founding Congress of the FZLN will be Sovereign, and its decisions will be made by a qualified majority of at least three-fourths of the participants, and its resolutions will oblige each and every one of the members of the FZLN until such time as a new qualified majority modifies such accords.
9. The Founding Congress of the FZLN will decide the form and the time for the carrying out of the next congress of the FZLN.
All matters not attended to by this summons will be resolved by the National Organizing Commission.
We invite all members of the CCDs, as well as individuals interested in the formation of the FZLN, to participate in the Organizing Committee of the Congress which will be coordinated by Javier Elorriaga Berdegue, in the name of the National Organizing Commission.
For the National Organizing Commission of the Zapatista Front of
Subcomandante Insurgente Marcos
Mexico, August 1997.
[Translated by Joshua Paulson] NUEVO AMANECER PRESS- NAP A PRESS DEDICATED TO HUMAN RIGHTS e-mail:email@example.com NAP is an effort by civil society Mexico and USA Registered as a non profit corporation in the USA As a press service, we seek to serve human rights organizations with translations and distribution of human right alerts, news and reports. As a press, we also seek to inform and educate the public on issues of human rights. Our team works on a volunteer basis. Our expenses are covered by donations.