To the closing of the Civil Society-EZLN Encuentro

San Cristobal de las Casas, Chiapas, Mexico
November 22, 1998


In the name of our companeros and companeras of our peoples and regions, who mandated us to be here with all of you in this important encuentro, where there were expressed and joined together the best ideas, the best thoughts and the different experiences which enriched the unfolding of this meeting.

In the name of our companero and companera support bases, militants, insurgents, and those responsible of the peoples and regions, and of our companero Sub-Comandante Marcos, the General Command of the Zapatista Army of National Liberation, we are grateful to all the men and women of the different states of the Mexican Republic and those from other Brother countries of the world, with the sole desire of building together a society where there is Democracy, Liberty and Justice for all.

For this reason, the EZLN delegation recognizes and appreciates the efforts made by the honest men and women who participated, lending their ideas and experiences, with the desire of together building something better, and it gives us hope that the much yearned for peace, which all of us are seeking, will come from the voices of the people, from all of life's colors and flavors. This encuentro is demonstrating that we were not wrong in accepting the invitation of the people, of that which they call civil society, in order to dialogue, because out of this effort democracy, liberty and justice for all will be born.

This encuentro has been a democratic exercise, and one of tolerance, something we are beginning to experience in our country in spite of the government, something which we have not at any moment had the opportunity of doing, but which, with our participation, is being built as ours, and our Patria's, future.

We recognize that this encuentro has been a success thanks to the great participation by the people, and it has been one more demonstration that it is possible to work and to walk together, listening to each other, respecting each other, taking each other into account and agreeing among ourselves. So the first gods gave birth to the world.

It was not easy in itself for more than three thousand persons and 400 organizations from 27 states in our nation, from 18 brother countries, to travel to San Cristobal to meet together to dream, seeking to give birth to a world where we all have a place in order to live in dignity as the human beings we are. Where all of us are resepected, where all us are taken into account for what we are, because we are all worth much and we deserve to be treated as equals. Because we all deserve peace.

That is the reason for our determination to have a Consultation. A Consultation which is mobilization so that the power will know that the people are not alone, that we are not alone, that in all the corners of the Patria there are those who dream the same dream of democracy, of liberty and of justice, which is one of the zapatista dreams.

Brothers and sisters, so that what we dream, what we desire and what we hope for may be made reality, we call on all the honest men, women, young people, children and old ones of our Mexican Patria and of the world to join together in the promotion and organization of the great National Consultation on Indigenous Rights and Culture based in the San Andres Accords drawn up by the Cocopa, as well as the proposal for a law on Indigenous Rights and Culture. So that the first inhabitants of our Mexican nation will be recognized in the Constitution, which never took us into account, because for more than 500 years, those who have been the owners and the men of power and of money have not permitted it, nor wanted it.

Today, we call to you to continue together, for us to continue together, so that all of this effort of your trip, all your efforts of union, all your efforts of listening and understanding each other, all that we have in our thoughts and our hearts, will be converted into work and commitments, and which will carry us even to the most distant corners of our National Mexican Territory and of the world. This is our word, this is what we have seen, this is what we desire. We know that you think, feel, the same.


From the mountains of the Mexican southeast,

Clandestine Revolutionary Indigenous Committee,
General Command of the Zapatista Army of National Liberation,
San Cristobal de las Casas,

November 22, 1998


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