COCOPA did not keep their word

Text read by Comandante Tacho following the meeting with the Cocopa.

Communique of the Clandestine Revolutionary Indigenous Committee
- General Command of the Zapatista Army of National Liberation

To the peoples and governments of the world
To the participants in the meeting between civil society with the EZLN
To the national and international press


The delegation of the Zapatista Army of National Liberation takes exception to the following:

First: On November 6, 1998, the EZLN responded affirmatively to the Cocopa's proposal for having a meeting with representatives of the CCRI-CG of the EZLN.

The zapatistas proposed to the Cocopa the place, date and hour for the meeting, and we asked them to take responsibility for the security of the transfer and stay of the zapatista delegation, as well as for the accomodations, food and equipment necessary for the days our delegation would be in San Cristobal.

The EZLN proposed the days of November 20 and 22 of 1998 for our meeting with the representatives of the Cocopa, at 6:00 PM in San Cristobal, Chiapas, and the dates, hour and place of the meetings with the Cocopa.

We also advised that our delegates would be traveling to San Cristobal de las Casas on November 19, 1998, and they would return to their places of origin on November 23. We also requested security measures and support from the International Red Cross in the transfer and stay for our delegation.

Second: On November 7, 1998, the Cocopa publicly responded that they accepted the place, date and time proposed by the zapatistas, and it committed itself to carrying out the zapatistas' requirements as to security, transportation, accomodations, food and equipment.

Third: The Cocopa did not keep their word, because when we arrived on Novemner 19 at 5:30 PM, the accomodations were not ready, there were no beds, covers, mattresses; there were only a few wretched cots and mats. There were no telephones installed, nor were there lines, nor faxes, nor paper. The lavatories were not working, nor were the boilers, which were in bad condition. In the rooms for resting, there was only one, where we had to stand for several hours due to the lack of facilities. Because of this we had to demand that the essentials be taken care of.

It took from 5:30 PM until 10:00 PM to resolve the problem of the acommodations for our delegation, wherein we had demanded that the cots be taken away and beds and mattresses be brought in. As for food, they have only made 10,000 pesos available, in a revolving account, in the style of the old tricks, presenting receipts and promissory notes. We believe this attitude demonstrates a lack of responsibility, and the worst part is not having carried out their commitment.

Fourth: The Cocopa also committed itself publicly, saying they would guarantee the security of our delegation, and today we want to state that security condiitons are not in place, because, in the previous meetings between the EZLN and the Cocopa, there was a band of unarmed police, in order to prevent attacks of any kind; now, however, there is nothing which guarantees zapatista security. In addition, the Cocopa sent us a verbal message yesterday, stating that they could not guarantee our security, that they were concerned our delegation was going to be attacked and that they were worried about that.

Fifth: The delegation of the CCRI-CG of the Zapatista Army of Naitonal Liberation expresses to the Cocopa the lack of seriousness, of respect and of responsibility in their commitments, since it demonstrates an attitude of racism and of humiliation. It appears that they wish to continue treating us as in the times of the conquest, as they did with our old brothers of blood and of struggle, whom they subjugated under their control, making them slaves. Nonetheless, they could not put an end to them, or to their history, which is now ours. That is why we say to the Cocopa that we will not allow any more humiliations, as indigenous or non-indigenous, and we tell them that we are not going to stop; that is why we are struggling, so that we, the indigenous of Mexico and the world, will no longer be treated as animals, because we are all human and dignified beings, we all deserve respect.

Sixth: The delegation of the CCRI-CG of the EZLN are not asking for luxury hotels which will be paid ot of the budget which the people provide, nor are we asking them for grand feasts or bar services; we only asked them for the minimal conditions of dignity and security in order to be able to sleep a bit, to be able to eat a bit and to be able to meet with all of you, our sisters and brothers. To meet with all of those of us who are here at this important meeting, with those who are present here. That is why we are present here as well, and later we will be with our sisters and brothers from all the municipalities of this Mexican national territory.

This is why we are demanding that the Cocopa publicly explain their attitude and commit itself to abandoning this position, which goes against the mandate entrusted to them by the Congress of the Union and the people of Mexico of helping to build the just and dignified peace.


>From the Mexican Southeast,
by the Clandestine Revolutionary Indigenous Committee
- General Command of the EZLN

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