The police assault on San Andres Sakamch'en de los Pobres

April 8, 1999.

To the People of Mexico:
To the Peoples and Governments of the Worlds:

The EZLN speaks its word on the latest incidents that have occurred in the Southeastern Mexican state of Chiapas:

First. - On Wednesday, April 7, 1999, in the morning hours, armed forces from the so-called "Public Security Police of the State of Chiapas," took by assault the San Andres Sakamch'en de los Pobres Municipal President's office, the place where the Autonomous Municipal Council (elected democratically in accordance with the uses and customs of the indigenous communities) worked, and seat of the San Andres dialogues between the federal government and the EZLN.

Second. - By doing this, the federal and state governments imposed an illegitimate and illegal municipal presidency, with members of the dying chiapaneco Institutional Revolutionary Party, they set up a garrison of armed police, and they began a braggadocio-ridden propaganda campaign of having "dismantled" another zapatista Autonomous Municipality.

Third. - Today, before 24 hours of the cowardly and premeditated dislocation of the democratic council had gone by, EZLN support bases, all tzotzil indigenous, and in numbers greater than 3000 - peacefully re-took the facilities of the San Andres Sakamch'en de los Pobres presidency, and they settled there in order to watch over their democratically elected government. Seeing themselves greatly outnumbered, and owing to the presence of the media, the police fled the scene of the incidents.

Fourth. - Subsequent to these events, the federal and state governments have begun a series of movements of federal troops and federal and state police, for the purpose of retaking - by blood and fire - the seat of San Andres.

Fifth - In a parallel fashion, the federal and state governments have begun a media campaign aimed at blaming the Democratic Revolutionary Party (PRD) and the Diocese of San Cristobal for being those responsible for the actions of the indigenous.

Neither the PRD nor the Diocese of San Cristobal had anything to do with it. This peaceful action is by the EZLN support bases, and it represents one more protest to the federal and state governments for their failure to carry out the San Andres Accords, signed by the federal government and the EZLN more than 3 years ago.

Sixth. - Through this Wednesday's violent actions - when the police took the San Andres municipal facilities - the government is trying to deliver the coup de grace to the possibility of dialogue as a solution to the military conflict.

Seventh. - We are calling on national and international civil society to mobilize in order to prevent the government from repeating their violent actions, and for the government to definitively renounce the use of force, and to carry out the accords it signed.

Eighth. - We call on all honest persons to support our zapatista brothers and sisters in the defense of the seat of the peace dialogue.

Ninth. - We zapatistas want to make it quite clear that we will not abandon the ultimate symbol of a peaceful solution to the conflict: San Andres Sakamch'en de los Pobres. By attacking San Andres, the government has made it clear that it is not giving up its idea of violent action as a response to our just demands. History repeats itself: the government for war and the EZLN for peace.


From the mountains of the Mexican Southeast.
Clandestine Revolutionary Indigenous Committee,
General Command of the Zapatista Army of National Liberation
April of 1999.

To the Mexico page