Brothers and sisters:
The Zapatista Army of National Liberation says its word concerning what happened recently in the municipality of Chenalho:
First. On January 13, 1999, in the indigenous community of Aldama, municipality of Chenalho, men, women, children and old ones, EZLN support bases, were attacked by Mexican Army troops. The military attack against the zapatistas is trying to be concealed behind the pretext of fighting drug trafficking.
Second. The zapatista communities have prohibited, by their own decision, the planting, trafficking and use of narcotics. The marijuana plants found in the vicinity of the town belong to non-zapatista indigenous who, with the collaboration and counsel of the soldiers and police, are planting narcotics in order to give government forces the legal pretext they need for their military incursions.
Third. The zapatistas of Aldama, Chenalho, had not destroyed the plants in order to avoid a confrontation with the paramilitaries, and they opposed the federal force's entrance out of fear, amply justified, that they would install a new barracks in that already militarized zone.
Fourth. The military force immediately rejected the option of dialogue and opted for the use of force. It attacked those civilians who were demonstrating their disagreement over their presence with clubs, electric prods and tear gas.
Fifth. Despite the fact that the head of the military operation, Jorge Isaac Jimenez Garcia, denied that the marijuana plants belonged to EZLN sympathizers, the federal government has orchestrated a campaign of slander in the media; it tried to present the zapatistas as colluding with drug trafficking. They are lying once more.
Sixth. Through this military operation and the government propaganda, the federal government is trying to conceal the recent revelations which involve federal Army personnel in the activities of the paramilitary groups who perpetrated the Acteal massacre (according to the former Public Ministry agent, detained a few days ago by the PGR).
Seventh. The EZLN calls on national and international public opinion to not allow themslelves to be deceived. We zapatistas are not, nor do we have any dealings with, drug traffickers. The government does.
We call on the people of Mexico and the peoples and governments of the world to mobilize themselves in order to stop this new offensive against the zapatista indigenous communities, to demand the carrying out of the San Andres Accords and to stop the war of extermination.
From the mountains of the Mexican southeast.
Originally published by La Jornada _____________________ Translated by irlandesa La Jornada Monday, January 18, 1999.