80 years since the death of General Emiliano Zapata

April 10, 1999.

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

"The rich become even more rich, and the poor become ever poorer. The rich have palaces, they spend on luxurious trains, they live in splendour, they comfort themselves with appetizing delicacies, they live without working, they enjoy all kinds of considerations and all the privileges. The poor languish in hunger, they live out in the elements or in huts worthy of animals, they lack coats to protect them from the cold, they often die from sunstroke, they are used as beasts of burden, in the country and in the shops they receive treatment that is not in keeping with human dignity: They are pariahs in their own country, and slaves of their own citizens. They are the ones who produce the wealth, and that wealth, nonethless, escapes them, and goes to stuff the wallets of the idle, mere consumers of that which has cost them no effort. That is why the revolution is so highly proclaimed: The country will never be in peace, as long as the feudalism of the countryside is not destroyed, as long as the lands are not distributed among those who know how and want to cultivate them, as long as the monopoly of the scoundrels does not disappear, guarantees are not given to the workers and workers' wages are not improved."
General Emiliano Zapata
June 24, 1914.

Brothers and Sisters:

Today it has been 80 years since the death of General Emiliano Zapata.

General Emiliano Zapata was and is the symbol of those who fight for what they believe in to its ultimate end.
The symbol of those who do not sell themselves.
The symbol of those who resist.
The symbol of those who do not surrender nor lower their flags.

Since he could not be bought with money and flattery, nor frightened by threats and persecution, the powerful deceived him, in order to kill his body and to set free the soul of General Zapata.

But the chief of the liberation army of the south, characterized in his time as a "transgressor of the law," and rebel against "the state of law," was born anew many times and on different nights in the Mexican countryside.

Throughout all the lands he showed how not to be deceived by he who says he governs, but only destroys, by he who arrogantly rides roughshod, by he who does not hear, by he who only speaks alone.

In the mountains of the Mexican Southeast, General Emiliano Zapata took voice, step and face of Votan, the guardian and heart of the people, and he became Votan-Zapata, path and step of the most small.

Zapata had walked for 80 years when it appeared that he no longer walked. 80 years of being born when it appeared that they had killed him. 80 years struggling and the same debts still unpaid and the same betrayals continuing.

And this is the history of 80 years after April 10 in Chinameca:

Those who killed him, today have become mindless with wealth and blood in the great government palaces.

Those who bore him, today live and walk so that the land will once more belong to those who work it, and liberty will finally be for everyone.

Those who killed him, today sell off our land and wealth, and they are destroying the great Mexican nation.

Those who bore him, today are opposed to the market in histories and dignities, and they are struggling to defend indigenous rights, the electricity industry, free education, oil, the land for he who works it, tomorrow for those who walk it, the just and free peace for those who truly seek and want it.

80 years later, the same ones who betrayed and killed Zapata are still in power.
And, 80 years later, the same ones who fought alongside Zapata are once again fighting next to him.
80 years later, the cry of Land and Liberty continues unabated.
80 years later, the zapatistas of the EZLN once more are calling to the peoples of all the country to not surrender the struggle for land, for dignified housing, for well paid work, for good food, for education, for health.
And, today, 80 years later, fighting for all of this is fighting for national sovereignty, that is, for independence, for democracy, liberty, justice and peace in Mexico.

Today the zapatistas of the EZLN call on all the people of Mexico to mobilize in defense of the nation and against those who want to sell the sovereignty, with the excuses of bad accounts and lack of money, when the truth is that what the leaders are lacking is shame, and the bad accounts are those which have allowed them to enrich themselves and to enrich a small gang of thieves, some of whom are or were state governors, and another one who is hiding out in green Dublin.

Today Zapata lives in us and he lives in the struggle of millions of Mexicans who know that the defense of national sovereignty is loose in the countryside and in the city, in the indigenous municipalities and communities, in the unions and social organizations, in the non-govermental and the political organizations, in the grass roots church communities and in the honest clergy, in students and teachers, in neighbors and housewives, in homosexuals and lesbians, in boys and girls, in women, in young people, in old ones.

No more deceptions. No more betrayals. No more bad leaders. No more humiliations of the people. No more destruction and selling off of our sovereignty.

The carrying out of the San Andres Accords and an End to the War of Extermination!

No to the privatization of the electricity industry!


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

April of 1999.

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