January has been a month of sorrows

(Let us not forget that the 12th was the fifth anniversary of the 'other' uprising).

To the national and international press;

Ladies and gentlemen:

Two communiques are off, two. The one and the other note new arbitrary acts of the 'state of law.' In short, it is clear that, when a State loses all legitimacy, the only thing it has left is the pyrrhic support of jails and bayonets. And Justice? "That is irresponsible populism," responds the one responsible for the economic, social and political devastation of Mexico.

January has been a month of sorrows for the country, doubly sorrowful for those of below. First was the death of Monsignor Bartolome Carrasco, member of the Commission of Monitoring and Verification and cleric committed to the causes of poor Mexicans, especially of the Oaxaca indigenous. Because of that, here sorrow is also felt for the sorrow felt in the indigenous communities of Oaxaca.

Then came the death of Rodolfo F. Pena, editorial writer for La Jornada. Many remember that great man of action and thought as an honest journalist and a defender of the rights of the workers from the countryside and the city. We do as well, but we also remember him and hold him close for his support for the struggle of the indigenous peoples of Mexico. Because of that, the sadness of those close to him is our sadness as well.

Here, SuperAttack-Dog Albores follows the footsteps of the Southern Cone dictatorships [Argentina, Chile, et al.] and presents his legislative proposal granting amnesty to criminal military and paramilitary persons, and in an attempt to set a legal argument for the new offensive being carried out against the zapatista communities. The federal Army is concealing its brutality behind the fragile pretext of fighting drug trafficking (when they are the primary promoters of its planting and important beneficiaries of its trafficking). And the same strategy as in '98 for Chiapas: when Zedillo came to these lands, when they attacked communities under one and another pretexts. Will the Congress of the Union march behind those calls to war?

It matters not, do what they may do, 5 thousand zapatistas 5 thousand will go to all the municipalities for the consultation on Sunday, March 21, 1999. Incidentally, have you registered your publicity and information brigades yet? Contact Office for the Consultation. Telephone and fax: (967) 8-10-13 (967) 8-21-59. E-mail: contacto@laneta.apc.org. The Internet page (I believe they call it "WEB") is still under construction, but it is going to be 'de peluquines.'

Salud and, if demanding citizens rights is mutiny, then there will be millions of mutineers.

From the mountains of the Mexican southeast.
Subcomandante insurgente Marcos
Mexico, January 14, 1999

Nosy P.S.
(please send your responses to "To Whom it May Concern. Los Pinos. Mexico, DF").

1. When Labastida says the idiocies which he says about Chiapas, does he do so because he is already the PRI candidate for 2000, or because he already won't be it? Is 'pilot' [also one who is paid while doing no work] Rabasa being paid to coordinate the dialogue or to travel abroad in order to try to do the impossible, that is, to give a quick take on the Mexican government, or to replace the Congress of the Union and threaten to suspend the law for dialogue? Does the fact that the "government's strategy for Chiapas" is being broadcast abroad, and not in Mexico, mean that the government is trying to internationalize the conflict? Does the PGR's so-called 'White Book on Acteal' reek because of what it says or because of what it doesn't say? Now that Labastida is leaving, will Liebano or Diodoro continue the same strategy? Or will they truly want a peaceful solution to the conflict?

2. If the teachers who called upon the senators to listen to their demands are accused of kidnapping, what are they going to accuse those of who kidnapped politics and dealt out prisons and deaths as warnings? How many jails does it take to silence a people?

3. When Zedillo tells all of us Mexicans that the economic path he is following will improve our standard of living, is it stupid or cynical or hypocritical or perverse or all the above? The price of the tortilla: will it improve our standard of living? And that of milk? And that of bread? And that of meat? And that of eggs? And that of vegetables? And that of medicine? And that of transportation? And the bankrupt businesses? And the lay-offs? And the low wages?

P.S. for the FARC. Colombia, Latin America: May the path and steps, begun in the peace dialogue between your representatives and the Colombian government, be good. You have our respect, our greetings and our desire that Pastrana's govenrment does not imitate Senor Zedillo's in Mexico, who, more than three years after signing the first peace accords with the EZLN, refuses to carry them out.

Militarist P.S.: Pedrito (tojolabal, two and a half years old, born during the first Intergalactic) is playing with a little car with no wheels or body. In fact, it appears to me that what Pedrito is playing with is a piece of that wood that they call "cork" here, but he has told me very decisively that it is a little car and that it is going to Margaritas to pick up passengers.

It is a gray and cold January morning and we are passing through this village which is today electing the delegates (one man and one woman) whom it will be sending to the March 21 consultation.

The village is in assembly when a Commander-type plane, blue and yellow, from the Army Rainbow Task Force and a pinto helicopter from the Mexican Air Force, begin a series of low overflights above the community. The assembly is not interrupted, those who are speaking merely raise their voices.

Pedrito is fed up with having the artillery aircraft above him, and he goes, fiercely, in search of a stick inside his hut. Pedrito comes out of his house with a piece of wood, and he angrily declares that "I'm going to hit the airplane because it's bothering me a lot." I smile to myself at the child's ingenuousness.

The plane makes a pass over Pedrito's hut, and he raises the stick and waves it furiously at the war plane. The plane then changes its course and leaves in the direction of its base.

Pedrito says "There now" and starts playing once more with his piece of cork, pardon, with his little car.

The Sea and I look at each other in silence. We slowly move towards the stick which Pedrito left behind, and we pick it up carefully. We analyze it in great detail.

"It's a stick," I say.

"It is," the Sea says.

Without saying anything else, we take it with us. We run into Tacho as we're leaving. "And that?" he asks, pointing to Pedrito's stick which we had taken. "Mayan technology," the Sea responds.

Above, a suddenly clear sky becomes golden next to clouds like marzipan.

Vale de nuez.

The Sup, trying to remember how Pedrito did what he did.

(Above, the helicopter is a useless tin vulture).

Originally published by La Jornada _____________________ Translated by irlandesa   La Jornada Monday, January 18, 1999.

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