To the national and international civil society
The 5,000 zapatista delegates that will go to all the municipalities in the country have already been named. (There have actually been 6,000 named just in case replacements are needed). While we prepare for the journey, I take advantage of this time to tell you a little bit about how the organization for the nacional consultation for the acknowledgement of the indigenous people's rights and for an end to this exterminating war, is going.
I don't know if to begin telling you about the messages that are left on our answering machine so that you will know for example, that the "Chac" called to give us suggestions and greetings (in that order). A good number of the calls come from Chihuahua. A Junior High teacher, Alma, tells us that she is fed up with the government lies, that she supports the national consultation and that she is hopeful that everything will change for the better if we organize ourselves. (Cheers and greetings, Alma, we too "la queretaros un restoran"). A radio program in Chihuahua ( I think its called live and direct) called to ask us questions so that their listeners could listen and get informed, live and direct, what this national consultation is about. (Unfortunatly I don't know where to send them the recording of our talk). The "Chihuahua Daily" newspaper also called so that we would send a message to their readers (with any luck they will publish this letter, which is also for them). The Segura family, from Ciudad Juarez tells us they lament the actual situation of the country and prays that God may iluminate us. Others also call to remind us about mother's day (which isn't vitally important just yet, since we are still far away from May). Others just call to listen to the message on the answering machine or to say hello or to wish us good luck.
But it is better that I not tell you about all that. The phone calls are numerous, and many are the spirits they represent.
Instead, I will tell you about the promotional brigades that have been acredited at the National Consulta Office. There is for example, the "Moses" brigade that works in Poza Rica, Veracruz and promotes the consultation in the Chapultepec, Social Works, Saint Roman and Tepeyac areas. The leader of this brigade is a woman who is physically very sick, but healthier in spirit than everyone else. She, without expecting any applause, is determined to fight for justice. Of course, along with the other six members of her brigade. I need not put her name, but she and us know who she is. There is also the "Land and Liberty" brigade that works in Tijuana, Baja California which has created the video "Sup - Speedy and the Consultation". Another notable birgade is "Brothers" in Ensenada, Baja California, which is promoted in Triqui and Nahuatl languages.
In Parral Chihuahua, the "Teporaka" brigade promotes the consultation in the Raramuri language and they tell us: Kita Shiwe (which in Raramuri means "Don't give up"). In Chiapas, the "Chawok" brigade (which means "thunder") works in the Mam, Chuj, and Jaltieco languages. There are also other brigades that work in Tzeltal, Tzotzil, Tojobal, Chol, Cakchiquel, Zoque, and Castilla languages. In Colima there is a brigade called "La Parota Apapachadora" that also promotes the consultation. In Mexico City there are many youth brigades (one is called "Tlachaches in rebellion", so be careful!) Also in Mexico City is the Multifourom Alicia which serves as a brigade. In the state of Mexico, the brigade "Tloque - Nahuaque" promotes in the Otomi language. In Guanajuato, to the tune of "Yepa - yepa!, the "Ruben Jaramillo" brigade promotes the consultation in Salamanca. The same shout is heard in Guadalajara under the "AOKMO" brigade. In Michiacan the "Utopia" works in the Purepechua language. In Puebla, the brigades "Chaneques" and "Adelita" ask us to cheer them on(so here goes: A la bio, a la bao, etc.!) In Quntana Roo, the "Sacbe" brigade works in the Mayan language. In Sinaloa, "the indecisive" brigade hope to decide by working on the consultation. In San Luis Potosi, in Tamazunchale actually, basketball is played and the consultation is promoted in both the Teke and Nahatl languages. In Tampico, Tamaulipas, the brigade isn't called "Sebastian Guillen", but is "Tamaulipas for peace". En Veracruz, the "Stuburn Men" brigade honors its name when it comes to fighting with dignity. In Jerez de Garcia, Zacatecas, there is a brigade called, of course, "Lopez Velarde"
And there are still more. In Mexico City for example, a group of former professional soccer players (now retired from the "man's game") have schedueld a soccer match between them and the Zapatista delegates of Mexico City. They ask us if we accept the challenge and what our uniform should be like. Of course we accept and we ask that our uniform be: a black t-shirt with a five pointed star with the EZLN isignia on the front, the number on the shirt should also be red. The shorts should be white (in "Chololo" Diaz fashion), and black socks. Do not worry about the shoes, we will have sandals from the "Yepa - Yepa", the only globalized sandal (oh well, now we have an exclusive contract). I have planed to align from the left (I mean, we must be consistent right?) and in the defense we will install a Zapatista reserve. Our strategy will be worthy resistance. They tell us that the group of ex- soccer players wil provide the stadium and the ball. Perfect, we will provide the referee.
And so I could tell you about many many men, women, children and elders that, at this moment, are working so that the consultation in Mexico may come out smoothly, and so its success may be a step on the road towards peace that we all deserve and need.
But instead of continuing to give you dispersed facts, I will give you a summary of the most important events of this promotional period for the national consultation. Up until the 11th of Feb., 1999, there were more than 600 brigades in 30 of the 32 federal states (we are only lacking brigades in Nayarit and Campeche, but they are to be formed soon). The states with the largest number of brigade members are Mexico City, Chiapas, Puebla, the Sate of Mexico, San Luis Potosi, Veracruz, Oaxaca, Sinaloa, Chihuahua, Morelos, Nuevo Leon y Zacatecas.
Many of those men and women that participate in the brigades throughout the country are politically unafilliated. What are the political and social organizations waiting for to become a part of all this? Come on and join, this consultation is for everyone.
So that is how we are doing. There are already many municiaplities with brigades, but many more are missing. So come on, form your brigade and enlist it!
I will tell you about the international consultation next time. We have brigades in Spain, Italy, in the Basque region, Argentina, Uruguay, Japan, South Korea, South Africa, France, Norway, Switzerland, Nicaragua, Israel, Greece, Ingland, Australia, Switzerland, Canada, Venezuela, Brasil, Puerto Rico, Chile, and in the U.S.A.
Well, this is all that I wanted to tell you. Do not forget that the consultation is on Sunday, the 21st of March, 1999 and that Zapatista delegates will go to different municipalities to talk and listen, as that is what the consultation is for.
Cheers and "Kita Shiwe!
>From the Southeast Mexican mountains.
Subcomandante Insurgente Marcos
Mexico, February 1999
TRANSLATION BY CLAUDIA OLVERA ************************************* ___________________________________________________ NUEVO AMANECER PRESS-N.A.P.To know about us visit: http://www.nap.cuhm.mx/nap0.htm (spanish)