We have responded with the dignity and resistance of our peoples

Ricardo Flores Mago'n Autonomous Municipality in Rebellion

April 17, 2000. Chiapas, Mexico.

To the People of Mexico
To the Peoples of the World
To Civil Society

Sisters and brothers:

Once again we are greeting your hearts, the indigenous campesino men, women, children and old ones of the territory in rebellion and resistance of Ricardo Flores Mago'n. Once more we are sending you our dissent, our word and our true reason, now in order to denounce the new and old threats of violence and provocation by the bad government. It has attempted, and it is attempting, by all means possible, to exterminate us, to seek confrontation and to wear down our struggle. But it has not been able to do so through the silent war to which it has condemned us, because we have responded with the dignity and resistance of our peoples, with truth, patience, history, culture, right and our commitment with civil society to seek a peaceful solution and a real peace. Even though our people have had to struggle, to suffer and to resist the silent war of extermination which the bad government wants to condemn us to, because we have dignity and will, and because we have not surrendered our word and our dreams. The bad government has used lies, repression, violence, war, soldiers, the judicial police and paramilitaries. Since they do not have justice, truth and reason, and they are only at the service of the rich and powerful, they cannot use justice, peace and right.

We have already raised our word and our reasons to you many times, in order to denounce the problem the government wants to use in order to continue and to justify the war and the lie. It is the problem of lands and territory in what they call the Lacandona region and the Montes Azules reserve, and which are, for us, the communities, village and indigenous territory of Ricardo Flores Mago'n. We have already amply explained to you the why of the history, right and struggles and work, that those lands belong to those who have worked them, who are working them, and who have won them through their blood and work in the struggle, and therefore the dislocation is unjust. In a few words, we have explained that those people and companeros and companeras in the majority in the communities have been working them for years and they have been asking for them, and no one saw us or listened to us in order to assert their right. But one day it occurred to a president to declare the reserve and the Lacandona region, without consulting and looking at the people's right, without seeing their work and their requests. And, in the same way, it occurred to another president to reform campesino rights in the 27th article of the Constitution, betraying the Mexican revolution and the indigenous campesino blood spilled in Zapata's fight. It did not matter to them that those territories, prior to the existence of the Mexican nation, had been occupied by our indigenous ancestors, and that, later, the lumber companies looted them. Nothing mattered to them, nor did they ask if we wanted it like that or not. The only thing that mattered to them was violating our historic and legal rights. After making their reforms and decrees, they did indeed see us, but as invaders now, and as criminals, as predators and illegal. They do not see us as indigenous demanding our right and giving reason, but as violent and intransigent. They see in their laws only that which serves them for making war against us, for persecuting and imprisoning us, not that which serves for doing justice for our peoples. Today they are repeating history.

We have also denounced how they are using and arming paramilitaries in order to cause confrontations between brothers, and they are inciting them to provoke and to dislocate. We are also denouncing that last month threats of dislocation began arriving from the institutions of the bad government, with only one disgraceful proposal for relocation and the granting of 5 hectares per family. We responded no, because one family cannot live on 5 hectares, and for years we have seen that their economic programs are of no use and benefit businesspersons, governments, shopkeepers and coyotes, and not the campesino. For him there is only more work, exploitation and his suffering, not a dignified life.

Today the threat exists that, before the end of this month, federales, the police and the judicial police are going to dislocate - accompanied by PRIs from Palestina - the communities of Viejo Velasco (Velasco Suarez 2), San Jacinto Lacanja' Tzeltal, Ojo de Agua Tzotzil, Flor de Cacao, Nuevo San Pedro (Laguna Suspiro), Laguna Ojos Azules and others from the border region Usumacinta, along with PRIs from Taniperla and Censo, are going to dislocate Laguna Parai'so (l. Ocotal) and Monte Azul.

We are telling you clearly that the paramilitaries from Palestina, Taniperla and Censo, along with Busilja', along with the bad government, have for some time been provoking, preparing arrest warrants, kidnapping and torturing the companeros and companeras of those communities. All so that our companeros will be seen as criminals. The paramilitaries are also involved in concealing and justifying the actions of the federal army and in continuing to prosecute the low intensity war.

We are saying that these operations are part of all that, and that they are being organized from the federal government, by Zedillo and Labastida's assassins, by the state government of the false and interim Albores, and in the Municipal Government by the paramilitary leaders Homero Hernandez and Pedro Chuli'n. We hold them responsible for whatever may take place during the dislocations.


Ricardo Flores Mago'n Autonomous Municipality in Rebellion

Originally published in Spanish by Enlace Civil A.C. <enlacecivil@laneta.apc.org> ______________________________ Translated by irlandesa

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