To the People of Mexico:
To the Peoples and Governments of the World:
Brothers and Sisters:
On February 9 of this year, many Mexican men and women will join their voices and their steps together in protest over the paramilitary occupation of the UNAM, in order to demand the release of all the imprisoned students, in order to demand the renewal of dialogue.
We zapatistas join forces with this mobilization, and we say our word:
First. - Once again Ernesto Zedillo's government has responded to the legitimate demands of a group of Mexican men and women with the use of force. Today the jails are filled with social activists. Hundreds of young university students have been taken prisoner in clear violation of the law, common sense and reason. The National Autonomous University of Mexico has been turned into a paramilitary barracks.
Second. - The month of February is now a symbol of a government: in February of 1995 it betrayed - as it is doing today at the UNAM - the will for dialogue. In February of 1996 it feigned its agreement for an end to the war in the Mexican southeast. In February of 2000 it is taking refuge behind the sole arguments of blows and jail. The Zedillo Februarys are those of pretense, betrayal, the repressive strike, and jail as state policy.
Third. - The protests were swift in coming. No one can speak of democracy, of liberty or of justice in this country, while students are filling the jails and not the classrooms, while paramilitaries are occupying schools, while dialogue is being turned into a sham and there is no truth other than violence.
Fourth. - Notable among the popular reactions - in addition to the calm courage of the students who are today prisoners - are the spirited support of the parents, who have not only not abandoned their children, but who have demonstrated their dignity and firmness, and the swift reaction from political and social organizations of the left and progressive intellectuals, who, leaving their differences aside, are joining together in order to demand that the injustice be put right.
Fifth. - In the face of just popular indignation, the government is responding by attempting to dismantle the mobilizations, releasing some students and keeping those it considers "less popular" as prisoners.
Sixth. - We zapatistas are doing ours, and we join in the call by progressive forces in the country - beginning today - to carry out a continuous campaign of peaceful mobilizations throughout the country, demanding the freedom of ALL the imprisoned students, the departure of the federal police from the schools, the return to dialogue, an end to the fascist policies and the repudiation of national law against the attack against the national university - let us raise a national mobilization.
Seventh. - It is not the moment of silence. It is not the moment of immobility. It is not the moment of cynicism. It is not the moment of desperation or defeat.
It is the hour of the word that mobilizes. It is the hour of unity. It is the hour of hope and of struggle for
>From the mountains of the Mexican Southeast.
By the General Command of the Clandestine Revolutionary Indigenous Committee of the Zapatista Army of National Liberation.
Subcomandante Insurgente Marcos.
Mexico, February of 2000.
Communique' from the General Command of the Clandestine Revolutionary Indigenous Committee of the Zapatista Army of National Liberation. Mexico. Originally published in Spanish by the EZLN _________________________ Translated by irlandesa