Oscar Cha'vez to perform in rebel territory

To: Oscar Cha'vez

Don Oscar:

We are writing you in the name of the men, women, children and old ones of the EZLN. We know you have made a record with music dedicated to Chiapas and to the Indian peoples who are resisting with dignity, and that you have also decided to present that record in the Aguascalientes of Oventic, Chiapas, in zapatista territory, on June 11 of this year.

We have known of you for a long time. We have always admired your artistic qualities, your historic research of our musical roots, and, above all, your constant commitment to the most just causes. Now you are honoring us with choosing zapatista territory in which to make a public appearance. It is unusual for an artist of the moral stature and prestige of Oscar Cha'vez to perform in rebel territory. Believe us that we feel closer to you than these lines are able to express, and that we feel that your singing in these lands will find the echo which hope always deserves and obtains.

We want you to know that we shall receive you as a big brother (which is what it is for us) when you arrive in Oventic. The difficult conditions of militarization and the climate of persecution which we zapatistas are suffering will make it practically impossible for members of the CCRI-CG of the EZLN to personally attend your concert (and we are not lacking in desire, even Comandante David has already been tuning his guitar). Even so, those who are the real leaders of our struggle, the zapatista support bases, will be present in order to listen to you, in order to accompany you, and, above all, to make you feel our gratitude and admiration.

Even though we will not be able to be present, know that we shall be there, represented by those men, women, children and old ones, who shall be listening to you and applauding you. Not just for your artistic abilities, but also, and most especially, for the caliber of your humanity. In our positions in the mountain, the music of your songs is already part of our daily lives, and there are not a few nights or rains which surprise us singing them (if we are a bit out of key, put it down to the weight of the weapon or the memory). Be welcome to zapatista lands, the last corner of rebel dignity.

Vale. Salud and may the concert of peace be sung some time in the only way in which it is possible, that is, with dignity.

>From the mountains of the Mexican Southeast.
By the Clandestine Revolutionary Indigenous Committee
- General Command Of the Zapatista Army of National Liberation.

Comandante David,
Subcomandante Insurgente Marcos.

Mexico, June of 2000.

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