May 10, 2000.
To the People of Mexico:
To the Peoples and Governments of the World:
To the National and International Press:
Brothers and Sisters:
First. - Over the last few weeks, the Mexican federal government has been insisting on violent actions and threats in an attempt to create a favorable climate for their determination to strike a definitive blow at the indigenous communities and the EZLN.
Second. - Under the pretext of fires in the Selva Lacandona, dozens of indigenous towns have been threatened with dislocation through joint Army and Federal Preventive Police forces. The truth is, the fires have only occurred in places where there is a strong military presence (such as in San Quinti'n). Which makes it quite obvious that it is only a pretext for an attack against the zapatistas.
Third. - Meanwhile, in the regions of Los Altos and the North in Chiapas, the federal government has reactivated its paramilitary groups in order to carry out criminal acts and thus provide the pretext for attacking zapatistas in these areas.
Fourth. - In recent days, in the municipalities of Chenalho' and Chalchihuita'n, paramilitary groups caused two acts of violence and crime: On May 7 2 persons lost their lives and others were wounded in an ambush. And, in the days following, another violent incident between PRIs from Chenalho' and Chalchihuita'n, due to a problem over adjacency between 2 municipalities, which has never been resolved by any government.
Fifth. - In an irresponsible and criminal act, the government of Chiapas is blaming our zapatista support bases for these 2 incidents. For that reason hundreds of Federal Army troops, State Public Security police, Federal and State Judicial police, and most certainly paramilitaries wearing military uniforms, are positioned a short distance away from Polho' Center, ready to attack, at any moment, the population of Polho', the seat of the Autonomous Municipality of Polho', and where there are thousands of children, women, old ones, ill and malnourished, all displaced by war. To these accusations, we respond: the EZLN does not harbor nor protect criminals, the Mexican government does (some of them are governors and Secretaries of State). Polho' is not Los Pinos.
Sixth. - Those truly responsible for the illegality, crime and destabilization in Chiapas should be sought in the government palace of Chiapas, in Los Pinos, in the Sedena and in the Federal Preventive Police, who are desperately seeking the means to reinitiate the fighting in Chiapas, in order, in that way, to rebuild the disastrous election campaign of the Official Candidate for the presidency, Francisco Labastida Ochoa.
Seventh. - We are calling on the national and international community to mobilize and to stop, once and for all, the attempts by the Ernesto Zedillo's government to use the war for electoral purposes.
>From the Mountains of the Mexican Southeast.
By the Clandestine Revolutionary Indigenous Committee
- General Command of the Zapatista Army of National Liberation.
Subcomandante Insurgente Marcos
Originally published in Spanish by the EZLN
Translated by irlandesa