Marcos on Windows and Reality

March 21, 2000.

To: Germa'n Dehesa Mexico, DF

Don Germa'n:

I have been wanting to write to you for some time. I have been reading you for quite a while (always, of course, assuming the Reforma reaches the Selva Lacandona), attentively and with amused seriousness (there is such a thing, no?). Now, reading your column of Thursday, March 16, I see that you have generously turned an attentive ear to our words. I shall try to not go on too long. Sale y vale.

You ask first: "What has the Zapatista Army of National Liberation done to preserve the Selva Lacandona?"

I answer: pass laws and see that they are carried out. As you could not know (because the government has presented the autonomous municipalities as secessionist), the autonomous authorities of the zapatista indigenous communities in the Selva Lacandona have passed a law prohibiting "the grazing, cutting down and burning of the high mountain (the companeros use the word "high mountain" to refer to the wooded areas, differentiating them from fields - planted lands - and from "acahuales," lands with low growth, invariably thorns, thistles, lianas and other parasitic plants). The communities have not been content with establishing and promulgating this law. They have, in addition, taken charge of seeing to its compliance and to punishing its lack of observance. The penalties for these crimes are extra community work and fines. And, it's carried out. In this manner they have not only halted the destruction of the wooded areas of the Selva Lacandona, but they have also managed to partly modify the patterns of planting in the communities. In order to confront the fires which proliferate at this time of the year, the villages have a system of communication and signals so that they can come to each other's aid if a fire spreads. The result? There are tens of thousands of expert "firefighters" in the zapatista areas. This, and more, is what the indigenous are doing, Senor Dehesa, in order to protect the land that is, for them, not just a means of survival, but also the place of memory, of culture, of history. This is what those indigenous are doing, who are rebels against a government that refuses to honor its word and which - in response to their demands for justice - has sent tens of thousands of soldiers who - believe me, Senor Dehesa - do not come to Chiapas to plant the little trees you saw in San Miguel de los Jagu:eyes, but rather to plant the terror that you will only see in the faces of the men, women, children and old ones who have the misfortune of having, on their lands, a soldiers' barracks, several bars, at least one brothel and no respect for civil authority.

I am telling you this, Senor Dehesa, not because I want to "convert" you into a zapatista or to recruit you. I am doing so because you are as intelligent as your words reflect (and, more, there is brilliance that cannot even be revealed by words). It is obvious that their inviting you to San Miguel de los Jagu:eyes (and not to Acteal, or Amador Herna'ndez, or Amparo Aguatinta, or TaniPerla, or Roberto Barrios, or to other sites of military "reforesting") was not done innocently, and that you understand that.

Since, I am sure, you are broadminded and eager to learn of the different images of the same reality, I am inviting you to come to Chiapas incognito. Go to Comita'n and take an air taxi there to the community of Amador Herna'ndez. From the air, just as you arrive, you will be able to appreciate the brutal felling of trees by the soldiers stationed there for their heliports, as well as the amount of woods deforested in order to clear the "firing fields" for their machine guns. If you land and manage to penetrate the military fortification, you will be able to se the drums of defoliants in their warehouses and the flame-throwers which, along with mortars and light machine guns, form part of their arsenal.

Go to Amador Herna'ndez, you will not be received by any Secretary of State or by any "high command" of the zapatista guerrilla, nor will you be attended to by any public relations director. Indigenous Tzeltal men and women will receive you, they will show you their destroyed fields of crops, their contaminated water sources, the pitfall traps with sharpened stakes inside, the walls of branches and cut trees, behind which the soldiers hide so that they do not have to see the words the indigenous men and women show them every day demanding their withdrawal. Come, Senor Dehesa, you have nothing to lose and, perhaps, much to understand. You could (it is a suggestion) bring Madame Loaeza (who also wants to make the trip) along with you. I am certain that she could come up with a good disguise that would allow both of you to pass unrecognized, and you could, in that way, confirm the "other" reality of the federal soldiers in the Selva Lacandona.

Because those soldiers whom Senor Aguilar Zinser sees (and applauds), "caring for" the forests of the Selva Lacandona, are the accomplices of the talamontes (the large trucks with clandestine wood have free passage at the military checkpoints in the Canadas). They are the same ones who raped indigenous women in the community of Morelia. The same ones who summarily executed indigenous in Ocosingo. The same ones who are training paramilitaries (whose greatest "forest" task is the massacre of children, women, men and old ones at Acteal), who convert schools and churches into barracks (visit the north of Chiapas), who prostitute the indigenous women (talk with the PRI women of San Quinti'n), who steal newborns in the "brand new" hospital of old Guadalupe Tepeyac in order to sell them (completely or in parts) on the black market in the United States. Who plant, traffic in and consume drugs (let them show you the areas around the barracks at Guadalupe Tepeyac, San Quinti'n, TaniPerla, Ibarra or La Soledad, to mention a few). Who protect drug traffickers on their routes to the American Union (after 1995, the year of the "recovery of national sovereignty," the South American cartels recovered the springboard they had lost with the EZLN uprising). Who have introduced alcohol into the communities (you can observe the military convoys escorting trucks with alcoholic beverages). The same ones who are persecuting, threatening, beating, jailing, raping and killing Mexican indigenous (in any community which has the misfortune to have a barracks close by) who, as far as I understand, are worth the same (or less) than any little tree.

Come, Senor Dehesa, come and see and talk and ask that they show you what they have inside the army barracks in the community of San Quinti'n (at the door of the Montes Azules biosphere). There you will be able to see the efficient modern dungeons designed to torture indigenous, the tunnels for "disappearing" persons without leaving any traces for human rights observers. Come, look and listen.

Come, and you will see that there are two programs for the future: the government's and the indigenous'. Ours seeks "to create the conditions for our good people of the countryside to recover their strength: their history, their ways of thinking, their dignity, their respectability, their initiative" (Dehesa, G. Reforma, Friday, March 17, 2000), and that which is not present in the election campaign.

Do not believe me, Senor Dehesa, believe what your eyes see and your ears hear. If your trip is not possible, pay no attention to what that I am writing here. Look, instead, at the hundreds of reports from non-governmental organizations, from scientists and researchers, from the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights. All of them recommend the army's withdrawal from Chiapas. And it is not because they want to see the forests destroyed. It is because they do not see the soldiers planting little trees, but, rather, violating human rights.

Good, Senor Dehesa, I hope I have limited myself to the number of pages that I imagine your column takes up. As to the rest, do not believe that about email. The only effective means of communicating with the EZLN General Command is still provided by a pair of boots, somewhat worn-out, for sure, but still serviceable. I do not know if you will publish this, or what the tone of your response will be. Whatever it may be, know that you have, at the least, two readers (including La Mar) in the mountains of the Mexican Southeast who, despite their not sharing many of your opinions and values, laugh quite happily at your wit, your incisiveness and your joy.

Vale. Salud, and the tree that matters is the one of the morning.

>From the mountains of the Mexican Southeast.

Subcomandante Insurgente Marcos.
Mexico, March of 2000.

Cheeky PS. I forgot, you also asked: "How many trees has Marcos planted?" I answer you: Without counting the little orange tree that graces the doors of the EZLN General Command, one could say that I have only planted one other tree. It is a very odd tree. Not just because its planting has required the support of thousands of men and women for several generations. Not just because its nurture involves much pain and, it is only fair to say, many smiles. No, Senor Dehesa, the tree we are planting here is odd because it is a tree for everyone, for those who have not yet been born, for those whom we do not know, for those who will be when we have been lost behind the corner of any calendar. When our tree grows, under its shade will sit the great and small, whites and darks and red and the red and the blue, indigenous and mestizo, men and women, the tall and the short, without those differences mattering, and, above all, without any of them feeling less or worse or ashamed for being as they are. Under that tree there will be respect for the other, dignity (which does not mean arrogance), justice and liberty. If I were pushed to define that tree briefly, I would tell you that it is a tree of hope. If, some morning on the map of Chiapas, instead of an immense green area broken up by the blue lines of rivers and streams, signs of oil wells are seen, and uranium mines, casinos, exclusive residential areas and military bases, then that will mean that those soldiers, who you say are caring for the Selva Lacandona, will have won. It will not mean that we have lost, just that we are taking longer to win than we had thoughtÖ


(Off the record: La Realidad) (Postscript to Letter 6c )

March of 2000

To: Don Pablo Gonza'lez Casanova.
UNAM, Mexico

"Windows are like cookies:
they are tasty and nourishing."
Don Durito of the Lacandona.

Don Pablo:

I am sure that the epigram at the top of this letter will seem strange to you, and its author even more so. It is not easy to explain, but I will try to do so. Everything began when ;

Above, the sky stretches from horizon to horizon. It is stretched so much that its skin rips, and light can be seen through the tatters. There is very little wind. Even so, a fleeting breeze brings me the echoes of some voices. I climb down from the Ceiba and walk towards a little light covered by trees. It appears to be a small gathering or some such. I approach and "in order to distinguish between the voices of the echoes, I stopped and listened, among the voices, to just one." The Mad Hatter and the March Hare are sharing tea while discussing a poll with La Mar which says that 90% of human beings prefer to celebrate their non-birthdays and to give up birthday parties. These things only happen in the mountains of the Mexican southeast. I am of the 10% who prefer to celebrate their birthdays, and so I was left without tea and without discussion.

However it may be, it is now getting to be the 21st on all the calendars, and for lack of tea there will be coffee and animal cookies. And, speaking of little animals, Zedillo's expanded cabinet (that is, his own and the one called ñ ostentatiously - Labastida's "campaign team") is abounding in their increasingly less respectable statements. And it is not that the respectable has lost respectability, what is happening is that the number of Mexican men and women who are paying attention to what the Supreme One is saying is dwindling rapidly.

Durito, who, charges like a politician trying to get nominated when cookies are spoken of, appears at one of the edges of the table. I was writing a response to Don Pablo Gonza'lez Casanova (more of a postscript), when Durito, throwing eye patch, wooden leg and hook aside, exclaims-asks-demands:

"Did someone say cookies?"

"I didn't say them, I wrote them. And don't get excited because they're animal ones, and, as far as I'm aware, they aren't among your favorites."

"Why do you always mix politics up with things as noble as cookies. Besides, I know where there are some" Pancremas" put away."

I immediately stopped writing.

"'Pancremas?' Where?"

"Nothing, nothing. If there's no tea, there's no cookies."

"But Durito; Okay, let's negotiate: I'll help you to work on the sardine ca?er, excuse me, the galley, and you tell me where the 'Pancremas' are."

Durito thinks about it for a minute. Then he asks:

"Does that include washing the deck and bailing out the water in storms?"

""It includes it," I say, seeing that right now the sky has no room for clouds, and so I don't have to worry about any storms.

"Follow me," says Durito, and, getting down from the table, he embarks on the march in the mountains.

I took the lamp, although the moon made it unnecessary. We did not walk far. Durito stopped in front of a Huapac and pointed to one of its branches. "There," he said. I looked towards where he was pointing and I saw a little bag hanging. It must have been an old "mailbox," left some time ago by one of our units.. Durito sat down at the base of the tree and began to smoke. I interpreted his silence and climbed the tree, undid the bag and climbed down with it. Upon opening it I saw that there indeed was a package of "Pancrema" cookies, and a pair of "AA" batteries, a lamp that was already oxidized, an old worn book by Lewis Carroll (Through the Looking Glass), a zapatista song book and a book of political theory whose author is Subcomandante Insurgente Marcos!

I do not remember having written any book on political theory. In fact, I don't remember having written any book, period. Certainly the idea of a long work, expounding on what the zapatistas think about politics, has been going round my head, but nothing has been decided. I began leafing through the book while Durito did a good job of polishing off the cookies. When I turned around, there were no longer even any crumbs left of the "Pancremas."

"You finished them all off?" I reproached him.

"You should be grateful to me. They were more rancid than the "new" PRI" Durito looked at me and added: "I can see that something is bothering you. You can confide in me, my dear disconcerted nose."

"It's that I've found this book in the mailbox. How is it possible to find, in an old mailbox in the mountain, a book that hasn't been written yet?"

"The solution to your problem is in the other book."

"Which? The Lewis Carroll one?"

"Obviously! Take a look at Chapter 5."

And so I did. I'm not very sure, but I believe the answer would be in the following dialogue between Alice and the White Queen:

"That is the result of living backwards," the White Queen said kindly. "At the beginning it always makes one feel a little confused."

"Live backwards!" replied Alice, greatly surprised. "I have never heard of such a thing!"

"But there is a great advantage in that: our memory works in both directions."

"I'm sure that mine only works one way," Alice observed. "I cannot remember things before they happen."

"That is a sad memory that can only work backwards," the Queen answered.

"What kinds of things do you remember best?" Alice dared to ask.

"Oh, the things that happened within two weeks," the White Queen responded negligibly.

Lewis Carroll, Through the Looking Glass. Chapter 5

"So I have in my hands a book that hasn't been written yet?" I said.

"That is so. We are in one of those areas called a "window."

I looked at him in surprise.

"Yes," Durito says. "Windows. Or, in those places where one can look at the other side, whether at what has happened, or at what is going to happen. Here, for example, you can see what Zedillo's administration has been, and also see the chaos which it is leading to. Now the only stable thing is instability. There will be all kinds of problems."

"Well it seems they are already happening. You can already see the stock market is sky high, and, I don't understand very well, economic indices assure there will be no "December error."

"That's because it will happen in another month." Durito seems to take notice of my perplexity, because he almost immediately adds: "You should understand." Durito looks at me doubtfully and corrects himself: "Okay, you should try to understand that look, better that you read what I'm writing." Durito hands me some written pages where it says:


Macro-economic indices: Cosmetic Cover-up

In an election year, in addition to candidates, lies abound. One of the biggest is the one that sings the praises of an economic growth that is not to be seen anywhere. Blind to what the common people are suffering, government officials exhibit figures which say more in what they don't say. The high macro-economic indices are nothing but a cosmetic cover-up for concealing the reality: the growth in poverty and in the number of poor in the country. In response to the evidence that no one believes them, the government puts the achievements and the applause for the rapid and tumultuous sale of Mexico into the mouths of the large financial centers. While at business and government meetings (the most powerful club of the nation's criminals), they congratulate each other for the increased profits, in Mexico's streets and countryside survival becomes an everyday battle, and the price increases of basic products and services are reflected in the tables (less food and of poorer quality), in the streets (unemployed and under-employed are growing), in the small businesses (misery and closing), and in the countryside (emigration to the cities and to the American Union increases).

And, even so, the macro cosmetics present serious shortcomings. At the 13th Congress of the National College of Economists, the Zedillisto Secretary of Commerce (Herminio Blanco) encountered criticism of his publicity campaign. Enrique Dussel, UNAM researcher, told him: "The 3100 maquiladoras and 300 largest national and foreign companies are 0.12 of the country's businesses, and they create only 5.6% of the jobs." (El Universal, February 9, 2000, Financial Section, reportage by Lilia Gonza'lez and Alberto Bello). Noting that large corporations had not created a productive chain with small and mid size industries (which are the primary source of employment in Mexico), the researcher had the sense of humor to point out to Senor Blanco: "These are facts, not globalphobia." (Ibid.).

In the great fraud called the "North American Free Trade Act" (product of the great Salinas lie), the future is now being projected with the signing of a free trade agreement with the European Union. With a liking for modern cover-ups, the European governments are extending their hands to Zedillo without caring that his is covered with indigenous blood, without noticing that his government is the one that has the most ties with drug trafficking, and closing their eyes to the lack of democracy in our country. The European Union's flexibility can be understood, what is at stake is a slice of the pie that is called, still, "Mexico." Due to the marvels of globalization, a country is measured by its macro-economic indices. The people? They do not exist, there are only buyers and sellers. And, within those, there are classifications: the small, the large and the macro. These latter ones buy or sell countries. At one time they were governments of Nation States, today they are only merchants in search of good prices and lucrative profits. The political class and their recruits: the army, the media, intellectuals, international bodies.

If we have said before that the political class is increasingly less political and increasingly more business oriented, in an election year cynicism achieves levels of a publicity "boom." The ones that "matter" are not the governed, rather those who contribute to, or make difficult, the exercise of power. Called upon by the Mexican political class, the high clergy, the army, the electronic media, the intellectuals and international bodies become "the great electors." Their respective parcels receive the regime's benefits, more conspicuously during an election. Citizens remain at the margins, and their demands are reduced to surveys of electoral preferences. The statements, counter-statements and comments among themselves belong to the so-called "leaders" of an opinion that is increasingly closer to an agreement among cronies, and increasingly removed from a serious debate about ideas and programs.

The high clergy advances, with purported divine backing, on terrestrial intrigues. Teaming up with those in power and/or those who aspire to power, the Catholic hierarchy sees with satisfaction that its words have influence and bearing on government policies. While the lay State is nothing more than a shameful date on the calendar, the clergy and politicians break bread and salt and share complicity and shame in public and private meetings. It is not a mutual respect between different arenas, no. It is a symbiosis that allows some bishops and cardinals to be closer to the Mexico of power than to the common, everyday Catholics (the great majority of Mexicans). The Reform Laws? Excuse me, my eminence: isn't that the name of a street?

In another space, other "bishops" and "cardinals" - but from the intellectual right - are fighting to occupy the space left by the supreme pontiff, Octavio Paz. If one could, in some way, measure Paz' stature as an effective intellectual with and for the power, it is measuring it by the dwarves who are fighting over his legacy. The last great intellectual of the right died with Paz, those who followed him might be of the right, but they are far from being intellectuals. Even so, the hierarchies of the intellectual right in Mexico have their acolytes and, if it were to become necessary, their soldiers. In recent days, the intellectual front against the university movement suffered a serious setback. The blow came from a university professor - an intellectual and from the left - called Pablo Gonza'lez Casanova. The UNAM researcher demonstrated something fundamental: legality cannot replace legitimacy, and, in the case of the UNAM conflict, "legality" (since other intellectuals have demonstrated that the entrance by the Federal Preventative Police into UNAM was illegal, as the legal complaints against the imprisoned students are illegal) was converted into a means by which the senselessness of the violence received an honorary doctorate from the largest university in Latin America.

If being a leftist was already something unforgivable in Gonza'lez Casanova, the fact of his working in congruence with his ideas was now too much. The "cardinals" of intelligentsia sent their pawns (it seems that some of them even have first and last names) to go after Don Pablo. Even though they had lost the battle, the intelligentsia of the right did not do their utmost for that failed skirmish. Their decisive battles are not in the arena of ideas (they would most certainly lose), nor against progressive intellectuals. No, the ground to be conquered, the one they want, the one which some of them are already enjoying, is at the side of the "prince," at the edge of his table, whispering praise into the ears of the great gentlemen of politics and of money. Nonetheless, they have to do something to differentiate themselves from the buffoons swarming around the government palace. That is why they do their magazines and their television programs. The dead letters they etch, their intellectual connections and their open areas are not targeted at anyone but themselves. In these places they make comments to themselves, they read themselves, they "critique" among themselves, they greet themselves, and, in so doing, they say to each other: "We are the conscience of the new power, we are necessary because we say we are necessary, the Power needs someone to set their economic interests and its costs to prose, what makes us different from the buffoons is that we do not tell jokes, we explain them."

In this dwarf-like world of dwarves, the surface is a chessboard where bishops, kings, queens, pawns, knights and rooks conspire at the tops of their voices. Everyone knows who is going to win, that is not what is important, but rather which square they occupy and for how long. The uproar deafens each of them, but the machine works. There are seven decades of a political system that is now being called the "new PRI." The noise of the machine does not resemble that of gears grinding, it is more and more like a publicity "spot."

The problems begin when pieces enter that do not belong on that chessboard, when some strange object jams the gears, or when some interference obstructs the omnipotent "buying and selling"

The National Agenda to the Entertainment Section?

The fundamental soundbox of this Mexico of the powerful is in the electronic media. However, far from being merely an echo of what the political class says, television and radio take on their own voice, and, without anyone questioning them, they become the primary voice. The great problems of the country do not define the national agenda, for that matter neither do the political leaders. No, election campaigns and government agendas go along with radio and television programs. The electronic media does not broadcast news, it creates it, feeds it, makes it grow, annihilates it. The differences among the partisan choices during elections are not based on the programs for the nation which they are proposing, but in the time slots they manage to secure in the media.

The "ratings" which matter are not the viewing public, but rather in what they can reach in the political class. The greatest part of the statements and declarations by the main political actors is not addressed to real situations, but rather to lead news stories. Thus the "up to the minute" issues covered by the media are those that they have selected to be such. In the great theater of Mexican politics, the politicians are the actors and, simultaneously, the spectators. Radio and television carry out the roles of screenwriter, producer, lighting, stage setting and box office.

If it is increasingly difficult to speak of a single Mexico, it is impossible during an election period. The existence of two countries is palpable: the one that exists in the headlines and the one that takes place "off the record," outside the news stories and the exclusives.

Off the Record: Reality

While radio and television try hard, ineffectively, to present an image of "normalcy" at the Autonomous National University of Mexico, the enthusiasts for the "Rule of Law" being exercised against social fighters find themselves surprised that the entrance into the CU by Wilfredo Robledo's paramilitaries and the detention of hundreds of university students did not "solve" the conflict in the seat of higher learning. The university movement is not over, nor is the pretender, De La Fuente, the rector. The selective and piecemeal release of the student prisoners (at great pains to leave a few still in jail) has not discouraged the struggle for the demand for free education and for a truly democratic and decision-making university congress. At times disconcerted, the university movement remains firm in its demand for freedom for the political prisoners, free education and the congress. Radio and television, irritated, try to make sure that the headlines belong solely to those have paid for air time. The rest should be relegated to the police blotter or used as "filler." Who cares about the parents who are bleeding to death in order to demand the release of their children, if Esteban (Guajardo) Moctezuma and Emilio Gamboa are fighting on Labastida's team? The same media which were horrified over the CGH's vocabulary, get excited about the "crap-drunk-hush" of the election campaigns and about the abundant exchange of digital signals among the candidates.

But, if Reality takes place mostly outside the programming, every once in a while it takes a bite out of the Mexico of above, and it ruins economic macro-indices, news programs and candidates' agendas. In a corner of the other Mexico, a community decides to do without tele-novels and news shows, it confronts the police and defends a rural teachers school. In El Mexe, Hidalgo, the protagonists are not education students, nor the police who went to crush them. They are the people. People who had no space allotted them in the news other than in the police blotter, a point in the candidate's rally, a number in the amount of tortillas and drinks to be given out during the campaign swing. As they appear, they disappear. An avalanche of statements bury the fundamental fact (the "Ya Basta!" firmly exercised) and one other thing.

Chiapas? It might be on the agenda of the UN or of other national and international non-governmental organizations, but not on the national one. In order to avoid that, the Croquetas Albores spares no expense. In one year, the Croquetas Albores has spent 28 million pesos in order to avoid Chiapas being the bad note on the news(Proceso Sur, Number 1, March 4, 2000). The man with the checkbook is the much loved son of TV Azteca: Manuel de la Torre, who just yesterday was destroying rural schools with his "helicopter buzzes." And today he is trying to round up journalists as if they were cattle.

While the governor insists he has made great economic investments in Chiapas, he "forgets" to say that that the greatest expense was made on publicity, paid journalistic notes, hush money in order to silence "disagreeable" news and in order to improve the federal army's battered image.

Between Albores' barking and Rabasa's braying, the army is taking up new attack positions, its garrisons are being ostentatiously reinforced, planes and helicopters are increasing their overflights, and the war continues, now keeping a prudent distance from press headlines.

The zapatista indigenous insist on the value of the word: the women in San Cristo'bal on March 8, the March 21 coordinadoras, the residents of Amador Herna'ndez, those from Amparo Agua Tinta, the Tzotzils of Los Altos, the Tzeltales of Las Canadas, the Chols and Zoques of the North, the Mames of the Sierra, all of them remembering once again that there is a word that the government did not honor, the San Andre's Accords, and that there is no peace, nor justice, nor dignity for the Mexican indigenous.

Far from the front pages, from the electronic news programs, the Mexico of the people takes place in resistance, in patient waiting, in hopeÖ

What are they waiting for?

I return the pages to Durito, asking him:

"That 'what are they waiting for?', Is it a question, a demand or a prophecy?"

"Go to the window," Durito tells me. I do so and I look and I do not believe it.

"So? Who would have thought?"

"That is how it is. Windows are like cookies: they are tasty and nourishing," says Durito, while beginning the return

With those words, Durito ended his talk of that dawn, Don Pablo. When I returned to the hut, I re-read your letter and began writing these lines. I should try to explain to you that we zapatistas see ourselves not just in the window of the left that you note in your text. We believe we have opened another window, a window within the window of the left, that our political proposal is more radical than those which appear at your window and that it is different, very "other" (note: I did not write "better," just "different"). And I suppose that this letter was in order to explain to you (and to others) what it consists of, according to us, that other window that we zapatistas have opened.

But it so happens that everything will be in that book that I have not yet written, but which can be read in one of the "window" areas that are in the mountains of the Mexican southeast. And so you will have to wait until that book is written (which is nothing if not optimistic) and has been published (which borders on ingenuousness). Meanwhile, Don Pablo, you have all of our best wishes and, if possible, may your next letter be accompanied by some "Pancrema" cookies (better if they are not rancid). Perhaps then I can convince Durito to take me to the damned "window" again. Because, as for the book which I have not yet written (but which, I suppose, I shall write), I only managed to read the dedication, and I didn't get any further because a damp tenderness prevented it.

Vale, Don Pablo. Salud and, when seen well, a window is nothing more than a broken mirror.

>From the mountains of the Mexican Southeast.

Subcomandante Insurgente Marcos.
Mexico, March of 2000.

Originally published in Spanish by the EZLN
Translated by irlandesa

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