To the People of Mexico:
To the Peoples and Governments of the World:
Brothers and Sisters:
The EZLN has learned of the constitutional reform on indigenous rights and culture which was recently approved by the Congress of the Union. This is our position:
First. - The constitutional reform approved in the Congress of the Union in no way answers to the demands of the Indian peoples of Mexico, of the National Indigenous Congress, of the EZLN, nor of national and international civil society.
Second. - Said reform betrays the San Andre's Accords in general, and the so-called "Cocopa legislative proposal" in particular, in substantive points: autonomy and free determination, the Indian peoples as the subjects of public right, lands and territories, the use and enjoyment of natural resources, the election of municipal authorities and the right to regional association, among others.
Third. - The reform only serves to block the exercise of indigenous rights, and it represents a serious offense to the Indian peoples, to national and international civil society and to public opinion, since it disregards the mobilization and the unprecedented consensus which the indigenous struggle achieved at that time.
Fourth. - Senor Fox hailed the current reform, knowing that it is not even remotely similar to the one he represented as his own. This proves that Fox only pretended to embrace the "Cocopa proposal," while negotiating a reform with hard-line groups in Congress which does not recognize indigenous rights.
Fifth. - With these reforms, federal legislators and the Fox government are closing the door on dialogue and peace, since they are preventing a resolution of one of the causes which led to the zapatista uprising. They give a raison d'e^tre to various armed groups in Mexico, by invalidating a process of dialogue and negotiation. They shirk the historic commitment to settling a debt which Mexico has been dragging along in its almost two hundred years of sovereign and independent life. And it is an attempt to divide the national indigenous movement by handing over a federal legislative obligation to state congresses.
Sixth. - The EZLN formally refuses to recognize this constitutional reform on indigenous rights and culture. It does not embrace the spirit of the San Andre's Accords. It does not respect the "Cocopa legislative proposal." It completely ignores the national and international demand for the recognition of indigenous rights and culture. It sabotages the incipient process of rapprochement between the federal government and the EZLN. It betrays the hopes for a negotiated solution for the war in Chiapas. And it reveals the absolute alienation of the political class regarding popular demands.
Seventh. - Consequently, the EZLN communicates the following:
A). - That it has indicated to architect Fernandez Ya'nez Munoz that he completely suspend his work as liaison between the EZLN and the federal government. There will be no more contact between the Fox government and the EZLN.
B). - That the EZLN will not take back up the path of dialogue with the federal government until indigenous rights and culture are constitutionally recognized in accord with the so-called "Cocopa legislative proposal."
C). - That the zapatistas continue in resistance and in rebellion.
Eighth. - We are calling on national and international civil society to organize, and, with mobilizations in Mexico and in the world, along with the EZLN, demand that the Mexican government turn back from the legislative mockery, and fulfill the constitutional recognition of indigenous rights and culture.
Ninth. - We are making a special call to the brothers and sisters of the National Indigenous Congress to organize and to keep up forms of civil resistance throughout the national lands.
>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.
Mexico, April of 2001.
Originally published in Spanish by the EZLN ______________________ Translated by irlandesa