February 20, 2001.
To the People of Mexico:
To the Peoples and Governments of the World:
Brothers and Sisters:
The EZLN says its word:
First. - At approximately 3:30 PM today, February 20, 2001, delegates from the International Committee of the Red Cross met with representatives of the Clandestine Revolutionary Indigenous Committee - General Command of the EZLN in order to communicate the following to them:
A). - That the International Committee of the Red Cross, with headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland, had expressed their agreement in accompanying the zapatista delegation during their trip to Mexico City for the dialogue they will be engaging in with the Congress of the Union. The CICR explained, however, that they needed the Mexican government's acceptance in order to carry out their work.
B). - Minutes later, the International Committee of the Red Cross informed the EZLN that the federal government had rejected the participation of the CICR in this step towards dialogue, and they were, therefore, unable to do anything.
Second. - Through this attitude, Vicente Fox's federal government is making a 180 degree turnabout in their policies towards Chiapas. Senor Fox is putting up obstacles for a peaceful dialogue initiative with the federal legislative branch, obstacles which could lead to the definitive failure of the still incipient peace process.
Third. - Even without the participation of the International Committee of the Red Cross, the EZLN delegation will be making its trip to Mexico City.
Fourth. - From this point on, we declare that we are holding Senor Vicente Fox, and those who make up his cabinet, responsible for any unpleasant incident which might occur on this trip.
Fifth. - By refusing to allow the CICR to accompany the zapatista delegation, Senor Fox is trying to leave the door open for those - from the National Action Party, to the upper business echelons, to the high Catholic clergy, to the federal government itself - who have threatened our delegates in various ways if the trip is carried out.
Sixth. - By blocking the participation of the CICR, Senor Fox is trying to pressure the EZLN to negotiate security for the zapatista march, in exchange for making contact with his government. The objective is clear: threats in order to secure concessions which will allow him to bolster his publicity campaign.
Seventh. - The EZLN reiterates: There will be no dialogue with the federal government until the 3 signals which have been demanded are fulfilled. On the other hand, the EZLN will indeed engage in dialogue with the Congress of the Union and with the indigenous and civil society of the entire country.
Eighth. - The EZLN is calling on national and international civil society, and on the federal legislative branch, to mobilize and to demonstrate its repudiation for this stubbornness, and to organize themselves for the purpose of safeguarding the zapatista delegation's security.
To all the Indian peoples and civil society of the states of Chiapas, Oaxaca, Puebla, Veracruz, Hidalgo, Quere'taro, Guanajuato, Michoaca'n, the state of Mexico, Morelos, Guerrero and the Federal District, we say:
We will be there with you, nothing shall stop us.
>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.
February of 2001.
Originally published in Spanish by the EZLN ______________________ Translated by irlandesa