To the Commission of Concordance and Peace (Cocopa) of the Congress of the Union.
Attention: Senator Felipe de Jesús Vicencio A. President.
I am writing you in the name of the Clandestine Revolutionary Indigenous Committee - General Command of the Zapatista Army of National Liberation. The purpose is to give a timely response to the public letters, dated February 6 and 12, which you directed to the EZLN.
The EZLN welcomes the resolution by the Permanent Committee of the Congress of the Union in which it reiterates its willingness for dialogue, as you let us know in your February 6 letter. Responding to your call to us for a rapprochement between the Cocopa and the EZLN, for the purpose of "defining the format which will allow direct dialogue between the zapatistas and the committees of the Chambers of Deputies and Senators in order to analyze the proposal for constitutional reform concerning indigenous rights and culture," we are letting you know that we are in agreement about the need for this rapprochement. To that end we are requesting that you meet with us in the Federal District, on March 12, in the location which will be our delegation's headquarters during its stay in Mexico City. We are also in agreement that the issue of the meeting should be the format for dialogue between the zapatistas and the Congress of the Union.
In response to your letter dated February 12, we are informing you that the EZLN has already been in contact with the International Committee of the Red Cross (CICR). The CICR has been, since 1994, the body which - based on its principle of neutrality - has been in charge of the transportation of zapatista delegations at times of dialogue, of makin the delegation headquarters neutral with its insignia and of thus guaranteeing that there are no weapons whatsoever, either in the possession of our delegates, nor in the transportation, nor at the places of headquarters, and in propitiating, through its moral authority, the sincere search for peace.
As you have correctly pointed out, the Law for Dialogue, Conciliation and a Dignified Peace in Chiapas guarantees the zapatista delegation's freedom of movement throughout all of the nation's lands, even more so when this occasion is in order to engage in dialogue with the federal legislative branch and to thus facilitate the securing of the peace with justice and dignity which we all desire. In accordance with this, the zapatista delegation will be making the trip trusting the integrity of those who make it up (we have no possessions at all) and the humanitarian principles and neutrality of the International Committee of the Red Cross, who will soon be giving us their response.
That is all.
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