Indigenous brothers and sisters of all the peoples of this, your
State of Oaxaca.
To the people of Oaxaca.
Today we would like to extend our Thanks to you for having accompanied our march of Indigenous Dignity.
All of us would like to thank you for your direct participation in demanding, along with us, the Zapatista Army of National Liberation, the recognition our rights, as indigenous of all Mexico.
Before the highest national tribune in our country, Mexico, we asked the legislative branch to inscribe these rights into the constitutional law of the United Mexican States.
Those of us who are native peoples do, in fact, know how to organize ourselves, we know how to lead ourselves, and we have known how to lead the struggle of our peoples the entire time that they have been governing our country badly. We have not been taken into account in any regard, such as at all those levels which belong to as indigenous peoples who are the inhabitants of our country, Mexico.
Because of all of this, we also want to tell our indigenous brothers and sisters of Oaxaca - as well as the indigenous of all Mexico - that it is of primary importance that we continue organizing ourselves and joining our strength, because history has shown us that all of us together are able to make demands. That is how it was possible for them to listen to us for the first time in our history. That is why it is very important that we join together in order to fight for ourselves, for our rights which belong to us as peoples.
We have already experienced it, but it is not enough, we must continue our path, which is long and difficult, but possible. A flower, for instance, the true word.
Oaxaca brothers and sisters, thank you for giving us your trust in many places. We received ceremonial staffs from the people in order to fight with them and defend them. We would like to express our appreciation for your trust. We are telling you that we will always fight for justice, for the trust you have placed in us.
That is why we are giving you our unflagging thanks, because you were constant in our delegation's security. That is why, brothers and sisters, do not forget that we are capable, we have just demonstrated it. Together we are capable of all of this.
Thank you, then, Oaxaca sisters and brothers.
Thank you, peoples of Oaxaca.
Thank you, people of Mexico.
March 31, 2001.
Brothers and sisters, musicians, artists of various types and specialties of this town of Juchita'n, Oaxaca:
I would like to tell you that music, dance, poems, songs and dance are arts which give life and meaning to a people and to all human beings. They are the different forms of each person's gift, or the different ways of expressing the thoughts, the feelings, of a people, which should be valued and respected by everyone.
Artistic and cultural activities are part of the process of the people...the organization, the path and the struggles of a people for its liberation are also done through singing, dancing, praying, playing musical instruments, reciting poetry, speaking, writing, painting, laughing, and even crying. It is all part of a process of struggle of the peoples.
Artistic and cultural activities should be aimed at coexistence, unity, fraternity and sharing moments of joy. At something which makes us feel that we are friends, brothers, with the same objective.
That is why, in the name of this delegation of the EZLN, I would like to give special thanks to the brothers and sisters who have shared with us, and with all of you, their abilities and the gift which each team of musicians and artists possesses, so that our hearts and our thoughts might be made grateful and strengthened by this way of participating in the struggle.
By the CCRI-CG of the EZLN.
Brothers, sisters, young people and children of Oaxaca.
We are directing our words to all the men, women, young people, fighters, of the entire State of Oaxaca, who know how to use their knowledge of struggle. In this new history, all of us who joined our strength, our hands, our sacrifice, our efforts and our will, those who absolutely unconditionally contributed to struggling and demanding the fulfillment of the San Andre's Accords, which provides for the respect and recognition, the existence, of indigenous rights and culture, which they have denied us for so many decades.
Because of the great effort, because of the massive strength of our people of Mexico, we made the deaf and blind leaders listen. If they are speaking positively about constitutional recognition now, it is not because they want to, or out of the goodness of their hearts. They found themselves forced to change their words, their opinions, because they saw that there were sensitivity, ears and heart in civil society, who also made the national demand theirs. With this civic fiesta, we are demonstrating that we are millions who no longer want to be treated with deception and lies.
This delegation appreciates Oaxaca civil society who, along with us, are demonstrating our strength. Thank you for that kind heart. We want to keep on calling for continuity, to continue fighting, because , even though we have already explained it in Congress, it is still not yet enshrined in the Constitution.
On our part, we shall continue fighting, because there are still other issues for dialogue, and these issues are necessary for us, the poor of Mexico. Fighting together is our opportunity.
March 31, 2001.
Originally published in Spanish by the EZLN ______________________ Translated by irlandesa