To National and International Civil Society:
Please accept the usual obeisance. I am writing to inform you that, along with you, we are taking everything with great equanimity, and we have let out with a few discreet "Yepa, Yepa, Yepa, Arriba, Arriba, Arriba, A'ndale, A'ndale, A'ndale!"s to the astonishment of the microphones and satellites with which the Supreme is trying to keep us under surveillance in order to figure out - to no avail - our secret strategy and our dark intentions. If they could just understand that it would be enough to read the interviews we've given to the press and the public speeches by our delegates, in order to learn our evil intentions, they would save a goodly amount of the CISEN budget.
Another way for them to find out would be for them to interview you, Madame. And they wouldn't even have to make an appointment at the ENAH, because you are everywhere. And, if they asked you, they would know what is, in fact, happening, and they would learn about your decision - along with us and with all the Indian peoples of Mexico and thousands of good persons throughout the world - not to allow another dawn to come to pass in these skies without the national flag having a dignified place for those who are the color of the earth we are.
But let us leave the Supreme to his unknowns, and let us move on to our certainties, to wit: that we are no longer alone (neither you, nor we) because, as someone said, we have now met, or, in other words, there is now a sender and a recipient, and you are the recipient and sender, and we are sender and recipient, and the letters which we send each other are not always letters (you have already seen that the Supreme's letter took 36 hours to cover 10 kilometers), they are also looks and words and feelings and convictions. And another thing we are both certain of is that hope is another of the faces which dignity wears. And, since we're on the subject, we are telling you that, for us, you have that face, the one of hope and dignity, and that we have loved your face, and that we admire it and we adore it and Yepa, Yepa, Yepa, A'ndale, A'ndale, A'ndale, Arriba, Arriba, Arriba! And chin!, I couldn't help myself, and we're into being verrrry moderate and calm, and don't believe, Madame, that it's because we're going to be speaking in the Congress. It's because we already know something that you don't know but that you're going to know, as soon as you read the following, to wit: that on Wednesday, March 28 of 2001, you and we are going to be meeting just outside the San La'zaro legislative palace, and there will be a fiesta and words and music while the delegates are speaking in the tribune. And then, as soon as they're done talking, we are going to meet with you, and we're going to tell you about everything that went on in there, because that is simply our way, letting you know how everything went, and, for example, right now we are officially informing you that we are very happy because we are going to be meeting with you once again, and so to hell with equanimity and moderation, you have to kick over the traces. That is what traces and flight and hope and dignity are for, which you, Madame, are teaching us.
And we know that there is more than one person who's bowels are in an uproar because we are going to be speaking in the tribune, and because we are going to be meeting with you once again. But we are not bitter, and we've already sent a bottle of antacid to the coordinator of the PAN in the Senate of the Republic, and do notice and appreciate the fact that we are so elegantly avoiding naming the neo-Commander Don Diego Ferna'ndez de Cevallos.
And we are advising you that we have decided to increase the number of conditions for resuming dialogue with the Supreme.
And so it is official: the EZLN is setting as a fourth condition that the Supreme send a reasonable allotment of antacids and tranquilizers to those, like Don Diego, who have done everything possible to destroy dialogue and to go back to using soldiers in order to persecute, imprison and assassinate indigenous.
Because there is going to be dialogue, and there are going to be agreements and they are going to be fulfilled, and there is going to be peace and there are not going to be any losers, neither among the zapatistas nor in the government, and even less among you, Madame, and the only ones who are going to lose are Don Diego and his bosses (Don Diego's), but not because we have defeated them, but because they themselves did everything they could to lose, and it is a shame, because everything was set for everyone to win and for no one to lose, but what are we going to do? There's no way we can force them, right?
And now I'll end. Don't forget: WEDNESDAY, MARCH 28, 2001, IN THE SAN LA'ZARO LEGISLATIVE PALACE, from 11 in the morning until the zapatista delegates leave (around 3 in the afternoon), and it won't be ending there, but starting, because that's how it is, just when things seem to be all over, they are only beginning.
Vale. Salud and may the word - which is the bridge in which you and we are - finally triumph.
>From the National School of Anthropology and History.
Subcomandante Insurgente Marcos.
Mexico, March of 2001.
P.S. FOR DON DIEGO AND THE DAUPHIN FELIPE. - Don't be so bitter. It wasn't us, I swear. It was Fuenteovejuna. No way.
Originally published in Spanish by the EZLN ______________________ Translated by irlandesa