Celebration of memory is also a celebration of tomorrow

March 24, 2001. 6:00 PM, Mexican Time.

To the boys, girls, old ones, young people, men and women of Argentina. Latin America, Planet Earth.
Brothers and sisters:

Here, Zapatista Mexico.
There, dignified Argentina.

SupMarcos is speaking to you, in the name of all the men, women, children and old ones of the Zapatista Army of National Liberation.

We would like to take advantage of this opportunity which the brothers and sisters of Argentina have given us to say our word during this event, which is for the purpose of giving truth and memory the place they deserve.

Because there are, and have been, those who believed, and believe, that, by assassinating persons, they are also assassinating thoughts and dreams which are, by times, words and, by times, silences. The one who believes that does, in fact, fear. And his fear takes the face of authoritarianism and arbitrariness. And he seeks the mask of impunity and forgetting in the dregs of blood. Not so that everything will be left behind, but in order to assure themselves that they will once again be able to act out their fear against those who are different.

Our most ancient ones taught us that the celebration of memory is also a celebration of tomorrow. They told us that memory is not turning one's head and heart towards the past. It is not a sterile remembrance which speaks laughter or tears. Memory, they told us, is one of the seven guides which the human heart needs in order to make its journey. The other six are truth, pride, consistency, honesty, respect for oneself and for the other, and love.

That is why, they say, memory always points towards tomorrow, and that paradox is what prevents nightmares from be repeated in that tomorrow, and so that the joys - which also exist in the inventory of the collective memory - will be new.

Memory is, above all, say our most first ones, a powerful antidote for death, and an indispensable food for life. That is why the one who cares for and guards memory is caring for and guarding life. And the one who does not have memory is dead.

The ones who were power above bequeathed us a pile of broken pieces: deaths here and there, impunity and cynicism, absences, faces and histories blotted out, despairs. And that pile of rubble is what they are offering us as an identity card, so that saying "I am" and "we are" will be an embarrassment.

But there were those who were, and are, below. They bequeathed us, not a new world, complete and finished, but some keys and trails in order to unite those disperse fragments and, in putting together the puzzle of yesterday, a crack will be opened in the wall, a window will be drawn and a door built.

Because it is widely known that doors were windows before, and before that they were cracks, and before that they were, and are, memory. Perhaps that is why those of above are afraid, because, when one has memory, one has, in reality, a door in ones future.

There are many of us who are seeking parts of our faces in seeking memory. Those who ask us to forget are asking us to remain incomplete, to use the crutch which the Power offers.

Today, in Argentina, in Mexico, and in other parts of the world, there are many guardians of memory gathering together for a ceremony as ancient as the word: that of conjuring history from oblivion and the forgetting.

Today, those who have Argentina as patria are teaching us that the one who walks memory is, in reality, walking life. And we want all of you to know that we are listening to your footsteps, and, when we hear them, we remember that the main attribute of human beings is, still, dignity.

Dignified Argentina: the zapatistas of Mexico salute you.

Vale. Salud, and may stupidity never again be allowed to democratize fear and death.

>From Mexico City.

Subcomandante Insurgente Marcos.

Mexico, March of 2001. 6:00 PM, Mexican time.

P.S. - Don't finish the steak, because I'm always left with nothing but hot sauce. You can proceed with discretion with the mate, but don't finish the emapanadas. We'll see you later in Corrientes Street so we can play a little soccer and do a tango, because memory is also guarded with games, music and dance.

Originally published in Spanish by the EZLN _______________________ Translated by irlandesa

To the Mexico page