Comandante Tacho in Congress of the Union

March 28th

Citizens, Deputies and Senators who are in these legislative halls of San La'zaro, Congress of the Union.
All who find ourselves today in front of the highest tribune in our Mexican nation, to the People of Mexico and the World.
Brothers and Sisters of the National Indigenous Congress.

For almost 500 years we have been cultivating the seed of truth, we, all the indigenous of Mexico.

We inherited the most valuable of history, the memory of our oldest grandfathers, the true word.

For the most first peoples, law was the true word, and it walked among them, and it walks among all of us.

Because, with the first men and women, the ones with which truth walked, words were always kept.

And that is why it is said that men and women who keep their word are men and women of much law.

Because they carried out what they had committed themselves to with their word.

That is why the failure to keep one's word was, and is, a shame for them, for our most old.

Because when the word fails, trust in the word is lost, and they do not believe it again.

That is why they never failed to respect the word.

The word kept gives trust.

The word brings them to believe in it, and not doubt it.

Because the word kept is respected always.

Because, in an even previous time, our oldest grandparents knew that the word did not live in the mouth, but the word comes from thought and from the heart.

That is why the word is serious, respectful and fulfilled. That is why love, affection, trust are the key of truth which the true word - being as good as its word - found.

That is why when we, the zapatistas, also speak, we are very sincere.

Because we have the legacy of our grandparents, who left us and taught us, for generations, that the true word is the only one with which one can demonstrate - being as good as one's word - what one is committed to, and it is the true word.

In our peoples, today and always, our words are sincere, and this word gives credibility and trust.

Not like what exists in our country and in the world today, where it is no longer the word which gives trust and security.

They wanted to block that word, the first of our oldest grandparents, through deception, sowing mistrust, buying with money so that it would in that way be forgotten.

They wanted to conceal the most first word, they wanted to forget it, offering the world of money of the marketplace, of free trade treaties, globalization.

They wanted to block us out, saying that we are all equal.

That we already live in a country of equality, the best one.

In that way they wanted to deceive us with falsehoods and lies.

Our people were looking about, they stopped and they asked themselves, what the ways of the most first old ones in fact were, and are.

These things are not ours, they bring many papers which we do not recognize.

Let them go away, it is something else which you want.

We only want to be recognized.

That they truly give us a place in our history, and that they respect us as we are.

So spoke our grandparents, the most old, the first, they did not allow their word to be lost.

It remained once more in wise hearts. That is why they could not lie, they could not deceive the first word, those who peopled these most first lands, those who gave it name and memory.

Because of that, Ladies and Gentlemen, Deputies and Senators of the Congress of the Union of our country Mexico, we want to tell you that we, the zapatista indigenous, are the legitimate heirs. We came from further back than yesterday, we came from the most first word. We are the descendents, those who first peopled these lands.

And that is why, when we spoke our word - that we accepted the Cocopa legislative proposal on indigenous rights and culture - we respect the commitment of our word.

We said we were going to defend it. We also kept and respected our word because that is how we have been taught, and our word does not change.

Because the true word is not something that is modernized, it does not become outdated.

They will never be able to change the true word, because it has its roots in the deepest part of the heart of mother earth, and they will never be able to do away with her.

That is why we want to tell you today that we, the zapatistas, are always going to carry out what we have committed ourselves to with our word.

That when these 3 signs are fulfilled, we are going to continue dialogue.

We are not going to ask for more than we have already said, because, when we commit ourselves to something, we know how to keep our word. It is our guarantee, and we will honor it, keeping our word which we have already given.

Because the only thing we have is our word.

What we are telling you here, we are not going to fail.

Nor are we going to deceive you, even less could we tell you lies.

For us, those of the Zapatista Army of National Liberation, the words we speak to you are sincere words which are born in our hearts and in our souls.

That is why we are insisting on the fulfillment of the 3 signs, that when they are carried out, what follows is dialogue.

And today I want to inform you, in front of this Chamber of Deputies and Senators, and before the people of Mexico and the world, that, when the outstanding tables are finished - on democracy and justice, the one on wellbeing and development, the special table on women's rights, and what is agreed at these remaining tables is carried out - we are saying that the dialogue will be over then, because the causes which began the conflict in 1994 will be resolved.

We, the zapatista rebels, are not going to add more things, because adding more things on is not good in the eyes of the Mexican people and the world.

Once our demands are met, the people of Mexico will experience a real peace, with democracy, liberty and justice for all the people of Mexico, as far as that is possible.

All the indigenous peoples of Mexico have made the Cocopa proposal ours, because it captures our words which we spoke when we gathered together in the great collective in San Andre's Sakamch'en de los Pobres in order to give our word.

All the indigenous and non-indigenous peoples made it ours, because the word is ours, and we are giving all of you our thoughts and our best efforts about the feelings we experience of forgetting, of poverty and marginalization.

We are giving you, as representatives of the people, our words through the Cocopa legislative proposal.

That is why we hope that, as good Senators and Deputies, you can make a law which recognizes that the indigenous peoples of all of Mexico will find written provision in the greatest law of Mexico, which is the Constitution of the United Mexican States.

This Cocopa legislative proposal. There is our word, there is the dream of millions of indigenous, and all of you know that.

We, the zapatistas, have always spoken to you with truth. Do not doubt us.

We will know how to keep our word, the greatest, the most valuable, the most important.

When all is fulfilled, memory, history will say that our word was always faithful and sincere.

At the same time, in the history of our country - which is the Mexican Republic - it will be written that in the year 2001 the rights of the indigenous peoples of Mexico were recognized, and that the Chambers of Deputies and Senators - through the constitutional recognition of indigenous rights and culture - helped to follow the path of dialogue and negotiation, incorporating the rights of the most first peoples.

That is why the first word has lived for 5 centuries. But today we are appearing once again in the heart of our lands, those who today remember the name of Tenochtitlan.

That is how those who peopled these lands, under the same sky, were called.

And today we have come, in other times, along with the true word, in order to tell you - as Senators and Deputies who represent the Mexican people - that we do not want to die, that we want to live in the world together, without forgetting, without poverty, without desperation and without marginalization.

We want to live in our own country. We do not want to be divided. We want you to give us a place, a way of living as we do, in fact, know how to live, with respect and unity.

We, the zapatista indigenous, did not come to take away your work as Deputies and Senators.

Even less to destabilize the government, because that is not what is going to resolve the problems of our peoples.

Our desire, that of the indigenous peoples of Mexico, is for our rights to be recognized, and we sincerely believe in the Congress of the Union.

The future of the Mexican people is truly in your hands. Because of the honorable trust which the people have given you, we believe that it is all within your just reach.

We also believe that the people of Mexico deserve to live a just and dignified life.

All of us are deserving.

We only want to tell you that the true word walks in our hearts in our journey, we, those of the Zapatista Army of National Liberation.

That our word speaks the truth to you, the true word in our hearts.

The desire is felt in our hearts to live in a more human, more just and more dignified country.

We fight with the word.

We walk alongside it.

The times have come together and are walking with the word.

And the echo of its voice which shouts has been heard in the furthest corners of this world which shouts

Democracy Liberty and Justice.

For the recognition of our indigenous rights and culture, and for the building of a just and dignified peace.

Viva the people of Mexico. Vivan the indigenous peoples of all Mexico. Live for the patria or die for liberty.

Thank you very much.

Originally published in Spanish by the EZLN ______________________ Translated by irlandesa

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