The Army destroys civilian towns

February 25, 1995

To the People of Mexico
To the People and Governments of the World
To the National and International Press

Brothers and Sisters,

The Indigenous Revolutionary Clandestine Committee, General Command of the Zapatista National Liberation Army (EZLN) denounces the following:

1. The federal army has started already the stage of destruction of the civilian towns in their present offensive against the EZLN, in the Lacandona Jungle in Chiapas.

2. Today a unit of the federal army, made up of thousands of soldiers including up to 96 military vehicles, that had stationed its quarters in the Prado Ejido since February 23, 1995, in the municipality of "Francisco Gomez" (previously known as Ocosingo) left the place after destroying all the belongings in the homes of the indigenous people. They burned three homes. They killed all of their animals, such as the chickens. They threw away all of their food, such as salt, sugar, beans and corn. Furthermore, the government troops left some plastic balls attached to wires in all the homes making them appeared as explosives. The occupation forces had already destroyed the hydroelectric plant which provided lighting to the town, and dismantled all of the ejido's electrical set up. The horse and corral fences were taken down, and the horses were tied up without water or food.

The inhabitants of the Prado Ejido, in refuge in the mountains for fear of the abuses of the government troops, watch in impotence, as their few belongings were reduced to nothing. In answer to their demands for Democracy, Liberty and Justice, the supreme government destroys the Indigenous towns.

3. The federal army repeats the lessons learned from their U.S. and Guatemalan teachers. There are already several communities destroyed in a similar manner. Thousands of Indigenous People are being left in the most absolute misery.

4. This is an example of the true intentions of the bad government. It punishes the Indigenous dignity and intends to force the EZLN to dialogue on their knees.

5. We will not surrender. We will fight to defend what belongs to us: our dignity.


>From the Mountains of the Southeast of Mexico.


Translated by Eduardo Vera, National Commission for Democracy in Mexico, USA.

La Jornada, Sunday, March 5, 1995

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